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Sound FX



Broken Sword II: The Smoking Mirror

Game Review - by Jean-Paul Gagnon
This game looks and feels like a bad Disney Cartoon, one of the ones where they were trying to be culturally aware. It is a cinematically animated point and click fest. Players take on the role of George Stobbart, an American archeologist abroad. Players get the play style of Leisure Suit Larry and the sensibilities of Indiana Jones. Don't let this sound too appealing to you however. The game is lacking in many key areas.

The further adventures of George Stobbar is introduced in the original Broken Sword I suppose. George is an American archeologist in Paris at the beginning of the game spending time with his erstwhile Parisian girlfriend. His girlfriend is promptly kidnapped and players spend a majority of the game talking with non-player characters and searching through background for clues.

Photo-journalist Nico has been doing her best to expose a drug-smuggling ring, but inadvertently stumbles upon something far more sinister when she gains possession of a mysterious obsidian stone. Visiting the house of Mayan Archaeologist Professor Oubier in the hope of discovering more about the artifact, the pair are attacked. Nico is kidnapped, and George is left to be bitten by a deadly tarantula. This brush with death is the first of many for our hero, in a race against time to prevent a criminal mastermind from fulfilling an age-old prophecy to bring about the destruction of mankind. (This is from the introduction to the game, I'm not making this upů)

One player takes one memory block. The load time is prohibitively long even to load snippets of dialogue. If you put the CD in a CD player you can hear the end track, which is a weak sounding reggae song that totally fails to mesh with the taste of the game. You can't change the controller configurations or sound type from mono to stereo. You can however speed up the cursor movement, an option that if they had thought necessary to add you wonder why the controller isn't just faster to begin with. However you can view the credits from the loading screen, a nice pat on the back for the yahoos that developed this game. The game also gives you the option of formatting your memory card!?? I have no idea why anyone would ever need to do this.

If you have the game mouse for the PlayStation then this game might actually be easier. The slow pan rate of the controller icon and limited choices of actions make the game tedious almost before you start. If you like searching around fruitlessly for hidden items, traps, and doors then this is the game for you. The game plays a lot like other point and click opuses and I fail to see any innovations.

The game features animated characters and confusingly detailed backgrounds. The design is simplistic and appears to be aimed to appeal to a younger gaming audience. However the content of the game would seem to suggest a more mature audience in mind. One of the first items players pick up are a pair of nylon panties with a black heart emblazoned over the crotch. The main problem I had with the game was being able to distinguish necessary items and the background. It was only through blind scanning of the mouse controller icon that any difference between the items and ground.

Sound FX:
The sound effects are fairly weak. The sounds of the character animation are often overshadowed by the tones of the background music, which cuts in and out at odd times in the narrative. The voice actors for the dialogue scenes, there are a lot of these, everytime he picks something up he says something horribly un-witty about it, pick it up again and he will say the same thing, pick it up again and he will say the same thing, pick it up again and he will say the same thing. SORRY! If you like hearing bad European accents saying idiotic dialogue ad nausea please be my guest.

Some people may like this game. I don't know who, but statistically they wouldn't make type of game if it didn't have any audience. Right? I mean supposable their was a Broken Sword one and it was popular enough to warrant this game. I don't know I never saw it and even the worst movies still manage to make sequels. This game is not my cup of tea. The stereotypic way in which members of other cultures are portrayed just serves to sour any further hope this game may have had of appealing to me. Feel free to try it for yourself. Just don't say I didn't warn you.

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