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PSA: How to deal with stolen content?

 It’s no secret that I recently had to deal with two websites stealing my content. While everything is almost taken down, I decided to write an article where I talk about my experiences, tips, and tricks on how to defend yourself and take down content that is stolen from you. Before I continue, I want to make one thing clear, I didn’t write this guide to take down the content you don’t like or you are trying to steal yourself. I wrote this guide to talk about the various methods that are out there for content creators to help them if their content is stolen. In addition to that, this comes from my personal experiences and I’m not a lawyer. Ask legal advice where needed. 

Protect your blog!

First of all, make sure you have a page/post that your readers can easily find where you talk about what you allow and don’t allow with your content. For me, that’s my DMCA page.

On that page, mention what you allow and don’t allow with your content. If you are stuck or unsure how to write this page, Creative Commons can give examples and you can use it to create your own license. But do read the whole license before copy/pasting it on your blog.

Know that this page/post will be looked at by lawyers in case of theft. So, make sure you cover everything with this post or page. It also makes clear what a user can and can’t do with your work.

Some websites also offer badges and other similar things to scare off potential thieves. Like Creative Commons I mentioned before and DMCA.com. You can actually pay DMCA.com to take down a thieving website if needed. If you are interested, check out both sites, since they provide useful and interesting insight.

CaptureIf you are using WordPress, like myself, don’t disable pingbacks! You can find these in your admin panel under “Discussion”. The reason why that is, I’ll explain a bit later in this article. But, pingbacks can really save your skin or help you in your research. So, DO link to your older articles if you talked about something else in the past.

You can also take measures to the extreme and host your WordPress blog yourself and install and install a plugin that stops people from right-clicking or copying your text. Now, personally, I hate when websites do this. I’m not a native English speaker, and sometimes I have to look up translations for words. In addition to that, I get the impression that the creator doesn’t trust me with their content.

Now, let me state this for the record, I’m not saying that this is a bad idea; I’m saying that I’m personally not fond of this practice. Also, I don’t believe in protecting your site 100% this way. If you have a bot setup that can copy from HTML and the developer console, well; then your protection is busted. And for pictures, if you only disable the right mouse button, you can easily bypass that with a screenshot tool. So, yeah. And people share methods online that easily bypass a system like disabling right-click like here.

With this, I wanted to say that not all protection or preventive measures will make a 100% theft-proof system. Create a system that works for you and is easy to manage without your users complaining about it. I honestly think it’s no good idea to go into overdrive and focus yourself more on protecting your work instead of actually creating content… Before I ramble on and on about this, let’s continue to the actual point of this article.

Before I talk a bit more about how to take down content, here are a couple of articles that provide helpful insight on protecting your work from theft. From tips and tricks to advice other bloggers gave about protecting your blog. Do give them a read, they are great.

https://wptavern.com/content-protection-plugins-for-wordpress-do-more-harm-than-good

https://en.support.wordpress.com/prevent-content-theft/

https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/protect-images-from-theft/

https://www.dreamgrow.com/prevent-content-theft/

https://www.plagiarismtoday.com/2009/09/09/5-free-copyright-steps-every-blogger-should-take-today/

http://smallbusiness.chron.com/make-work-copyrighted-blogger-33454.html

https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-protect-blog-content-from-copyright-infringement/

Before I continue, know that the DMCA law exists. Please, read up on that law as well if you want to know more.

Takedown stolen content

Okay, now for the actual meat of this article. I had to deal with a WordPress.com and a self-hosted WordPress blog stealing my content. So, I can talk about both issues here.

Before you do ANYTHING like a DMCA or further research, do try to get into contact with the owner of the website. Once in the past, I found another blog stealing my content without credit. They had a contact page, so I contacted them and they took it down. Do the following steps when the owner of the website doesn’t reply.

Let’s tackle the easiest to take down, blogs on platforms like WordPress, Tumblr, Weebly… Here is what you have to do. First of all, be prepared for playing a waiting game AND possibly long mail chains with abuse and or legal teams.

So, one of the blogs stealing my content had a Tumblr, WordPress, Evernote, Weebly, Pinterest and Diigo account posting links various stolen material. On Tumblr, Evernote, and WordPress my whole text was readable.

