Title: Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove
Started: September 14th, 2013
Finished: September 15th, 2013
Time duration: ~5 hours
September 15th, 2013
The moment I finished the Mystery Case Files: 13th Skull (here’s the link to my review of that one), I was dying to start the Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove), and so I did, if you check the dates, you’ll see that I’ve not dallied (when I should have been doing my homework). This is the sixth game of the series Mystery Case Files, which means that I’ve played the seventh game before playing the sixth (I feel bad plz).
The graphics are slightly different than the first game I played (read the review here), but it was still something that my sister, Leafeon, and I noticed when we first started the Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove. I still found them pretty good, considering.
You’ll hear me say this often during this review, I think, but I absolutely dig the whole atmosphere of the game. The creepiness, the suddenness of some events, the way the music/melody was chosen also, greatly affected both the gameplay and my ability to solve the puzzles (if this makes ANY sense whatsoever). I was scared of continuing, I hesitated, I wondered whether or not I should click on this, or if it would be better to click that, etc. etc.
The cutscenes were well-done (filmed and acted), and fit with the atmosphere desired by the creators (at least I think that’s the reaction they tried to inspire). The actors‘ plays were believable. I got goosebumps all over and I’m not ashamed to say that, on several occasions, I was so caught up into the game that I screamed of fright and/or jumped. I even had difficulties sleeping (even woke up in the middle of the night because I felt something creepy).
Adding to this sense, in the 13th Skull, I was surrounded with NPCs who could protect my character (I felt like it anyway), whereas in this installment, you’re all ALONE. This sense of dread and everything adds on to the atmosphere. It was brilliant.
[Notice also that I’m quite a scaredy cat. I’m known to have played only a small portion of a really graphically ugly and slow zombie game and still to have panicked enough to be killed (my friends, especially Growlithe, know what I’m talking about, I think)]
Something I found a little bit iffy (?) was the fact that the video VHS that we take are obviously filmed by a fifth person. How can that be? It just ruined the coherence. BUT only ever so slightly. I did not mind it. As a matter of fact, Leafeon and I used this to ease up the tension and fright building, saying: “Hey, who filmed this part?” and stuff, just because…!
Something else I found so-so was the fact that there was some lack in the storyline written. When I say lack, I mean that despite my playing and getting into the mood enough that I’d be scared, some elements seemed so surreal that it made me snap back to reality, like it cut through the imagination. One example of this is the fact that we’ve always been alone in the story, and we’ve been trying to get to the four university students. During the 4-5 hours of gameplay, I kind of am entranced in this world where there’s only me and them right now, and I need to save them. Out of practically nowhere, we get this footage of two other people (related, granted, to the story, but still, I would have wanted to know more about them before as well)!!
The puzzles, here, I find, were easier to solve than the 13th Skull one. It may have been just me, but if you look at the picture on my tumblr, of my puzzle-solving sheet, you’ll notice (perhaps) that I didn’t use all my page until the very last puzzle (which was slightly more complicated). However, I found it extremely entertaining.
I loved the side quests, which took the form of achievements. I’m sad to say that, on my first ‘go’ at the game, I only unlocked 57% of the achievements. I think that I will definitely come back to attempt and get all of the achievements done.
Yeah, those of you who are interested in this game, go ahead and definitely try to solve it all. It was scary, so be warned. I still loved it, and I’m an easily scare-able person! If you do try it out, do tell me what you thought! Have a great month, guys!