Creature of Kapu Cave

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CaseSolver
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Creature of Kapu Cave

Postby CaseSolver » Sun Nov 05, 2006 10:04 am

Ever since about 2003, I have loved the Nancy Drew game series. Her Interactive has good technical support, though not the friendliest employees. Still, I have always loved the atmospherical quality of almost all of the games (with the exception of Secrets Can Kill and Stay Tuned for Danger, the first two in the series). Though not as scary as some games, such as Dark Fall and Scratches, HI has managed to create some really great games. However, Creature of Kapu Cave was not the best.

The game is set in picturesque Hawaii. You, as Nancy Drew, have been sent there to work with an entomologist, Dr. Quigley Kim. She's made some interesting discoveries. When you get there, you discover that the Hardy Boys are also on the Big Island. You last saw them in Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon! The problem is, the pineapple crop has been damaged, and it's your job to find out why. Is it Kane Okala, a mythical creature said to have been sacrificed to a volcano, only to escape with a hideous appearance? When you get to Quigley's camp, you hear ghostly noises, and her camp has been ravaged! She is nowhere to be found.

This is only part of the storyline. The strongest points of most of the ND games is their storyline. This one, however, was too complex and hard to understand. It strayed from the usual easy-to-understand yet complex and interesting storyline that is so familiar in most of the games.

Lately, HI has been changing too many aspects of the games. A new magnifying glass cursor, a new box design, a new logo, new cursor, and a new animation company. I almost liked the fact that the format was the same. It made it feel like a series, as if you were really going from one game to the next. But the puzzles are getting a little systematic and tiring. They're less and less original with every game. It's the usual sorting, running errands, and typing in the correct numbers on a keypad or something like that.

I didn't really like playing the Hardy Boys in this game, though some of the activities were pretty fun, such as making snow cones, snorkeling, and collecting shells. Sometimes, I was completely stuck, and there were practically no in-game hints from anyone (there are usually some from Bess and George).

The graphics were very good, but it was too short. The music wasn't as good as in other games, but it fit well with the theme. As usual, the voice acting is unfortunately some of the worst in the gaming world (I've never liked Nancy's voice, and it's easy to tell that they use the same actors over and over throughout the games).

The ending, which I won't spoil, wasn't very good, and it was seemingly random. It didn't seem to wrap up the whole game, and left me just sitting there. I wanted a straight-forward game, and I didn't get it. I had been awaiting this game for a long time, and I have to say, I was pretty disappointed. I hope the next one is better. Though I have reason to doubt. Ever since Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon, HI hasn't been doing their best. It almost seems as if they've been slacking off. Even on the packaging inside the box. HI was different from most adventure games. It now looks as if they're trying to fit in.

They're changing too many things, yet leaving the wrong things the same. They need to focus less on changing the box design and cursors, and more on changing the puzzles and themes.
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Postby Ghostlady » Sun Nov 05, 2006 10:59 am

Hi CaseSolver,

Thank you for the wonderful review. How disappointing to hear this. I do admit I need to catch up on the Nancy Drews, but this one was the one I was really looking forward to. *sigh*
Last night I dreamed I went to Manderley again...
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Postby Val » Sun Nov 05, 2006 1:42 pm

Thanks for that review Casesolver! I downloaded the demo of last ND and it didn't make me want to have the full version! Paint by numbers??? Please! It seems as if the powers that be want to start appealing to another generation of ND players. So be it!
Thanks for taking the trouble to give us all an insight into the latest -!
Much appreciated. :)
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Postby Angelfire » Sun Nov 05, 2006 6:20 pm

Thanks Casesolver. Haven't played it yet, and I was looking forward to it, also.
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Postby CaseSolver » Sun Nov 05, 2006 6:49 pm

Thank you to all of you for taking the time to read it, and I'm glad I was able to help you all. :)

I know I sounded a bit harsh, and I probably made it sound as if the game was pretty bad. For those of you who were considering it, I'd say it's worth a shot. If you are a fan of ND, then it won't seem as good. If you're new to the series, it's an okay game, but nothing spectacular. It's entirely up to you, but I don't strongly recommend it.

GL - I'm sorry you were looking forward to it and that it's such a disappointment. If you haven't already played them, I suggest Curse of Blackmoor Manor, Secret of Shadow Ranch, Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon, Danger on Deception Island, or Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake. Those are the best ones.

Val - Yes, it appears as if they have changed for the worse and not the better. :cry: Danger by Design wasn't the best either, so you're not really missing out on much.

