Shiver: Vanishing Hitchhiker CE
I can't believe I didn't do a review on this one way back when it first came out!
Options include separate sliders for music and sound, plus full-screen, widescreen correction, a difficulty that can be changed at any time during gameplay: Casual and Advanced. There's a detailed description of the differences (always nice) and I went with Advanced. We still have hints and skips, it just takes longer, and no sparkles, whee~!
OK, so there ARE sparkles, but only if you happen to click on a hotspot that you'll need to come back to.
We still have a tutorial option, even in advanced mode.
The task bar is locked in place by default, but can be retractable if you wish. We come equipped with both a flashlight and a camera, and both can be used at any time. When the camera flashes, you need to take a picture. At these times, you catch phantom images, which will help the story progress, as well as lead you in the right direction. These important pictures will go into your journal, and can only be accessed there. There are no blatant hints involved in this process, unlike in the second installment of the series. Any other photos you take are accessible via that 'Photos' button on the left-hand side of the task bar. Also on the left are the HINT button, Menu, Task List, and Strategy Guide (if you have the CE version.)
The hidden object scenes are interactive, with items listed in yellow needing some kind of action before you can collect them. Sometimes not all items-to-be-found are listed when you start the scene, but will be added as you find things. There is a misclick penalty -- at least in advanced mode. Something I really appreciate is that items you find the first time around STAY found when you revisit the scenes! NICE! :okay:In addition, when you open something -- say a cupboard or a box -- you can close it again. It's not often you find a dev willing to put in those kinds of extra touches, but it's much appreciated!
Some may feel the graphics are dreary, but I find them to be deeply environmental, and beautifully mood-setting. I recommend keeping up with the entries in the journal, as it makes things just that much more immersive. I loved how our character talks about how he feels like he's compelled
to do certain things -- things that would have most people running the other way!
There are voice overs during the opening and closing sequences, but none during gameplay.CE Extras:
This is from the old days of Collector's Editions, so there aren't a lot of extras. What we do have are:
- Integrated Strategy Guide
- Bonus Chapter
- 16 Concept Art
- 9 Wallpapers in four resolutions, from 800x600 to 1280x960
- 5 Videos
All extras are unlocked at the beginning of gameplay except the bonus gameplay and the videos.Bonus Chapter
To access the bonus chapter, simply click on the Start button, then choose the Extra Play selection on the right.
Most people liked the ending of the main story just the way it was, although it does hint (strongly!) at a sequel. What it actually is is a lead-in to the bonus chapter and the real ending of the game. If you're happy with the ending the way it was, skip the spoiler, otherwise... READ ON!
After the car crash, we regain consciousness to see some boards in front of us, and through the cracks between the boards we can see someone moving away. We're nailed in to a COFFIN, trapped, with no way out.
OK, of course there's a way out, but just think of how horrifying that would be! To lose consciousness and wake up confused, disoriented, and trapped in a small space, unable to see much but darkness. *shiver*
So, remember that locked gate past the graveyard? We'll gain access to that area in the bonus chapter. Here we'll find the orphanage where the boy lived, and where Christy worked as a volunteer. We find that the boy had emotional problems, which the shaman twisted to his own purposes. The goal of the chapter is to free the boy from the shaman's influence. SUPER-SPOILER, highlight to read:The boy did not survive his possession, and despite his death, he can't move on --the shaman has chained the boy's soul to darkness. In the end, we free the boy and the shaman's dark presence is locked back in his crypt where he belongs.
For much of the game I didn't mind the hidden object scenes, and unlike most games of this type, didn't try to zip through them. Instead I enjoyed my time looking for the well-hidden items, and took my time to find everything. Towards the end I found myself getting a little impatient, but that's mostly because I don't enjoy finding hidden objects like I used to
The game is highly immersive and the story beautifully told, with excellent gameplay and a great creepy/spooky atmosphere. Most people are quite happy with the SE version, so whether the CE price is worth it is up to you~ Absolutely recommended, whichever version you choose~!