Tag Archives: Rome

First Impression: Accident (PC – Steam) ~ Let us Learn About Saving Lives

Steam store

For those who do not know yet, I work as an IT Admin in a big art high school (secondary school) in Belgium. Also, I have a lot of games in my PC collection that are part of the “edutainment” genre of games. So, when Duality Games offered me a free press copy of their newly released “Accident” game, I was extremely interested. As usual, the developer asked me to give my full 100% honest opinion, so that is what you are going to get in this article. So yeah, does this game hold up while being reviewed by somebody who is working in the education sector for 7 years now? Let us find out and let us find out if it is fun to play as well as a game. Personally, I want to find something out as well from you, the reader. I want to find out what your thoughts and opinions are on the game and/or the content of this article so feel free to leave them in the comment section down below.

Reviewed version: Build 1.05

Let us Learn About Saving Lives

In this game, you play a nameless person who is working for a nameless company that started a new project called “Roadside Heroes”. In this VR-experience, you are set in the shoes of a person who encountered a traffic accident and it’s to you to make sure that the people in the accident make it out alive.

In terms of story, this game is a bit lacking. Since it’s unclear if you are working for a game company who is working on a VR-game about traffic accidents or if you are a part of your police training or if it’s for the emergency workers or if it’s part of a recreation program for reports and journalists… It is all a bit vague. On one hand, this can help to insert yourself in the game and make the story whatever you want but on the other hand, I felt a bit disconnected from the game since the story didn’t immerse me. (Now, I am going to completely ignore the fact that the store page gives more story since I mostly focus on these articles on what is told to the player through the game itself.)

While writing this article, I was asking myself: “Should this game even have a good story?”. And this is a tricky question to answer. For reasons I will explain later, this game can be a perfect teaching tool to help people what to do in the event of a traffic accident. It can also be a great “shock game” for people who feel that traffic laws are only a suggestion. So yeah, in that case, the fact that this game does not have a too in-depth story is a good thing since it does not get in the way of the actual intention of the game.

Most of the story is being told through your phone on your desk. After completing a case, you get a text from Mark telling about the next case. A neat detail in this game is that the clock on the mobile phone matches the real-time of the system clock.

In terms of writing, this game is decent even for a “lacking story” (which again, is not a negative for this game for the reason I explained earlier). There is some minor voice acting and voice work but most of it is nothing special to write home about.

So, this game starts off with a tutorial case. In this case, you learn the basic operations and mechanics in this game. It teaches you the controls and the steps you should take during the other cases. The tutorial is a little bit hand-holdy, but I noticed that this only happens during the tutorial since you are mostly on your own during the other cases. You do have objectives to complete, but it is up to you to find out how to complete these objectives with what you learned during the tutorial. So, let us dive right into some cases and start saving lives.

Teaching tool?

Each case starts the same way. You drive towards the site and you call the emergency services. The reason why I feel like this game can be a great teaching tool is that in various moments, a non-intrusive box appears on the top in the middle of your screen with the reason why you would do such actions in real life. For example: “Turning off the engine will stop the chance of engine fires in real life.” This can be very helpful advice and maybe save lives in the real world. This is not the only occasion that this happens.

This game can teach you a lot of things but there is no backend for the teachers. So, there is no way to see how your students reacted or if they had to redo certain cases or how they failed… Honestly, if this would be added to the game, it would make this game a very powerful teaching tool for those traffic lessons. But teachers can be creative and maybe this can be used in group work.

Before I ramble too much about that, let us put the focus on reviewing this game as a game. This game has been localized in different languages. You can play this game in English, French, Chinese, Polish, German, Spanish, and Russian. Since I know some French, I tried this game in French and I can tell you that the translation is done extremely well.

So, what do you have to do in this game? Well, you play the role of the guy or girl who was the first person that intervened when the accident happened. You must call the emergency services and provide first aid to the victims if needed. After that, you must piece together what happened and why the accident happened.

There is something unique about each case. In one case, you are knee-deep in the Russian winter, and in another case, you are in the extremely hot desert. If I have to give a genre to this game, I would say that it’s a puzzle game since you need to find out what the right steps are to finish the case with the least amount of deaths. Sadly enough, when you did not provide the correct aid and somebody died, it is game over.