Before you continue, do know that this is only something the original creator of the article can do. If you haven’t created the work, do not make a DMCA Take-Down request, since this can have serious consequences. If you want to help the creator out, please report it to them and ask them what you could do. Making fake DMCA claims can create an even bigger mess. Just ask big YouTubers like Alex from iHateEverything who got into a fight with Derek Savage a few years back.

Now, you need to find the procedure for each website on how to make a DMCA Take-Down claim or anything related to that. Here are a few links that found that can help you if you need it:

WordPress: https://en.support.wordpress.com/our-dmca-process/

Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/dmca

Evernote: https://evernote.com/intl/nl/legal/ip-compliance

Instagram: https://help.instagram.com/454951664593304

Blogger: https://support.google.com/legal/troubleshooter/1114905?hl=en

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/208282075858952

Twitter: https://help.twitter.com/forms/dmca

Fill in the required forms and DO read what you fill in. This can be a very serious process but fill in everything to the best of your ability. Do realize that you have to prove that you are the owner and creator of the work and you will have to provide permalinks to the stolen content and the original work. This codex entry of WordPress explains a bit better what permalinks are: https://codex.wordpress.org/Settings_Permalinks_Screen

After you fill in the required forms, you have to play the waiting game. Some requests can be taken care of in a few hours, others can take up to a week! Be patient and if further theft occurs, make a new DMCA Take Down.

Also, speaking from experience here, be as complete as possible. If a blog copied 53 of your articles, to provide 53 links WITH proof (original source) to avoid having to make a secondary DMCA.

Add in the DMCA comment box if the account also breaks other rules posted in the terms of service. In one case, I was able to get the account suspended without a DMCA request but with proving the blog was spamming and using an automated bot to post content to their account. This was enough for a certain company to suspend the theft from their site and fully remove it.

Now, onto the second part of this article. What if your content is stolen by a hosted WordPress blog? Well, first of all, you need to know the basics of how IP addressing and web hosting work.

Here is some help to get you started: TCP/IP explained, IP explained, DNS explained, how website hosting works, and WHOIS explained.

I’m not saying here that you need to be an expert in computers or internet technology to deal with this. If you don’t know what you are doing, please ask help at people who know more about computers and know more about networking.

First of all, do a WHOIS search on the offending blog. If the website is hosted by a company, you will get an abuse address. Before you mail this address, do check out the website of the hoster. If the abuse mail you got from the WHOIS search is for example:

abuse@thisisanexample.com

Go to “thisisanexample.com” The part behind the “@” is usually the website of the hoster. If not, google that email or part of that email.

Look at the terms and conditions of the hoster and act accordingly. If they have a live helpdesk, talk to the helpdesk and ask them what to do. Also, they can confirm if the website is hosted on their servers or not.

Mostly these mail addresses are in the lines of “abuse@hostname.com” or “legal@hostname.com”.

When looking in their Terms of Service, look at what they require from you for a DMCA take-down request or a takedown request. Provide the needed information to the company and hope for the best.

Now, I had the bad luck that addresses that WHOIS gave me for the self-hosted blog wasn’t the host of the website but the owner of the domain. Now, the trick here is, either look at the name servers of the domain (mostly ns.hostname.region) or open “CMD” on a Windows computer and launch the following command.

“tracert website.com”

Replace “website.com” with the offending website. More often than note, the last trace will spit out the IP of the website and the hoster.

If this is still not helping, abuse pingbacks. Yes, I’m finally going to talk about it. When you get a pingback from another website, you usually receive an email. Guess what, the IP address of the stealing website is at the bottom of the email.

Use the IP address you get from the email to further do WHOIS searches and this is how I found the actual host of the website which kept stealing from me. So, do link articles you wrote so you have some pingbacks. If the theft bot steals your content and forgets to either disable the option and/or forgets to remove those links, you have their IP. I call it “pingback trap”. And it worked twice on the theft bot.

So, I found out who was hosting this thieving website, I mailed the helpdesk of the hoster and they forwarded me to their legal team and voila, the website is now being taken care of.

