Deja Vu


Review by Tony Bueno


Point & Click RPG

Graphics: 7

Sound: 6

Gameplay: 5

Overall: 6

Here’s an older title you may or may not recall. Kemco’s follow up to their hit RPG Shadowgate was Déjà Vu, a murder mystery set during the 1940’s. Interestingly, the unorthodox formats for the two games are almost identical, and both games are more or less successful.

In case you never saw or don’t recall either game, the screen is divided into three sections: graphic, inventory, and action/story windows. Point and click to whichever you need to do on the window (example: use coin on slot machine) to progress. It definitely seems to have more in common with older PC titles than the flood of side scrollers, space shooters, sports sims, and adventure RPGs in the 8-bit Nintendo library.

Graphics are basically your standard NES fare, although given the visual quality of other games released at the same time period, they could have done much better. I do enjoy the music, particularly in the opening scene. It conveys a genuine sense of isolation and loneliness – two feelings which couldn’t be more appropriate. The rest is basically generic, but usually not too bad. All of the music, however, will sooner or later get on your nerves. But, since sound clues aren’t important here, you won’t miss anything by turning the sound down or even off.

The premise is fairly simple and straightforward at first. That is until you progress further and find out what’s really going on. Basically, you’re framed for murder and have absolutely no idea who you are. Just like all those classic crime flicks, nobody’s completely innocent (including you), everybody’s got something to hide, and very little is as it appears.

As much as I’d like to discuss the storyline, it just wouldn’t be fair. Slowly unraveling the clues and putting them all together before compiling enough evidence to clear your name is what makes this game so fun. It requires absolutely no reflexes, no hand-eye coordination, no precision timing of moves, and no run/jump/shoot skills. A very refreshing change of pace, to me anyways.

Déjà vu is not the best detective RPG I’ve ever played (that honor goes to Access’ Mean Streets), and will no doubt completely turn off and bore many gamers well before they get a chance to experience all it has to offer. If you can pick it up for a bargain, I’d recommend doing so. That is, of course, if you don’t mind a slow-paced thinker’s contest.


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Last updated: Monday, September 26, 2005 06:45 PM