On one hand, I dislike this mechanic and on the other hand, I don’t mind the mechanic too much since you can rewind time at any moment to redo a certain part in case you can do it better or faster. When you press “R”, you can rewind time to a previous decision point. The longer you press “R”, the further you go back.

Sadly enough, this means that there is only one way to complete each case. I silently hoped that this game would have worked with some sort of rating system where you could see if your actions saved the most lives or were the best way to handle the situation.

The whole package

If you look at the credits of this game, most of this game is created by Paul Dyvel apart from the music and the 3D art in this game. I must be honest, for the result is rather impressive. Let us first talk about the controls of this game. Thankfully, I was able to rebind them since this game does not recognize the keyboard layout “AZERTY” from Belgium and France… But that is a nitpick I have in almost every game.

Sadly enough, I do have to complain in terms of the controls. The first complaint has to do with putting out fires. I feel that this is a bit too pixel perfect. I had to redo the tutorial several times because I was unable to put out the fire. I honestly do not understand how to put out the fires since there is not enough feedback to the player in my opinion to tell them if they are actually putting out the fire or missing it completely.

The second complaint is about CPR. It took me a while to get into a correct rhythm for the chest compressions but when I learned that the heart rate graph is a nice indication to get in the correct rhythm, I didn’t have problems with chest compressions anymore. But here is the most annoying issue. It is the breathing mask and its controls. You must drag your mouse up and down. But that dragging up and down… Well, I know I have a small mousepad, but I almost must drag it all the way up my desk. It is a bit much. Also, as soon as you let go of dragging up, you must restart that breath… It is a bit too finicky. Apart from those two issues, the controls are quite responsive and easy to learn.  

Let us talk about the audio-visual design. In this game, the music is created by artists over at SoundStripe.com. It is extremely kind of the developers to list in the credits which artists were used. But I am unable to track the actual tracks down. It is a shame since I really enjoy listing to the tracks, and I would love to hear more from the artists. In terms of sound design, I think Paul did a very nice job. I have to say, I highly recommend that you play this game with a headset since it enhances the sound design and the music so much more.  

Something else I would like to talk about is the difficultly of this game. This game rides that fine line of being too easy and too challenging. Some scenarios are a bit too easy in my opinion. The scenario in America was over before I knew it while the two other unlocked scenarios were trickier to finish.

It is time now to talk about the visual presentation of this game. This game looks amazing for being created by such a small team. The models look extremely detailed and they are nicely animated. I love that there is some attention to detail like the chest slightly moving when you check if the victim is breathing or not.

It pains me to say that in some cases, I noticed that some corners were cut. For example, the textures for the clothes look less detailed than the other parts of the game. Another example is the car mirrors, it is quite clear that a less detailed version of the road is playing in it.

While this game has high attention to details, there are a few mistakes in terms of details that can break immersion. For example, the Wi-Fi symbol on the phones while there is no Wi-Fi access point nearby. Or the fact that the kilometers per hour do not make any sense on the dashboard of the car, I have even seen it go into the negatives several times during the Russian case. And let us not forget to mention that you can enter cars while holding victims without an issue.

Thankfully, these are small little things that are not a big deal breaker in terms of immersion and gameplay. Since overall, the atmosphere and the visual design of this game are good. The environments like quite real and apart from what I mentioned above, I barely have any complaints or suggestions to improve.

This brings me to the final part of this game I want to talk about. And that is the UI. There are a few things I would like to say about the UI. Overall, the UI is pretty good apart from several minor issues that give the game an unpolished feeling. Let me give you a few examples. Granted, some of these examples are visual issues combined with UI things.

Number 1: the “return” button can clash with the feedback button. This results in being able to return from the accident screen and opening the feedback screen.

Number 2: the feedback screen is strange. You do not get a message if your feedback has been sent or not and you have to select a thumbs up or down when you want to report a bug…

Number 3: you are unable to open the pause menu during the rewinding of time.

Number 4: there is no “reset to defaults” button in the video settings of the options menu.

Number 5: the credits text is a bit hard to read. Speaking about the credits, they do not wrap. So, you must scroll up to restart them. And the strange thing is, that this does not always happen… Sometimes I can easily read the credits. I think it depends on the resolution.

