Review: Anonymous Notes Chapter 3 - From The Abyss (DSiWare)

Return of the Abyss

Things have been quiet on the Anonymous Notes front — after a year and a half the series returns for a hat trick with Anonymous Notes Chapter 3 - From The Abyss. Not much has changed in that time, really: save for a new protagonist, Chapter 3 is still the same mechanically sound and somewhat aimless dungeon crawler as Chapter 2 was before it, and Chapter 1 before that.

The lack of change is hardly unsurprising — all of these are yanked from Sonic Powered Co.'s full retail release From the Abyss, so the similarities are to be expected. Anonymous Notes looks and sounds an awful lot like a forgotten gem of the 16-bit era — with a hokey story befitting the era — basically acting as an excuse to dive into lots of dungeons, slay critters both beastly and magical and bulk up with more loot.

New skills — as well as replenishing health and magic, for that matter — are earned through absorption: once an enemy is weak, throwing a tiny ball of light at them and mashing a button yanks a random potion or skill. The outcome is unpredictable and can be either helpful remedies or damaging poisons, but it's the only way to permanently acquire abilities.

Save files from either of the first two games can carry over into Chapter 3 to continue thwomping with the same equipment, and the new main character is pretty cocky but indistinguishable in-game from the others.

All the rest is as before. The sound and visuals are indistinguishable save the difference in playable character, and it still feels slightly aimless to blast through dungeons for loot's sake.

Conclusion

Identical gameplay and setup to its predecessors makes Anonymous Notes Chapter 3 a well-known quantity at this point, so whether it's worth diving into is dependent on how much you cared about the other two episodes. Nothing here will convert a nay-sayer, but if you want to get your dungeon crawling on the cheap then Chapter 3 is an adequate way to do so.