Sunday, May 2, 2010

Import Review: Clock Tower First Fear

Clock Tower is one of the big horror game series mostly famous for their release on the original PlayStation. Unknown to many the first Clock Tower game was released in 1995 to the SNES console. Did it live up to it's follow-ups on the PlayStation console? Let's find out.
Developed by Human Entertainment

Published by Human Entertainment
Platforms: PlayStation, SNES, Wonderswan, PC-CDROM

(Reviewed on SNES)
You're playing as Jennifer Simpson, an ordinary orphaned girl that newly got adopted together with her three friends Lotte, Ann and Laura. They get to their new home a huge mansion known as the “Clock Tower”. While being left alone for a long time in the main hall, Jennifer goes to search for Ms Mary, the caretaker of the orphanage that took them there. But upon returning to the main hall, all of her friends is gone and Jennifer finds herself alone to fight against the psychotic Bobby who seems to play a little game; hunting Jennifer and her friends down one by one.
The Story of Clock Tower is pretty simple. If you go for the S – C ending you'll get enough story to be satisfied. My first play trough of this game took me less than an hour winch is really short. It should be mentioned that though I managed to beat the game in under an hour, I did not explore the whole mansion and did not activate all scenes or items.
The controls are also really simple. You can only move Jennifer forwards or backwards (Left or right on the screen). There's one button for the inventory, another for examining things/pick things up/ or running if tapped and the panic button. It can be a little annoying that you must tap a button to run, but after a while you get used to it. The panic button adds up to the mood of the game, repeatedly patting a button to escape Bobby or other dangers keeps your pulse up. There's also a picture of Jennifer in the left corner of the screen; that's your health. bar If the battleground of the picture is Blue Jennifer is calm, yellow startled and so on.
There's no adjustable difficulty level in Clock Tower, but it's not necessary.
Clock Tower have no less than 9 different endings, ranked S – H. Also ending S and A can have alternative versions.
The graphics are really neat for their time. The environment is big and detailed, the same goes for the characters. There's not much music in clock tower, but the music that's there is really adding to the atmosphere. There are a few “sound effects” but they're average, there's one for Jennifer's scream (that you will for sure hear a lot in the first play trough) and a few others.
To sum up, Clock Tower is a really good game. It's atmosphere gets you sucked in and it's pretty scary.

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