Mysterious Journey II
|a game by||The Adventure Company|
|Editor Rating:||7/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||8.0/10 - 1 vote|
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Take a look at the title in review: Mysterious Journey II. Disregard the fact the Mysterious Journey II is a pretty bland name in itself. Instead, do you notice anything strange about the word 'Mysterious' If you have your super sleuth spyglass on, you might notice that the word 'Myst'? is in Mysterious. You know, Myst, the 1995 title that came out of nowhere to take the world by storm? The similarities between the two don't stop at the title, however, since both feature desolate worlds where logic puzzles abound. But regardless of the similarities, one has to wonder: is Mysterious Journey II a journey worth taking or are you better off taking the detour? Read on to find out.
Let's point out the obvious: puzzles are the most important part of any adventure game. You want them to be challenging, yet still logical and fun among other things. In MJII, the puzzles are a case of hit and miss. Some are enjoyable and require a logical thought process, while others are just frustratingly difficult, testing your patience to its very limits. Worse yet, a few of them suffer from poor gameplay design that make them more of a chore rather than fun, with either mathematical properties that need to be taken into account or puzzles that require constant saving and loading. Granted, the challenge might be a welcome facet for some, but it'll leave newcomers to the adventure field fumbling for their thinking caps.
Let's point out another obvious fact: adventure games should boast a sense of adventure. Go ahead and insert the resounding 'duh'? chorus here. Unfortunately, that whole aspect seems to be lost in MKII because the puzzles aren't integrated into the story very well. The story is interesting, compelling, and even epic ' but the puzzles make it feel like you're opening a series of really complicated doors. It doesn't detract from the actual puzzles, but it feels like you're just along for the ride instead of being the catalyst that helps progress the story along.
Much like the actual puzzles, the visuals in MJII are both hit and miss. The environments look beautiful, with sweeping locales and believable, yet fantastic settings, but the character design leaves a lot to be desired. Imagine characters from an ill-fated 1950's B-movie in outrageous costumes that could find its way to a local rave. Yeah, it's that weird. Framerates will stutter occasionally too, but since twitch reflexes aren't needed, it doesn't detract from the game too much.
Audio-wise, MJII isn't too hot. It boasts ambient and moody music, but most of it just doesn't work with the given settings. Sometimes it'l set the mood, but all too often itll break into shrieking discord that just doesn't fit with the settings. Voice-acting is adequate, though nothing more.
Mysterious Journey II is the adventure game for hardcore adventure enthusiasts ' it's a long and tough trek, but a journey worth taking if you can look past the rough edges.