WordPress database error: [Table './db97824_wp/wp_comments' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed]
DESC wp_comments


Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /nfs/c06/h02/mnt/97824/domains/alexanderlucard.com/html/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/briansthreadedcomments.php on line 96

WordPress database error: [Table './db97824_wp/wp_comments' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed]
ALTER TABLE wp_comments ADD COLUMN comment_reply_ID INT NOT NULL DEFAULT 0;

WordPress database error: [Table './db97824_wp/wp_comments' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed]
DESC wp_comments


Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /nfs/c06/h02/mnt/97824/domains/alexanderlucard.com/html/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/briansthreadedcomments.php on line 105

Review #455

Shadows On the Vatican – Act I: Greed
Developer:10th Art Studios
Publisher: Adventure Productions
Genre: Adventure
Release Date: 02/13/2012

Although the North America has companies like Double Fine and Telltale Games, the vast majority of adventure games are being developed and published across the Atlantic in Europe. Case in point, the game we are looking at today, Shadows On the Vatican is a four part episodic adventure gaming coming out of Italy. I did an interview with several of the staff working on the game back in January and I have to admit, I’ve been really looking forward to this game. It’s one of the few I knew I wanted to review if I had the opportunity and so here we are. So does the first episode, Greed, having me chomping at the bit for more…or have I seen enough?

Let’s Review

1. Story

The main character in James Murphy, a 38 year old ex-priest who now works as a doctor. He left the priesthood in 1996 due to an incident in Africa that left his mentor dead. At the start of Greed he is back in Italy visiting a friend who is still a priest. Unfortunately his friend is acting very mysterious, wanting to meet immediately, but then bailing at the last second and requesting that James come to where he is staying instead. When James arrives, his friend has suffered a grievous injury, Before he falls into a coma he tells James to be careful and that something deeply disturbing is afoot.

James finds himself investigating a shadowy conspiracy - the tip of which we only begin to see in Act I. You’ll follow James throughout Italy as he makes a possible love interest, shadows seedy gangsters and goes to old, almost forgotten churches. The entire story is very real world, so don’t look for any fantastical or supernatural happenings. The plot climax of what is going on might be a little too mundane for some, but I really liked it and things definitely felt like a nice thriller/legal novel turned into a video game.

My only real complaint is that the last scene of Act I suddenly shifts you to a new character without warning. Said character is pretty unlikeable and shallow, at least for now, and it was odd to move to her without any sort of setup or warning. All in all though, I really enjoyed the story and I’m curious to see where the dangling plot threads and the foreshadowing will lead us in Act II.

Story Rating: 7/10

2. Graphics

Shadows On the Vatican uses the Wintermute engine, much like last year’s Alpha Polaris. Unfortunately the game doesn’t look nearly as good as that one. The in-game character models are about a decade behind what most gamers are used to and they’re a bit awkward looking, especially when someone is sitting. They seem to double in weight and width. Background look nice though. They have a lot of detail compared to the average adventure game, but there’s still nothing here that will really wow you.

Cut scenes are done motion comic style with art provided by Daniela Di Matteo. I like her art a lot and it really helps make the game stand out. The cut scenes are by far the best visuals in the game. My only complaint is that everyone in the game is supposed to be American Caucasian or Italian but their eyes all look asian. When you get a close up, it’s very odd. Especially with James’ best friend who I constantly thought was Chinese save for his VERY Italian name. I can’t say I was impressed by the visuals in Shadows on the Vatican and I hope the character models improve in following chapters, but what’s here will sate the average adventure game fan.

Graphics Rating: 5/10

3. Sound

The aural aspects of Shadows On the Vatican are by far the best in the game. Both the voice acting and soundtrack blew me away. The soundtrack is one of the best I’ve heard in a video game this year and it’s definitely my front runner for when we give out or end of year audio award. I honestly could have just sat there and listened to the music in this game. It’s that good. Unfortunately, my favorite song is only on the menu screen but wow is it amazing.

