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Obscure Mature Horror Game
Obscure is a Mature horror title for the PS2 that lets you play one of five teens trapped in a demon-filled high school.
The first thing that hits you in this game is the graphics. They are, well, obscure. They are reasonably good quality for a PS2 release and, starting in the basketball court, you can kick the ball around relatively realistically. If you "touch" it you automatically shoot into the hoop - a skill most basketball players would love to have :) From there you start exploring the school and realizing the horrors that lay within.
The problem here is that the graphics are TOO obscure. I agree that I like the underground scenes where the flashlight only gives you glimpses of what you can see. It adds to the moody, scary feeling. However, when you're running around outside the school, you can barely see what is right in front of you. Is that a window? A door? We spent 20 minutes hunting for "what to do next" because it was so hard to distinguish the screen elements. We have a high definition, large TV too.
Which brings me to the next point, plot. Yes, we've all seen horror movies about teens screaming and running around a high school. It's amazing that human beings only spend 4 years in a high school yet so many plots are centered around those institutions. In any case, while the school is relatively detailed, it is FULL of "locked doors". You have to try every one to see which you can get through. You have the ability to pick locks, but for some reason you can't even try most of the doors. You run up and down, left and right, searching for that one clue to let you move forward.
I was concerned at first that this was a mature horror story and that, playing it at midnight, I would be scared silly. Instead, I was frustrated to no end, running around the map countless times trying to figure out what to do next. The puzzles were pretty simple, but tracking down the items was maddingly awful. You had to hug every wall pressing the "action" button to see if anything would react.
I was enthused about the team play aspect, but despite our best efforts, team play was annoying at best and extremely frustrating at worst. Many of the rooms you end up in are very tiny, so you get "stuck" on each other. If one person leaves a room (perhaps by accident) they drag the other person along so you end up going in and out of a room several times while you investigate it.
The sound / voice acting was relatively good, you got a sense that these were real teens stuck in a real, dingy, dark high school preparing to be slain by monsters :). But when you hear the same line over, and over, and over again, it gets wearying. Add in awful camera angles where you can't even see what you're facing half the time, and it's just not a game I enjoyed playing.
I really wanted the game to play well. It had an interesting theme different from a lot of the other games we own. However, I think the game needed another few months in quality testing to work out these problems to really shine well.
Buy Obscure from Amazon.com
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