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Old 08-30-2007   #11
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yellowish haze
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Re: Video Games

Yesterday I finished playing Scratches: Director's Cut and can recommend it to anyone who enjoys playing horror/mystery adventure games which use a first person perspective to navigate.
I found the game enjoyable mainly thanks to the Lovecraftian story-line and rich atmosphere of sheer dread - it was probably one of the scariest games I've ever tried, with a very haunting and ambiguous ending. Playing it feels much more like being in a story. The player has to spend some time reading through the pages of diaries, letters, newspaper articles ect. Unfortunately, the puzzles were so difficult that I had to consult a walkthough all the time but I can't say that this has anyhow spoiled the experience.

As I've already mentioned, there are some nice Lovecraftian elements in the game. Here is a short description of the plot:
The game tells the story of the Blackwood estate on the outskirts of Rothbury, a small rural town in Northumberland, England in 1976.
Originally owned by James T. Blackwood in 1963, the house is passed to Christopher Milton after Mr. Blackwood is accused of murdering his wife. A couple of days later, Mr. Blackwood dies of a sudden heart attack though some in the town rumor he might have committed suicide. The police decide to close the case seeing there is no further evidence left. Furthermore, shortly after acquiring the house, Chrisopher Milton inexplicably disappears in 1970 leaving no visible trace.
The player assumes the role of the house's next inhabitant, Michael Arthate, an author seeking seclusion to work on his next book. He moves in only to find that the house still echoes its horrible past quite literally as scratches are heard all around, particularly in the basement and fireplaces, and soon becomes more interested in researching the house's history than his writing.
It is clear that the person responsible for the story-line has to be a huge horror fan. At some point in the game the player gets to see the main character's, Michael Arthate's, novel with the following blurb on the cover:
"If HP Lovecraft was alive and suddenly decided to write his take on the Wicker Man, the result would be this book..." - Tales from R'lyeh

Heh, nice one.

"In my imagination, I have a small apartment in a small town where I live alone and gaze through a window at a wintry landscape." -- TL
Confusio Linguarum - visionary literature, translingualism & bibliophily
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