Time Hollow Review

Discussion in 'GBAtemp Reviews & Guides' started by Harsky, Oct 2, 2008.

Oct 2, 2008

Time Hollow Review by Harsky at 3:23 AM (3,517 Views / 0 Likes) 22 replies

  1. Harsky
    OP

    Member Harsky Madmin

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    [​IMG]

    Point and click adventure games was probably one of the genre that seems so suited for the DS even during the first wave of games such as Phoenix Wright and Trace Memory. Now Konami brought out their own point and click adventure game. Time Hollow was originally released in Japan in March this year and wasn't long before it finally made it's way to the west but is it even worth your time playing this?

    Story

    Ethan Kairos parents went missing when he was a child. One day on his birthday he was given a Hollow Pen which allows him to open a portal to the past to put the wrongs of the past right.

    Kinda cool I thought when I heard about this game when it was first announced until I played it. The story itself just plodded along fairly slow. First chapter was the usual tutorials and how to use the pen. Then came the next chapter which still never got the story going. It isn't until probably near the end that somehow the story kicks into a different gear but by this point it's pointless. The game is over by then. Another thing is the fact that every character seems so accepting about the fact that there is somehow a way to open portals into the past which, even though it is about time traveling portals, never seems that believable.

    Maybe I'm being unfair that I'm comparing the story aspect for this with the Ace Attorney series but that's probably because it set the bar in my opinion for story telling in a point and click game.

    Overall, so so story. Just not that gripping.

    Graphics

    The style is much like the hundreds of visual novel games in Japan (ah who am I kidding. Hentai games more like) where the characters are very detailed and so is the background. There are also moments when you can see FMV during the game but everything is compressed that it seems fairly blocky when watching it which doesn't surprise me since I wasn't expecting DVD quality. Overall I give the graphics a thumbs up.

    Sound

    I wouldn't say that the game has a massive selection of music. In fact, I would probably say that you can count the number of background music without even using all your fingers. Also, it's not the fact that the music is terrible, it's more the fact that if you don't find a way to progress in the game, you will be hearing the same music over, and over, and over again and it does happen. A lot. In fact, I'm really sure that they only have a selection of 5 music which they play over. Overall, decent first time listening to it. Not after the 10th time.

    Gameplay

    As mentioned before, this is a point and click game. Point at an item, location, character to get clues, conversations etc. Unfortunately in the first chapter, when the main character discovers that a portal had opened in his room, I thought the reasonable thing would be to click and check the actual portal. Nothing. It was after several minutes of random clicking about that I discovered that to actually progress to the next scene... I had to click on the carpet. Yes. The main character is more concerned about how his carpet changed to a different color than a HUGE FREAKIN' PORTAL IN HIS ROOM. This is an example of how you'll spend most of the game clicking about because the thing you have to click on is either too small or out of sight until you have to move the background picture to see it.

    Anyways, the game is split into 2 parts. The information gathering for something like an accident and the actual use of the hollow pen to travel to the past to do general things like putting out fires, putting memos in a locker room or trying to prevent people getting into accidents as seen in a flashback from the main character.

    Just like the Phoenix Wright games, this game also suffers from constant walking about to different locations and the game not giving you an "A to B" route but instead making you go through 2 or more scenaries just to go to the room you want to go. It only adds a few seconds but the fact is that it feels like an eternity when you want to get to your next location as soon as possible.

    Lifespan

    This is a very short game for a point and click adventure. I played about an hour of it a day and it was over after about a week. This is also game you would be very hard pressed to replay again so the replay value is pretty much nil.

    Conclusion

    Time Hollow could've been a good game but is let down by fairly forgettable characters, short lifespan and below average story. A rental at most but not for one to purchase at full price.

    6.0/10
     


  2. fatfrank

    Member fatfrank GBAtemp Regular

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    Wow, i'm flabbergasted by the poor quality of the review. I personally liked the game but it's not why i didin't like your review... it's just so scattered, badly written and erroneous that you're misleading people. gbatempers, i'll try and write a review myself so you can get a second opinion.
     
  3. ojsinnerz.

    Member ojsinnerz. Damned

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    I actually agree with some of the things mentioned here (The review). After play about 3 chapters, I actually agree... Though my opinion may change when I finish the game...

    IMO, it's a good review, but it's a hit or a miss kind of game, or so I think.
     
  4. Diablo1123

    Member Diablo1123 Newcomer

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    Yep, I liked it alot, and thought the story was too short [​IMG]
    Same with my friend I recommended it too.
     
  5. Mei-o

    Member Mei-o Generic Asian Kid™

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    What does buy mean?


    Anyway, it IS fairly short, I finished it in less than half a day.
     
  6. ojsinnerz.

    Member ojsinnerz. Damned

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    Buy? I think it's some sort of a dance you do while your game is downloading. Yea, that's the only thing that could be it....
     
  7. Shichibukai

    Member Shichibukai GBAtemp Regular

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    Does something change the 2nd time you play? like hotel dusk
     
  8. Killerbon

    Newcomer Killerbon Member

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    [​IMG]

    This review= [​IMG]

    IMO the story is great, graphics are awesome and the music is good (well there's that annoying "scary"-music or what should I call it).
    I really enjoyed the game, except I didn't like chapter 5 that much when you had to rescue your friends over and over again.
    And I agree with the carpet thing at the start. I constantly tried to click on the portal and I was like WTF, what's wrong, can't you fcking see what's "something weird about this room"?? Well, I clicked on everything, until Ethan thought that it's not his room and so on.
     
