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Clocktower 3 Review

Posted on October 17, 2004 by Flames

The plot of this game revolves around a pretty little English schoolgirl named Alyssa. During a stay at boarding school she receives an unsettling message from her mother, which prompts her to run home only to discover a creepy old man and a challenging destiny. Alyssa soon finds herself traveling through different decades in time to solve various mysteries, confront deranged serial killers, and eventually discover the truth behind her family’s unique history.

The concept of this game is quite simple. Run and hide and try not to get yourself killed. Oh, and enjoy the grotesque cut scenes that appear throughout the game to scare the hell out of you. This game is not a confrontational one. The only weapons available to Alyssa are vials of holy water and invisibility bands, and these weapons are solely defensive. If Alyssa stands in front of a monster waving holy water at him, the monster will be stunned for a second, but quickly recover and guess what? Game over. You must use intelligence to survive the game. Finding places to cower in fear is essential. Glowing green orbs denote the designated hiding spots. Unfortunately, you cannot hide anywhere, except these specific spots.

While Alyssa does have a health meter in this game, it’s the panic meter you really have to worry about. The panic meter is used to monitor Alyssa’s terror level, and while it can be quite entertaining, it can also be just as frustrating. When Alyssa is too overwhelmed by fear, the panic meter reaches its limit and Alyssa completely freaks out. When this happens be prepared to start screaming at the screen because all you want to do is make her run and hide, but all she will do is fumble about and fall down. If a psychotic killer hits you during this time, Alyssa meets her maker. If she calms down, she lives to hide another day. Either way it’s highly amusing.

The overall graphic quality and audio of the game is very impressive. The murder cut scenes are very realistic and the audio that coincides is chilling. As in most horror games, the audio intensifies when a killer approaches or an apparition pops out of nowhere. This helps to create an overall dark, creepy atmosphere that will make you jump.

The control setup is very simple. You guide Alyssa through areas of much larger environments with pre determined camera angles set up for each section. This makes for overall easy navigation through each section. Since Alyssa is limited to throwing holy water, running, hiding, and searching, her controls are a piece of cake. Even better, I found no glitches. Fear not, you won’t be chased by a creepy villain into a closet you can’t get out of.

Puzzles are no sweat. Their difficulty level remains fairly linear throughout the game. The boss battles, however, as in most games, become increasingly difficult, and the final boss battle, a little too difficult. But nothing a few bouts of trials and error cannot remedy.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of the game are the stories that develop as Alyssa follows her quest. You meet various victims and get try to solve various mysteries concerning their deaths. Each chapter of the game has a different story, a new mystery and at the end of the game you confront the murder of the victim you are trying to help.

While the game has a many high points there are a few drawbacks. The game is also cut way too short and the final boss battle entirely too challenging.

But despite the couple drawbacks, Clock Tower 3 is a tense and thrilling game that is without a doubt worth playing. And remember to play with the lights out.

Reviewer: Sara Drapp

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