WordPress database error: [Table 'db97824_wp.wp_comments' doesn't exist]
DESC wp_comments

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /nfs/c06/h06/mnt/97824/domains/alexanderlucard.com/html/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/briansthreadedcomments.php on line 96

WordPress database error: [Table 'db97824_wp.wp_comments' doesn't exist]

WordPress database error: [Table 'db97824_wp.wp_comments' doesn't exist]
DESC wp_comments

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /nfs/c06/h06/mnt/97824/domains/alexanderlucard.com/html/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/briansthreadedcomments.php on line 105

Review #455

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /nfs/c06/h06/mnt/97824/domains/alexanderlucard.com/html/wordpress/wp-includes/functions-formatting.php on line 83

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' doesn't exist]
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' doesn't exist]
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)
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.

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /nfs/c06/h06/mnt/97824/domains/alexanderlucard.com/html/wordpress/wp-content/themes/default/footer.php(19) : eval()'d code on line 1
zoloft dose consigliata cialis e donazione sangue danazol suspension augmentin eruzione cutanea clopidogrel effetti indesiderati chi ha provato alli orlistat acquisto viagra online italia generico urispas renagel effetti collaterali levitra orosolubile da 10mg madonna di cipro cipro immobiliare srl diflucan 200 indicazioni augmentin non conservato in frigorifero lasix sciroppo torrinomedica farmacologia del bactrim voli roma larnaca cipro software calcolo dosaggio coumadin co diovan generikum quali sono dosi del viagra voltaren rapid nz programmi per dosaggio coumadin tenormin effet secondaire augmentin tempo di assorbimento triamcinolone a cold medicine trazodone cytotec per abortire come usarlo quanto costa il levitra 5 mg tifo cipro voltaren supposte bugiardino come smettere il seroquel co-diovan generic name preco pomada differin controindicazioni al viagra medicamento diltiazem 60 mg viagra va prescritto dal medico sostituto naturali del viagra alimenti da evitare per chi prende il coumadin metoprolol succinat-ct 47 5mg retardtabletten bula medicamento trileptal cura ormonale con femara accutane aloe vera gel prevacid solutab cost viagra sube presion arterial strattera atomoxetina 10 mg escitalopram generic pharmacy ampicillin vatacil propranolol cyp inhibition farmaci generici viagra cialis lamisil at tinea versicolor lioresal indicatii nuova opel allegra viagra essai gratuit trazodone potentiate posso dare l augmentin al gatto perioral dermatitis lamisil serve ricetta per ventolin principio attivo viagra generico cialis confezione da 28 su cosa agisce il cialis cymbalta dipendenza diflucan mal di testa viagra naturale funziona augmentin pediatrico 400 mg abilify non compliance posologia claritin comprimido singulair effetti collaterali motilium farmaco a cosa serve costo xenical generico allegra pediátrico 6 mg bula abilify somministrazione voltaren 75 mg posologia cialis generico preço farmacia minocin posologia acne effet secondaire micardis 80 mg claritin non medicinal ingredients generico amoxil bd diltiazem iv drip to po conversion prospecto medicamento motilium ranitidine principio attivo tinidazole cvs tegretol laboratory monitoring escitalopram in migraine depo provera procedure risperdal oral to consta seroquel e fibrillazione atriale ringo story un poquito de viagra finasteride effetti sulla prostata meclizine+vitamin b6 ramipril e furosemide voltaren dolo 12 5 mg beipackzettel escitalopram titration gliclazide metformin indications strattera slow cognitive tempo risperdal 3mg filmtabletten pizzeria la bufala allegra nexium esomeprazolo effetti collaterali aprire conto cipro propecia scadenza brevetto allegra cagnara alme riduzione seroquel augmentin suspension pediatrica 125mg norvasc 10 mg a cosa serve allopurinol silbernitrat come si chiama l equivalente del viagra augmentin antibiotico streptococco triamcinolone clotrimazole dose giusta di levitra mobic farmaco posologia dove si trova geograficamente cipro uguale al viagra acquistare xenical online provera pill to stop period procardia gerd cosa serve medicinale diflucan cozaar testosterone sinonimi viagra clostridium difficile prilosec il viagra aumenta la libido risperidone ocd augmentation gichtanfall trotz allopurinol tinea versicolor lamisil voltaren sovradosaggio nystatin triamcinolone diaper rash sostituire zyprexa cipro uti alcohol farmaci antivirali aciclovir dipyridamole intermediates provera sen pergotime toprol dizziness i cardiopatici possono usare il viagra allegra e celestamine colchicine emedicine cit costa levitra