  9. Mei-o

    Member Mei-o Generic Asian Kid™

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    I don't think so, you can try out the alternate ending though, I laughed at how easy it can be achieved.
     
  10. jesterscourt

    Member jesterscourt Not Brad.

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    I think you should check your card... I didn't have any troubles with the FMV, I'm curious if anyone else did... The game was short, the characters and story was kinda cliche, and you could guess some of the things before they happened, but it didn't stop me from playing. I'd say it was better than Trace Memory, below Hotel Dusk by a lot. Man, CINQ go make another adventure game NAO!
     
  11. osirisFIVE

    Member osirisFIVE GBAtemp Fan

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    Okay, I've just finished the game and I must say I would've given it higher.

    I mean it may be because I'm not a Point-and-click adventure veteran.
    But this DS game was sorta fulfilling. Kinda dull on the twists and shit, but really, a DS game that I've completely finished in a long time. (Partially due to it's linearity and short gameplay duration)

    IMO, I'd prefer more of these games where there's only one objective (which is to complete the story).
    I honestly didn't put the DS down till I was done with the game.

    7.5 (Just above what an average game should get. Mildly deep storyline, Manga-like 2D visuals, Music seeped into the context, Point-and-click games usually do require tedious clicking to get from point A to point B, generally what the Nintendo DS was made for)

    EDIT: But then again, it could be because I feel all female anime characters are eerily hot. Especially that Kori girl.
     
  12. raulpica

    Supervisor raulpica With your drill, thrust to the sky!

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    I actually enjoyed it a LOT.

    The story gets better after the 2nd-3rd Chapter and the last chapters are pretty good, story-wise.

    It reminds me a lot of Shadow of Memories/Destiny, always from Konami. But that's pretty obvious, seeing that it's from the same author [​IMG]

    A must, for point-and-click lovers [​IMG]
     
  13. da_head

    Member da_head A dying dream..

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    i felt the game was pretty decent, though u failed to mention how little player interaction there is. don't u hate it when the plot unfolds by itself, and ur just like, so wat am i for?
     
  14. Killerbon

    Newcomer Killerbon Member

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    Well, in this game, the story is most important part of the game. And in my opinion, this game really managed well at that part.

    10/10 for the story:
    The story was amazing, couldn't let my DS down.

    8/10 for gameplay:
    Gameplay was little boring at chapter 5, but overall it was nice. The whole "click everything on the room to continue" was just stupid though.

    6/10 for lasting appeal:
    Once you have finished it, you probably wont come back for it (though I did, couldn't believe it was over already [​IMG])

    9½/10 for the atmosphere/feel of the game:
    I enjoyed the atmosphere, really liked the graphics, characters and so on. Anime cutscenes were great, and the voice dub was good overall (IMO, sox's voice is wayy better in english, just compare it to the japanese voice [​IMG])

    OVERALL: 9

    It probably isn't as good as Ace attorney series, but the game is quite a lot different from them.
    The atmosphere is great, just like in the AA-series, though the music isn't that good, decent atleast.
     
  15. ganesh2

    Newcomer ganesh2 Member

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    I actually liked it.

    But it was a little short.

    I expected the story to go much further, like meeting a brotherhood who got some timepen themselves, ethan getting old because of his repeated use of the pen...

    That's why , IMO this game is worth a 7.0.
     
  16. Aleatz

    Newcomer Aleatz Advanced Member

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    I enjoyed this game, and agreed with your review. My thoughts don't vary much on your points.
    • The game losses because it was too short with not enough interactive options. This factor alone is enough for people not to consider getting it. But if they see it for rental, then I'd highly recommend it.
    • The only musical highlight was the theme song. Except for that there weren't enough tracks to avoid repetition. Soundtrack itself was pretty solid. Sound effects were quite nice (like the Chronos chimes XD).
    • Graphics overall were great. But basically what you'd expect. The anime cut-scenes were nice and well spaced.
    • The story was the best part. It made me want to keep playing it till the end, even though it only lasted several hours. Some minor, unimportant plot holes, but the characters all gelled nicely and the whole thing just kept me enthralled.
     
  17. GSR

    Newcomer GSR Member

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    Personally, I loved this game. It's true that it's too short and almost totally linear, but it's still a fun romp and the story is well worth the price of purchase (or bandwidth of download, if you will.)

    I'd give it a solid 8/10.
     
  18. pasc

    Member pasc GBATemps official GBA Freak

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    I love this game ! Even thought I completed it it will remain on my card for along time (if not forever [​IMG] ) if not for me wanting to figure everything out, talking to everyone then atleast for the great Intro (and Credits)...
    Warning: Spoilers inside!
     
  19. MystikEkoez

    Member MystikEkoez GBAtemp Fan

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    I'd have to fully agree with your review. Considering it took me 5 hours on a Sunday morning to fully complete, the developers weren't really thinking about lifespan nor replay value. The graphics were certainly appealing but the repeating of the music when you open a hole makes my ears bleed. There was one particular part of the game I found interesting and that's when everyone is accusing you of being the murderer. Other than that, this game is just another one to put up on the shelves.
     
  20. tiger1807

    Newcomer tiger1807 Member

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    good game (i would never buy it though), a bit underrated review, but i must agree on one little thing:

    ITS ULTIMATELY SHORT!!!!!! [​IMG]
     

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