A new adventure and mystery behold Vera and Brandon in Vera Blanc: Ghost In The Castle. The story comes after the first game in the series, Vera Blanc: Full Moon which I would recommend playing before this title although it is not essential. The game will introduce you with the same dialogue as the first, telling you how Vera has gained the ability to read people’s minds, allowing her to get any information she could possibly use to assist in these odd cases. Continuing to be developed by WinterWolves Games and published by Ratalaika Games S.L., the game holds the same comic book style and attraction the series has already shown us with your paranormal business taking you to beautiful Italy. Here, you will be investigating suspected ghost events that have caused mere suspicion amongst the people living in a small village. However, when a sudden murder and suicide occur, the people begin to become frightened, therefore looking to the detectives for answers and everyone is pointing to the castle for signs of the feared ghost causing distress to local people.
VicciVulpix played Vera Blanc: Ghost In The Castle for four hours on Xbox One S.
What we liked!
- Bold comic book appearance – After playing the original Vera Blanc: Full Moon, I admitted I would not normally be drawn to the comic book style. However, this series how allowed me to appreciate how well the dynamic colour and imagery can bring more to a story than I originally realised. The art style worked really well throughout the game as it gave a sense of intensity to what was occurring. I would have to say that for an energetic game such as this one, I don’t think any other style would do the story as much justice as this one does, once again appealing to a diverse age range.
- Make use of manual saves – We are always told to save often in the event of technical issues but these days, many people rely on auto-save features found in most games. My simple advice for anyone playing this game – consistently make use of the manual save feature as frequently as possible as the game does not come with an autosave feature. Due to the uncertainty of events and conversations that you will encounter, it’s just worth remembering to save every so often. Unwanted endings to your journey will creep up on you from time to time. I found out the hard way. Don’t be like me.
- Enjoyable narrative – Personally, and this might surprise some people, I preferred the story in this game to the previous. I found myself questioning characters more often that effectively had me second-guessing what I thought was going to happen. Unfortunately, the game continued to painfully suffer from the main character Vera being overly sexualised in multiple scenarios throughout the game that is enough to make anyone feel uncomfortable. I actually even felt bad for the fictional character and how she had been portrayed.
- A reappearance of mini games – A very much welcomed element of Vera Blanc: Ghost In The Castle was seeing the variety of mini-games being included for a more interactive experience. You have the classic ‘hangman’ which is prompted when you have the option to read someone’s mind. You need to select letters from the alphabet to make up the thought but you can only choose three letters incorrectly or you will fail. Again, there is the memory game to which you have to remember a sequence of numbers multiple times to complete the sequence of events. It gives you breaks from the story and forces you to become alerted to the game at hand.
What we disliked
- Small replayability factor – Sadly, the game suffers from a lack of replayability with only having two endings much like the first. Achievements are earned by simply playing through the story and making correct decisions. If you happen to miss any achievements along the way you can quickly turn on options to skip through parts of the dialogue you’ve already read to get to sections quicker without re-reading parts of the story. Once you have completed all the achievements, I find that there is no real reason to return unless you want to re-live the story again.
- Spot the difference remains too difficult – I’ve already mentioned and spoke about the mini-games you find yourself playing in Vera Blanc: Ghost In The Castle to be enjoyable but much to my frustration, the spot the difference mini-games you come across continues to be incredibly difficult and rather annoying. I probably spent more time finding the differences than reading through the story in all honesty. It sadly made me become desensitised to the story at times and made me lose my thought process.
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Hello, I’m Victoria. I’m from the UK and have been playing video games for as long as I can remember; back on DreamCast. I’ve pretty much fallen for Xbox since I was around eight years old and remember BioShock being my first game on the Xbox360. Although I find it thoroughly enjoyable to not only experience gameplay, I also find comfort in getting lost and engrossed in the online worlds that sometimes differ greatly from what we know. Another side of my Xbox passion would be achievement hunting and gamerscore. I thrive when I hear the little sound of one popping up on the screen and I’m always finding ways to work on my backlog when possible. Horror is my favourite genre so if you have any recommendations, don’t be afraid to send them my way!