So I bought my new toy, the Nintendo DS a week back, and have been engrossed in Hotel Dusk ever since i bought it. Im glad i made the correct choice of the game, as this is truly a remarkable piece of adventure game on the market, especially on a handheld. And frankly, i think this is the second game EVER, that i managed to complete from beginning to end (for a handheld game). The first being Super Mario Bros., on the Nintendo Gameboy handheld.
As a fan of adventure gaming, it was natural that i picked up this game as my inaugural gaming experience on the Nintendo DS. Hotel Dusk is rarity, because you would rarely encounter another detective mystery, noir, comic-book styled game anywhere else. This what makes it truly unique.
Heres a synopsis:
“Los Angeles, 1979. Players take the role of Kyle Hyde, an ex-cop turned salesman trying to track down a missing friend. Clues lead to an eerie, old hotel rumoured to have one very strange room – a room where wishes are granted. Players check in and get ready for a night of surprises as they meet a cast of unusual characters and try to unravel the mystery in Hotel Dusk: Room 215.”
There are many aspects of gameplay which i really enjoyed throughout. Firstly, is the story. I was amazed at how deep the story was. As you progress through the game, it just gets deeper and deeper and it really motivates you to find out the truth behind all truths. Sometimes i do feel that the dialogs can be a little lengthy, but i always remind myself that this is an interactive novel, rather than a full fledged adventure game. Even playing this game forces you to play it vertically, like hold a book, rather than horizontally.
Sure there are puzzles and mysteries to solve, but the main engine that drives this game forward is the in depth interaction between characters. Character wise, i was again amazed at how 3D it was. Highly believable dialogs, makes you engaged with the characters thoroughly to a point that if you are an avid reader, you would certainly enjoy absorbing its highly captivating dialogs. The dialogs arent stale and monotonous like some other RPGs. This one’s got character in them, an a subtle layer to reality to it.
Graphical wise, i dont find it fantastic. But im prepared to face the fact that this is a DS, rather than the power pack PSP. Sure there are 3D animation where you can roam around the hotel in 3D as you move your characters using your stylus, but that isnt the main focus of the game.
Character art is interesting as well. I like the approach of the rough drawn black and white sketch of the characters. It really makes them gritty and it works, because it makes you feel that, hey these characters are believable. In doing so, it adds life to the characters making you feel that somehow there might be such a person out there. Rather than going for a clean, coloured approached to them, the black and white sketch makes it feel raw.
Its quite fascinating as well that throughout the game, the story revolves around the characters in the hotel and in the hotel only. In no part of the game do you venture out of the hotel. And with that, i really should commend the creators of the games in making such a compelling story behind such simple backdrop:- a hotel.
In short, I would definitely recommend this game to anyone who are love adventure, or just love story driven games.