Lost in Blue Reader Review
Lost in Blue.
NB: Any spoilers will be obvious ones from the first few in-game-days of the game, and nothing you'll not know VERY early on, but I've avoided any unless absolutely needed. For example there are two people in the game: The Hero and the Heroine.
Lets put some things to rest because I know some of you are wondering. First off, what the reviews say so far is true. Skye can't get to the river by herself even though it's only a short walk away. What they don't tell however, is that she is short-sighted and that you broke her glasses (it's a small plot development early on in the game you can't change). Tut tut! Naughty reviewers! If you just plain don't like the game, and don't like having to DO THINGS, just say so! Don't try and bring up some flimsy excuse to justify the hate. The idea of returning home every so often is a game mechanic, and an important one. The other thing is the fire-building. Two puffs on the mic and it's lit, three if your an asthmatic smoker. Just FORGET about reviewers telling you how embarrassing it is to do in public, it's asinine. People will just think you're blowing the dust off the screen or something. It's nothing like the interaction required from the likes of Nintendogs and Wario Twisted. It's a good idea and great use of the DS, and a very small interruption you have to do but once a day.
Then there's all that food gathering. Frankly, with the rarity of the food (but only in the first few days), it feels like a bit of a challenge to survive ( you are stuck on a desert island after all), and as of yet it's not much of a chore (although I strangely have much difficultly if pulling potatoes but NOT carrots! Go figure). Again, if you really were foraging for food, it would take up much of your time! I'd say at the moment, foraging for me interrupts the discovering while you are out trying to find new areas and get access to them. It's pretty obvious most reviewers played this for half a day and came up with their opinions. It's a sad state of the industry and the direction it seems some of the larger reviewer sites are going in. Still...
Back to the review
There is a hell of a lot to do in this game; foraging, exploring, trying to discover more and more of the island and your circumstances, making tools, caring for each other, and conversations to help move the plot along when need be. Best not forget Hunting! Yes, there is no 'exciting' sword-play, driving, swinging from ropes (yet - that I know of), but it's a story about being stuck on a deserted island and trying to live long enough to work out how to get off it. I've failed this 3 times already, and the tension of wondering if you're going to live another day is a good device to make you THINK about what you're going to do next. What were you expecting? Finding Godzilla on the other side of the island and going off on some adventure into Tokyo? It's not that kind of game! Don't worry too much about making the odd mistake or taking a risk, you can save at any time!
What kind of game is it?
The game makes you THINK about what activity you'll try to do next, and it makes you plan your actions. This subtle game mechanic is brilliant game design and should be applauded! Planning is one of the reasons you will want to play this game. You might make a plan to do something (spoiler for the rest of this paragraph -) only to discover the tide went out and you can't get back from the area you got to for 12 in-game hours. Will you survive outside in the cold? Will Skye be OK? It can get tense! The girl is integral to the story, but I'll not say why. Obviously, if she (or you) die it's all over, but the reason(s) make sense plot-wise. No more will be said about this.
Frankly, I'm having trouble working out what it is the reviewers have been complaining about. Graphically it's up to the standard of Another Code, and aurally, it's good too, although I've never been much for paying attention to these things. The idea of using the stylus some of the time, and the 'regular' controls for the majority was a bit of an annoyance (where do you put the stylus in between? Back in the slot?) but again, on some level it makes sense to do it this way. The plot moves you along, and Skye (the heroine) gives you some nice pointers of what the next thing is that you should be trying to accomplish. I fear you would be totally lost without her intelligent ideas! This gives you some linear direction which is greatly appreciated, rather than a restriction. You keep your freedom to follow whatever path you want for as long as you want to.
The game is great... I'm not bored of it in any way, and I believe I've discovered about a third of the island so far (although not in all it's intricate detail). It's going to last a hell of a lot longer than Another Code and in my mind this makes it one of the top games for the DS that I've played so far, and I've played quite a few of them. On the downside, it's not perfectly suited to 'grab a quick 5 minutes' game-playing like Bomberman/Zoo-keeper/Meteos/Advance War DS and others, and is for me an adventure game in the classic sense, with a modern twist. I also have NO IDEA how I've going to get out of this mess I've found myself into!
It's not perfect, it IS great though. I've played this with all the spare time I had over the weekend (and have since finished it)and in the back of my mind I kept arguing if this game was a 9/10 or 8/10. It's certainly NOT a 7/10 or less. It's definitely my kind of game though.
If you like the more methodical thinking-man's kind of game, consider this a 9/10. Action-gamers or one's who like to take short-burst gaming should view this as a very good distraction from the shoot-em-up and driving-sim. It beats Another Code on it's size, but loses a mark on its control scheme which I found a mild-annoyance (flipping between the stylus and regular controls just bugged me a little).
If you don't import it, make sure you get it when it gets released in Europe next month. If you like thinking games and don't order it today, you need your head examined. If you don't own a DS, this is not quite a good enough reason BY ITSELF to get one... But definately a contributing one!
Having finished it (how many reviewers of this game can say that?) I'm happy to give this a 9/10
Dedicated minds will love this: Not that it requires 100+IQs :)
9 / 10