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Author Topic: Touch Detective Impressions (DS)  (Read 2825 times)
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Dante Rising
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« on: October 26, 2006, 07:18:54 PM »

I thought I'd post a few impressions of this new DS game now that I've completed the first investigation.

I love the graphics style, as it is very reminiscent of the golden years of PC adventure gaming. Everything is beautifully designed with vibrant colors and wonderful attention to detail. The cast of characters is nicely modeled and indeed strange. There is a definite Tim Burton feel to the characters, and many of them have some rather entertaining things to say.

I'm happy to report that the touch screen interaction works flawlessly, and navigation around the environments is very simple. The stylus is used for everything.

Now, the biggest complaint reviewers have had with the game is the rather obtuse puzzles. If the first investigation is an indicator of difficulty, those people with experience playing PC adventure games will have little problem with most of the puzzles. It is true that some are vague, but the number of items in your inventory is rather small, and there are limited areas in which you travel. So, even if you are forced to click on everything and try to combine various items, the number of cominations is not as staggering as those seen in certain PC games. In fact, I would  say that most experienced adventure game enthusiasts will blow through 90% of the puzzles. (for everyone else be warned that there is currently no walkthrough available on the Internet)

Obviously, the best part about the game are the characters. They truly are a motley bunch, and each has something rather humorous or ominous to say. Most are not fleshed out, but it is always entertaining to meet someone new. This is definitely the first game I've ever played where a skeleton was concerned about my eating habits. As always, the Atlus translation is very professionally done. I really wish I could be more attached to the characters, but conversations and background details are limited, and the story moves along at a brisk pace.

Overall, I think adventure fans will be pleased with this purchase, especially since it comes in at only $29.99. The sweet spot for most people, however, is probably $20.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2006, 07:20:47 PM by Dante Rising » Logged
depward
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« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2006, 07:20:26 PM »

Hott, thanks, I'm thinking of picking this up because of the art style, Atlus, and how I might get some enjoyment from it.
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Dante Rising
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« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2006, 07:24:08 PM »

Yeah, I bought Touch Detective because I enjoy adventure games, and I love to support Atlus. They bring out some games that would otherwise probably never see an American release due to their niche status.

I still feel that Pheonix Wright had more personality than Touch Detective, but I'm enjoying this title better than Trace Memory.
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« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2006, 07:46:06 PM »

I've been playing this one for review, and I find it a total drag, especially when compared to other adventure titles. The puzzles aren't so much obtuse but stupid, there is no indicator of who you need or think you need to talk to once you hit the next point along the path of investigation, so you're forced to go and talk to every character over and over again while trying to find the right one. It's a design flaw and it brings down a game with interesting characters and neat art direction.
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Dante Rising
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« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2006, 07:47:29 PM »

Do the later investigations get better or worse?
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« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2006, 10:54:32 PM »

Quote from: Dante Rising on October 26, 2006, 07:24:08 PM

I still feel that Pheonix Wright had more personality than Touch Detective, but I'm enjoying this title better than Trace Memory.

i'll wait for a used copy, then - anything less than phoenix wright calibre would only disappoint me (as trace memory, tho okay, definitely did)...
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« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2006, 02:44:52 AM »

I'm interested in picking this up, and become more so everytime I see a review that says they liked Trace Memory better.
Personally, I thought Trace Memory was god-awful.
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depward
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« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2006, 06:34:26 AM »

I am an Atlus whore... so I picked it up today.  Impressions whenever I can find the time to play... which might be in a long time   icon_biggrin
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« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2006, 11:46:58 PM »

Oh WOW!
I borrowed this from work today to check it out while we still have a copy.
Watched the opening cinematic and was instantly hooked.
Played the tutorial and I think I'm in love.
I'll be paying for this tomorrow.

I was really leery about the graphic style being too over the top, but it looks marvelous.
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Dante Rising
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« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2006, 02:57:13 AM »

I'm still enjoying it, but WOW, there are definitely one or two head-scratching puzzles. Be absolutely sure you pay attention to those little comments she makes on the top screen. Her thoughts give hints on what to do next, and they are easily missed while you focus on the bottom screen.

It is important to realize that part of the game takes place in a dream state, and much like real dreams eveything is not logical during these play sequences.
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« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2006, 03:31:13 AM »

Quote from: Dante Rising on October 28, 2006, 02:57:13 AM

I'm still enjoying it, but WOW, there are definitely one or two head-scratching puzzles. Be absolutely sure you pay attention to those little comments she makes on the top screen. Her thoughts give hints on what to do next, and they are easily missed while you focus on the bottom screen.

It is important to realize that part of the game takes place in a dream state, and much like real dreams eveything is not logical during these play sequences.

Yeah, I keep finding myself tapping the screen, only to realize I just missed something she was thinking.
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« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2006, 03:48:15 PM »

Quote from: Dante Rising on October 28, 2006, 02:57:13 AM

Be absolutely sure you pay attention to those little comments she makes on the top screen. Her thoughts give hints on what to do next, and they are easily missed while you focus on the bottom screen.