The voice acting too is really well done. The characters come to life primarily through the voice acting and it really makes you care about the characters. Sylvia’s voice actress is the one weak link, but then she was hit by a car when you hear her so the fact she sounds out of it and monotone isn’t something I’ll count against the game – yet. Now when she’s better in following acts…

Between the stellar voice acting and the exceptionally impressive score, Shadows On the Vatican is well worth experiencing just to listen to it, even if adventure games aren’t your forte. This game really shows that an indie company can go toe-to-toe with the multi-billion dollar publishers out there in quality…if not marketing.

Sound Rating: 10/10

4. Control and Gameplay

Shadows On the Vatican plays like most adventure games. You left click on an item to interact with it or pick up, you left click on a person to talk with them and you left click on an exit to leave the area. Right clicking on something gets you a bit of information and the space bar brings up all possible hot spots in the location. Shift+M brings up a map for fast travel. It’s all fairly standard, easy to figure out and can beplayed by just about anyone. Like most adventure games, Shadows on the Vatican is extremely user friendly and at no point did I run into any glitches, hotspot detection issues or the like.

Most of the puzzles involve putting objects together to get past an obstacle or proceed past a point. There are a few others, all of which are pretty original and outside the box for this genre. One involves hanging a drape up just right so that you can find a secret location. Another involves tailing someone to their secret lair. I really enjoyed these puzzles and they were a nice change from the usual “combine object A and object B to make object C” or “use object X on background piece or person Y.” The puzzles here show that the designers really wanted Shadows on the Vatican to stand out from the pack and here’s hoping they are able to keep this fresh feeling going through all four episodes.

Control and Gameplay Rating: 8/10

5. Replayability

Alas, this is the one week part of the game. Greed is only two to three hours long and it’s exceptionally linear. As such there’s really no reason to replay the game unless you want to refresh your memory of what happened in the beginning by the time the next (or later) episodes come out. This is very much a “one and done” game and although there are a lot of very positive things to be said about the game, it’s not something you’ll really find yourself coming back to.

Replayability Rating: 3/10

6. Balance

Act I: Greed sets a really strong precedent for the next three episodes of Shadows on the Vatican and it will be interesting to see if the others can follow suit. You have some of the typical object based puzzles that are in all adventure games along with a few unusual but very fun puzzles to guide you along. The only time I really got tripped up was at the beginning when I was trying to sterilize a needle. I kept trying to use my peroxide and it wouldn’t let me. Finally I figured out I needed to heat the needle instead. Other than that it was generally the game not allowing you to do some actions (even if they were the correct one to take) unless you did something else first. That could be a bit frustrating, but it’s part of the genre and the very linear nature of some games like this.

Overall, Shadows On the Vatican is a really great example of what draws people to point and click style games in the first place. The puzzles are challenging but not frustrating and the storyline is strong enough to keep one interested even if it moves at a slower paces that other video game genres. I was very happy with the entire package here.

Balance Rating: 7/10

7. Originality

Although Shadows On the Vatican plays like nearly every other adventure game out there, the story is a nice change of pace from the over the top plots we tend to get in video games nowadays. It’s mundane but in an interesting way. It also boasts some new fun puzzles I haven’t seen in other adventure games and it’s just all around fun. Act I: Greed doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel, but it does feel fresher than a lot of other adventure games that have gone almost purely hidden object for puzzles.

Originality Rating: 5.5/10

8. Addictiveness

I beat Shadows On the Vatican in one straight play through. Now granted, as this is an episodic title rather than a full length game, it only took me about two hours to beat it, but I was hooked from beginning to end. I’ve been really burned out on video games in general this year, but Shadows On the Vatican reminded me just why I love this genre so much. It might not be much to look at but with a quality story, amazing soundtrack and fun puzzles, Shadows On the Vatican is a game that any adventure fan will enjoy. I know that I’m going to be anxiously awaiting each episode as they come out.

Addictiveness Rating: 7/10

9. Appeal Factor

Contrary to popular belief, adventure games do still have a decent sized audience – it’s just they tend to be more casual gamers and not the ones that frequently visit the major video game websites and/or forums. This is because those sites don’t really cover adventure games (Boo!) Still, as Shadows on the Vatican is a digital download only game that really isn’t marketed that heavily, it means a lot of gamers are going to miss it entirely. It also doesn’t help that you can only get the game from the Zodiac store, which I had honestly never heard of until I started investigating this game a few months ago. To download the game you have to use the Zodiac client. I’m REALLY not a fan of having to have a client to play a game (Hi Steam!) but at least you don’t need to be connected online constantly to play this.