metoprolol succ er 50 allegra d pediatrico bula le meridien limassol spa resort cipro tegretol bambini effetti collaterali voltaren vs percocet ciprofloxacin giardia lamblia remedio propranolol da sono prima moglie di tronchetti provera chi prende cymbalta tegretol missed period diflucan interazione pillola atarax idrossizina cloridrato clomid acquisto on line cipro pediatric dosing triamcinolone acetonide ointment lichen sclerosus cymbalta non medicinal ingredients tratament onicomicoza lamisil olanzapine raim albania cipro 2012 affitto monolocale via cipro roma terremoto cipro 2013 generic albenza viagra tempi di assunzione cipro in bicicletta pompa al baclofen riabilitazione intolleranza al bactrim prolattina alta dostinex e gravidanza vermox per il cane da cipro avanzando veleggia crestor classe pharmacologique exelon cerotto indicazioni colchicine chondrocalcinosis effetti collaterali kamagra oral jelly 100 mg voltaren rapid österreich allegra posologia infantil il meteo.it cipro voli per cipro da torino viagra x le donne tomar viagra con gripe galega officinalis metformin allegra caltagirone email hotel di lusso cipro e.coli ampicillin sensitive risperdal note aifa santorini cipro bactrim iv posologia ventolin remedio natural resistenza ad augmentin modo de usar viagra generico acquistare finpecia online triamcinolone acetonide nedir zofran cost generic sinemet ed effetti collaterali procardia and prenatal vitamins quando prendere zoloft viagra 100 mg farmacia panvel strattera ilaç fiyat cipro uti dosage 500 mg overdose di seroquel voltaren gel migräne cerco viagra per donne medicament prednisolone 20 mg cozaar dizziness feldene farmacocinetica cerati usaba viagra methylprednisolone vs triamcinolone acetonide prezzo arcoxia 60 atarax 25 mg compresse rivestite con film triamcinolone acetonide vs clobetasol propionate situazione politica attuale a cipro bactrim sospensione orale triamcinolone nasal spray generic costo levitra 20 mg triamcinolone acetonide cream usp monograph voltaren retard bcfi voltaren falithrom benzac crema opinioni presa elettrica cipro propecia oltre i 40 anni stefano provera canottaggio diltiazem clorhidrato contraindicaciones differin gel 0.3 precio colombia documenti necessari per cipro perioral dermatitis minocycline clopidogrel aspirina infarto miocardio voltaren per cistite augmentin per cistite in allattamento celexa trazodone alcohol cialis morte improvvisa emedicine viagra che cos'è il viagra...a cosa serve cialis va preso a stomaco pieno costo famvir 250 mg voltaren fiale effetti indesiderati dulcolax picosulfato de sodio allegra pediatrico 60ml preço nitrofurantoin macro to prevent uti antibiotics for diverticulitis cipro alesse long period nome cientifico do voltaren aldactone 100 mg effetti collaterali dove e come acquistare viagra clomid dolori ovaie differin medicamento situazione bancaria di cipro per il benzac ci vuole la ricetta trazodone dosage dementia voltaren gel 7 augmentin doppia scatola voltaren max dla dzieci prezzi in farmacia del viagra giudizi sul cialis intossicazione methotrexate sitagliptin metformin medizin cos'è il naltrexone buzzi stanza allegra dulcolax bisacodyl posologie voltaren guatemala voltaren 50 mg compresse prezzo differenze tra zoloft e prozac alimenti sconsigliati con assunzione di coumadin voltaren emulgel precio argentina lipitor non generic voltaren gürtelrose augmentin dimenticato di prendere sintomi astinenza zoloft prometrium pill color propranolol sevrage alcool depo provera colombia metoclopramide in under 20s dose eccessiva lasix indocin vs vicodin domperidone palliative care viagra nach prostataoperation propranolol wzf 40 mg cena cipro scrittori prometrium 200 mg to induce period voltaren y lumbalgia voltaren orudis allegra cene colchicine gloriosa superba vytorin compresse 10 mg ranolazine metformin meclizine contents tegretol 200 mg compresse rilascio modificato ogni quanto si prende il cialis per lo zovirax serve la ricetta is omnicef a quinolone camping cipro nord pastiglia sostitutiva coumadin film venditore viagra brolene vs chloramphenicol linha allegra triamcinolone 0.1 otc cymbalta und impotenz voltaren suppository pediatric dose antibiotici compatibili con il coumadin serophene utrogestan zovirax sciroppo prezzo piatti tipici del cipro hydroquinone fluocinolone acetonide tretinoin piatti tipici cipro wikipedia cialis sottobanco cialis 5 mg dopo quanto tempo fa effetto allegra d pdf zoloft allucinazioni clomid tre pastiglie mizzoni artane propranolol depressief cialis generico acquisto in farmacia voltaren mod smerter spiagge naturiste cipro differenza tra clomid e gonal-f cialis in italia senza ricetta viagra ricetta obbligatoria interazione coumadin e farmaci offerte cipro aprile banche italiane come cipro posologia ventolin 100 fibrinogeno alto coumadin depression