Saturday, November 3, 2007
Touch Detective 2 1/2 review
The first Touch Detective heroine's antic was captivating enough to warrant a purchase of its sequel Touch Detective 2 1/2. Bumbling detective on hire Mackenzie whose resume includes that of hunting for a 'Dream stealer' returns for yet more bizarre antics as she continues her adventures.
Now an officially licensed detective, Mackenzie begins the game with a short tutorial, much like in the first game where she is trapped in her room with her mushroom pet. Once that is out of the way the first case begins with Mackenzie's biggest client Penelope whose trouble now involves pink noodles being stolen from the town.
There are a total of five cases with each connected in some way with each other rather, much like Capcom's Gyakuten Saiban 3, which provides an overall plot line and an actual main villain. Returning to the game is Chloe, her arch enemy detective whose naivety equals that of Mackenzie.
Touch Detective 2 1/2's puzzles are more or less the same as it was on the first game - that is almost none-existent. It isn't to say that the game is easy, but the lack of cohesive puzzle mechanics and by virtues of the good ol' process of elimination most players should be able to progress through the game with no problem. It may be annoying but you certainly would not need a PhD to go through the end.
Continuing its dialogue engine from the previous game is Mackenzie's inner monologue, which appears on the top screen through a thought bubble, usually when she is questioning as part of her investigation. I always find it unique in role-playing games to be able to read what a character's real thoughts are. This form of expression is certainly unique in the medium though it may prove confusing to some people to read two concurrent dialogue.
The visuals are one of the greatest asset of the series with the same 2.5D graphic engine making a return. Characters are rendered in 3D superimposed on gorgeous pre-rendered backgrounds that serves as locations. Visual style is a bit difficult to describe but is similar to Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Touch Detective 2 1/2 (Mystery Detective II in UK) isn't a game for everyone. But it is a charming and funny enough video game that warrants a serious look by point and click adventure genre fans. Fans of classic Monkey Island, Sam & Max and Gyakuten Saiban should not give this a miss.