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    jp's Trace Memory (DS)

    [July 12, 2006 03:05:29 PM]
    Well, I finished!

    Overall, it was an "ok" game. Nothing to get too excited about although it did scratch the adventure game itch I had. The fact that it's on a handheld makes it even more attractive in that sense as well.

    I think it took me about 7 1/2 hours to finish, which would make it a shortish game...however, it felt about right. So I'm not complaining at all! In fact, it fits in rather nicely with the story...the game unfolds over the course of a day...which is close enough for how long it took me too finish.

    A few final tidbits that might be of interest:

    1) I started the game over to see if anything changed. (like, let you play with another character or something like that). No such luck, though Gamefaqs reports that there are some differences in the little DTS cards you pick up (which have background information).

    2) The last chapter was really annoying because it had no puzzles (or interaction), was really long and there was no chance of saving. This was a pain because I started the chapter just as I was getting I had to sit through dinner with the DS in one hand reading, and reading, and reading.

    3) The DS is actually integrated to the game quite well. In fact, the main character carries a device around (the DTS) which is essentially a DS and has uses it for various in-game things. It is an interesting device that helps immerse yourself in the experience.

    4) I had totally figured out 80% of the story...the end jumbles it up so that I was starting to doubt myself...but it turned out I was right after all!

    Overall, play it if you want an adventure game experience on a handheld...
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    [July 10, 2006 12:11:59 AM]
    I've made quite a bit more progress and have recently started the 5th(?) chapter. I won't spoil any plot points or puzzles but I do want to comment on something I thought was very strange.

    Trace Memory's gameplay is segmented in a ratherstrict way. Every chapter is basically a group of rooms whose puzzles you have to solve. The last puzzle consists in figuring out how to open the door to the next set of rooms. Between these segments (I'm not sure why they're called chapters in this game), you not only get a nice title screen but you are also forced to recall the "highlights" of the chapter you just cleared. This recollection takes the form of a series of multiple choice questions contextualized as if the main character is making an effort to remember what she learned.

    For example, a typical question might be:

    After opening the safe, I learned that Bob's murdered was:
    a) Sam
    b) Mary
    c) The butler

    (by the way, I completely made up that question)

    Anyways, if you get the question wrong, you get asked it's not really a challenge in that sense of the word.

    Anyhow, I thought it was an interesting way to help the player keep track of the narrative of the game as well as what happened.

    Anyways, the last chapter I played had two interesting puzzles. One was wickedly cool when I figured it out (lateral thinking), while the the other was a bit unfair.

    So far this game has done a good job of helping you avoid wasting time on wild-goose chases. For example, once you've used something in your inventory where you had to use it, it disappears. (less clutter and no having to worry about whether or not you'll have to use it again). It also "de-activates" locations that you've already you don't get distracted by other details. Additionally, all the puzzles were self-contained. If you need anything to solve a puzzle you either have it with you from a previous chapter, or you'll find it in the current one...except for this last puzzle.

    I was very surprised to realize that I had to backtrack to find an item I was missing! How annoying, and how against the spirit of the game thus far. Everything in the game had led me to understand that chapters were it took me a while to backtrack to previous locations..

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    [July 3, 2006 11:32:55 PM]
    I've played a little over 2 hours without encountering much difficulty. Until I started playing this I hadn't realized how long it's been since I played an "adventure" game. In other words, a game of puzzles and storyline. I won't spoil anything though I will say that the puzzles aren't terribly hard and the story is starting to get interesting. We'll see how it goes from here...

    So far, here are some of my impressions:

    1) The main character I control is a young teenage (pre-teen?) girl. That's nice for a change! And no, it isn't one of those horror/watch her scream kind of games (so far, at least!)

    2) I hate it when you find something you know you'll want to use later on, but the game won't let you pick it up until you've visited the place where you'll need to use it...then you have to backtrack (not very far).

    3) I hate to hunt for pixels... this hasn't really happened in this game, but I still hate it.
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    jp's Trace Memory (DS)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Monday 26 June, 2006

    GameLog closed on: Friday 1 September, 2006

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    It's ok. Nothing special. Though I didn't find the puzzles too hard. Is that 'cause I'm really good at them? Ha!

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstar

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