Friday, 17 September 2010

Game Of The Week: Last Window: The Secret Of Cape West

Last Window: The Secret of Cape West has finally arrived on the Nintendo DS. Mini Gamers first discovered that this game was in production in August this year was and we have waited with baited breath to see what the end result would be... Needless to say, we have not been disappointed.

Last Window takes place one year after the events of Hotel Dusk, with main protagonist Kyle Hyde once again on the search for answers. This time the ex-police detective finds himself in an old apartment building called Cape West - a mysterious place with links to Hyde's own past, but does it contain the vital clues that he needs to solve his father's murder?

The main audio and visual style of Last Window is instantly recognisable as the styles used in Hotel Dusk. Gameplay is quite similar too. The DS is still held like a book and the main events unfold like the plot of a mystery novel. However, a few minor features have been added in order to improve the interactivity of the game.

For example, players can now use the special Ignore feature when searching for clues or asking for information, which allows them to filter out any parts of the plot that they are not interested in. It also makes finding the correct clues slightly more random than before.

The In-Game Novel feature has been updated and improved from 'Kyle's Notebook' reminder sections in the last game. This function now each section of the game is converted to a novel-like text when completed and really does read like an actual story.

Furthermore, use of the Ignore function means that each decision the player makes will effect how the eventual story is played out, and in turn, this will effect how the final sections of the In-Game Novel will read. This function alone increases the replay value of this game by one hundred percent.

Of course, a game sequel means a whole host of  new characters as well as some familiar ones. Last Window certainly introduces us to some very interesting people.

Firstly, we are introduced to Kyle Hyde's parents. We discover that Hyde's father was a criminal who was mysteriously murdered twenty-five years ago - just as he planned to leave a life of crime behind forever. It is up to Kyle to solve what really happened to his father all those years ago and find the murderer.

Another mysterious character is Rex Foster, a  man who is interested in Cape West Apartment. However, he seems to know more than he says and there is evidence to suggest that he is also investigating events at Cape West.

Those of you who have already played the first game will also find a few familiar faces including Mila Evans, the young girl that Hyde first encountered at the Hotel.

However, although this game features a few old characters, it is a separate game to Hotel Dusk, rather than a continuation of it. Thus, this game is perfect for new gamers too.

Last Window is well-structured and the plot is equally as intriguing as its predecessor. The new features do help to make the game varied but the Ignore function in particular can lead to some very early 'Game Over' screens if not used carefully. Overall though, this is a really clever title and worthy of attention. Mini Gamers rating: 10/10.

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