Number 6: when you complete a case, the complete sticker appears over the name of the case. Making you unable to read it.

Number 7: you are unable to skip the intro to each case.

Number 8: you are unable to scroll in dropdown menus.

Number 9: you do not get an error message when you try and double-bind keys.

Number 10: you are unable to save during a case. You must do them in one sitting. But after finishing the case, it autosaves.

So, in general. What do I think about this game? Well, I honestly think that this is an enjoyable game and a nice concept. I think it would be a shame if this game does not get more cases or some sort of a sequel. Thankfully, there are high hopes for that! Since this game is in early access now. There is a demo version available but reading from the reviews, that’s less polished than the final product.

Would I recommend this game? Yes, I would. I think this game is a great adventure/puzzle game that also teaches you several things about car accidents. While the game takes some liberties on how to save people, the game always tells you when the game and reality conflicts. Also, each country works quite differently… But that is a whole other can of worms where I do not have the right knowledge and specifications to discuss. So let me say this, always call the emergency number when you come across an accident and ask what you should do and follow their instructions. 

So, I am quite curious about which improvements this game will get when it is in its final state. There are going to be more cases, tweaks, and improvements. If I have the time, I will write a follow-up article and review this game but for now, I have said everything I wanted to say about this game. So, with that said: thank you so much for reading this article. I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing it. I hope to be able to welcome you in another article but until then, have a great rest of your day and take care.

 

Game Music Favorites #2: Bigger Sequel.

imagesAs I’m The Legend Of Zelda, Link Between Worlds and the Special Case of Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies along with Age Of Empires II HD on Steam and Corpse Party – Book Of Shadows on PSP, I don’t have a lot of games to review or make a first impression about. Surely I can write two about Age Of Empires and Zelda, but I need to play a bit more of them first. But before that, I liked my previous article enough to already make a new, possibly more lengthy, article. Let’s dive into a load of amazing music that I found during my adventures in game. Feel free to leave yours in the comment section down below. Or your opinions on my selections. I love hearing feedback. Anyways, orchestra is ready to go, so yeah.

#1: Alan Wake (DLC) –  Old Gods Of Asgard – Children of the Elder God

Alan-Wake-PC-_capaLink

Alan Wake is an amazing game. And various others told me that the soundtrack is amazing. And I totally agree. The music makes the game more tense.

At the end of each chapter, they have placed an amazing song. This is one of my  favorite tracks in game. The atmosphere is tense and I enjoyed it an awful lot. The other songs aren’t really my cup of tea. Honestly I don’t like game music where there is lyrics. Expect when it’s on important moments.

But the DLC has the best music! The fighting scenes are tense. And the music makes you sit at the edge of your seat. Totally wonderful.

I wish I could find time to finish the DLC’s. I started to write this article ten days ago and I finally finished this part of it. Yup, like I said in my previous article, I’m that busy.

Anyways, on the the next track!

#2: Corpse Party: Blood Covered OST  – Chapter 5’s Main Building Theme 2 (PSP Version)

Corpse Party (USA)Link

I have talked a lot about Corpse Party. I love the game to death. It’s near perfection in my eyes in the visual novel horror genre. I applaud the creators of the game like a mad man.

I’ll probably choose a lot of tracks in this series with my favorite game music in it, so stay tuned. I talked about the music in my review. And since I haven’t finished Corpse Party – Book Of Shadows, I think it would be silly to put a track on here of that game.

But the last chapter’s music is just amazing. I even had it as my ringtone for quite some time. It’s upbeat and it makes you want to finish the story. It motivates you to fight on and solve the final riddles that the game presents to you.

While it’s upbeat and very melodic, the creepiness of the game doesn’t go lost. The track makes you feel tense while ready to dive head on in the action. This track is proof how music in a horror game doesn’t always need to be scary.

#3: Rise & Fall: Civilizations At War – Main Theme

_-Rise-Fall-Civilizations-at-War-PC-_Link

Let’s fight aside famous hero’s of Rome, Greece or Egyptian wars. Much to my disliking, the in game music is extremely short. With each track being just a minute long, the music just loops too much.

Yet, it isn’t bad music. It’s tough to find it online though. Maybe Midway hunts down uploaders and stops them from uploading the music. Yet, the main theme is uploaded several times.

