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 "Hotel Dusk: Room 215" Review

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PostSubject: "Hotel Dusk: Room 215" Review   Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:55 pm



The game I played this week, and I think deserves a fair review is Hotel Dusk: Room 215 for Nintendo DS. It was released in January 2007 by a third-party company called Cing. Cing is a tiny gaming company that lasted from 1999 to 2010 before filing bankruptcy. I will point out the game's good and bad points.

Storyline (9/10): The story takes place in December of 1979. The primary protagonist of the game is Kyle Hyde, a former NYPD police officer. In 1976, he discovered his partner, Brian Bradley, was doing a heinous crime, betraying the police force. Hyde goes to the scene and ends up shooting his friend; causing him to fall into the Hudson River. Bradley was never found, but Hyde knows his friend survived and is on the run. Hyde hangs up his badge and becomes a traveling salesman for a company on the West Coast called Red Crown; hoping someday, he will find a lead on Bradley. He doesn't want to kill or give justice to Bradley, he just wants answers to know why he done what he did. Business has lead him to an isolated hotel outside Los Angles called Hotel Dusk. He soon discovers that this hotel and its patrons may soon help him discover Bradley's whereabouts and much deep and darker secrets entwined with it. I won't spoil anymore, but the story keeps getting much more intriguing as you go onwards.

Gameplay (8/10): You play as Kyle Hyde; interacting with the hotel's surroundings. The bottom screen is a bird's-eye-view map of the hotel. The top screen is a first-person view of the hotel. You go around, finding tools and interacting with the guests, getting vital information about certain items or information that Kyle Hyde finds important. The game really takes advantage of the Nintendo DS' functions. This including the touchscreen, the microphone, and the closing the DS to put it into sleep mode. There are some moments in the game that will drive you to insanity where you DON'T know what to do or where to go. The game is more than a game that you can complete on your first try easily. It is a game to test your mental strength!

Graphics (8/10): I have never played a video game use this type of art. It is called rotoscoping. It traces over an image frame-by-frame to have amazing animations. A very notorious video game that does this is the original Prince of Persia. Rotoscoping is a very rare art in video games; and Hotel Dusk proves it is a very well-done! The background and surroundings are in a brushwork-like style with watercolors. It really sets the mood and time of the game in an old fashioned hotel in 1979!

Replay Value (6.5/10): It's kind of like a Phoenix Wright game. You can only play it once, and really enjoy it. Once you know the secrets and what to do in the game, it kind of kills the thrill of mystery. There is another mode called a "starred game." The only difference really is that it hides items or secret codes needed for the final puzzle elsewhere in the game. The major difference is they give you a code you do not need until the final part of the game much earlier in the game. WRITE IT DOWN! Codes or combinations in the game are ALWAYS different in each profile, so writing down or memorizing a set of numbers is useless. At least this game shows some proof it has decent replay value.

Characterization (10/10): This game's characters and their personalities are PERFECT. They have personalities that can relate to human nature, and are very hard to forget. For example, they didn't make Kyle Hyde a complete bad cop like he is commonly portrayed as. He can be a really good guy at times who can be the voice of reason when another character is having an emotional breakdown.

Music (8/10): Not much to say here, but the music really sets the mood. It can be a happy western theme one minute, and a very dark and serious theme the next. For a staff of 20 people working on this game, Cing did an above average job working on music!

Overall Rating (8.5/10): This one is one of the most underrated games I ever encountered for Nintendo DS! It can do for about $15 used at your local Gamestop. If you played all the Phoenix Wright, Apollo Justice, and Miles Edgeworth games out there, and you are looking for a challenge, look this game up! Kyle Hyde proves to be a worthy opponent against the lawyers with his gumshoe-like detective skills!

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