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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Hudson Entertainment
Developed By: PlayFirst
Genre: Puzzle Adventure
Players: 1-2
Rated: E for Everyone
Release Date: November 23, 2010
Screenshots: Link
Price: $9.99 (PSN)
Written By: Matthew Prunty

December 5, 2010 - Over the past five years, Ďhidden objectí puzzle adventure games have become a popular staple for PC gamers. It is here that people of all ages could play games where they set out on epic adventures without worry about loads of violence and mature themes. Itís this style of gaming that led to the creation of PlayFirst hit series, Dream Chronicles. The Dream Chronicles series has spawn four titles for PC and Mac platforms; the three of which tell the story of Fayeís journey to reunite her family. Looking to expand the fanbase for Dream Chronicles, PlayFirst has released the first installment of the series on several other platforms including the PlayStation 3 console, which is the basis for our review.

The Dream Chronicles series can be described many different ways; however the best way would be a first-person hidden object puzzle adventure game. You play as Faye, who has awoken from what she thought was a dream; only to find her husband missing and their daughter Lyra in a deep sleep from which canít awaken from. Though the list people responsible for this could be long; Lilith, the Fairy of Dreams, is suspected of being responsible for the spell that has all of fairies in the Village of Hope asleep. Yes people, we are dealing with fairies, magical fairies. Think of Tinker Bell from Disneyís Peter Pan and you have an idea of what Iím talking about.

The immediate draw of The Dream Chronicles is the fact that you donít have to worry about dying within the game. There are no hit points, health meter, no epic battles. The Dream Chronicles is about sifting for clues that will lead to the individual responsible for the sleep spell over the Village of Hope and the location of your husband, Fidget. Considering this is a direct port of the PC title, the presentation still utilizes the point and click feature thatís in place on the PC and Mac versions. By clicking on different hot spots within the given environment, you will either be prompted with on-screen text, possible pieces for your puzzle to solve or some special jewels that you must collect. Your adventure will be aided with a journal, which will keep track of your progress in the game, the jewels you collected and give you brief information about the environment which you are currently traversing.

Once you solve a puzzle and move on to your next location, you wonít be able to go back to the previous location. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. Itís good in the sense that it keeps the action flowing thus allowing you to finish the game sooner, rather than later. On the flip side, this makes the game very linear, hopping from one room to the next. When it comes to collecting the jewels, you will end up having to play the game again in order to collect the jewels you missed the first time through. Considering the length of the game, replaying the story wonít be too bothersome for those who are looking to acquire everything in the game and unlock all the trophies.

As mentioned before, The Dream Chronicles is a direct port of the PC version of the title. While PlayFirst did adapt the experience for use of the PlayStation 3 controller, you canít help feel that the experience would have been better suited for the PlayStation Move. The Sixaxis/DualShock 3 control scheme works perfectly fine with navigating the game and interacting with the environments, however due to the gameís nature of being a point ní click experience, the PlayStation Move would have been better suited for the experience. The default moving speed of the onscreen cursor is slow, however by holding down the square button, you are able to move the cursor master, making moving from one side of the screen to the next much easier. While the left analog stick controls the cursorsí movement, the right one controls that of the camera. When you need to look at something in the top right corner of the screen, or the lower left-hand corner, you will move the right analog stick in that particular direction in order to seeís whatís there. The R1 button allows you to room in and out with the camera as if you were taking a closer look at everything on the screen. Some puzzles will require you toggling the zoom in and out feature in order to see objects that would otherwise not be seen.

Visually, The Dream Chronicles is very simplistic. This game wasnít intended to have visuals that rivaled the likes of Disney Epic Mickey nor Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time; though they all make good use of the color palette. The colors are bright and vibrant with each and every item within the game being detailed enough to make out what the object is. Items that are needed to solve a particular puzzle every once in awhile will glisten as if a bright light reflected off the object in order for them to catch the attention of the player. I do wish to help make the game seem like you are in the role of a fairy, to have the camera bounce up and down and to the sides as if you are a fairy flying in each of the environments. In regards to sound, there really isnít much to the game. There are a couple of tunes in the game that will repeat and a few sound effects that will accompany your on-screen actions.

Depending on your approach to The Dream Chronicles, your first play through could take upwards of one to two hours to complete. For those who are trying to acquire all of the trophies, you can look to spend around five to six hours in total. The overall experience is relatively short; however itís very rewarding to gauging your searching and puzzle-finding skills. There is also a multiplayer option, where you can play through the game with a fellow player. This mode is a blessing and curse, depending on who you are playing with. If you are playing with someone who is familiar with these types of games, the experience will be rewarding and full of laughs. If you are playing within someone who doesnít have a clue whatís going on, you will spend a lot of time telling them where and when to click, before you opt to just do it yourself.

The game is definitely designed for the causal gamer at heart. While anyone can pick up the controller and play this game, those who take pride in playing games like Medal of Honor, God of War 3 or Fable III, wonít find as much enjoyment in the experience as others. For the price of $9.99, itís hard to say this title is a must have considering of titles currently on the market for the same price and offer more content. For those who do pick up the title, you are getting a solid puzzle adventure experience in The Dream Chronicles, albeit a short one.


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