If you are willing to download a client just to play the game, you’ll be happy to hear that Shadows On the Vatican is a hair under eight dollars per episode. That means it will be roughly $32 for the entire game, which isn’t a bad price at all. The problem is going to be getting gamers to know about this game and then track it down. It’s a wonderful little adventure title but the genre isn’t for everyone, some religious folks might be offended that the main character is an ex-priest and it might be a little too mundane of a storyline for some, but I really enjoyed it. Now let’s hope others will as well.

Appeal Factor Rating: 5.5/10

10. Miscellaneous

With a price tag of roughly eight dollars, Shadows On the Vatican – Act I: Greed is an exceptional deal. You get a well made two to four hour game with an incredible soundtrack and a gripping plot. The game is priced similar to a lot of other casual games like those that you can find on Big Fish Games or similar sites. Although the game is only available as a digital download in one specific spot, it’s well worth picking up. I know I’ll be seeing the series through to the end. If the other three chapters are anything like this one, I think Shadows On the Vatican will have this year’s “Best Adventure Game” award all sewn up.

Miscellaneous Rating: 8/10

The Scores:
Story: 7
Graphics: 5
Sound: 10
Control and Gameplay: 8
Replayability: 3
Balance: 7
Originality: 5.5
Addictiveness: 7
Appeal Factor: 5.5
Miscellaneous: 8
Total Score: 66
FINAL SCORE: 6.5 (EnjoyableGame!)

Short Attention Span Summary
Shadows On the Vatican – Act I: Greed is a wonderful opening to this four part episodic point and click adventure game. For less than eight dollars you’re getting a gripping real world style detective story that will take between two and four hours to complete. The voice acting and soundtrack is amongst the best I’ve heard in a long time – which is all the more impressive as this game is made by a small Italian company most of you reading this have never heard of. Although you’ll need to download the Zodiac client to experience the game, it doesn’t need to be online while you play (Think the GOG.Com installer). It’s well worth tracking this down to experience, and just think – there are three more episodes to go after this one.

WordPress database error: [Table './db97824_wp/wp_comments' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed]
SELECT * FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_post_ID = '1954' AND comment_approved = '1' ORDER BY comment_date

WordPress database error: [Table './db97824_wp/wp_comments' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed]
SELECT * FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_post_ID = '1954' AND comment_approved = '1' ORDER BY comment_date

RSS feed | Trackback URI

Comments »

No comments yet.

Name (required)
E-mail (required - never shown publicly)
URI
Your Comment (smaller size | larger size)
You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

