2006 was the year it happened. Doing my usual rounds of looking at different video game stores seeing what gem I can discover next. I had picked up a few games like I normally do and without actually reading the back just decided to walk around and continue to look further. Little did I know that I had this game in my hand. I have to say one thing and one thing only. It’s a good thing I picked this up because after that I would not let it go. I always talk about how certain games from my childhood and now as an adult take a hold of me. Grasp me in such a way that I cannot described unless you were me. This is one of those moments. A moment that can’t be reached unless you play this game. Not only with open eyes but with every sense and every emotion. Choose to have your breath taken away.
Starting out as Jennifer, a young woman who obviously has way too much going on that she cannot deal with is seen sitting on a bus asleep. A boy is reading a paper book entitled “The Little Princess” which you clearly see he is reading to himself. Bus driver doesn’t acknowledge what is going on and by this time my mind is completely lost and is no where to be found. Out of the blue, Jennifer is startled by the boy wanting her to read the next page. As she turns the page to read she sees that it is completely blank. Her expression looks to be lost just the way my face looks staring into the TV screen. From this point on and without saying a word the little boy gets down from the bus and runs straight into a dark forest. I’m wondering how the heck he didn’t fall flat on his face getting off that bus.
Not to give too much away but from this point on it does start to get bizarre. At the time I thought it was unconventional but now thinking about it there wasn’t really anything to freak out about. The little children peeking over the wall was a bit frightening but overall the game play was decent. The controls, I hate to say was way too much to handle. She turned around at such a slow speed that I fell asleep in mid turn. That’s how bad it was. Even though the game developers did mention her being a bit wonky, they could of gave her a better fight system. Those Imps took her down so quickly that you didn’t have time to yell or throw a fit. That’s how quick it was to die in this game. Of course I ALWAYS bring up the soundtrack with every game I talk about and YES, this is one of them. The soundtrack is just daunting and impressive. Chills here and there that it actually feels like fingers are running up your spine with every pluck of the violin. Shivers my friend, so do not doubt the power of music ever. You never know it may surprise you.
There’s a lot of paying attention in this game and a lot of running around retrieving items which can be time consuming. This group of children calling themselves the Red Crayon Aristocrats want you to bring gifts and pretty much a bunch of useless crap for them. Some items you have to use in order to get into special places and just places in general. If you miss the item somewhere then you spend an eternity doing a lot of back tracking. I forgot about the dog too. There is a dog that becomes your companion throughout. Kind of like Haunting Ground and is actually the most useful tool in the game. He can track items by scent and has a stay command. He doesn’t really fight off evil or anything but warns you when danger is near. Her being the wimp she is barely fights at all. Even tho the dog can’t fight he seems to be doing a better job than she is. He should just be the protagonist for this game. That idea seems more enjoyable than waiting for her to take one swing. Oh yeah she does a lot of fainting too.
Other than that, the story continues to get weird and gets a bit confusing especially when you slowly discover you’re on a flying airship in the shape of a fish. What the heck we’re you thinking of when creating this? How does this tie into the game? Don’t ask but you do see it swimming in the sky like it’s in water. That one definitely caught me off guard because it took me about a month to realize and argue that it was indeed what it appeared to be. That’s pretty much it. Girl, dog and evil children running around demanding things from her and those stupid Imps. What more could happen? Guess you’ll have to get a copy and try it out for yourself. Some gamers enjoyed it, like myself while others… well let’s just say they had to seek therapy. Give it a try or seek a psychiatrist.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.