medikamente cymbalta que contiene risperdal vendita cialis generico italia voltaren spermien ci vuole il passaporto per andare a cipro ricerca su cipro contrattura muscoril o voltaren metoprolol succinate 200 mg er orlistat generico comprar voli per cipro nicosia aciclovir pastile cat costa trazodone 20 mg lamictal mot bipolar diving center cipro nord iontophoresis voltaren gel rilatine concerta strattera champagne jacquart cuvee allegra 2004 zovirax per condilomi effetti di cialis perche si usa il clomid proventil ventolin inhaler trattamento aldara crema viagra rischio infarto dulcolax laxative pregnant a cosa serve il lioresal ventolin aerosol dosato augmentin antibiotico da 1 grammo causa crisi di cipro off depo provera no period precio viagra generico farmacias principio activo del voltaren gel allegra primavera intossicazione da plavix cialis per cosa si usa trazodone ncbi priligy e levitra insieme viagra risco infarto viagra x nitrato italiani che vivono a cipro el rellano viagra escitalopram e dieta tronchetti provera facebook metronidazole allergy tinidazole triamcinolone acetonide cream perrigo usp 0.1 acquistare alli orlistat on line differin gel benzac villaggi cipro nord differenza tra zoloft e cipralex ventolin spray con distanziatore roma cipro ore di volo lasix diuretico foglietto illustrativo voltaren studio cologno monzese voltaren fitil fiyat per il vermox ci vuole la ricetta voltaren resinat vergleich voltaren dispers cialis one day funziona cipro fuori dalla black list aspirin oder voltaren levitra orosolubile principio attivo uso del voltaren aerosol cipro antibiotic chlamydia contraindicatii arcoxia 90 mg voltaren gel recall 2013 viagra in madrid farmacia online vendita viagra triamcinolone acetonide razor bumps bipolare störung seroquel prolong medicamento trandate a cosa serve il medicinale cardura come si calcola il dosaggio di augmentin cialis controindicazioni ed effetti collaterali a cosa serve il ventolin masse molaire propranolol voltaren gel morbus crohn metoclopramide qt interval viagra indien strafe voli cipro catania dove ordinare viagra online finasteride e cancro alla prostata metoprolol tartrato presentacion voltaren psoriasis cipro bicicletta come si prende coumadin risperdal e demenza principio ativo do viagra generico lasix funzione renale escitalopram and vision ampicillin im administration neonates costo tegretol 200 metoprolol unam posso provare il viagra chiste loro viagra via cipro 104 roma prednisolone ophthalmic suspension usp levitra femminile viramune scheda interazione farmaci con coumadin film la vedova allegra con lana turner aciclovir genfar unguento al 5 lioresal 25 scheda tecnica lamisil pret farmacie prezzo di voltaren emulgel alternativa al voltaren bi combivent voltaren dispers nedir levitra con aspirina clomid test di gravidanza differenze tra prednisone e prednisolone augmentin precauzioni betamethasone dipropionate vs triamcinolone prednisone diabete voltaren tarm viagra generico in farmacia costo cipro dose salmonella ventolin ile dawek voltaren y licor requip 4 mg rilascio prolungato costo del viagra en colombia medicine procardia xl harga risperdal consta aciclovir uso preventivo buy voltaren australia triamcinolone face rash allopurinol 100 zentiva metoprolol bei copd voltaren dolo comprimé strattera plus caffeine allegra suspension dosis pediatrica voltaren dolo liquid 25 tassazione depositi bancari cipro pastile anti fumat zyban diovan da tosse buy voltaren uk diltiazem fibrillazione atriale cialis e giovani clomid + ovitrelle + utrogestan forzest generic cialis musica classica allegra famosa teatro verdi firenze la vedova allegra medicamento valtrex 500 mg escitalopram citalopram differenza l amore ai tempi del viagra pizzeria allegra brigata nome generico de anafranil tegretol bugiardino lisinopril corax nitrofurantoin uti in pregnancy minocin denti gialli viagra e sport misoprostol fallido cipro for uti prevention tratamento cistite pyridium voltaren gel epocrates ventolin aerosol tiene corticoide antabuse effetti con alcool fluticasone vs triamcinolone cream natart allegra crib set clomid e gonfiore addominale trazodone e gravidanza simvastatin contra crestor voltaren da 100 pericardite aigue colchicine voltaren entorse cheville augmentin dolore denti pillola simile viagra come assumere minocin dove si trova viagra protonix po to iv conversion cipro cartina stradale foto della pillola viagra ci cipro 35 occasion usare voltaren in allattamento cialis farmaco a cosa serve il cialis fa bene alla circolazione risperdal hyponatremia effetti collaterali al cialis dolo-voltaren diclofenac cialis egiziano depo provera and primolut lasix per crisi ipertensiva cialis-generico-en-espana.blogspot.com risperdal soluzione posologia posologie motilium lingual comprar viagra chile cialis generico fiable