Final pieces of advice

If you and other people their work is stolen from a website, do content the other bloggers and writers. In my battle to take down the stolen content, I had two blogs contact me back and we agreed to all put in a DMCA takedown notice. Not too long after, the website was gone.

Do realize that taking down stolen content can eat hours of your time. Keep a journal or notes of what you did and who you contacted for what. Otherwise, this can become a big mess. Don’t get demotivated from this.

Do warn other bloggers about the theft. The action I took was the PSA Drakulus and I wrote together. The support from other bloggers can be so uplifting. All the reblogs and people lending an ear to vent out your frustration can help quite a lot.

If you really want to protect yourself and your blog from theft, don’t let this be the last article you read about it. I read a lot of articles and watched hours of YouTube videos on this subject to learn from what others did. I also talked to other content creators about what they did and how they took down the stolen content.

So, there. That’s all the advice I can give. Thank you so much for reading this article and I hope you enjoyed and learned something from reading this article as much as I enjoyed and learned from writing this. I hope to welcome you in another article but until then, take care and have a great rest of your day.

This post has been written by NekoJonez from NekoJonez’s Gaming Blog. This post is written to spread information about his experiences with content theft. NekoJonez isn’t a lawyer and please; if needed to seek legal advice. I’m not responsible if you don’t do your research or don’t read something for the consequences.

PS: if you need any help with content theft, feel free to contact me. I’ll try and do my best in helping you whereever I can.

NekoJonez’s November Update – Plans for 2016 – 2017

SpartaDeary me, is it already mid-November? October flew by and I almost didn’t notice that we were almost midway in this month. Seriously, the older you get the more time flies. I’m currently 23 years old and I work full time. Besides that, I go to evening classes to get a bachelor’s degree in computer science. Besides writing this blog as a hobby, I’m also a part of an acting group. Also, I fix people their computers for fun too. So, yeah. My schedule is easily filled with all sorts of activities. But hey, I’m writing this article to update you guys on what is going on with me and what is important to know for my blog. 

Update on my computer troubles

So, in the last article, I posted that my PC had issues with some heavy-demanding games. I thought I fixed the problem when BioShock Infinite and Alan Wake stopped crashing and rebooting the system. But, since two days ago, the problems restarted.

I got tired of trying to fix the issues. I have been trying since late September. So, I dropped my computer off at my uncle’s place. My uncle and I had built my PC together and I’m hoping that he will be able to fix my problems or at least tell me what’s wrong since I think I’m looking in the wrong places.

When my computer is fixed, I’m planning to write a few articles about some PC games I wanted to write about. But because my PC is giving me issues, I can’t play the games enough to write about them. In any case, I have learned a lot from my uncle. He knows a lot more about computers than me.

Currently, I’m using my laptop that I use for my evening classes. So, I can still write articles!

Blog updates

So, various times I started to work on updating my blog. What I mean by that is going back to an older article to fix typos and grammatical issues, expanding the overview pages, updating some old information, fixing dead links, resizing pictures when they are too big amongst other things.

But my schedule doesn’t allow me to spend a lot of time on it. Also, I enjoy writing new content a lot more than I enjoy fixing up my blog. But I’m trying to fix up an article here and there.

When I do some upgrades, I usually write an article on Tumblr about it. Or when it’s possible, I simply tweet about it.

If you want my latest updates, you should follow me on Twitter or look on the Twitter page. When I have small updates, I post them on my Twitter. When I want to post something that’s longer than 140 characters but isn’t enough to put in an article, I post something on Tumblr. And Tumblr makes a tweet about it for me.

I mostly tweet about things that happen to me, things I want to do, computer science-sy stuff, things I want to share with you guys & girls and so on.

Updating my blog will still happen, but it will take a backseat. I will update my blog when I find the time for it, but I don’t make any promises. But if you find some dead link or a big typo, feel free to let me know. I’ll fix it as soon as I can.

Oh, speaking of blog updates, yesterday was my WordPress-anniversary! So, yay me!

Plans for 2016

So, my plans for 2016 have changed since the last update I posted. At first, I wanted to write about games I haven’t written about yet but I have talked about other games in that given series or talked about it in my other series.

