Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper

Discussion in 'GBAtemp Reviews & Guides' started by SubliminalSegue, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. SubliminalSegue

    SubliminalSegue GBAtemp Fan

    Oct 12, 2010
    United States

    Release Date: May 26, 2009 (NA)
    Rated: T
    Platforms: PC and Xbox 360​

    SHvJR was a game that I avoided for quite a while since I honestly didn't think it was a good game. In fact, I warned people against it. But I decided to put it on my Gamefly to see how awesomely bad the game was. Jokes on me, though, cause I enjoyed it.

    The game starts off in September of 1888, through the eyes of the infamous and real-life serial killer Jack the Ripper. The game switches off between legendary fictional detective Sherlock Holmes and his brooding man-boy sidekick Dr. Watson. The game plays out where you put clues together between the murders of Jack the Ripper, and the bullcrap that the townfolk make you do for information.

    Most of the time, Holmes and Watson will be together, but there are points where the duo do their own investigating.

    The graphics are sub-par, the product of a low-budget game, really meant for a PC game, but this isn't the first SH game that Frogwares have made. This is at least, the most noticeable one, and the first one to hit the 360. With that being said, the graphics are last gen at best. This would normally turn a lot of people off. If you're patient, read on. The game has a few set locals, but you'll spend most of your time in Whitechapel, the location of the first and third murders. A nice chunk of the people in the game are based on their real counterparts, and at most, this game is really an education in what really happened over 120 years ago. At first, you're tasked in picking up a few clues here and there, and then the story takes a weird turn where you're just getting some neat little puzzles out of the way. Nothing hard, but puzzle fans, especially ones of the Professor Layton variety, will feel right at home here.

    Sound is also a trouble, really. The game is almost devoid of it, save the violin song in Holmes' apartment. This gives the game almost an eerie silence, making the game lonely and unsaturated with emotion. Sound effects like opening doors and footsteps and whatnot are all there, but the game's low budget clearly proves they didn't have a lot of resources. I personally never found this to be a problem, I usually played my own music on my iPod. The game does have quite the script, though, with a full variety of voice actors, and albeit not the greatest acting, it's miles better than having to read subtitles and rely on imagination.

    When deducting on certain murders, you'll come to conclusions based on clues.


    I liked that you literally went to the crime scenes and did your own investigation, complete with putting together a time line of what happened and Holmes' own brand of deduction, and the logic of said deductions not only make Holmes' sound like a brilliant analyst, (he really seemed like he had it figured out before Jack the Ripper even started killing) but Watson as a prattling, little child. With every "Elementary", I knew Holmes' was on top of his game, and at least one of us knew what he was doing.

    The game also has a nifty little fast-travel system, which helps cause the loading screens aren't terrible, but walking can get tedious.


    The game does drone on, making you fulfill a certain quest to finish another one. For example, you may need info about a certain person, but before he/she will divulge, you've got to do something for them. This usually isn't a hassle, but it reminds me of Zelda: Link's Awakening, where there was this huge quest of do something for him, which does something for him, and so on and so forth. Figures, greedy London. Another problem is that unless you listen to what's going on, it's easy to get lost. The poor "mission" structure doesn't really have any way of telling you where to go. Luckily, you can read through the dialogue, but this is needless backtracking. There's only a few places you can go, so talking to everyone in the game sometimes is you're only option.

    Some of the deductions are painfully easy and can be solved by trial and error, or even guessing. There is a lack of a difficulty setting, so no harder puzzles for those who aced the game. The game really is...elementary. Some puzzles take some logic, but most are just trial and error.

    You'll gain clues from the dead body which helps you identify who Jack the Ripper really is.

    BOTTOM LINE: I beat the game in a day and a half, and got 1000 gamerscore points in it. If you're playing on the 360, there are 4 missable achievements, but the rest of it is completion. After that, there isn't any reason to replay it. This isn't a buy by any means, unless you're a collector, as there are numerous other games on the PC. The game ends well, and offers a look at who Jack the Ripper was meant to be, perhaps, although Jack the Ripper's identity was never really revealed. A satisfying end to a mediocre game, that should be at least looked at for people who loved the lore of Sherlock Holmes, and are intrigued of the murders of the Ripper.

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