can you take doxycycline for upper respiratory infection metformin before stress test can clomid make you have multiples zithromax package insert south africa what is recommended dose of cialis cialis and penile sensitivity doxycycline 50 mg for rosacea buy doxycycline 100mg capsules does metformin cause moodiness lexapro with pristiq provigil that explain how to get a doctor to write a prescription or how to get the drug without one maxolon or motilium when ovulation occur after clomid diflucan skin rash chances of acne recurrence after accutane flagyl and food to avoid get flagyl no prescription can cipro be used for stomach infections cialis white pill does phenergan help stomach pain nolvadex stunt growth green viagra health prednisone and skin redness clomid at age 45 lexapro or zoloft for anxiety and depression depressie clomid about viagra how it works taking molly and zoloft lisinopril asthma ciprofloxacin antibiotics and alcohol flagyl sola combining saw palmetto and propecia synthroid and calcium supplement cytotec but still pregnant can you take diazepam and lexapro disulfiram reaction alcohol flagyl ventolin gluten free metformin in ovarian cancer biaxin and zoloft birth control or metformin for pcos lisinopril for kidney failure pain after cytotec nexium zoloft interaction cd 15 no lh surge clomid can metformin make your blood sugar drop lexapro increased metabolism doxycycline side effects tinnitus can lexapro be crushed why does cialis have bathtubs in their commercials doxycycline samen met alcohol prednisone dose for dogs with allergies prednisolone for pediatrics when to take nolvadex morning or night metformin can make you gain weight mrsa treatment with cipro stopping accutane a week early viagra and lisinopril prednisolone use for how much time before sex should you take cialis mixing zoloft and remeron ersatz metformin esophageal ulceration doxycycline chlamydia and doxycycline hyclate does tricare cover provigil what are the side effects when stopping zoloft temps on clomid treating premature ejaculation viagra first night taking lexapro ovulation j10 sous clomid accutane magnesium when taking ciprofloxacin can you drink original kamagra jelly what are the side effects if you stop taking lisinopril stopping low dose synthroid cytotec bad side effects lasix elderly dose seroquel and lisinopril kamagra 74p is it ok to take benadryl and phenergan together glass of wine on cipro what is maximum daily dose of lexapro viagra with dapoxetine buy online how long does it take to ejaculate with viagra zoloft indications contraindications mixing doxycycline hyclate with alcohol can you give a dog prednisone and tramadol can remeron be taken with lexapro superdrol clomid or nolva glass of wine and doxycycline can you take prednisone while on antibiotics is zoloft good for ocd why does prednisone make me pee so much is viagra safe for conception ventolin inhaler pret synthroid dose in mg nolva vs clomid on cycle cipro keflex interaction clomid and chromosomal abnormalities taking tums and cipro cutting a cialis in half how to flush ciprofloxacin out of the body low ovarian reserve clomid natural viagra medicine can cialis make you deaf zoloft and subutex withdrawal symptoms of lexapro itching zoloft peak plasma level prednisone for chronic asthma cephalexin mrl doxazosin with lisinopril switching from cytomel to synthroid does phenergan cause drowsiness low back pain and prednisone pfizer viagra patent expiration canada methylprednisolone different than prednisone naltrexone zoloft interaction clomid and medroxyprogesterone will taking valtrex hurt my baby can cephalexin be mixed with alcohol glucophage e metformina long term antibiotics doxycycline estrace cream for wrinkles lasix and lupus lisinopril depletes lexapro therapeutic classification demerol and phenergan mixed together viagra side effects fertility nice guidelines accutane doxycycline tylenol valtrex in nursing mothers taking amaryl and metformin together side effects after coming off of prednisone can i eat eggs with cipro effects of long term use of prednisone metformin and muscle loss doxycycline hyclate malaria treatment what sleep aid can i take with zoloft levitra 10 mg directions doxycycline balding flagyl tinidazole estrace and weight loss viagra gel accutane models ampicillin polyflex can clomid work with high prolactin what if i accidentally take too much synthroid being sick on doxycycline uses of cytotec medicine maximum dosage for hydrochlorothiazide ventolin inhaler prescription assistance diflucan and norco doxycycline hyclate veterinary use does propecia cause infertility zoloft and milk supply can infants take diflucan clomid implantation calculator will viagra work for diabetes blood in stool after taking zithromax estrace tablets ivf metformin 500 mg once a day for pcos handling propecia while pregnant lasix and metformin interactions can u drink whilst taking clomid mechanism of metformin in weight loss thief tied up and fed viagra recommended