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What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
The sign of a good mystery is that it keeps you guessing until the
end. For all of its goofy characters, motion-based minigames, and
occasional frustrations, Guilty Party does just that.
way to understand Guilty Party is to think of the old mystery board
games Clue and Guess Who. Like Clue, you explore the different rooms
surrounding the location of a crime scene, gathering evidence on the
culprit. Like Guess Who, the clues help you whittle down the list of
suspects by hinting at the physical attributes of the criminal -- their
gender, hair length, height, and weight. You only have two options for
each trait, which seems like it could make things too simplistic, but
in every case I played through, I was uncertain right up until I
uncovered the final clue.
Guilty Party is split into two modes:
Story and Party. Story Mode has six main cases, plus a prologue and a
finale. These mysteries have set criminals and clues, and each is
bookended with a silly cutscene that moves the story along. The plot,
about a family detective agency being tormented by the devious criminal
mastermind Mr. Valentine, is inconsequential, but the dialogue and
voice acting are funny enough to keep players of all ages entertained.
family runs the gamut of mystery story stereotypes, from the superhero
wannabe Kid Riddle to the Sam & Max-style comedic noir detective
coincidentally named Max. A kung-fu-wielding granny named Charlotte is
thrown in for good measure. The other female family members play it
straight to the point that they’re boring, but everyone else provides a
few chuckles during the team’s absurd exploits. My personal favorite
line: “Oh, Hugh the manatee!” screamed while a zeppelin explodes in the
Party mode exchanges the storyline for randomly
generated mysteries and more ways to mess up your opponents. Though
Party mode can be played cooperatively, the real fun is in playing
competitively, where you get to draw cards to choose what traps Mr.
Valentine sets for other players after your turn.
downside is that in the chaos of locking other detectives in rooms,
stealing their move tokens, and knocking them out, it’s pretty easy to
miss out on clues and leave your crew unable to solve the mystery
before time runs out and the bad guy escapes. Get ready to be annoyed
by your character screaming the same two or three lines every time you
play a card or win a minigame as well. "Kid Riddle strikes again!" And
again. And again...
While the mystery metagame is enjoyable, Guilty
Party’s minigames are passable at best. Many are extremely easy, such
as fanning away the dust in a crime scene to uncover clues or tickling
a suspect to get them to reveal information (both accomplished with the
same frantic waving of the Wii remote). If you solve these without
trouble (as players of almost any skill level will), the game
recommends moving to a higher difficulty setting. When this happens,
you’re inevitably going to bump into one of the rare overly difficult
minigames, such as an awkwardly fast-paced rhythm game or a
thumb-wrestling match that’s far too hard.
Though they’re hardly
compelling, the minigames are at least numerous and easy to learn. I
never repeated the same tasks often enough to get bored with them, but
I also never found myself confused when new mechanics were introduced.
They basically operate as a minor and inoffensive distraction for
families and friends. If you’re a fan of board games or enjoy gathering
people around the TV to play together, Guilty Party will have you
scouring for evidence and unmasking crooks for weeks.
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