dawnclover's Trace Memory (Nintendo DS) review

Great story and good gameplay. Too short though.

After playing Hotel Dusk: Room 215, I immediatly searched for a similar game for the Nintendo DS. This one was the first to come up, as it was made by the same team, so I was really anxious to get it. As soon as I found it in a store I bought it, went home and played for the rest of the day. And well.. that unfortunately was it, the rest of the day.

01 - STORY ||
The story is excelent (I love paranormal stuff) and it follows Ashley Mizuki who is a 13 year old girl that has been living with her aunt for the past few years because her parents have been dead since she was a baby. Or are they? This question pops up because, on her birthday, Ashley receives a package from her father accompanied by an electronic device named DTS (Dual Trade System). In the letter, her father tells her to meet him in Blood Edward Island, where her parents worked ans scientists. After arriving at the island, Ashley's aunt disappears and Ashley finds her way into the Blood Edward Mansion to meet up with her father. In the way she meets up with a ghost of a little boy that calls himself "D". D has no memory of his life and asks to tag along with Ashley for the sake of finding out more about his past. And... more I will not tell. || 9/10

02 - GAMEPLAY ||
The gameplay is very good. You use the control keys or the stylus on the screen to move Ashley around from a 'sky'-perspective. When you go into a 'key' zone you can investigate a new scene (appears in the upper screen) to find clues or items that are scattered around Blood Edward Island, or to interact with other stuff. Then you have the puzzles wich are very entertaining and use the stylus and microphone a lot, wich is awesome! Also, you can take pictures of the various scenes and combine two pictures into one with the DTS and find new clues, etc! This is very well done. || 9/10

03 - SOUND ||
The music was not of epic proportions but it fitted the ambient and style of the game really well. Sound effects were good but maybe a bit repetitive on some parts, but nothing big to point out. || 8/10

04 - GRAPHICS ||
This game mixes 2D and 3D graphics into one. When you control Ashley you'll be doing it in a 3D environment. When you are investigating different scenes you will be seeing 3D environments. But everything works really, really well and it's a truly beauty to see. || 9/10

05 - LENGTH ||
This is where it gets rough... I bough the game, and on the same day, I finished it within 1 hour and 40 minutes. It is a very very small game and that is a shame since it had great... everything else. Oh well, still entertaining though. || 5/10

06 - REPLAY? ||
Yes! You will be wanting to replay the game to see the different endings (I only saw one yet though, I am playing a lot of other stuff... One of these days I'll try to get the other ones). || 8/10

OVERALL: 7.5

It is a very pretty and well done game that fails specially on the length subject. Everyting else is top-notch and if you like adventure games (or liked Hotel Dusk) this is a game you must not miss even if the length drives you away.

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