But that’s going to change. I have gotten a few emails from developers to take a look at their games or promote a service with an article.

A note about promoting a service. I won’t promote a service I don’t believe in or when it isn’t relevant to my blog.

A note about taking a look at games from a developer; I always ask the developers if there are things I should point out like for example that the game is in alpha or that the game is multi-platform. Something I won’t do is lying in my articles. I want to give constructive criticism to the developer. I will always talk about the positive and negative aspects of the game.

In December 2016, I have a few things planned. Of course, there will be an article about my favorite games of 2016. Back in January, I made a text document listing all the games I have played this year and I have almost reduced it to ten games for this year!

So, for the rest of December, I have a list of the games I want to talk about. I won’t tell them here yet since they are subject to change.

Plans for 2017

I think that this might be the last update article I write in 2016. Since I have planned for the rest of 2016. But what will I do with 2017? Well, I have a few things in mind.

If I have the budget for it, I might buy myself a Nintendo Switch. But that all depends on the price of the system and if there are games in the release line-up that interest me.

At this moment, there aren’t a lot of games I’m hyped for in 2017. The games I’m looking forward too that are going to be released in 2017 are The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, Dragon Quest 7 on the 3DS (I own the game already on PS2), Ever Oasis (3DS), remakes of the Zero Espace games (PC) and that’s it.

My current plans for 2017 are that I’m going to try and talk about a lot of games that I have played in the last years I have been blogging but never got to an article.

But 2017 is a long period of time and is 1,5 months away from us… So, yeah. Who knows, I might change my mind later down the road. So, keep an eye out for my Twitter where I’ll post the latest updates.

Closing off

That was another lengthy update. I’m not planning to write an update every month. Yet, I’m thinking that I post an update about my blog every so often. Very 2-3 months maybe?

That way I can update you guys on what’s going on behind the scenes and such. Yet, I feel like that might pull away from the focus of my blog. I write this blog because I wanted to write about the games and my opinion on them. Another option is that I post an update on my Tumblr and keep this blog only for the gaming articles.

So, what do you guys and girls think? Feel free to let me know in the comment section of this article. Should I continue to write these update articles in the future and if so, on this blog or on my Tumblr blog? Should I write them monthly or every so often? I’m curious to know.

I think I said everything I wanted to say in this update. Thank you for reading! I hope to be able to welcome you in another article on my blog but until then, take care and have a great rest of your day!

Quick and small announcement: Changes in the way I post updates.

Alright, this will be a quick update. It even has a short introduction. This update is meant to tell you guys what I post where from this post. 

First of all, the place where I post the most updates is my Twitter. On there I post things I quickly want to share.

Very rarely I write a story that has been in my mind. I “dump” those stories on my DevaintArt.

I’m extremely active on my forums. Take a look on Arpegi and feel free to join! I list everybody’s from the forum their links on my Arpegi Network page.

I linked my YouTube in the sidebar, but I don’t make vids anymore. It’s too time consuming. But here and  there, I do a stream. I announce that on my Twitter a couple of minutes before I go live.

In the sidebar you can find my links to my Last.FM, Google+ and Steam page.

That’s almost everything. Now, I haven’t talked about two links yet. One is the link to my friends over at ButtonSmashers. Go check them out. If you want to see more people I recommend, go check out my friends page.

Alright, down to the final link. Now here is the big change I’m going to do and the reason why I post this short article. When I want to update you guys on the progress of some articles and my life, I’m going to do that on Tumblr when it’s too long to tweet. So, it’s wise to follow me on Tumblr as well!

Now it’s possible that my articles now come twice on my Twitter since I linked my Tumblr to my Twitter! But don’t worry, the long overview updates will most likely not stop on my blog.

I’ll link to this article on my “About me” page so you guys can read this as well. I might update this article when major changes happen!

Thanks for reading and hopefully until the next time we meet.