Angelfire - As I've already said, I'm sorry you were looking forward to it. But, you may want to try the others that I recommended to GhostLady. :cool:
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Postby Ghostlady » Sun Nov 05, 2006 6:59 pm

I play all the ND's in order of release. Don't know why, just one of my idiosyncrasies. I am on Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon for the next to be played. I guess Creature of Kapu Cave will fall into the "nothing spectacular" category. :lol:
Last night I dreamed I went to Manderley again...
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Postby Angelfire » Sun Nov 05, 2006 7:14 pm

I've already played all the others CS that's the only reason I'm dissapointed that this new one won't be as good. But thanks again for all your hard work. I'm playing Restless right now and still trying to find a couple of more tournament puzzle answers :lol:
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Postby Katsmom » Mon Nov 06, 2006 2:02 am

Thanks for your review, CaseSolver. My daughter and I have played all the Nancy Drew games, and recently bought The Creature of Kapu Cave (still in the unopened box). We were disappointed with the last one (Danger by Design) -- and felt it was quite different than all the earlier games. For one thing, we were surprised by (and not happy with) all the 'action' sequences and puzzles. In the past, we couldn't wait to install and play a new Nancy Drew game. Now... it can wait until the Thanksgiving vacation. :roll:
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Postby danyboy » Mon Nov 06, 2006 6:15 am

Hi guys,

Thanks for the review CaseSolver.

CU

danyboy :)
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Postby CaseSolver » Mon Nov 06, 2006 5:15 pm

Thank you all for your kindness. I have posted reviews before that never got any recognition - so I appreciate your comments. :)

Angelfire - Thank you. If you do decide to play it, I hope you're able to get more enjoyment out of it than I was. :cool:

Katsmom - Like with everyone else, I'm sorry to hear that you've enjoyed all the others and are disappointed about this one. I too was disappointed when I read the reviews (before buying it). I was mostly afraid that it would be too short. And I agree, Danger by Design was not nearly as good as the others. :cry:

Danyboy - Thanks. :D
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Val
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Postby Val » Tue Nov 07, 2006 10:29 am

Hey - I for one appreciate someone (an ordinary game buyer/user) taking the time to give their honest opinion about a game.
We have to thank YOU! :)
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Postby CaseSolver » Tue Nov 07, 2006 4:01 pm

Aw, thank you so much. :love2 And you're welcome, also. :lol:
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Postby Maid Of Mystery » Wed Nov 08, 2006 4:36 pm

I agree, N.D. is changing for the likes of children. We will have to do our Sleuthing with Sherlock, and Agatha Christie instead.
Sure wouldn't mind another Cameron Files too!
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Postby Tally Ho » Wed Nov 08, 2006 5:58 pm

CaseSolver -

Thanks so much for your input. I couldn't agree more. I have written walkthroughs for all but one (now all but two) of the ND games. I was always pleased with their intrigue, appeal to more than one generation of player, and many other factors.

When Danger by Design came out (And I didn't get my usual review copy in the mail) I bought it and was soundly dissapointed. I almost didn't finish the game, but that's another story. I will not write a walkthrough for DBD, and I don't think it's worth playing under any circumstances.

Kapu Cave is somewhat better, but still very disappointing in the ways that you described well. I will write a WT for it (maybe,) but wouldn't recommend this game to any serious player.

I've had enough already with the collections. It seems once HI seized on that idea with the bugs at Ghost Lake, there is no letting go. I don't like fishing in real life, and I certainly didn't like fishing in this plot. The part where you have to measure the bugs and parts was tedious; but I accept that because it was a puzzle, not a collecting chore.

For the voices - Nancy's actress should continue; bad or good. Once you get to know her, she should not suddenly become someone else. As for the other parts; they have been consistenly corny from the outset. I see no reason to become high quality all of a sudden.

I think part of the problem is HI has listened too closely to complaints about various types of puzzles. Hey - not everybody can do music, or find their way our of a maze, or fix a slider puzzle - but these things do exist, and should not be eliminated just to be "politically correct." Once you decide not to include puzzles that some players don't like, you might as well not bother creating a game.

Oddly enough, their best game was the first, in my opinion. In spite of the bugs, that game had the most cohesive story, far more puzzles, and hidden clues than any other. They realized right away that they couldn't afford to produce that complex a game time after time, and make any money. (Did I just say the "M" word? Eeek!)

I've ranted long enough; I have more to say, but have been thrown off good forums before, just for having an opinion. Time to say G'nite.
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Postby CaseSolver » Wed Nov 08, 2006 6:30 pm

Thank you for reading my review! I've used some of your walkthroughs, and I must say, they helped me out! :D

Also, thanks for giving your opinion. It's nice to know that other people think the same way about the games. Maybe someday HI will go back to making good games like they used to.

I wrote a walkthrough for Danger by Design for my friend's Nancy Drew fansite. I must say, it was tiring. I agree with what you said. HI has been going downhill.
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