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Jazz and Faust Review
publisher: 1C Maddox Games
developer: Saturn +
PII 300, 32MB RAM, 8MB Video Card, 800MB HD
|ESRB rating: T
release date: Jun 13, 02 (released)
|» All About Jazz and Faust on ActionTrip|
It's been a while since I've played a decent adventure game. At last I got my hands on one. Solving mysteries and helping damsels in distress should be the main aspects of any adventure game. Jazz and Faust will entangle you in a brief journey that involves murder, intrigue, and suspense. Sounds cool don't it?! But, the situation's not all that peachy I'm afraid. Although you will be involved in an interesting and chilling story, there's really nothing more to grab your attention throughout the game. Not to mention it took me less than two days to complete the entire game. And I have to say that you do not need to be a freak to do that... You just have to have an IQ prerequisite (well, higher than 80 anyway).
That bush is going to feel my long-suppressed leakage.
Err...do you have a 'Mountain Due' perhaps?
Jazz and Faust is a typical P&C adventure. As soon as I started playing, I was intrigued with the story. Before the adventure begins, you can choose to play as either Jazz or Faust. Both of them will be traveling to same towns and villages. Of course, the puzzles and objects are different. The characters and the background story remain the same in both cases, but there will be a few different sub-locations you can go to as Faust.
Everything seemed fine at the beginning. There was only one problem - to me, the behavior of Jazz and Faust seemed to lack the sort of oddness and humor that's usually excepted in such games. They don't possess any wacky attitudes of characters a la Sam&Max, or the slyness and charm of one Guybrush Threepwood. This especially goes for Faust, who's charm and wit can easily be compared to a rusty can opener. Well alrighty, Jazz pulls off an occasional hoax, but that's about it really. Anyhow, there's no doubt that both of the characters could've been a bit more charming and imaginative.
As for the gameplay, it's obvious that the developers didn't focus on bringing particularly intricate puzzles. Fair enough, the game does have a few brainteasers once in a while. Regardless, players are likely to get tangled up and confused while trying to solve a puzzle, rather than enjoying a satisfying challenge to the mind. What's even worse is that the player will often have problems in finding the right item. This is not a rare occurrence throughout the game. Quite frequently, you are going to have a difficult time discerning which items on screen can be used and which can't. In one specific situation it took me almost one exhausting hour to locate a bottle of wine, which is a crucial element to the game progress (this happened simply because it was hidden behind a larger object - it was a very frustrating experience).
Another time, it took me a while to find a cannon ball that was also a crucial element to a puzzle. The problem was that it blended with the background and was hard to distinct from other useless objects. The pointer was apparently designed to help you with such difficulties. Sadly, I have to say it does a pretty lame job.
On the plus side though, the inventory system was designed practically so that the players can easily browse through the items collected along the way. On the other hand, throughout the entire game I didn't get a chance to combine any items for a specific purpose. If there are any items to be combined, the computer will do it automatically when you pick them up - rather than allowing you to burn a few brain cells and perform the action yourself. This means that instead of having the items in your inventory and thinking of a way to combine them, you will have to look for them, which is, like I said before, a pain in the butt.
Graphically, there's not much to be said. All of the in-game characters were presented in 3D and were richly textured and animated nicely. There are also some neat details like hot air effects caused by lit torches and you'll see pretty cool water surfaces. To cut a long story short, the game offers an interesting mix of 3D and 2D graphics, presented in a colorful environment.
Sounds are not the best I've heard. Plus, it's self-evident that different characters were voiced by the same actor, which of course ruins the whole feeling of gameplay. The music is OK though, and there are a couple of soothing tunes that go well with the scenery and correspond with the events that take place on the screen.
Shiver me timbers, my delicate beard tells me that because of the game's duration people won't pay much attention to any of the abovementioned details. After all, who would want to play an adventure game that can easily be completed in one, possibly two days! Well, the possibility of a sequel was revealed once you end both scenarios, so let's hope the developers mean to prolong that one and make it more challenging than this game.
A nice enough plot. Cute graphics;
I wasn't all that impressed with the personalities of Jazz and Faust (i.e. yawning). Definitely too short. Nothing particularly challenging.
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