bfgFlounder
Moderator
Moderator
12,864 Posts

Haunted Train: Spirits of Charon

[Post New]by bfgFlounder on Feb 9, 14 12:29 AM
Charon's train has left the station, and you’ll never believe who’s on board.



You and your fiancée were supposed to be happy, but someone's destroyed your wedding day, and your lives together. Now her ghost beckons to you from the train of death. Can you put this vicious deed to rest – and help Charon bring justice to your love's tragic end?

 
sfr8rfan
Guppy
Guppy
196 Posts

Re:Haunted Train: Spirits of Charon Review

[Post New]by sfr8rfan on Feb 9, 14 4:07 AM
Part One of Four

The Little Train that Couldn’t

My review is based on completing the game on a Mac and then studying the strategy guide again to prepare for this review. I purchased the CE version but this review is of the main game with references to the CE .
I didn’t care for the game and I’ll try to explain why as fairly as possible. Of course I wanted to like it. I spent the money on it but it just didn’t work out.

There were some positives:

A. The Sights: It was a winner artistically. Throughout the game you progress through a variety of cities beginning in Western Europe and ending in Eastern Europe. Each one of the locales had a particular European feel to it. So, props to the environment, or "set design" people.

B. The Sounds: The voice actors were good and the lip-synching was as well. (Just a little editorializing here: how come this bad game has great lip-synching while some great games recently have no synching or terrible synching? It doesn’t make sense to me.)

C. The other thing that was good was…er… Wait. I'm sorry. That's all I can say about the game that is positive.

Two schools of thought now:
1. If you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all.
2. If you can't say anything nice come sit by me.

Come sit by me and I’ll tell you about the game…:

A. The animation was very poor. Here are a couple of examples to illustrate:

1. In one scene a lemon was being squeezed into a cocktail shaker. The lemon hovered over the shaker, there was no "liquid" going from the lemon to the shaker. After a moment the lemon was gone. Big deal? Maybe it’s not, but we have certainly seen games where you'd know that liquid was being poured into a container from another source.

2. An item, fallen between the cracks of a grate on the ground needs to be extricated. I had a hook in my inventory. As the hook neared the grate, but before it actually reached it, the grate mysteriously rose. Hmm, maybe the grate was haunted.
These don't seem like fatal flaws, but they are very typical of the play throughout the game. There is a serious lack of attention to detail.

To Be Continued…

Edited on 02/09/2014 at 4:16:25 AM PST


 
sfr8rfan
Guppy
Guppy
196 Posts

Re:Haunted Train: Spirits of Charon

[Post New]by sfr8rfan on Feb 9, 14 4:10 AM
Continuation: Part Two of Four

B. The story line that propelled us through Europe was preposterous: A bride has been murdered by the evil Count Orlock on her wedding day. The husband (whom you play in this first-person adventure) mentions that it’s supposed to be the best day of their lives and he thought all their troubles were behind them. RUH ROH!! There was already trouble in Paradise and this trip hadn't even begun yet!!

Somehow the Mrs. boards Charon’s train to Hades and the undead husband gets on as well. In the “old days" Charon ferried across the river Styx but now he prefers to travel by train. Life is so complicated since the invention of the wheel…but I digress. Earlier, several souls who weren’t too keen on Hades as a destination ganged up, revolted and escaped. Charon is searching for these malcontents. In the meantime the souls headed to Hades are stuck on the train (STUCK????, depending on the quality of the food and service, the train seems like a much better deal than Hades any day of the week). It turns out that Charon release your (dead?) wife IF YOU HELP HIM CAPTURE THE EVIL COUNT ORLOCK. In other words, Charon has the power to release your wife's soul to you, but he won’t do it unless you help him. That’s just NOT COOL!!!

C. It's a hidden object game and there are many items to “collect” that move the game forward. I think most gamers are looking for HOGs and/or mini-games when they buy a Hidden Object/Puzzle/Adventure. If it’s HOGs you seek, you’re not going to be happy: There are 10 total. They are of the list-pick variety. There are 20 mini-games/puzzles. The HOGs are uninspired. The mini-games never leave the train station. Here are some examples:

To be continued....

Edited on 02/09/2014 at 4:17:01 AM PST


 
sfr8rfan
Guppy
Guppy
196 Posts

Re:Haunted Train: Spirits of Charon

[Post New]by sfr8rfan on Feb 9, 14 4:14 AM
Continuation: Part Three of Four

1. 5 times you play a game in which you place tokens on the map that details your path. You’ll play this game on your way to France, Italy, Germany, Czechoslovakia and Transylvania. The tokens represent various aspects of the locale to which you're headed. On your way to France for example, the first set of tokens might include Croissant, Borscht, pasta and, Paella. OK. Guess. Yes! Croissant. The next set of tokens might be famous buildings. Place the Coliseum instead of the Louvre and it's back to the start for you. (I'll save you time: this is the first puzzle of the entire game, of course, and it's not the best. Nothing about it is fun. It's pedestrian).

