It's a good concept. A loner girl solves ghost mysteries with the help of a smartly dressed family heirloom ghost and then sucks ghosts into an afterlife gateway in her brain. All wrapped up in a tasty point-and-click adventure game package! Hell, put like that, it's a GREAT concept.
I don't know what happened between concept and reality, but it should have looked both ways before crossing the street.
The Blackwell Legacy manages to spur my advances at every turn. I want to love it for its concept, I want to love it for what it aspires to be. But it's got so many issues it's dealing with, and it knows I don't find it pretty, and it doesn't think anybody could love it, so although it permits me a date, the date ends early with both of us going home alone, crying.
I hope that metaphor made sense to someone, because I'm not proofreading it.
At the very outset, red flags go up. In the opening cutscene, our heroine offers some clunky dialogue to an urnful of ashes, and we're shortly thereafter given control in front of a dull building with nothing to meaningfully interact with outside of a frustrating 20-something barring us access to our own apartment because he doesn't recognize us. It's a bad note to start on. Already I want to punch something and I've only been playing for two minutes (and as I don't recall this person ever being set on fire, I can safely say that the situation doesn't end satisyingly enough).
Soon after, you encounter another hurdle. Puzzles in The Blackwell Legacy don't work like those of a traditional point-and-click. Which is fine; innovation is commendable! But it doesn't really know what to replace them with. Solving problems usually consists of one of two things: clicking dialogue subjects at people and on each other in order to eek out a tiny bit more plot to go on, or fiddling with the world around you. Here, at the beginning of the game, you do the latter, and it's entirely too unintuitive for being the first puzzle of the game (or any puzzle of the game). And it's here, also, that you discover another major issue: your character kind of sucks.
Rosangela, the protagonist, is herself one of the biggest obstacles in the game. I understand the point of watching a character get over their personal problems. But it almost seems like her personal problems are simply an excuse for having Rosangela refuse to do most of the things you want her to. I don't think I've ever had a character in my control say the word "no" so much in a single game, and this one's only two hours long.
It gets better, but only in some aspects. The mediocre writing lasts the entire game, and the voicework never improves very much. Believe me, I understand that, this being an indie game and all, professional talent was not in the budget. But also believe me that Kelly, a girl you visit in her dorm room before long, is a baffling vocal mystery. I cannot tell whether she is a voice concocted by a severely inexperienced voice actress, or if somebody played themselves and actually sounds this agonizingly stupid in real life.
I hate Kelly's awful voice. Did that come across? I don't want to leave any doubt. Honestly, how do you even close your nasal passage tight enough to make a simple "no" come out as "dohwwh"?
The ending's alright enough, and Joey's decently voiced for a cast which sounds like it probably consists of volunteers. Now and then I became interested in the story, which, with better presentation, may have hooked me the whole way through. But boy does the pacing need some work. Nothing says enthralling gameplay like a 25-page folder of exposition. And I hinted at it towards the beginning, but the locations in this game are just uninteresting to look at.
I tried to give The Blackwell Legacy the benefit of the doubt so many times through the two hours it took me to finish it. I want to love point-and-click adventure games, and the basic concept here was so promising. But in the end, so much needs to be fixed for this game to be good that it's probably better that they just moved onto other games instead of trying.
Pubblicata: 25 Novembre 2013