Another weekend gone, another chance to continue my creative endeavors wasted. Maybe “wasted” isn’t the right word, since I spent most of the past two days sitting in front of a plot outline and script trying to flesh it into full prose; the spirit is willing, the brain is weak. I managed to write… two paragraphs. Great. Maybe next weekend. After that I think I’ll finally hit that point where determination simply becomes denial and giving up is the less contemptible of the two options.
This week, though, I think it’s more important to concern ourselves with the small matter of Hotel Dusk, a game which Nintendo hasn’t done a damn thing to promote because, apparently, they’re boneheaded ninnies who don’t really care if their products fail. I guess 20 years of franchises that sell millions by name and reputation alone makes you a bit complacent.
Fortunately, the game’s picked up a bit of interest ever since word leaked that one of my EGM compatriots gave it the vaunted 10/10 rating. Personally, I gave it an 8 for the poorly-written review that will be appearing at 1UP soon, but it doesn’t really matter — as with so many of the products Nintendo has been shipping for the past year or two, Hotel Dusk is one of those instances where the old-fashioned game review system breaks down. Dusk is as much a novel as a videogame, an adventure game that doesn’t conform to the usual Western concept of the term. I guess it doesn’t conform to the Japanese concept, either, since this style of game — that is, largely dialogue-oriented with only occasional touches of “gameplay” — is pretty common over there. But those usually have a, uh, climax that involves getting a teenage girl out of her French maid costume, or something similar.
I feel like Dusk has the potential to be just as important to the DS’s fortunes as something like Brain Age; it’s a well-written detective novel masquerading as a game, something that could really appeal to the “The Cat Who Improbably Solved a Crime Through Seemingly Anthropomorphic Behavior” fan base. It turns the DS into something like an e-book, except you have to use a simplified FPS interface to move from situation to situation and solve dopey puzzles every once in a while. The game is set in 1979, and its target audience is really people who were contemporaneously Kyle Hyde’s age.
You kids will probably enjoy it, too. So, you know, buy it. It’s good, it’s different, it’s satisfying. (And way better than Trace Memory, so don’t let the developer connection put you off.)
Also, feel free to hop into the relevant message board thread and create some stupid photoshops of the image above. It’s fun! Well, it’s trite, anyway. On the Internet, that’s about the same thing.
Edit: My review is online. Sorry, I was unable to resist the juicy “Hotel Detective” reference. It was bobbing there, ripe and eager to be plucked, and I am but a poor Tantalus in the vineyard of nerdy allusions.