Every once in a while, it is fun to watch a movie that is so bad that it is funny. At least for movies, one can find humor in the shortcomings of the feature. When a game seems to want to emulate that type of campy movie feel, what happens? Well, I had the chance to play through Obscure: The Aftermath for the PSP, and found myself wondering if Hydravision was trying to capture the campiness of cult classic horror films, such as, The Evil Dead Series.
The game revolves around six college students as a new drug being used around campus is causing the students to turn into monsters. The story switches to different scenarios including different pairs of students, while some of the other scenarios mix in. The gameplay is a tad clunky, but this may be attributed to the fact that this is a port of a ps2 game, so some mechanics did not age well. My biggest qualm with the combat system is, as a player that hoards my ammo, I like to use melee weapons in order to get the job done, but killing enemies with melee weapons almost always leads to lost health. A means to dodge attacks would have been extremely beneficial.
As far as horror games go, I feel that the genre is very weak on handhelds. I feel that a handhelds leave far too much room for distraction, which leads to an overall lack of immersion. This game definitely suffers due to that fact. There were no times where I was scared, most of the horror came from having low health and no healing items at times.
The sound for this game did not really stand out from any other PSP title that I have played to date. It was nice to see that there was a good amount of voice work in the game, but it follows the tradition of ps2 generation voice acting. The voice work as a whole is laughably bad, but it is still something games struggle with now. The small speakers on the PSP lead to a lack of immersion, so headphones may be a good idea.
As someone who is a huge bookworm, the dialogue in a game can make or break the experience, and in Obscure, the dialogue leaves a bitter taste. The dialogue is grimacingly bad, and led to a few times where I had to stop playing due to the fact that I was laughing. But I have to say, that the dialogue is what gave me feel of a campy horror film, and if that was the goal, then that put it over the edge.
Obscure: The Aftermath was a game that was off my radar, but something about it kept me playing it until completion. Although it had its shortcomings, it had a charm to it that allowed enjoyment. Overall, I had a positive experience with Obscure and would recommend it for anyone, if the price were to drop to $20.
Title: Obscure: The AftermathDeveloper: HydravisionPublisher: Ignition EntertainmentMSRP: $29.99Release Date: October 13, 2009Review Copy Info: This Review Copy was sent to DualShockers Inc by/or on the behalf of the Publisher/Developer for Reviewing Purposes