Truth to be told, I haven’t come near completing this game. I just like the mechanic of having a RTS game and where you can see the battles in 3D. And control the movement of your hero. But I was a bit too young when trying to take on the campaign.

This music is so lovely, the creators even made it that you can’t tell when you loop it where it ends and where it starts. I wish this style of music was in every adventure game. This track, I see it used in more then only this style of game.

#4: Lux Pain – Pumpkin Pon

luxpain_2Link

Pumpkin Pon, is such a bright and relaxing place in Lux-Pain. In this visual novel, some darkness has taken over a town. You can see the darkness and how it eats away at people.

While trying to hide your special powers, you go undercover. This game is long, dark, gloomy and sometimes hard. But when this track starts playing, it always puts a smile to my face. Upbeat and melodic. Fun and inviting. Just like the bar it’s named after.

The game is underrated, but it isn’t for everybody. When I ever have time to replay it, I’ll surely review it.

#5: Time Hollow – Opening

Time_HollowLink

Oh. My. Lords. This theme song. It’s the definition of amazing openings. If you can, go find a version of the intro and watch it. And then tell me, you aren’t curious to play this game.

While the Japanese version is totally different, I prefer the English version of this one. I sing along with it every time I hear it. And yes, it even puts a tear to my eye thinking how well written this game is and what impact it has on me.

This game is way to short and I wish Konami made a sequel on this one. Where the game is longer. Since there are so many unexplained things left. And Konami, if you are reading, please make the sequel just a bit longer? Okay? Please?

#6: Monster Tale – Pressure’s On.

Monster_Tale_Coverart

Link

There is a lot of good music in this Metroid-vania game. But this is one of my favorite tracks in-game. The music that plays with this boss battle is just so tense, that I was easily distracted by the music.

And when I finally could concentrate on the battle, the music helped me through the battle. I admit that I download music of games for tracks like this. Electronic rock. Sadly enough that this video cuts of the music midway. That, or YouTube must be glitching on me. Oh well.

This game is one I want to review. Yet, I has been some time since I played this game so I can’t give it a fair judgement. So, keep your eye out on a review of this pearl.

#7: The Last Remnant – Press to Victory

The_Last_Remnant

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Only recently I started playing The Last Remnant. I bought Broken Sword 5 – The Serpents Curse and I saw that this game was on sale. To make a nice round amount to pay at the check out, I bought it. I thought I earned some great games after doing some hard work in college.

And I heard some amazing music in this game. It blew me off my socks and I will surely play this game a lot more. It’s interesting and it got a story I can relate to. Well, relate as in, I saw it in different games as well and I wanted more of that style of story!

This music truly sets the right tone on the battlefield and I’m curious when it will be used again in the game. I have only played it for like a hour and I am attached to it. So, probably for Christmas I’m going to ask Santa to give me a bit more hours in a day since I want to play so many games besides studying and this is surely one of them.

I advice to get this game. It’s a cheap one and it’s made by Square Enix. Yeah, good stuff!

#8: Phoenix Wright – Ace Attorney 5: Dual Destinies – Pursuit: Ambushed

The Japanese box-art because we only got an eShop release.

The Japanese box-art because we only got an eShop release.

Link

Objection! This music is totally awesome. It’s the best pursuit music I have heard in years. In all the series, this music is my favorite track in the game. It’s the moment you finally crack the case and place the suspect under high stress.

Ace Attorney looses a lot of it’s charm if you play it without the music. I mean, a big orchestra even played the music of this game. Think about it, people who care so much about a simple text based game on the Nintendo DS. It even started on the Gameboy Advance in Japan!

All the songs, and all the remixes of this series are worth listing to. Yet, this is my number one track in the whole series. Thanks for uploading the extended version!

Closure

So, I think I’ll leave this article here. I’m finishing up DLC of Ace Attorney 5 and Alan Wake. While I’m beating also games I have nearly completed. So, expect new articles in the future. While I try to fight through college as well.

I hope you enjoyed reading through this article and you enjoyed the music tracks I picked this time. I’m nearing the 100th article I publish on my personal blog. So, I’m truly excited. Anyways, back to Broken Sword 5. The update downloaded. 🙂