CreepyPasta: Player 2 not found – Written by: NekoJonez

Player 2 not found

If my story is ever read on a channel where they read or discuss creepypasta’s I’m quite sure they might shout at my story that it has some clichés and that it killed the experience. Sadly enough, I wish I could convince those people that this story is quite real. And I’m finally ready to tell it. I don’t speak English, but given that I want a bigger audience for my tale, I’ll try my best to translate. I’m trying to talk about a big life change event here.

Some time ago, I had a great friend. He was one of the only guys who looked after me. We were both into the same style of games. Which is surprising, mostly you and your friends have a few games in common, but Eric and I, we both had nearly exactly same tastes in games.

One day a sad truth came falling into my letterbox. That winter will be forever ice cold to me. Get it… Winter, cold..? Never mind, I might be ruining the mood here. Anyways, I got that letter. It was a letter to tell me that Eric died due to a stupid accident. He slipped with his bike and broke his neck at the street pavement. And that in front of our favorite gaming store.

I was shocked and mad. Mad because I told him so many times that he should go cycling when it had frozen. And shocked because Eric was dead. My best friend. I had him for nine years. I went through one of the roughest periods of my life. I went insane for a few weeks. I saw things move for no reasons and various other things. It was like I took drugs, while in reality I didn’t take any.

But when I finally came back to my senses, I was wishing that I had that pen from the Time Hollow game. Ethan, the game’s main character, was able to open a time “portal” there and change the past. I could have saved him. Thinking about that game made me remember my Nintendo DS and my flashcard. For the readers who don’t know what that is, it’s a card which you can use to play roms on the actual device. So, I haven’t downloaded any roms from shady websites. Don’t worry, my story doesn’t have any of that.

When I booted up Phantom Hourglass, I started to notice something strange. At the part where you needed to meet-up with Linebeck, there was a character at the docks. That guy who is normally there to say: “Hey, do you have a canon already.” I don’t remember the exact lines. The ship was missing. And Linebeck of course as well. The character at the docks said to me that he was gone. Because his friend went missing.

I scratched my head. Linebeck and friends. I looked it up in my Hyrule Historia book I got and I couldn’t find any information. Did I download a bad rom by accident? Was I going to be tricked into a scary game where blood and gore is going to come? I shook it off. It might have been my fantasy going wild again.

Then I started playing Spirit Tracks on the flashcard. First I saw that the train controls where missing. I got a little annoyed. Again something missing? But before I let out some soft curses, I remembered that the anti-piracy protection was that the train controls didn’t appear. When I patched the game and tried it out quickly in my emulator, the train controls where there. I sighed in relief.

I sent over the save file from the emulator and the patched rom to my flashcard and I started playing. To my surprise, my save file was corrupt. Did I close the emulator while it was still saving? Or did the coders of the emulator derp and bugged the save files? I didn’t really mind since my game was at the very start anyways.

Before I even could start the train exam, the track were already gone. This was supposed to happen later in the game. I got confused. I didn’t understand at all. I closed my DS and shut it down. I checked my flashcard for any damage. I wondered to myself if something broke which made my game glitch so bad. I put my DS aside. I’m kind of lazy and when I need to fix something I look at it a week or two later. Or after so much time that I don’t even know what I’m supposed to fix.

I took my 3DS and booted up my copy of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon. I don’t really know if there is already a flashcard for the 3DS but I don’t even care. The 3DS is too awesome for me to download the games. Sadly enough they are expensive. Anyways, this is off topic. I’m saying that my copy is the legal deal.

I started up the save file and my character was named Eric. It felt a bit awkward to me. The game was at the final battle. I won’t spoil who it was for you, but when I beat the game, the main character didn’t return. I was surprised. Did Nintendo really went this way? Did they really made this twist to take veteran players by surprise? It seemed as such.

In the town, all characters of the game, except Eric, were present. They were all in a sad mood. The partner, having my name, was the saddest of them all. He couldn’t believe that his friend was gone for real. I closed my 3DS. The story was a bit too personal and brought back a bit too much memories.

I played some soccer outside with my friends to put my mind on something else. That night when I played a bit on my PSP under my sheets. Okay, I might be 25 years old but we all did that when we were still young okay? Remember? With Pokémon Blue? Those were the times.