2. Three times you’ll complete puzzles which require no more skill than a trip to your journal. There you’ll find out how to properly accessorize french characters on a poster; properly arrange the limbs of two mannequins, and later on, correctly position two armored knights. (The accessorizing one is the second puzzle of the game. It, too, is boring and requires no skill. The answers "are out there.)"

3. The final puzzle of the main game of Spirits of Charon asks you to align concentric circles with symbols on them in a way that will form a path to the center. Uhm, no.
As I mentioned, I purchased the Collector’s Edition and tried to access the bonus chapter. I couldn't retrieve any inventory nor could I access the monocle (a tool that allows you to "see" para-normal things the ordinary eye cannot grasp). This monocle is part of the main game as well. Without inventory or monocle it's really "game over.” So, the game was over for me.

To Be Continued…

 
sfr8rfan
Guppy
Guppy
196 Posts

Re:Haunted Train: Spirits of Charon

[Post New]by sfr8rfan on Feb 9, 14 4:15 AM
Continuation: Part Four of Four

TO BUY OR NOT TO BUY. TO CE OR SE.
Your first decision is whether you want the game at all. If the answer is yes, you need to decide on the CE or SE. If you buy it this weekend you’re going to get a good price no matter which one you buy. Too bad this is the featured game.
Here’s what I think about the Collector’s Edition: I don't know why there is one. I have no idea what the value proposition is. Maybe you can figure it out: This is what you get (and don't get) if you purchase it:

A. The “who cares” assortment of wallpaper, concept art and music that's re-playable.

B. A bonus Chapter that I couldn’t play. I can only tell you that the strategy guide says there are 8 HOGs and 5 mini-games/puzzles.

C. An ok strategy guide.

D. There are no morphing objects, collectibles or achievements in the main game of the CE (or in the bonus, I imagine).

While I think gamers make too big of a deal about these things, the reality is, if we are asked to pay more than twice the price of an SE for a CE, there better be some pretty good features for all that extra money.

I don't recommend this game as a CE for sure and if you're even contemplating buying it as an SE make well sure you use a coupon or it's on serious sale (like right now). This isn't a full game. I don't think you should pay full price.

Sorry Ladies and Gentlemen. IMO this game does not deserve a recommendation. I do recommend trying the hour-long trial (the one I didn't take advantage of).

Caveat Emptor.

 
tesamoine
Herring
Herring
387 Posts

Re:Haunted Train: Spirits of Charon

[Post New]by tesamoine on Feb 9, 14 7:29 AM
This is a nice creepy game... the kind I like. You are set to be married and someone kills your bride. Now to set her soul free from the train of Charon, you must find her (dead) attackers. The graphics and color are just delightful. The music is unobtrustive, I did not notice it. There are nice HOS, some interactive, some where you put things back into a scene. There are very few HOS which to me is a plus. To HO lovers, however, this may not be a good thing The puzzles are cute and original but very very simple. One puzzle you repeat quite a few times, and a few others you just copy the info out of your journal. The game itself is very very linear. Not much challenge here. You get a journal and a map. Also, you get a pair of "supernatural detector" glasses? I think the developer did a wonderful job with this story. I did not feel this game was worthy of CE status so I did not purchase at that point. Yes there is a strategy guide and a bonus chapter. That is it. No achievements, no extras of any sort. Unless a game has a wonderful bonus game, I tend to lean toward the SE as I am not a fan of wallpaper, etc. Today, being offered as a CE, I took another look at it. The game is easy. Very easy. The story is good. Not great. But decent. Some parts of the story are so far out in left field, they stop being believable. I'm on the fence with this one. I believe the games being offered as of late are lacking any sort of challenge. As always, try it for yourself.

 
BlackWaterRules
Shark
Shark
10,153 Posts

Re:Haunted Train: Spirits of Charon

[Post New]by BlackWaterRules on Feb 9, 14 4:47 PM
The storyline is excellent. Charon, who always transported the souls of the damned to Hades in a gondola via the River Styx has taken to transporting them via the Haunted Train. On what was to be the happiest day of your life, your wedding day, your beloved bride, Olivia is murdered by an evil Count and his minions. She and her soul are on the Haunted Train en route to eternal damnation. Can you help Charon to bring her killers to justice and save Olivia from a terrible fate?

The graphics in this game are beautiful, that includes the mini puzzles and the hidden object scenes. The mini puzzles are unusual, some time consuming, but all of them are a lot of fun. Hidden object scenes are clear, crisp, and clean, with a lot of interactivity. It is the straight list type, easy to know what you are looking for.

The soundtrack and voice overs are well done. It adds to this game being the total package.

There are three aids to assist you: a portfolio instead of a journal that has postcards of the places you have been, a magnifying monocle that can sense evil activity when you use it, and an interactive map, that really is interactive and a pleasure to use.

If you like beautifully crafted games, some scenes that look like they belong hanging in the Louvre, with sinister characters and eerie, creepy, and haunted special effects this game is for you.

Overall, a great game, and a lot more bang for your buck than the CE.


 
 
 
 
Go to: