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Ben Jordan: Paranormal Investigator Case 8 - Relics of the Past
About this gameFollowing the tragic events in Rome, things are not looking good for Ben Jordan. However, as bleak as things seem to be, all is not lost.
In this final chapter of the series, Ben will learn the truths hidden in the past and the present, which he will use to finally confront the mad man threatening his future.
Won, Best Player Character 2012
Won, Best Non Player Character 2012
Nominated, Best Animation 2012
Nominated, Best Game Created with AGS 2012
Nominated, Best Gameplay 2012
Nominated, Best Original Story 2012
Nominated, Best Dialogue Writing 2012
Nominated, Best Voice Work 2012
Nominated, Best Character Art 2012
Nominated, Best Music 2012
Nominated, Best Puzzles 2012
AGS Panel Review
"Relics of the past is a very ambitious project, featuring a vast amount of locations, characters and an extensive voice over cast. The plot is complex and cinematic, offering plenty of drama and suspension. Players with high aesthetic demands may find many backgrounds a bit rushed and unpolished, perhaps due to the sheer amount Grundislav had to draw on his own. Sprite animations are surprisingly well done, heightening the visual experience substantially. At times, the cinematic style takes its toll on the interactivity; the player will enjoy many long cut-scenes and well-written conversations, while the puzzles are quite straight-forward and slightly generic. All in all, for a non-commercial game this is an impressive accomplishment, and a worthy conclusion to the Ben Jordan series."
16 people commented on this game (newest first):
The last game did not disappoint :)
As some people have mentioned, the puzzles were not as challenging as in previous games. But I did find them to be exciting. There are autosave parts to the game where you have to try and stay alive (don't want go give too many details away), and multiple endings to the game.
One thing that did irritate me though was the music, especially when they were in the 1920's. And I never understood what the dream was about halfway-through the game.
Anyways, I will miss playing these games :)
I wish the puzzles were a little bit more challenging and inventive. It's probably the easiest and down-to-earth Ben Jordan case. But hey - there's at least that quirky dinner puzzle.
You've got to admire the effort that went into the Ben Jordan series. A completed series of eight games with charming graphics, diverse characters and atmospheric locations, an ongoing adventure that gets nicely wrapped-up in the end, several parts featuring (mostly) good voice acting, and all to be downloaded free of charge. There are many things about Ben Jordan that can only be greatly appreciated and applauded.
That said, I do feel that the series has never been without its flaws. Once you take a moment to reflect on what's happening and start asking some critical questions, the main and individual storylines reveal holes, weaknesses, illogicalities and forced plot devices.
Other aspects of the games know their own weaknesses. Take the voice acting: overall it's very well done, some voices exceptionally so, but every now and then there's a less pleasant voice in the mix and - of all people- the lead character speaks with a mumble and can be hard to understand or fail to transmit the required emotion or earnestness.
While never 'grand', the series certainly maintains a general well-above-average level of entertainment and rewarding playability that causes every game to provide the average adventure game player with a very good time.
Despite being critical and negative about certain aspects, I have good memories of playing through every game. And why complain anyway, when one person created all of these games for everybody's entertainment, with successful results, and made them all available for free?
It is an outstanding achievement of Grundislav to have created a series of eight games like these. Thumbs up to him and everybody who helped him on the way (from the voice actors to the testers). No, you won't be playing the next Gabriel Knight with these games - but the eight-parter that is Ben Jordan should certainly be a very comfortable and enjoyable ride for the general adventure game player.
Happy to see & say that the final part does a very good job as the series' bookend. The majority of the lingering storylines are brought together in a satisfactory way, leading to an intense finale that does the eight-parter justice. By means of several exciting action scenes you are adventuring towards the end in style.
The weakest aspect of this game are its illogically plotted and ill-timed puzzles, which feel like a forced way of making the story interactive and gradually revealing the plot. For example, you're constantly talking to one character in particular who could tell you more than he does, but somehow never finds the time to explain a little bit more - which he could easily do in one or two lines, as the extra information would never really be all that complex or lengthy to tell.
As others have pointed out, the puzzles are overall very easy. There are actually some very good ideas here and there. But one nice solution for a main puzzle is basically repeated for not one, but two other main puzzles, both of which even need to have the action repeated several times.
Some characters might have benefited from additional detail (Max the murderer for one, but also Alice (I never trusted her...) and even Ben himself - how did he always have enough money to travel around the world anyway?), and I have to say that I was actually taken aback a bit by an erroneous claim about the Second World War, which affected the credibility of an important backstory and motives.
Still, I had a lovely time playing the game. Despite its flaws, there is definitely plenty to like. A great way to end a thoroughly enjoyable eight-parter.
Sceneries are nicely drawn, I like 90s graphics - some soundtracks are interesting. I even loved some voices, especially Genovese's. There've been some really enjoyable chapters, like the Romanian one. Grundislav played nicely his trump card on this final episode!
..However, I've to say that many puzzles really were too simple. In some cases, I got the feeling that the game had not really much more left, to give - and kept on assigning points for repetitive actions (like when you search for the relic in France).
I don't get why Max (the guard) does not play a major role, considering he's killed Simon in BJ7 - it would've made sense not introducing this character at all. His leaving is.. just absurd.
Overall, it's a nice game, but I've to say that I expected something more. I'd love to play other adventures signed by Grundislav, though.
Story too easy to predict; nothing really new compared to other AGS games.
In BJ8 usually you get an object shortly before the use of it; therefore not much thinking about where and when using objects.
If the official game resolution is 960x600, the real resolution looks much smaller. Also, as 960x600 is non-standard, my (recent) computer refuse to display it full-screen.
Moreover, this game is based on many real-life locations and vehicules. But in BJ8 they mostly have a completely different look, and the characters do not behave according to the required behaviours in these locations/vehicules.
Difficult then to feel immersed in them...
This is my first AGS game in which I watched the opening more than once, really powerful one.
I think that in this game you gain your point too often too easily; and still, I had a very good weekend with this game.
BJ is a great series.