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The Inn at the Last Bridge (of Death)

  • Marrend
  • 01/29/2014 12:37 AM
  • 527 views
Game Title: MANOS, the Hands of Fate
Engine: RPG MAker VX
Status at review: Complete

Background:
Waaaaaaaay back in 2010, there was this event where the challenge was to construe a game out of a horror film. Nobody was able to officially submit anything to that event, though there was one game that managed to get completed before the submission period ended. This is that game.


Graphics:
I assume the face-sets were generally ripped from the movie's footage, but (maybe not. The maps are pretty damn solid, and I like how the possible exits are marked. If they weren't it'd be quite a bit of guesswork in some places. The enemy battlers are pretty far-out too, I must admit.


Audio:
The background music is appropriately creepy when it needs to be, and I like the victory ditty.


Story:
Players choose to play as Michael or Margaret. While the story plays out the same regardless of which you choose, how you go about the game's challenges will depend on which character is chosen.
I have never seen MANOS, the Hands of Fate, so I cannot comment on how closely the game follows the movie.
In any event, the game follows a couple that get caught in the the middle of a storm. They are forced to stop by a nondescript inn, and, as the trope would have it, stuff happens.


Playing the game:
While I try to be as generic as possible, there may be some spoilers in here.

From what the manual tells me, it sounds like I would prefer Margaret over Micheal. Having spells and being resilient to status conditions sound better to me than having weapon techs.
The couple starts out together, but they split up. In a horror movie/game. They're both dead. Or one dies, and the other goes insane.
I don't think I'd be comfortable with the company of that creepy innkeeper either.
So, she goes to the lobby, finds nobody there, and notices that the door just got locked. The "fun" begins.
I'm not really sure who's talking, but I assume one of the voices can be identified as Micheal. If they speak the truth or not, well...
Flare did over nine thousand hundred damage, and it's still there? Oh boy.
Oh. An auto-restore. That's nice.
Crap, that face-set for Death is pretty awesome. I... don't think that's a rip, people!
Torgo, you kick some serious ass. Respect +10000 but you're still in last place.
Torgo has his own about how the demons "need" them. I'll add that they feed of people's innermost regrets. That could explain the voices Margaret was hearing. I'm not sure how much they need, but...
Wait, how long have Margaret and Micheal known each other? That picture showed a pair of kids, so...
After some observation, I'm mostly sure the auto-restore happens on level-up rather than every battle. It kinda felt like every battle at some points, though.
What was that theory I had about the demons feeding off of hidden regret? Yeaaaaah, I think that's exactly what's going on, here.
Huh. This could be what it looks like, but maybe not. What if I loose on purpose?
Oh. Game Over. Well if that's how it has to be.
I think the number three will be important soon.
3 is the first sacred number, 6 is second, 13 is... wherever, 11 is second-to-last, 7 is "most sacred of all" (whatever that means), 9 is sacred because it's the first cube of the third sacred number (I thought 3 was the first sacred number?).
Got it!
Since the game is bringing it up, my gut is telling me that Micheal is not okay.
Torgo's in my party? YESSS!
Of course he's still on auto-battle. Why should I have expected otherwise?
These Maidens are giving me quite a bit of trouble.
Quite a bit indeed. Maybe if I "Guard" Torgo first...
I recall reading about a save bug, but I think it was Micheal's story. I dunno. Don't want to risk it. Which seems bad, because I really don't want to fight those four again.
We have a winner! So, New Game+? Or am I done? I must admit, I want to see how, exactly, Micheal's story differs from Margret's. That Maiden fight sounds like it could be easier with him, but I'm not looking forward to it.

Yeah, Micheal's arc is pretty much the same as Margret's. The lines are different, and there is Debbie instead of Torgo, but the general sequence remains the same.



General Observations:
Some doors/exits are automatic when other are push-button. This strikes be as a bit odd.
The accessories that resist status conditions will be your best friends. They can mean the difference between a GAME OVER and living to see the next day.
Apparently, there is a way to unlock an optional boss and an alternate ending if you run through the game at least once with both characters. I didn't try this, but I would highly recommend playing as Marget first so that you have the healing item stock for your "Micheal run".


Summary:
I don't think the game makes me want to watch the movie. It is, however, a game I would recommend to others.


BOTTOM LINE: 3.5/5


Side note on ratings (since there is/was/will be somewhat of a spate on what rating means what between each user):
1/5 -> Terrible. Forget about hitting an audience. The game is so bug-ridden, or otherwise unplayable, that what entertainment can be found in the game has a hard time coming to the surface.

2/5 -> Bad but playable. I had a poor experience with the game. When played by a player the game actually caters to, it would serve it's purpose.

3/5 -> Average. A solid experience, but snags somewhere along the line cause it to be held back from being "good".

4/5 -> Good. I enjoyed the experience, and have no qualms supporting it if was considered for a featured game (if it wasn't featured already).

5/5 -> Excellent. Among the paragons of gaming experiences, and instant feature material in my humble opinion (if it wasn't featured already).