This is clearly something that some of the reviewers have missed on. What to do with the butterfly is a perfect example.
I'll admit I'm slightly stuck at the moment, but not frustratingly so, and the puzzles so far have made a lot more sense
than I'd been led to believe, if a bit offbeat.
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Dante Rising
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« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2006, 05:02:33 PM »

Can I give you a hand? I just finished the 2nd case.
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« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2006, 12:56:08 PM »

Quote from: Dante Rising on October 29, 2006, 05:02:33 PM

Can I give you a hand? I just finished the 2nd case.

Thanks, but I want to give it another go, maybe this morning. Got caught up playing Children of Mana yesterday (and watching the Jags take it to the Eagles).
If I can't figure out what I'm doing, I'll let you know slywink
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« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2006, 03:30:11 PM »

Quote from: Misguided on October 28, 2006, 03:31:13 AM

Quote from: Dante Rising on October 28, 2006, 02:57:13 AM

I'm still enjoying it, but WOW, there are definitely one or two head-scratching puzzles. Be absolutely sure you pay attention to those little comments she makes on the top screen. Her thoughts give hints on what to do next, and they are easily missed while you focus on the bottom screen.

It is important to realize that part of the game takes place in a dream state, and much like real dreams eveything is not logical during these play sequences.

Yeah, I keep finding myself tapping the screen, only to realize I just missed something she was thinking.

It's easy to do because frequently what she says is meaningless (though often amusing).

I'm really loving this game so far, by the way.  I love the style of it.  And I'm a huge fan of adventure games.  All the complaints about having to go talk to everybody and click on everything...have they never played an adventure game before?  That's what you do.  And, unless there are new and more numerous areas in future cases, it's not like there are that many places to go...
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Bullwinkle
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« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2006, 03:31:40 PM »

Started a second post to draw attention to this WALKTHROUGH:

http://forums.nintendo.com/nintendo/board/message?board.id=ds&message.id=2652304

Resist the urge!  But there it is, just in case.
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« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2006, 03:32:45 PM »

Finished the first case. I needed to go to sleep again and didn't realize it was time.

Some comments on the game:
The presentation is first class. Not just the art direction overall, but the quality of the animation, the fantastic yet subtle ways the upper screen is used, and the MUSIC. Some great music in games lately (Contact and Children of Mana) but Touch Detective takes the cake (LOL @ his own unintentional joke). If you've got this game and there's any way at all to play it over some external speakers, do it! Otherwise, there's a lot of subtle stuff you'll never hear. I also really like that you can listen to all of the themes from the main menu. Why don't more games do that?

Commentary on the difficulty of the first episode's puzzles:
If you're interested in buying this game, but haven't because the reviews all say how obscure the puzzles are, then let me say the reviewers are full of hot air (oh dear, I did it again). There are clues to most of the puzzles, particularly in the form of Mackenzie's thoughts. There's a particular puzzle in the first episode involving an air pump that has been mentioned in several reviews as being rather obtuse. I think it's the reviewers that are being obtuse.

For one thing, the puzzle in question takes place in the dream world; everything need not be logical. More importantly, the item in question is introduced right at the time it is needed, at a point where it is fairly easy to figure out what goal needs to be accomplished and which character you must go through to achieve that goal. You don't need to have played dozens of adventure games to realize that trying to use something you just found might be a goood idea, even if you aren't sure why. This is perfectly acceptable design in this kind of game, IMO.

Admittedly, I've only played through one of the 4 cases, but so far I'd sat Touch Detective compares favorably to Phoenix Wright. If you really enjoyed PW, you'll like this as well. The only things really missing from PW (and I've got 3 more cases to go so it's early) are some dramatic plot twists mid case and a sense of attachment to the characters. I thought the story in PW did a great job of getting you to like/dislike the various characters, feel sorry for them, etc. So far, I'm not feeling any sort of emotional attachments here.
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« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2006, 03:36:03 PM »

Quote from: Bullwinkle on October 30, 2006, 03:30:11 PM

And I'm a huge fan of adventure games.  All the complaints about having to go talk to everybody and click on everything...have they never played an adventure game before?  That's what you do. 

EXACTLY! If people don't like the style of game, that's fine--it isn't for everyone. But it drives me crazy when people criticize a game for being what it set out to be. It's like criticizing an FPS because all these weirdos kept shooting at you and you couldn't enjoy the scenery.
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« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2006, 12:54:56 PM »

Quote from: Misguided on October 30, 2006, 03:36:03 PM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on October 30, 2006, 03:30:11 PM

And I'm a huge fan of adventure games.  All the complaints about having to go talk to everybody and click on everything...have they never played an adventure game before?  That's what you do. 

EXACTLY! If people don't like the style of game, that's fine--it isn't for everyone. But it drives me crazy when people criticize a game for being what it set out to be. It's like criticizing an FPS because all these weirdos kept shooting at you and you couldn't enjoy the scenery.

haha, good example. 

