Excellent Game, Unique In Parts*****
BASED ON DEMO
Mystery Of The Ancients has been a pleasant series, with a couple of good 4 star games. Three Guardians is a sure-fire 5 star hit. From the exciting and beautiful opening sequences (both the one before and after the main menu), we are in for something absolutely excellent.
SIGHTS & SOUNDS
The graphics are wonderful. The cut scenes some of the best I’ve seen, and the one after the main menu gets my vote for the best of its kind ever. Throughout, the visuals are beautifully crafted and distinctive, clear and bright in the HOPs. This is a fairly dark themed game, but the colours are there to produce a splendid show. There is plenty of movement and the animation is done very well.
The voices are just fabulous. No attempt has been made at lip synch, but the acting is good, the voice very much a part of the character it represents. The background sounds are fairly unobtrusive, and the music is much the same.
Your niece calls you for help. She is trapped in a town besieged by ravens, and a sinister man in a raven feather coat. Her boyfriend disappeared after the ravens attacked him, and others have gone missing as well. On your (extremely dramatic) arrival, you find a virtual ghost town, the only people in sight disappearing before your eyes beneath the ravens. There is dark magic around, and you don’t know how you are going to counter it, but so far, being handy with a gun has helped! A broken amulet finds its way into your possession, and you find something you can use to defend yourself – if only you can find all the missing crystals.
So far, the HOPs in the demo are a variation of the progressive silhouette style, with grey scale pix rather than silhouettes. Each has an easy puzzle to complete within them. They are fun rather than challenging. I can remember only a couple of mini-game outside these HOPs, although there are of course the usual locks and codes around. Something that I can’t define as mini-game or puzzle, a diorama that you must move along by choosing the correct (exceedingly obvious) objects, begins the tale of the origin of the Three Guardians.
The journal is unique. It offers only character cards, which are added to as you gain information, and replayable videos. It will be interesting to see how that works out. The map is an interactive jump map, and hint is directional. So you have help for the many little errands you must run to get the items you need. This adventure component represents a larger portion of the game than other recent games have offered, but it is not difficult. There are 3 sets of difficulty options if you want a tougher challenge.
Finding pieces of the amulet increases your powers of magic in breaking down magic barriers and defending yourself against minions. One mini-game is associated with the amulet and crystals. To charge them, you must play 3 align-the-stars puzzles. These are easier than it normally is. And fun!
There are 33 adorable squirrels to collect, plus 20 jigsaw pieces and 9 character figurines. These have achievements associated with them, as well as performance based ones. There is also an achievement where you must answer a simple question from the game. Each achievement gets you a piece of fresco and if you get all the achievements you can put together the final fresco to win the “ultimate” achievement.
There is a lot of concept art, very very good, and unfortunately not saveable. There are also some excellent wallpapers, and music. Heavy on the collectibles but a bit light on in the other standard CE bling! Of course, there is a bonus chapter and an in-game strategy guide.
A very impressive game. The delightful artwork is combined with not-quite standard gameplay, it is relaxing and fun, and the story is intriguing. The whole package is so professionally done, I just want to sit and admire. *goofy grin*
I recommend this game!