The Longest Journey Reviews Part 1: The original PC point-n-click title:
This is brilliant, . . . forget Monkey Island.
by Shadow Wave
©2008 Ben Cadwallader
“`To celebrate the release of Dreamfall: The Longest Journey on Xbox Originals, we thought we would turn the back the clock to the year 2000, and review the first game of the series PC original version, The Longest Journey. As this game is truly a masterpiece created by Funcom. The full review of Dreamfall: Longest Journey will follow in Part 2.
“`The Longest Journey is a point and click adventure game with an epic story and brilliant voice casting. The player takes the role of playing a young girl named April Ryan, who at the beginning of the game is a simple university art student that has a big assessment due who has left home and is staying at a boarding house. But strange things start occurring; April Claims to be seeing extremely vivid and ‘real’ dreams – which is where the game begins.
The opening sequence of the “dream”, is basically a tutorial, showing you how to pick up items, combine them, and use them on the environment – yep your standard point and click adventure. But the dream seems too real for April, even though she is talking to a tree and a Dragon. Who has the small task of rerouting some water to the tree, so the tree will have enough strength to grab an egg which has rolled away from the dragons nest. April saves the egg and wakes up.
Click on any pic for full view:
In the early levels of the game, you will be doing you’re day to day tasks, going to do some painting, working, talking to friends etc, the game does this really early and builds up the character development and emotional links, these characters are spoken and referenced to throughout the large game, so building up your knowledge on the characters is great.
Continues & more pics after the jump:
After a while, April will discover there are 2 worlds. Which are in balance of each other: Stark and Arcadia. Stark being devoted to Science and Technology and our current ‘Earth’, and Arcadia being devoted to Magic. April discovers she is what you call a “shifter”, she is has a rare ability to visit both worlds, where normally you cannot. You will learn the history of both of these worlds and will be drawn into its fascinating story, it actually makes sense and possibly believable in our real life world.
Once April has been to both worlds, you will alternate between the two, it really works well, and each world’s environment is completely opposite, in Arcadia there will forests and medieval themed cities and towns, and Stark is the modern earth with electronics and technology. From here on the story becomes much more deep and revealing, the games narrative is extremely large, and confronting, I think it’s a story worthy to match that of the more famous RPG’s like Final Fantasy 7 or Secret of Mana. Once you get into it, you won’t stop until you beat it.
This is a game you play for the story.
The Longest Journeys game play is simple; you point and click to move to areas on the screen. And you have an inventory where your items are stored that you collect, by finding them throughout the world. In the inventory you also combine items together, such as two pieces of a key. Once you have an item, you bring it out of the inventory and click where you want to use it and see if your theory works. And that’s about it, almost the whole game is one giant puzzle requiring you to find specific items and put them together and use them in the right way, in the right place. Of course there are also environmental puzzles as well.
The game has been criticized for having extremely difficult puzzles, some puzzles require things that you wouldn’t really assume would be used for the task you need to do. So, I recommended finding a strategy guide so you don’t pull your hair out. Depending on how you play, the game could last between 15 and 40 hours, ie using a strategy guide or not.
Graphics in this game are beautiful; it uses pre drawn backgrounds, which mean everything looks crisp and smooth on modern computers. Besides that, the character models don’t look too great, and will stand out from the amazing backgrounds as they have jagged edges and just don’t look that nice. Because it’s an 8 year old game, back then these graphics would have amazed people.
Sound is beautiful, voice work is amazingly done, with expressions and voicing that tries to emulate a common conversation much better than most other games even “next gen” ones. Characters will stutter when they almost say reveal something they shouldn’t, and this effect really sucks you into the story, as you know someone is hiding information from you. Each character sounds believable for their part and you will grow attached to them. Especially one of the villains of the game, his voice will run shivers up your spine.
You play this game for its marvelous story, and if you enjoy a point and click adventure, even better. If you are a RPG fan or a fan of long detailed stories jump into it, it’s very memorable and very cheap; you can purchase this beauty off STEAM for $10. I highly recommended it. This game is a much more serious, mature and in-depth game than the similar Monkey Island, I rate it very high.
Review of the sequel, Dreamfall: The Longest Journey will be up on the site soon.
©2008 Ben Cadwallader
Media Blowout: Click any pic for full view.