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Review: Neil Peart- Mission: The Camera Eye
Here is a bizarre game called... well, you can read it for yourself, it's long. This game revolves around a boy looking for his band equipment. At least I'm pretty sure that's what it's about. Due to some akward controls during the intro cutscenes, most people will have to skip most of the story. It's either that or wait for the painfully slow dialog to type itself out over the course of about 30 minutes.
From the screens I saw, it looks like the story involves a band, a glowing puppy, and time travel. But if you wait until the game starts, you'll also see the game is about snowmen, money bags, and spikes.
After the long intro, you may be surprised to see that the game is actually just a simple item collecting game. In fact, I think just a title screen and a "press enter" icon would have been more fitting for this game than an intro at all. You throw drumsticks to kill snowmen as you look for your band equipment, which you find by throwing drumsticks at breakable walls, or by finding walkthrough walls. There are lots of secrets to find, but since your drumsticks are preciously few, the only way to really find everything is to simply play the game over and over again, remembering where things were.
Graphics are cute, and the levels are well contructed. I like the characters and enemies. The title screen is probably the best drawn graphic in the game.
Sounds and music move things along and help add some momentum. They are fitting for the game.
Lastability can be a mixed bag, depending on how you look at it. The lastability in this game would come from exploring the levels and looking for all of the secrets. That would be fine, IF you had enough drumsticks to throw at every wall checking for secrets, but you'll run out way before that happens. That means you won't find everything on your first try, simply because you don't have the equipment to explore the levels properly. So if you are patient, you can replay the game over and over, and only use drumsticks on the walls you know hold a secret.
Overall, this is a well intentioned game that gets bogged down by some bad design choices. The cutscenes go by at akward speeds, either way too slow or way too fast. The exploration is halted by the extrememly low supply of drumsticks (which you also need in battle). And most players will be expecting something a bit more epic than a timed collecting game after so much intro story. If there is a sequel, I think the timer should be done away with, the "flashlight" view done away with, and the player given an unlimited supply of something to check for secrets. This game has the potential to become like Startropics, which was what I was hoping for. I hope the idea is explored a bit further and in more depth next time. We all know the author has it in him! Recommended for puzzle/adventure fans who liked Hasslevania.
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