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Clock Tower 2
Review By: Lyenhardt
Developer:   Human
Publisher:   Agetec
# of Players:   1
Genre:   Horror
ESRB:   Mature
 

The sequel to the 1997 attempt at the great success of Resident Evil, Clock Tower 2 fails to even surpass the original Clock Tower overall. The blandness of this game is just to great to be considered a must-buy by all of the survival horror fans, especially with great games out like the newest RE and Silent Hill. While Human's first attempt was pretty good, their second shot was far from the standard set by the horror games of today.

The basic plot of this game is pretty simple, as was its predecessor. You are a girl named Alyssa, who has another personality called "Mr. Bates", who happens to be a male. This adds a lot to the game, at least in a character sense, as the 2 protagonists in the first one were vague and just too normal. Anyway, you are supposed go to one of your relative's house and stay, but to your horrified astonishment, you find out that something's going on in the house. Soon after, you find human body parts and discover a satanic little child is coming after you. It is all because of a curse, and a statue is the central cause of it all.

The story isn't great at all. In fact, it is pretty crappy. The way it is presented is not very professional. Characters in the story talk about other people supposedly involved in the story, but you have the feeling that you don't know who the hell they are talking about. It has no story development whatsoever. The things said by Alyssa's normal personality are dull, repetitive, and stupid. She says the same line a hundred times throughout the game. As for her other side, he says some very interesting things. He even cusses the little devil girl out from time to time, and with his cool-as-hell voice, he would've made a great stand-alone main character.

There are many problems with this game. I wondered how a good game like Clock Tower could spawn such a cruddy sequel, and the answer to that, I may never know. Anyway, the main problem with this game is the gameplay. Unlike Ct1 (Clock Tower 1), certain events provoke and open certain areas to be searched. For example, You could go by a door one time and try to put your cursor on it, and it won't do anything. But when you come back through the next time, you can put it on it and open it. In addition to that tedious fact, it seems that items are the same way, while they are randomly placed in their designated spot whenever you have done the right thing to activate their use. This causes you to walk the halls and rooms of places searching like a lost child to find things, which really starts to get annoying after a while (Especially since the main character moves pretty darn slow), and eventually makes you so mad that you cannot enjoy the game anymore. Plus, to add to that factor, the main character has 2 personalities, and you can switch between them with a certain item. This stacks up even more boring hours of time, as certain things can only be done with a certain character. The only redemption you get is the hilarious dialogue spoken by "Mr. Bates" as you painfully search the monotonous halls and rooms.

On a lighter and more positive note, it actually does have some improvements over the Ct1. For one, the graphics. Although not a huge bound over the original, it is slightly tweaked here and there. The polygon clipping is virtually eliminated, character models are modified for optimal performance, and textures are a tad smoother. But, besides those facts, it basically the same old first generation Playstation graphics, which are plain crap to today's graphical standards.

Another positive thing about this sequel is the improved voice acting. It really is pretty good, and is much better than Ct1. Characters actually show some emotion through their voices, and Alyssa's other personality did a great job with that. Although it is no Metal Gear Solid, the standards of Playstation voice acting were met. Also, there are more sequences and events that use voice-overs, which replaces the boring text. If only they would have had a good story that got the player into the game, this game would have been much better.

With improved FMV, faster load/save times, double personality feature, and the dual shock that works well, the game manages to keep the player hooked to it for a while, but not long enough to try to get all of the endings. Things like the stuff I mentioned above, such as the confusion of the character when you click her to go some where, and hardly any music to set the mood,..........really hurt this game. And to throw in another annoying fact, the enemies are plain UN-REALISTIC! They basically let you escape. When you click on a door, the enemy will just stand there and watch you go through it. Also, when you just went through a door while being chased by certain villains, they will not come into the room if it is small or you just stand by the door. I understand why the programmers did this, but I know they could have devised a system to annihilate this pesky thing.

If you're looking for a good, scary game for the beginning of this year to start out things right, I would suggest that you pass this one up unless you are a diehard fan of the series. Get RE: Nemesis instead, or save up for RE: Code Veronica.

Overall: 3.5

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