I’m currently involved with a Gamerscore Challenge on http://360voice.gamerdna.com/. My first gamerscore challenge (if I remember correctly) was back in 2009-2010.  I must admit – coming to the store on my days or evenings off to play elementary, terrible games that just brought out our inner gamer aggression.  It wasn’t active aggression,  just passive. You could see it in our faces! The pain! The agony! TMNT – you suck.

Anyway, the challenge I’m involved with right now is called The Buffet Challenge.  You score 1,000 gamerscore points in 18 different genres of video games. There are at least 26 different genres to choose from as well.  Here are the following genres I could choose from:

  • Action shooter
  • Action/Adventure
  • Family
  • Fighting
  • Hack and Slash
  • Historic Shooter
  • JRPG
  • Karaoke/Rhythm
  • Modern Shooter
  • Oddball
  • Party
  • Point and Click
  • Puzzle
  • Race
  • Retro
  • Rockstar
  • Sandbox
  • Sci-Fi Shooter
  • Social
  • Sports
  • Strategy
  • Survival Horror
  • Top Gun
  • Wrestling
  • WRPG

So far, I’m playing a Point and Click game, meaning that you usually play in a first person view and you point….and click…on items to progress through the game.  An example of this game is CSI: Fatal Conspiracy.  The one I’m working on is Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper.

 

Nothing like cuttin' up prostitutes and figuring out who did it!

I was relatively excited about this game when I heard that BoZack , my boss, ordered it for the store.  When I was a senior in high school,  I chose Jack the Ripper as a subject for an English paper.  That paper earned me a $500 scholarship for my freshman year at college!  Onward to the video gameage: I was nerding out about the history I know of Jack the Ripper and the entertainment I receive from reading Sherlock Holmes mysteries.  Knowing that both are woven into a video game made my hopes rise a bit higher than I had intended.

I started this before the gamerscore competition started just to get an idea on how the game is going to play. I received approximately 100 gamerscore from the game, so I need to play another point and click game for 100 points to complete the genre.  As stated previously, my hopes were pretty high for this game.  The first chapter starts you out in Sherlock Holmes apartment, and you’re playing as Watson.  If you hit the X button,  you can toggle from first person to third person view. In my opinion, third person is about useless in this game. I don’t think I used it much, if at all.

As I kept playing,  I noticed all of these green magnifying glasses popping up when I got closer to an item.  When I clicked on one, it automatically gave me a description of the item.  I also noticed when you pull the left trigger, all of the items with green magnifying glasses popped up. What. Just. Happened? I do have to admit that I don’t play point and click games that often, but is it really supposed to be that easy? I was expecting it to be a bit more challenging. Then I realized that I was using this for a gamerscore competition, and I shouldn’t complain about complexity in a game that I want to be within reasonable time. After exploring Holmes’s apartment, an 80G achievement popped up! Looks like I’m on the road to a good outlook on this competition!

The history of the game (on Jack’s side) is pretty accurate. The names, locations, ages, dates, and manner of death were all correct based on what I could recall.

By golly, I think this is Elizabeth Stride!

After some tedious routine examinations of items, the real fun began. I started investigating the murder of Polly Nichols, Jack the Rippers’ first known/publicized victim.  This is where it can become a bit gory. The reenactments of the murders were pretty fun. There’s a chalk outline of the body (which, if you really want to know, is a myth and never really happened. The chalk outline could potentially ruin evidence around the crime scene) that indicates where the murder took place. When you click on the chalk outline, you’re given an image of a woman that has been murdered. There’s also a magnifying glass you click on in order to zoom in on the victim. The zoom-in isn’t too graphic, but it’s still enough to possibly make one queezy, especially the last examination of Katherine Eddowes.

Once the body has been fully examined, you’re pulled into the deduction and sometimes the timeline board. The timeline board tells you what time to place the figure, so it’s not challenging at all. You will have to pay attention to the deduction board, but you’ll know when you get it right since the clip boards on the far right turn green.  The deduction board is really just a matter of paying attention to dialogue and having some reading comprehension.

Deduction board.

Timeline Board

The cases are captivating as well as the logic Holmes throws into the case with his cunning demeanor. The puzzles were relatively easy, and there is no difficulty setting on the game.  The characters you come across are quite entertaining, like Danny…the uh, woman with ill repute who despises cats.

Meet Danny. She's allergic to cats and throws rocks at them.

The graphics and voice acting of the game are sub par, but if you can get past that and the fact that the game isn’t super challenging, then this game really isn’t half bad. The history is relatively accurate, even the potential suspects for Jack the Ripper are mentioned. Granted, the identity of Jack the Ripper is still a mystery, but there are tons of theorists out there that have attempted to explain their thought of who it potentially could be.

There was one part I was oooing and aahhhing over. Holmes and Watson discover some body trafficking was occurring with a certain group of individuals.  Long story short, you MacGyver your way into the second story of this seemingly abandoned house (there’s a lot of MacGyver-ing in this game). You come across a body lying on the table.

Oh, dear Watson. What do we have here? Elementary!

Turns out someone is attempting to preserve a body to look exactly like a picture you find in that room. The equipment lying on the table, the make up on the cart next to the table and the chemicals used to embalm/preserve individuals is exactly what they used in the 1880’s.  This made me extremely happy.  For those of you that don’t know, I’m ~this~ close to becoming a licensed mortician and funeral home director. I love it when games get history correct!

As you continue with the game, you begin to build more suspects. One of them happens to be Jacob Levy. I won’t ruin anything for you, but if you’re curious, you should google his name and see what pops up.  I really don’t want to give any of the game away if you plan on playing it. The ending sequence occurs when you talk to your prime suspect, and it  is quite eery. The suspect displays  his violent acts and then laughs maniacally at the end.

Personally, I really liked the story. It was intriguing with historically correct facts. Frogwares didn’t do too bad developing this game, but they also know what they’re doing since they’re primary focus is on games that feature Sherlock Holmes.  Creating a game with a fictional character (Holmes) to a realistic murderer (Jack the Ripper) was definitely interesting. The game is also an outlet to foresee a possible theory of who Jack the Ripper was during that dreadful era in Whitechapel.

I’m extremely glad BoZack decided to purchase this game for the store as it is one of my favorites. Not my ultimate favorite, but it will still be one that I enjoyed playing.  This just proves that BoZack buys and chooses some pretty awesome games for the store, and he’s a pretty awesome boss 🙂