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Review: Secret Files 2: Puritas Cordis - Wii

by Steven Williamson on 13 May 2009, 13:19

Tags: Secret Files 2: Puritas Cordis (DS), Koch Media, PC, Wii, Action/Adventure

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qar7h

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Gameplay impressions

What do we like?
The quality of production in Secret Files 2 has improved immensely since the first game in the series. Cut-scenes are of a decent quality and provide a solid foundation for what is an intriguing tale of murder and intrigue. The audio work and the voice-acting have also been stepped up a notch. The original Secret Files had some really annoying voice-work but the cast have done a great job here at delivering their lines convincingly.

It helps if you have a decent script to work with and Secret Files 2 has a cohesive story that doesn’t try to be too clever or complicated, but is deep enough to leave you eager to find out how it will progress. Nina’s sarcastic manner lightens up the mood on many occasions without being too over the top and there’s plenty of humour that make us chuckle, including a parody of Monty Python’s famous ‘Dead Parrot’ sketch. The dialogue never veers too far off track though and there’s a cleverly measured blend of humour and storyline progression that does a good job at keeping you hooked.

The puzzles can be very mentally challenging but, apart from on a few occasions, can still be worked out with a logical approach. We’re used to combining ridiculous items to make something we’d never dreamed off, but in Secret Files 2 there’s always method to the occasional madness that we’re used to seeing from the genre. The fact that there's a hot-spot finding tool to help you search each area helps immeasurably to prevent the frustration of pixel hunting, whereas the script is written cleverly to ensure that if you listen very carefully the clues are there as to what you need to do next. It's rarely that we play a point-and-click adventure without reaching for a walkthrough, but with a little patience and logical thinking we've been able to play through Secret Files 2 without having to do so.

The controls, though fairly simple, have been mapped to the Wii Remote extremely well and you can access your log books, game hints, or converse, pick up and drag items intuitively and with little effort. The developer has also tried to make things more interactive in this Wii version by taking advantage of the motion-sensing functionality of the controller to increase interaction, for example, needing to clean a window to reveal a clue by waggling your Remote like it's a sponge. It's a very basic interaction, but it shows that the developer hasn't been lazy and just given Wii owners a straight port of the PC version.

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What don’t we like?
There are quite a few loading times that you have to sit through. The gameplay in Secret Files 2 is quite slow anyway so it can get a little frustrating as you move from one area to the next and have to keep waiting. This issue mainly comes to light when you’re on a Cruise ship and there are plenty of rooms and areas to explore in a confined space.

You also tend to spend a lot of time in one location. Overall, there are approximately eight locations to explore, but with 20+ hours of gameplay to get through it would have been nice to have a bit more variety.

Though many the puzzles in Secret Files 2 have been better conceived more cleverly than many other games in the genre, there’s still the occasional illogical one that crops up. Watch out in particular for one involving a doughnut, a Venus flytrap and an ancient wall cavity. We've no idea what that's all about.

Though the overall production is certainly good enough for this genre and the main characters animate very well, some of the minor character animations aren’t handled quite as well and you’ll see the likes of boy reliving the same ball hitting movement over and over again as he plays table tennis on the ship's deck. It only serves to cheapen the hard work that has been put in elsewhere.

Final Thoughts
We've thoroughly enjoyed playing Secret Files 2. It's provided the most entertainment in this particular genre since Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars (the first game in that particular series.) With some entertaining puzzles, cleverly crafted script and engaging storyline we'd recommend it highly to any fan of story-driven point-and-click adventures.

Verdict : 8/10

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