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Hysteria Project 2 Review

By , on January 28, 2011


Hysteria Project 2
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5

PROS

  • Carefully designed environments; good FMV production value.
  • Thought-provoking puzzles/challenges.

CONS

  • Tense atmosphere constantly deflated by trial-and-error moments.
  • Story cuts off just as things start to warm up.

VERDICT

Hysteria Project 2 is like that moment in a film where a cat jumps out of the dark, scaring a character while hissing before leaving the frame; it's short, it gets your adrenaline pumping, but you can't help but feel stupid for falling for the same trick again.


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It's not easy to create suspense, tension and a constant high-strung sense of terror for an extended period of time. For one, most people tend to either desensitize themselves to the virtual threat or get wound up to a point that they just switch off entirely. Hysteria Project 2 walks a fine line in keeping its thriller story exciting, but instead of continuing to tread that line it decides to switch off for you.

Much like the original, the beauty of this game is in the simplicity of interspersing interactive moments with full-motion video (FMV for the old-schoolers out there), keeping each of these sections easy enough to pick up immediately by using touch and swipe controls alone. Most of these scenes play out sensibly enough, though one particular sequence had me almost tearing out my hair as it refused to respond to taps or swipes, leaving me confused as to how to continue; this was eventually solved by frantic swipes to make up for the split-second in which you could register an action.

While Bulkypix does a great job of invoking all the necessary elements to create a tense environment (soul-scraping background effects; chilling environments; etc.) it's hard not to feel like an invader in a world that's never explained. Elements like collectable diary pages help to whet the appetite for a story, but as soon as the game kicks in past what could be considered the first act it's immediately ended.

The mental frustration this causes is maddening and perhaps that's the point, but being kicked out of a game in mere minutes of having started it with no sense of growth for any character involved is just poor storytelling. For a game that depends so much on its ability to engross you in a story, this just seems like a slap in the face for even bothering.

Returning fans might be more forgiving as they should already know what they're getting in to, but if you're coming in fresh and still intent on picking up Hysteria Project 2, grab the original game while it remains free to at least bulk up the experience.

Screenshots

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