Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 Chapter Two Review

The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 continues into book two.  This chapter doesn't quite hit all the high notes of the first, but nonetheless, it's an entertaining adventure that continues to make you excited for more when all is said and done.

The story begins with the human Nathaniel and his friend, the creature simply named Critter.  Their half of chapter two explains the events in that lead up to the prologue of chapter one.  The story is well done, but it is here that the game runs hits its few snags.  Playing as Critter has always been a matter of patience.  He speaks in a foreign language, and even his dialog choices are portrayed in this language, meaning that you have to click on objects to understand how he pronounces things before you can know what option you wish to select.  Luckily, Critter's part of Chapter Two is quite small, and it doesn't get to the point where this is too overused.  Another minor quibble is a mini game that requires you to watch a character and imitate his moves exactly.  The problem here is that the actions are presented in static pictures, which makes it difficult to tell which move you are supposed to mimic.  This mini game shows up again in the second part of chapter two, but it's much easier to follow here, as both the person you have to mimic and the actions you need to select are static, making the goal much easier to accomplish.

The second part of chapter two is the better part, as the story really begins to escalate here.  This part begins right where chapter one left off, with the gnome mage Wilbur trying to get to the lower city to meet the head of security to figure out how to accomplish his goals in the school.  Things end up being much more sinister than they had first thought however, and quickly escalate towards disaster.  The buildup of the story was one of the best things about the first chapter, and it's done even better here.

The puzzles, outside of the previously mentioned mini games, are as well done as those in the first chapter, and are slightly increasing in difficulty over the first chapter.    The art style of both the new locations and characters as well as those previously introduced is still a high point.  This game is pleasing to look at in screenshots, and even more so to watch it in action.  The voice acting also continues to be top notch, with both the characters who were previously introduced and the characters who are new to chapter two being voiced equally well.  The music continues to have a cinematic feel to it, with the newly introduced areas being an aural treat to visit, as well as hearing the excellent musical cues in the previously visited areas.  The previously visited areas also have new dialog attributed to them when you attempt to use or examine items in them, which is always a welcome touch in an episodic game.  The dialog continues to exhibit the whimsical humor that the series is known for, and the humorous inside references to fantasy literature and film, as well as other adventure games fly fast and furious here.

The Book of Unwritten Tales continues to be a memorable experience in its second chapter.  It's a bit let down by the confusing nature of the Critter language and hard to follow mini games, but the excellent art style, music, voice acting, memorable characters, humorous dialog, and fun puzzles makes up for it.  The best part is the plot continues to be excellent, ramping up the tension, and ending on a fantastic cliffhanger that makes you want to play chapter three that much more.

Final Verdict:

4 out of 5
Chapter One ReviewChapter Three Review

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