Hotel Dusk/Wish Room
I recently finished playing a DS game called Hotel Dusk (Wish Room in it’s native country Japan). This was a point and click adventure similar to those games that were really popular on the PC back in the 90′s (like Myst). Having little experience with this kinda game, I wasn’t sure what I was in for. Now that I’ve completed my first in the genre, I can say that I’m happy to have given it a chance.
Hotel Dusk defied the conventions I’m accustomed to in gaming. There was no test of twitch reflexing, no platforming, and no damnable quick time events (thank you publishers, for taking RE4′s novelty cut scene stimulater and turning it into a nonstop feature). What was present, was atmosphere, intelligent, believable characters, and a moody soundtrack that I will now be hunting for on amazon.
The premise is simple: Kyle Hyde, ex-NYPD detective checks into a run-down dump of a hotel in nowhere, California while in the guise of a traveling salesman. He’s actually on the heels of a partner that betrayed him three years prior. Kyle has become something of a possessed wreck of a man, determined to learn why his partner traded his badge for organized crime.
By now, most of you think you’ve seen this sort of set up in a game before. Well, you haven’t. The game owes more to detective yarns and cop flicks than any gaming franchise. Hotel Dusk does not play out like your average game. While it has to give in to some minor railings, it reads like a detective novel, and concludes with sincerity that is missing from so many of today’s titles. You’ll have to play through twice to get the best ending, however. Or do like me and just youtube the best ending. I was happy I did.
If you’ve ever played a point and click adventure, you know what to expect here. Puzzles that involve little more than using the stylus to point at objects, shuffle them about, and in a lot of cases, reassemble a fractured item. These puzzles are largely common sense, and won’t test your mental capacity, but they are a nice break from the heavy dialogue. Beyond that, you face the standard fare ‘where does this item become useful?’ question. Using a crowbar to lift a file cabinet, for example.Â If this ain’t your cup of tea, the game isn’t going to win you over, no matter how strong the story is. But for those looking to try something story-driven who can handle limited interaction, this is the way to go.
I mentioned the soundtrack earlier. This -is- a DS title, soÂ you have an idea what to expect. It’s not cd-quality music, but by god, it sets a -very- good mood and does a damn fine job of it. Every piece fits. From the burly theme that cues up for Dunning the hotel owner, to the kicksy-bebop beats in the bar, I loved the score.