I honestly hope to pick this up sometime soon.  I am finishing up PW and am tempted to order the import of the second..but figured it might be nice to pick this up in the mean time.  Thanks for all the impressions.
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« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2006, 02:32:33 PM »

Just as an FYI, GS/EB have finally started taking preorders on PW2. I dropped my deposit yesterday. I think the release date was in...March?
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« Reply #20 on: October 31, 2006, 03:43:54 PM »

Quote from: Misguided on October 31, 2006, 02:32:33 PM

Just as an FYI, GS/EB have finally started taking preorders on PW2. I dropped my deposit yesterday. I think the release date was in...March?

Or you can get it right now from Play-Asia for $30!  Mine arrived Saturday. 
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« Reply #21 on: October 31, 2006, 03:56:18 PM »

True enough, but I have other things to play right now, and would just assume buy it here so that they'll keep localizing more good stuff.
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« Reply #22 on: October 31, 2006, 05:00:18 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on October 31, 2006, 03:43:54 PM

Quote from: Misguided on October 31, 2006, 02:32:33 PM

Just as an FYI, GS/EB have finally started taking preorders on PW2. I dropped my deposit yesterday. I think the release date was in...March?

Or you can get it right now from Play-Asia for $30!  Mine arrived Saturday. 
If you could, Kevin, give some impressions   icon_biggrin
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« Reply #23 on: October 31, 2006, 05:05:58 PM »

Quote from: depward on October 31, 2006, 05:00:18 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on October 31, 2006, 03:43:54 PM

Quote from: Misguided on October 31, 2006, 02:32:33 PM

Just as an FYI, GS/EB have finally started taking preorders on PW2. I dropped my deposit yesterday. I think the release date was in...March?

Or you can get it right now from Play-Asia for $30!  Mine arrived Saturday. 
If you could, Kevin, give some impressions   icon_biggrin

I'd love to but I've got *way* too much on my plate right now to risk getting sucked in (as I'm sure I would).  I mainly got it because it was cheaper than it will be here, even including shipping, and I figure I might have time to play it sometime between now and January or March or whenever it's supposed to be here.  So I'm sure I'll have impressions at some point, but it ain't gonna be soon unless both Final Fantasy XII and NWN 2 fail to capture my interest (and what are the chances of that happening?). 
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« Reply #24 on: October 31, 2006, 05:56:40 PM »

Thought I'd actually chime in with some impressions - I'm still on the first case but I'm enjoying it.  It's not Phoenix Wright good . . . but it's still a fun time (so far!).
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« Reply #25 on: November 01, 2006, 04:13:25 AM »

Quote from: depward on October 31, 2006, 05:56:40 PM

Thought I'd actually chime in with some impressions - I'm still on the first case but I'm enjoying it.  It's not Phoenix Wright good . . . but it's still a fun time (so far!).

It's close to that good, in my opinion, but I don't disagree. Then again, I'm still only on the second case so that opinion could change. In some ways, TD is even better (sound & animation), but overall I'd give the edge to PW.
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« Reply #26 on: November 01, 2006, 04:55:29 AM »

My only complaint (a similar one I had with PW) is that the chapters are a little too long.  I like my console gaming in quick bursts.
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« Reply #27 on: November 01, 2006, 05:45:59 AM »

I just finished the game. I found the fourth episode to be the weakest of the bunch, but also the funniest. I tossed around the idea of trading the game in, but I think I'll keep this in my library. It really is an outlandish title that deserves better scores than it received.


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« Reply #28 on: November 03, 2006, 05:22:07 PM »

Just finished case #2. Trippy.
Good, solid, interesting adventure game with great production values.
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« Reply #29 on: November 03, 2006, 08:47:57 PM »

Quote from: Bullwinkle on November 01, 2006, 04:55:29 AM

My only complaint (a similar one I had with PW) is that the chapters are a little too long.  I like my console gaming in quick bursts.

can you save whenever you want (like in PW?) if so I'm not to concerned with the long cases.

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Dante Rising
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« Reply #30 on: November 03, 2006, 08:50:56 PM »

You can save anywhere.
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« Reply #31 on: November 05, 2006, 05:06:38 PM »

It's not a saving issue for me, it's the fact that I need to commit sooo much time to keep my mind in the story for each chapter.  It keeps me from coming back to the game right away (I have yet to finish PW, for example).

Please note that it's not a deal breaker, or anything, just the one complaint I have so far.
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« Reply #32 on: November 05, 2006, 09:28:52 PM »

At least the first two cases are way shorter than PW cases. If I hadn't been slightly brain dead during the second case at one point it would have gone really fast.
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« Reply #33 on: November 13, 2006, 12:05:14 AM »

when my review posts this week please don't hate me for disliking the title. I think I was fair, but I just don't feel the great art style and NPCs were enough to hold up the rest of the game.
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« Reply #34 on: November 13, 2006, 12:32:09 AM »

It's a good, but not great game, in my opinion. Great production values, great sense of style in terms of music and art, but the two cases I've finished lack the depth, complexity, and twists of those in Phoenix Wright (a gold standard in my opinion). I find it hard to believe that someone that likes adventure games wouldn't appreciate the title, but I don't think it's a title that would really drawn in people that aren't into adventure games.
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