Ever spent the better part of an afternoon looking for a shop that you thought you roughly knew the location of? Well, Psygnosis' new graphic adventure game, Chrono Quest 2, will strike a familiar chord for such forgetful readers. Any new re-lease by Psygnosis is usually worth looking at for the stunning graphics if nothing else. This one, well, the graphics (which are mostly still-screen) aren't too bad, but they won't have you waking up Dali to tell him the news.
The situation follows on from Chrono Quest 1, which wasn't exactly a high-profile game, at least by Psygnosis' standards. If you had the adventure/mystery-playing skills to complete installment one of our series you would have found yourself with a time machine, playing a game of chases through time with the nasty piece of works who popped off dear old Dad.
Part 2 finds you a long time from home. Explora, the time-machine is malfunctioning, and you can't get the NRMA on the phone. It's a situation that will send shivers down the spine of us arcade blasters. Yes, you're going to have to do some careful thinking. There arc two different ways you can travel. Firstly you can move geographically, forwards and backwards along set paths - just click arrow icons to take you to new screens. There are usually between three and five screens on each path. Be warned, some lead to death (though you can only find out by trial-and-error, so there's really no point in warning you) and some, like the cave in Time Stage 2 appear to be a dead end, but are not. (That's about the only hint I'm going to give you!).
Along the way you can examine your surroundings and pick up or 'souvenir' anything useful that happens to be conveniently lying around. Metal is particularly valuable because it powers the time machine. This allows you to travel to other Time Stages, of which there are thirteen. How do you finish, you might ask? Well, it's got something to do with working out a logical order to travel through all the different Time Stages. This may sound exciting and/or challenging, but not much happens in most of the stages. This is where the game will have it's appeal to the adventurer's, whereas other gamers will probably lose interest.
A problem with the game concerns the conversations you can have with some of the characters. There must be something important that they can reveal (or give to you), but for me this always seems to be that they have appointed themselves my executioner. Many adventurers like the added 'realism' that conversations add to games, but I usually find they detract from the gameplay.
Another thing that doesn't help is the fact that the 'give' function seems to work in mysterious ways, and the manual, which is brief and not overly helpful, certainly isn't of any help here. There is also some poor translation of some of the messages (and none at all with the signs attached to pointers!). The save function is also frustrating, as you need a whole disk just to save one game.
This may be the game for an experienced adventurer looking for new worlds to conquer, but it's not the place to start your adventuring days. There just isn't enough happening to keep the average gamer interested, especially once you've seen all the different Time Stages. Most games work on frustration. This one has it's own sort, and I hope you've gained some idea of it.
A simple adventure game. It shows you many screens without any animation, and you have to act, pick up, use, etc. The buttons are not very obvious, so it takes time to find out where to click :)
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