I beat an interesting visual novel game Corpse Party. In that game, a group of teens are captured in a horrible school were many murders happen. Many gruel things. Writing a creepypasta with a lot of blood and gore wouldn’t make it since the game is already so bloody and gory. And that for a 2D game!

So, a spoiler warning now. At the end, a part of the group is able to return to the real world. But the ones who died are forgotten by everybody. Nobody remembered Eric, expect the male lead character. It took me a second but when I realized I totally freaked out. There wasn’t any character named Eric in that game. I didn’t understand it one bit. I put my lights on and looked to a picture of Eric. I haven’t forgotten him and nobody has.

At the soccer match earlier today, nobody was allowed to play at the spot Eric normally plays. Which caused my team to have a disadvantage without good midfielder. But hey, it’s the thought that counts.

The next day, another friend of mine came over. He wanted to play a bit of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon on my 3DS. He was planning to buy the game. But when he played, everything was normal. Even the main character returned. I sighed in relief. It was my paranoia playing tricks on me. I was so glad.

The freaking things started to get worse since then. When I played with friends online, I won each and every match. With some major luck each time. I was able to pull off things I wasn’t able too before. It went as far as my friends accusing me of cheating. But I wasn’t cheating. I don’t even know how to get cheats working in multiplayer for most of the games I play.

Also, in various games, things started happening. Like in Animal Crossing. Everybody living around Eric’s home started moving within a week. And in Minecraft, Eric’s name was everywhere on signs.

I went to my shrink but she started to think that I really was losing it. Nobody could see the signs, nobody was able to see the letters in Animal Crossing of the characters moving.

When I analyzed various things, it became clear to me. Eric was trying to get a message to me. But what is it? Is he lost in the spirit realm? Or are his powers just not strong enough to make a message reach out to everybody.

I wanted to know more but I couldn’t research more. I was taken to a mental hospital. Declared insane because I supposedly couldn’t get over the loss of my best childhood friend who saved me from various suicide attempts.

First I was pissed off that I couldn’t research this case but after some time I was able to put it aside and well, between quotes, get over it. I took the newspaper after a year staying in the hospital and I started reading about a serial killer who killed his victims outside of gaming stores when they wanted to return a game.

I got confused. But tears started to flow when I saw the author’s name. Eric R. My death friend is now able to follow me outside of games. The article’s author was different too people, yet the story was surprisingly true.

To this day, I’m trying to convince people that my friend is killed by that serial killer. I started to study to become a lawyer. I want to catch that crook. Before he makes more victims. And hopefully Eric’s powers grow stronger so I have him at my side to solve this case.

–          Several years later. –

The latest edition of the newspaper has an interesting article.

“Yesterday, Blaire DV, a famous lawyer died today at a strange accident. He slipped and broke his neck. The accident happened in front of his favorite video games store where he was investigating the case of a death friend. Who he believes is murdered by the Ice Video Game Killer. Witnesses claim that they have seen a man, identified by the name of Eric R., push the victim.

Today witnesses claim to sometimes see Blaire lurk in a side street next to the shop. But the police doesn’t believe in ghost stories. Should they?

–          Blaire VD”

 

The end?

First Impression: The Testament of Sherlock Holmes (PC – Steam) ~ Mediocre Adventures

The_Testament_of_Sherlock_Holmes_cover

Read my new creepypasta here. I let it publish on a friend’s Tumblr.

Note: I’ll publish the creepypasta in a few days here.

Page on official website

I recognize mediocre games as soon as I play them. This game had a lot of promise when I watched the trailer. Yet, this game falls flat on it’s face in some departments. While I’m mid-way through the game, this game has some charm for me in order to keep playing it. In this article I’ll talk about what the game does right and what it is wrong. I did play the Steam version of this game. I’m surprised that there are also XBOX360 and PS3 versions made of this game. The adventure / point and click genre’s home is on the PC, DS, Wii and portable devices. Not the XBOX360 and PS3. But that’s a rant for another day. Let’s dive right into this “meh”-fest. Feel free to leave a comment what you think of this game and or this first impression. 

Laughable animation

images

IGN gave this game a 8. Honestly, I think this game doesn’t really deserve that. One reason is the animation. For a game released by FrogWare, who has a good catalog of adventure games, the animation is just bad.

