Diamonds in the Rough Review

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danyboy
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Diamonds in the Rough Review

Postby danyboy » Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:14 pm

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The Story:

You play the role of a 20 year old American called Jason Hart. Jason is a high school dropout who works as an office boy. All that is about to change in the beginning of our story, when he is approached by a mysterious man who seems to know more about him than Jason does himself.

The man claims to represent an organization that recruits people who are believed to have "special abilities". Those abilities could be telepathy, telekinesis, or other extraordinary powers. Jason has had such an ability all his life, fearing to admit it to himself, let alone others. He accepts the job offer for this organization, which is called Diamonds in the Rough.

The story begins as soon as Jason moves to a town in the Midwest, where he will be employed doing this mysterious "work". He will soon start to wonder who he is really working for, and what the purpose of the organization is.

Introduction:

Diamonds in the Rough is the second game from Alkis Polyrakis. His first game was Other Worlds, a freeware game praised by many gamers. For those of you who have read some of the things posted around the internet about Diamonds in the Rough, you already know that the beginning of the game is the end of the game. You might ask what is the purpose of playing a game if you already know what the conclusion is. But be aware that surprises are still waiting for you.

A bunch of misfits are recruited by the Diamonds in the Rough company. They all know they are part of a bigger plan, but don't really know what the plan is. They do as they are asked without any questions; after all the salary is more than generous. Soon Jason finds out this mysterious organization has some skeletons hidden in the closet. Clues are everywhere for someone who knows where to look.

Why were they recruited? What is this secret organization? Is it a secret branch of the government or a private company? Why do some find it strange they are all kept together in a secret city without any contact with the outside world? Are they all connected somehow? Are they doing the right thing?

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Puzzles:

You won't find any puzzles that will give you a headache. Most puzzles are dialogue oriented, inventory based and a combination of thoughts in the thought panel. There is one exception. When you need to crack the password to enter two computers, those puzzles were quite challenging.

Graphics and Gameplay:

Diamonds in the Rough is a third person point and click adventure game. Even if the interface is very easy to use, I highly suggest experimenting with the inventory and the thought panel before really starting to play the game. In the top right of the screen are five letters you can click on. When you click on "I," inventory, be careful and stay in the inventory area or you will exit the inventory. "T" is the innovative thought panel where you need to drag each thought from one character to another to get information or comments. "L" is for loading a save, "S" is to save a game and finally, "E" will exit the game. Right click to make an action, left click to see, use, speak etc...

When you press the TAB key on the keyboard, you will be able to see all the possible exits. There are also a bunch of other keys you can use to help you out (if you are not like me and love to use your keyboard). If you want to know more about these keys, you can read the game manual that is available in the game folder.

Graphics are well-drawn and the backgrounds are done in 2D like old classic adventure games used to be. The animation is a bit rough sometimes, but the game was made using the Adventure Game Studio engine which limits character movements. The characters kind of walk like robots or even moonwalking sometimes. In some shots the characters look smaller than they should be, but after awhile you will forget about these details. The backgrounds and locations are very colorful and well done. Since your character is cut off from the world, with no contact with anyone except the ones who live in the DITR town, all the places you will be visiting are in the limitation of this town.

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Interesting facts about the game:

- Playable without the CD

- ALT/TAB friendly

- Thought panel is an interesting asset and very helpful.

Music and Sounds:

The game has a nice variety of music, most of it very relaxing. Most of the music was well chosen and fit the moods of the scenes very well.

Sound effects are realistic. A lot of effort was made here to make the sounds as real as they are in our daily lives.


Dialogue:

Diamonds in the Rough is a game where the dialogue is an important part of the story. Almost everything has something important to the game. Actors were chosen well and the voices fit each character well. There isn't much unneccessary dialogue or things to read. Even if the game is very mysterious, some humor is present, so don't hesitate to click on whatever you want to get a few funny replies.

Bugs and/or Patches:

I didn't encounter any bugs. There was a bit of pixel hunting, but not enouth to drive me away from the game.

Computer Specifications:
Minimum System Requirements:
Windows 95/98/2000/XP/VISTA with DirectX 5 or above
Pentium IV 1GHz CPU or equivalent
DirectX-compatible graphics card with 64MB of RAM or more and supporting 24-bit color
128 MB RAM
Screen resolution of at least 800x600
360MBs of free space

Recommended System Requirements:
Windows 95/98/2000/XP/VISTA with DirectX 5 or above
Pentium IV 1.8GHz CPU or equivalent
DirectX-compatible graphics card with 128MB of RAM or more and supporting 24-bit color
256 MB RAM
Screen resolution of at least 800x600
360MBs of free space
DirectX compatible Sound Card
My computer specifications:

Windows XP SP2
RAM: 1024 MB
Sound: Onboard Sound Controller
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 6200 TurboCache
CPU: Intel Pentium 4, 3.00 GHz Processor
Disk Space : 20.0 GB
DirectX 9.0c

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Closing Statement:

I won't spoil the ending, but all I can say is that is was very surprising. Nothing in the game can predict the ending. A well driven story, a good mystery and enough clues will help you find out what you should do next. A good mix of dialogue, music, sounds and puzzles makes the game very interesting. This is the first commercial game from Atropos Studios and I'm sure the developer will hear and read all the feedback he finds on the internet to make his next game even better.

Would you be able to do what Jason did and to believe in what he believes in or would you just close your eyes and let the train pass without looking behind. Love can move mountains. Will that be the case in this game? That is for you to find out.

Official Websites:

Diamonds In The Rough

Daniel (aka danyboy)

Thanks Draclvr, Ghostlady, LadyK, Hawka, Angelfire and all of those who helped me with this review.
I want to break free from your lies
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draclvr
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Re: Diamonds in the Rough Review

Postby draclvr » Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:30 pm

Danyboy, I know I helped review and translate some of the "French brain" parts of your review. But your review made me want to play this game and (thanks to Angelfire who sent me hers!) I started it today. This is the first adventure game I've enjoyed this much in a very long time and I thank you for your excellent review!
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When life gives you tomatoes, make Bloody Marys.
Ang
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Re: Diamonds in the Rough Review

Postby Ang » Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:36 pm

Great review DB..I played the demo and got a little side tracked after...so I recently ordered it and am awaiting its arrival. :blob2:

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