Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Clock Tower 3 - PS2 - Countdown to Halloween

Clock Tower 3 was something that occasionally happens to me. I'm in a gaming slump and I choose a cheapie game at random, just to have a game. So I had no expectations, barely knew anything about the previous CT games and certainly never played them.

Now, it's been a while since I played it, so my memory may be spotty.

You've been warned.


This is the story of Alyssa, a young teenage girl that receives a mysterious letter from her mother telling her NOT to come home. So of course, she does. When does that ever work, anyway!

Clock Tower 3 Various

It's like inviting someone to come. Alyssa finds her home empty except for a mysterious cryptic guy. She goes on to discover that she is a "slayer" type dealie à-la-Buffy the Vampire Slayer, something passed down from the women in her family. Her destiny is to kill all sorts of scary things and help spirits pass on over. Winds up (and this is where memory fails ... I may be wrong) her grandfather, the mysterious guy at ther house, is an old evil bent on destroying the lineage ... basicly her. And she must fight him in the end.

The story IS very engaging.


The main character is a regular fifteen year-old girl. So, she can't do crazy acrobatic flips, throw killer punches or shoot powerful guns. She basicly runs, crawls and hides. Her weapons is a very limited supply of holy water that only temporarily slows down the vilains (and needs to be refilled at fountains) and some lavendar water, to calm her panic. Alyssa doesn't have a health bar. She has a panic bar and as she gets more scared, she becomes harder to control. So the more panicked she is, the easier it is for the monster to get her. It's interesting in theory, but winds up being kind of annoying in actual gameplay.

Each stage is set in a past time period and she goes through encountering minor ghosts who have lost personal effects. In each of these stage, there is also the Big Bad, the bosses who are violent serial killers that pop up here and there to give you a good chase. And they are scary and relentless. Made even scarier by the fact that you're slow and clumzy. It is very scary when you're hiding from a monster and you can see it looking for you.

Sledgehammer Pictures, Images and Photos

Alyssa only gets a mystical bow and arrow when she has solved all the puzzles and ghosts of the stage and she confronts the main boss. Those kind of suck because you can only use them y charging them and while you're doing that YOU CAN'T MOVE. Of course, the monster just lunges for you. I lost patience with that very fast. I got to the last boss ... and just couldn't take it anymore. So, another game where I got to the last boss and gave up. HA! :P

The bosses are very disturbed serial killer monsters, with no qualm about killing children, elderly or helpless people. THAT freaked me out.


The graphics are a bit dated, being in the PS2. But the atmosphere is good and creepy. Everything is dark, dingy and eery.
THe scenes mostly use an old-school Resident Evil set camera angle, except in a few places where the camera follows Alyssa and the backgrounds are dynamic.
The cutscenes are motion-captured and dramatic. Very effective and violent.

Also, there's a trademark borderline-perv vibe with Alyssa always being in a schoolgirl uniform with a short skirt and very obvious panty shots whenever she is crawling into close spaces. Also odd is that it's supposedly set in England, but everyone looks very anime-esque.

Clock Tower 3: Alyssa Hamilton Pictures, Images and Photos


This game has many good theoretical things to make it a good scary movie. But as a game, it's a little slow and clunky in the controls. A shame because the story is very interesting, exciting and scary.


Blake said...

Yeah, I remember you lending me this game to play. While I was actually progressing it was fun.

But the min I run out of holy water and had to run from the big guy I just kept dying and starting it all over again.

Doing that a few times in a row and I couldn't take it anymore. "Here Ian, take your little clock tower game and shove it", I don't think I said that, but that's what I was thinking. Which I guess I just said what I was thinking, so forget you read this and its really all in your head that you dreamt.Deal!? :)