To explain my point, when a lady needs to get out of her chair to get the prison director, the fade to black and then they show an animation of the woman walking through the door. Hold on a moment here, did she just magically teleport?

Also, when I needed to sound an alarm, the arm didn’t even visibly move towards it before I got the reply of Watson that the alarm was busted.

The running animation is just pretty lame. It’s more like a walking really fast with waving your arms back and forth. With bend arms.

And something I saw just recently, before I went back to studying for my college exam is the lazy scene where you need to let a cart roll towards a broken bridge so the cart can connect the bridge back together. The cart wasn’t properly on the bridge but Holmes didn’t care, he walked right over it as if it were solid. And when the animation of Holmes dropping down needed to happen, they go to your point of view.

While this game has some interesting visuals, these visuals aren’t great. For a game released just last September, the visuals could have been a whole lot nicer. Compared to more recent games, this game’s visuals are just running a bit behind.

In conclusion, I think that the visuals and animation are the big weak point of this game. It’s one of the biggest things annoying me in this game. Maybe the quality might improve near the end. And if it does, I will surely mention it when I decide to write a review about it.

Only bad thing?

the-testament-of-sherlock-holmes-reviewIt might look that I’m ripping this game a new one. And I kind of am. I’m a big fan of this game’s genre. The Broken Sword series is my absolute favorite. But something this game tried, but failed at, are it’s controls.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. They controls are interesting. And the ability to switch between three modes is an amazing idea. But here on the PC guys, we have a mouse. Which gives us an arrow. Please use that instead of indicating hotspots for us. It kinda kills the feeling of freedom.

The mouse is used in another way. You can cancel with the right mouse button. Now that’s something neat. But why did it have to be cancel? Why couldn’t it be the button used for secondary features in puzzles, like turning a piece of paper.

Another thing that annoyed me is that you have the 6th sense. It’s your hint system. But it doesn’t really work that well. It only shows hotspots you haven’t interacted with when they are inside the screen area. I personally think this could have been implemented better.

One of the last points that made my irritation feelings rise is the stupid tracking AI. They move so much slower then you do which makes you sometimes being stuck inside a doorway. Yeah. Let’s not mention the extremely linear paths and the invisible walls. Otherwise the developers had to make more animations. Oh my God! The thought.

Not crap though.

TheTestamentOfSherlockHolmes_0001When you can look past the things I mentioned above, the game is actually pretty neat.

With charming voice acting and a great plot, this game caught my interested. You truly solve a crime the old fashioned way. You don’t have any gadgets that aid yourself to solve the crime.

The tutorial starts with a small case of a stolen necklace. You find it but moments later, you get tangled up in a new big case. A bishop has been murdered. Quite cruelly. And the game got rightfully it’s 16+ mark for that. Yet, from what I have seen now, 12+ could have worked as well.

The story is thrilling and with well done music and nice soundwork, this game is a pretty neat run. What I really like are the puzzles. They are fun. While they aren’t really unique, they are self-explanatory. Apart from the chemical analysis, I do think that this game works.

A minor flaw which the developers can still patch out is the freezing / frame drops whenever the autosave is saving or when you solve a puzzle. But after a small while you get used to it, so it doesn’t bother me that much.

The fact that this game has auto-saving is already quite great. And it doesn’t save over your last auto-save. Oh no, it saves in a new file so you can easily go back to earlier spots to get the achievements. Nice move guys.

There are various achievements, which makes the replay value have … well some value. Adventure games have actually zero replay value. Unless you really like the story, gameplay or something in the game. For me it’s the style of the story. It’s interesting and it’s a great introduction to the series. It’s the 6th game in the series. And looking into it, the last game wasn’t well received. This game gets better reviews so that’s a good thing.

So, thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed this article and the creepypasta I added at the top. I promised my friend Inunah for a long time a creepypasta exclusive for her nice creepypasta tumblr. And I wrote “Player 2 is missing.” for her. Anyways, I think that’s everything for this article. I hope to catch you another time. And take care.~

Neko Vlog #25: Held back and behind the screens.