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ESRB Rating EveryoneRiven
developer Sunsoft publisher Acclaim
releasedate 12/23/1997 msrp $49.99
genre Puzzle #players 1
difficulty Easy analog No
A few years ago Myst came out and took the PC world by storm with its intriguing storyline and passive puzzle solving elements. It is in fact still on the charts and continues to sell at an incredible rate. It is the "dark side of the moon" of computer games if you will.

Just last year a sequel finally came out and Acclaim has been gracious enough to bring it to the PlayStation. Building on the PSX's recent success of games that are not games this title is one of those that hardcore gamers will look at with a blank stare on their face while their mothers or girlfriends are likely to pick it up and immediately get drawn within its environment. This game seems to appeal to the population of casual gamers more so than the average gamer. I myself though have found that the game does take patience but is a worthwhile trip if you take the time with it.

The game basically involves pointing your arrow at various things and pathways looking for clues or answers in solving the game. Spanning five discs the game is quite expansive in its depth. The game is presented in the first person view so you are able to see the entire field of view as if you were actually there. The biggest problem that most gamers will find with this game is that it moves at a snails pace. This of course is how it was intended to be as you use your brain to figure out all of the mysterious puzzles. For what Riven attempts to be it does it better than almost any other game in its class.

With a game like Riven quick actions and precise control are really of no importance. This game is navigated through a simple point and click interface. The movement with the standard controller did seem a little on the sluggish side. This game is much better suited with the use of the PlayStation mouse which unfortunately most PSX owners don't own. Overall though control is not really an issue.
Graphically Riven is a masterpiece of art. With its FMV well executed and the storyboard graphics almost matching that of its PC cousin Riven is truly a graphical sight to see. Solving certain puzzles unlock beautiful FMV scenes to further move the story along. The world is conveyed as a mechanical strange looking land filled with beautiful scenery and often weird landscapes. Each scene is labeled with detail and it is quite important so that the puzzles are more easily solved. Acclaim and Sunsoft did a great job here of keeping the game looking on par with its PC cousin.
The sound in the game is very average at best. The game is pretty passive and there are moments when background sounds are the only sound heard in the game. With a game like this a beautifully written score would have really added to the game.
While I stress that this game is not for everyone it is quite an enjoyable experience for those looking for something different. Kudos to Acclaim for again bringing out the variety to the PlayStation. If you're looking for action it's definitely not here.

(12/23/1997)- by - Brian Gray

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