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 Ravenwod Horror

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Warning Level : Ravenwod Horror WarningBar-Gloss1
Posts : 280
Join date : 2009-07-13
Age : 28
Location : Southeast, TN

Ravenwod Horror Empty
PostSubject: Ravenwod Horror   Ravenwod Horror EmptyThu Oct 29, 2009 8:24 am

Developer: Min Chan
Developed On: RPG Maker VX

Score: Ravenwod Horror Star3
Written By Stephen “SnakeYukin” Lindsey

Horror games for awhile were a genre not imaginable on RPG Makers; however, in recent installments and in recent years, more horror games have been made for the RPG Maker. Being into horror games, I thought it would be a good idea to finally pick up one of these games and see what someone could do on the engine in the area of horror. The first game that came up after doing a search for horror games on RPG Maker VX was Ravenwood Horror: a prime candidate for a horror game because it has horror right in its title.

The story of Ravenwood Horror takes place in 1886 and it revolves around you playing as Doctor Henry Smith: a psychiatrist who has been invited to Sir Wilkin's Mansion by his wife to make an evaluation of Sir Wilkin. However, as what happens in most horror type of games that involves a human antagonist, Sir Wilkin has become obsessed with the occult and, thus, goes crazy and kills everyone while performing experiments on certain people or possessing them with a demon... or something like that. A little cliched, along with certain plot points, but the ending is more original.

Now, the game starts out in a familiar way which one could guess: waking up in an unknown place with no knowledge of what happened prior. To add to the occult feel, you wake up on a... hexagram: one of many found in the mansion not made of blood and that aren't pentagrams. So maybe it's a little cruel to complain about that tiny detail when it's understandable to not have it because there are some occult ties with hexagrams, but there are two problems that you notice at the beginning that are annoying and persist through the entire game.

The first is that like several horror games out there, the game is very dark in several parts of the game. No, I don't mean that as in the story or even the atmosphere of that game, as that wouldn't be a bother, but I mean this game is actually dark. Several of the locations in the house or on the grounds are so dark that you can hardly make out anything, including possibly your character, which led to me quickly getting a headache from trying to see what was on screen.

Second is that several of the puzzles in the game are extremely hard; especially for us who aren't good at figuring out puzzles in these type of games. The reason behind this isn't because the puzzles have clues which may take you a while to figure out; rather, the reason is that all of the clues are either vague, lie to you, or those clues don't exist at all. What's even worse is that the actual walkthrough that comes with the game doesn't tell you how to solve these puzzles, but instead, it just tells you the clues again or just an extra clue which is about as vague as the other ones. I actually found the answers out by myself by some weird accident in most cases. The best way to explain the feeling I felt is trying to put a thousand piece puzzle together with a blindfold on during the entire time: you'll eventually finish it, but it'll take a long time; compared to just having to work a thousand piece puzzle in which some will figure out faster than others.

Now let's get away from those problems and get into the actual gameplay. If you've played any survival-horror game (Resident Evil or Silent Hill) you'll know what lies ahead. For those that don't know, the entire game consists of you uncovering the mystery of what happened to you, the inhabitants of the manor, finding items to help open something, and to figure out puzzles to get said items to open something. Now, some of the astute may notice and say that there's no talk about you, the player, needing to survive through the entire ordeal as that premise is in the genre title itself; however, the truth is that this game only has two times, one if you know to avoid that area, that you have to survive by pressing the action key during a quick time event: usually two seconds to press. That number of survival moments are less than that of stepping outside into the scary world. So this is what has made certain people consider this to be more of a horror-mystery game than a survival-horror game.

Unlike some of those other horror games, which this game claims to be influenced by, getting around the area and figuring out where an item goes is a lot easier than in those other games. You aren't completely guided on what door the key does go to or where the item goes, but because of the size of the area, it's easy to figure out which one it most likely is; instead of going around dozens of doors in a large mansion to open one door that'll lead to another dozen locked doors with each one leading to another dozen locked doors in a process that'll repeat itself till the end of the game.

So while we're talking about the usual design of mansions and locations in horror games, let's talk about the mapping in this game. The mapping falls into this middle-ground where there are good and bad maps. Then again, on several of those maps, it is hard to really tell any detail about it, as mentioned prior, because the lighting is extremely dark and you can usually only tell where one important item is in those rooms before you leave via the door, which you might be able to verily see, or an opening.

The final game element to talk about is the music for this game. The music fits extremely well and gives off that creepy feeling one would expect in a horror game. Throughout the game, the music set the mood and helped to make you think that, perhaps, there would be something creepy just up ahead.

For a final point to bring up that should be asked when reviewing a horror game,“Is this game scary?” To this reviewer, this game wasn't scary at all as the moments that tried to scare you were those in the “startle you” category, really just one or two, over making you emotionally and mentally scared of what was going on or what might happen. Sure, there were corpses all over the place that may have a head chopped off and blood occasionally in certain places, but that's not really scary; especially when you quickly learn what's going on.

What's even worse in the sense of this fear aspect is that there were several moments that could have actually been frightening. No, these aren't made up situations that the developer could have added, such as a ghost appearing while walking down a hall, but rather ones that the developer started. To elaborate, what I mean is that there are certain times when the developer will lead you in assuming that something will happen, such as someone breaking into the house a floor below you and then they walk outside... but nothing ever happens from that. These scenes and situations become a tease similar to the way a girl does with her significant other; she begins to strip and makes you think you're going to get something, then you are thrown outside to wait.

There was a lot of potential with this game and it started out on good legs, but as the game progressed it lost steam and quickly became something that's just a middle of the road game. There are several positives and negatives about this game, but the main problem that holds this back from being good and makes it just average is that it tried to be a horror game but lacks in being scary at all. If you are a fan of or like horror, mystery, or adventure types of games, then you will probably find some enjoyment from this during it's short run. For the rest of you, there is some fun derived from this game, but it might become quickly annoying and boring for you and you may only play it once.

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