Scratches Review

Developer: Nucleosys Publisher: Got Game
Release Date: March 8, 2006 Also On: None

At the dawn of PC-CD ROM computer gaming, the world was introduced to games like MYST, which featured great pre-rendered 3D graphics and full motion video. This was 1995. So what new features does Scratches bring? Well, rather than getting one image at a time of your environment, you get a Quicktime VR-ish 360 view. Plus you get surround sound music. That’s about it.

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Although these features could have been implemented years ago, games aren’t always about being revolutionary or having the latest graphics, right? Look at Tetris. Simple idea, but it has survived for decades. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Scratches. Firstly, the game can only be played in 800×600. This foils the opportunity to show off any great pre-rendered stuff, as it is stretched to fit your screen.

Even then, the graphics aren’t that great. When graphics are pre-rendered, it makes it so that performance is optimal no matter what is on the screen. So why, why do the graphics have square corners where they should be round, and water looks as if it is from a PS1 launch game, only not animated? They could have made it look real, but they made it look as if it is a videogame. That wouldn’t have been my choice.

The game itself is a bit tedious, as you spend 90% of in-game time wandering around poking at things hoping it will trigger a cut-scene. Without the guide provided with the press kit, it probably would have taken me days of wandering and poking to finish the game, but strangely, with the guide, it can be completed in no time flat. The entire guide to the game from start to finish is seven pages, with rather large font. Games which artificially lengthen themselves by forcing tedious confusion-laden wandering aren’t exactly on the top of my list.

Possibly the only above average aspect of this game is the music. It is atmospheric and makes good use of my 5.1 sound card. But even the music is only there sometimes. A lot of the time in-game is silent aside from the sounds of your footsteps and items. While I’m on sound, the voice acting is so-so. It is often overdramatic and takes you out of the feeling of being in the game.

With a replay value of nil, Scratches doesn’t present much to brag about. This game would be considered “average� maybe 8 or 10 years ago (aside from the 5.1 sound of course). With not much to present in terms of gameplay, graphics, length or replay value, Scratches isn’t top-notch. Unfortunately, I can’t recommend this game to anyone, anywhere, anytime. Sorry Nucleosys.

Graphics: 2
Sound: 7
Gameplay: 2
Creativity: 2
Replay Value/Game Length: 3
Final: 3.5
Written by Dave Review Guide

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