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Game Review

Chronicles of Vampires: Awakening Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Zach Kaplan

Bloody good?

It seems that popular culture's obsession with vampires may be entering its twilight years. If contemporary films, books and TV series focusing on gothic lore ever felt fresh and exciting, that effect has worn off and the bloodsuckers have come to feel a bit bland and tired. Still clinging onto the trend is the second in Teyon's hidden object series, Chronicles of Vampires: Awakening. Not an especially original title, but this particular genre has never proven too ambitious anyway.

Still, this entry attempts some innovation – puzzles are often 90% seek-and-find and 10% point-and-click adventure, with some spot-the-difference, logic and jigsaw-esque challenges along the way. It's nothing that casual gaming hasn't seen before, but it certainly breaks up the action and makes the whole affair seem more interesting, though you can usually skip these bits if you wish.

The puzzles themselves are once again merely decent, with objects generally hidden well against clear but medium-quality background images. Unfortunately it will often have you spot an object amongst other items that could just as easily fit the description. For example, you're asked to find a "Book" multiple times, and eventually you'll learn exactly what the books you're seeking look like, but until then you'll find yourself growing ever more frustrated as you search within libraries and other rooms filled with normal books aplenty, the specific one you're after among them without you easily being able to tell which is which. Similarly, the game provides little direction in adventure sections, which is both a gift and a curse as sometimes there is simply no way to figure out what you're supposed to do, short of arbitrarily touching inventory items to different objects in the scenery.

There's also plenty of dialogue-based plot to read through, but this time around it's many times more interesting than in its predecessor. No longer are you simply watching as protagonist Linda Hyde repeatedly becomes frightened at the simple prospect of vampires – instead, you'll watch a somewhat interesting Satanic ritual-centric storyline unfold. It's by no means a masterpiece, but it's enough to fuel your motivation, though some laughable attempts at character development and emotion show up from time to time. Also, maybe it's the enriching effect of its higher quality narrative, but this entry seems to be at the proper length while the former felt quite short.

You can use a rapidly-refreshing hint button to help you find objects and your only punishment for mis-clicking is to take away this ability briefly. Thank goodness for that, as incorrect taps are very likely as some of the objects are difficult to identify thanks to the somewhat sub-par graphics, not to mention the previously mentioned vague definitions in the object list.

The character art is ridiculous – none of them ever move, which means that Linda keeps the same comically intense expression at all times. Not to mention that while she is clearly a man-made drawing, most of the people you meet look more like cut-out photographs. Our favourite is the mysterious Ignacio, a smiling, bespectacled suit-and-tie-wearing older man who looks more like a dad or a dentist than someone who belongs in the game world. The music is your typical lazy, low-quality MIDI fare, but no one buys these titles for the music anyway. Frequent load screens are a nuisance as well, though generally they don't last long.

Conclusion

At its heart, Chronicles of Vampires: Awakening is a very middle-of-the-road hidden object game. Fans of the genre won't be disappointed as the puzzles are decent, and it makes for a serviceable time-waster, helped in part by its at times interesting gameplay choices and slightly above average story. It's a step up over its predecessor, then, but not a big one.

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User Comments (11)

Bobhobob

#1

Bobhobob said:

just get rid of the vampire obsession america... jeez.
This looks kinda fun, might buy this for my puzzle loving sister.
Also, how is this a "chronicle"?

Pogocoop

#2

Pogocoop said:

Hmmm... The conclusion makes it sound like a six...

But yeah, Seeing as I am not a fan of Hidden Object games, Nor Vampires, This game has a very low chance of ever appearing in my collection.

Moorpheel

#3

Moorpheel said:

I'm sorry, but I'm still to frightened after the first one (which was 30 minutes if blah blah and point point for 5 dollars) to give this one a try.
Oh, by the way, this.

SanFrisco9er

#4

SanFrisco9er said:

The movie "CHRONICLES" is good(has nothing to do with this game).I highly recommend watching it & watch AKIRA.nice review btw.

BulbasaurusRex

#6

BulbasaurusRex said:

I just saw a trailer on TV for the movie "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter." Hollywood, that is just wrong and a mockery of American history.

DemonnPrincess

#9

DemonnPrincess said:

Bought both Origins and Awakening; loved it. Play the games for yourselves before calling it garbage, these reviews are nothing more than ONE person's sometimes overly harsh(but respectful) opinions about the games anyways...

...no offense to Zach. :D

DemonnPrincess

#11

DemonnPrincess said:

@zach (I'm just barely reading your response in 2014 my bad)
But no, I didn't mean YOU calling it garbage. I was talking to whoever it was that said the game was garbage(dunno if they deleted their comment or if it's still there.) I didn't mean to make it seem like I meant that toward you.

And @ fabfour64: I don't think he was riled up to the point where he needs to be told to calm down. And I actually agree with him 100%.(not being mean, just saying.)

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