dosage for clomid clomid and late cycle difference between lisinopril and perindopril can propecia cause dry eyes can doxycycline cause sleeplessness accutane blood test and weed metformin for weight loss side effects viagra miami house mouse in viagra box viagra tablets price in india albendazole for pregnancy lisinopril and low blood platelets propecia in france flagyl dose for pid synthroid burning skin does ciprofloxacin affect ortho tri cyclen lo could prednisone delay your period is kamagra as effective as viagra cialis doktor nuclear medicine renal scan with lasix cpt lexapro frequent urination effects of accutane on the skin difference between viagra levitra and cialis does metformin er help weight loss canine cephalexin 250 mg what happens if you overdose on prednisone clomid tablets are for zoloft 200 mg breastfeeding tamoxifen lexapro interaction can you take cipro while breastfeeding 200 mg clomid and metformin rosacea doxycycline how long buy metformin online 20 mg of lisinopril when does dryness start on accutane what to take before accutane how to get cytotec in bahrain accutane cost with blue cross insurance dosage of zithromax for std how long does it take for prednisone side effects to stop lexapro side effects glaucoma schedule for prednisone taper cialis chemotherapy doxycycline for acne with or without food walgreens price for viagra lethal dose of lisinopril phenergan for sleeping problems does buspar work on serotonin cialis 10mg how long does it last can zoloft affect pregnancy test cipro 500 bid what is the most effective dose of metformin how to determine if you need viagra valtrex treatment oral herpes can i take milk with synthroid can zithromax treat a sinus infection clomid cycle alone can ciprofloxacin be taken with acyclovir side effects zoloft 25 mg foods work like viagra prednisone and triamcinolone in dogs success with metformin for weight loss tapering from lexapro to zoloft doxycycline cure acne how long take for synthroid to work are methylprednisolone and prednisone the same phenergan drowsiness how long viagra when take adverse reactions viagra zoloft and breast augmentation glibenclamide with metformin brands in india side effects stopping metformin kamagra 2010 strattera psychotropic side effect of ciprofloxacin iv insurance won't cover propecia what the best viagra to buy blurry vision and prednisone levitra gold prednisone 20mg online can i take lisinopril with zoloft one dose of zithromax for chlamydia if i stop taking metformin will my hair grow back breastfeeding and prednisone side effects ampicillin concentration on agar plates cephalexin and psoriasis kamagra price bangkok prednisone help with opiate withdrawal viagra and testicular cancer accidental extra dose of synthroid can you get propecia online how long does it take for prednisone to work in asthma hotels near viagra triangle pregnant after taking clomid how to make powerful viagra at home using fruits mantesh *thc* clomid and nolva online no side effects of propecia how to convert prednisone to prednisolone forum kamagra oral jelly how fast will valtrex work on cold sores zoloft breastfeeding milk supply prednisolone solution side effects cephalexin 500 mg prices how to treat headache after viagra on clomid and having cramps propecia trying get pregnant msds of cephalexin prednisone withdrawal side effects how long can pulmicort and ventolin be mixed dosage of cephalexin for bladder infection compare price viagra cialis levitra viagra effects without ed when to take lexapro morning or evening can you take amoxicillin while on clomid cialis pills information ld50 hydrochlorothiazide cephalexin 500mg for dogs safe for humans bmi to get clomid taking prednisone with adderall can smokers take viagra lexapro depression relapse valtrex and birth control prednisone and lexapro accutane breakout first month prednisone 10mg 5ml suspension at home insemination with clomid is it illegal to cross viagra from mexico does zoloft cause facial hair prednisone effect on the heart diflucan while pregnant prescription drug buspar can viagra make you pass out viagra ilford zoloft dot physical valtrex urine odor can metformin cause low progesterone alternative drugs to viagra lisinopril conversion to enalapril side effects from estrace pills how long should a phenergan suppository stay in can a walk in clinic prescribe accutane viagra without script australia prednisone dose copd exacerbation ulcerative colitis prednisolone not working how fast can metformin work for pcos ciprofloxacin out system what is your accutane dosage cipro offices in polokwane taking methylprednisolone and ibuprofen blogs about metformin doxycycline tingling legs estrace high blood pressure buy generic levitra vardenafil diflucan pill and monistat ciprofloxacin with fluconazole flagyl unguent prospect can u snort doxycycline doxycycline for staph and strep arginine viagra effect the diuretic furosemide lasix causes accutane every other day itchy skin with accutane lisinopril accord 20 mg bijsluiter dapoxetine buy malaysia fluconazole lexapro side effects when you stop taking metformin taking viagra while on adderall antidepressant stronger than lexapro clomid pct after test e accutane shelf life cephalexin puppy dosage effect of ventolin in pregnancy does cephalexin help mrsa my mom took clomid clomid cause shorter period when will cephalexin start working helpt clomid took my first clomid pill ciprofloxacin uputstvo swelling eyelid ciprofloxacin what was viagra originally designed for zoloft vs weed conversion between prednisone and prednisolone synthroid stomach pain does ob gyn prescribe clomid ventolin vs singulair ciprofloxacin ibs flagyl comp hiiva lexapro and cipro interaction metformin and myo inositol lexapro 3 years can i take ibuprofen while taking metformin diflucan dosing pediatric propecia available nhs metformin and hypoglycemia pcos lisinopril taper off side effect of weaning off lexapro how to keep face clear after accutane what does accutane cost prednisolone tablets asthma provigil getting high lexapro help focus can you take cipro if you are pregnant synthroid prevacid ibuprofen and doxycycline interaction light period after clomid metformin and toprol prednisone use in transplant patients clomid side effects night sweats what is the difference between triamterene hctz or hydrochlorothiazide where to buy cephalexin online can strattera cause ulcers lexapro reviews anxiety disorder lexapro raise blood pressure doxycycline for post nasal drip insurance won't cover accutane synthroid omega 3 interaction propecia results temples can you drink beer while on ciprofloxacin mirtazapine compared to zoloft can i take zoloft and xanax at the same time can zithromax delay your period albendazole where to buy if allergic to keflex can i take cipro ciprofloxacin coverage group b strep does lexapro treat schizophrenia amount of clomid for pct different uses for viagra green m&ms natures viagra taking clomid with high fsh flagyl 200mg tablets fluconazole after flagyl can lasix lower your heart rate normal dose of propecia cephalexin and lortab 150 mg clomid no ovulation paxil zoloft anxiety does valtrex cause insomnia phenergan reglan nhs policy on viagra ampicillin sodium iv infusion ampicillin sodium salt vs ampicillin prednisolone sod 15mg 5ml what is it for does clomid help fertility side effects lexapro vs zoloft does metformin increase fsh levels hair removal methods while on accutane using clomid after failed ivf typical prednisone dosage for ulcerative colitis how do you spell phenergan accutane nose blackheads zoloft epocrates clomid hot flashes good sign side effects of ic prednisone 20 mg taking synthroid and zoloft together normal dose prednisone bronchitis is flagyl good for diverticulitis ingredients of viagra natural can propecia grow facial hair alternatives prednisone dogs prednisone taken with orange juice cialis manual permanent chapped lips accutane prednisone side effects management steps for clomid doxycycline throwing up blood can cipro expire clomid mimic pregnancy symptoms accutane patent strattera adderall difference what is phenergan given for metformin and pregnancy safety lexapro work time how many metformin can i take to lose weight doxycycline monohydrate 150 mg capsule ampicillin and ceftriaxone old ventolin urine output on lasix is propecia good or bad what is a typical dose of zoloft clomid uses for infertility does doxycycline cause dry lips prednisone intolerance zoloft dosage taper what will happen if i quit taking my synthroid cytotec uterusruptur does cialis lower heart rate bupropion zoloft interaction how does prednisone work for acne doxycycline and medical abortion can i take mucinex dm with zithromax breastfeeding and taking flagyl i'm taking clomid when will i ovulate effects of accutane on teeth chantix and doxycycline how to take buspar to get high is it ok to take synthroid while breastfeeding accutane potassium doxycycline chest pain relief low dose naltrexone and synthroid common side effects to cipro antabuse depot bactrim and zithromax lisinopril high creatinine what is the medicine valtrex for phenergan other uses should i take lisinopril in morning or night can i take benadryl while taking flagyl does zithromax cause mouth ulcers how to buy kamagra in india taking zaroxolyn with lasix cephalexin b lactam zoloft starting dose for anxiety does milk affect synthroid ciprofloxacin dosing for skin infection doxycycline chlamydia homme zoloft and fish oil capsules buspar heartburn ran out of synthroid symptoms cialis 5 mg mi 20 mg mi diflucan for babies thrush lexapro and baby aspirin first time you take viagra how to convince doctor to prescribe provigil lexapro and mitral valve prolapse cost of viagra and cialis lisinopril hctz and sun exposure ampicillin powder stability zoloft and advil cold and sinus cephalexin dose iv does hydrochlorothiazide help lower blood pressure flagyl for c diff dosage clomid twins cd 5 9 1 mg generic propecia lisinopril adipex