January 24th, 2009, 23:41 Posted By: Bratman Du
Publisher: Eidos Interactive Limited
Developer: Ctxm/Say Design
Price:800 MS Points
Let's get right into it, this is a jig-saw game. Everything you do in this game is a type of jig-saw, either in the traditional sense, or with constraints placed on you in certain challenges, such as, having a minute to complete a jig-saw, a distorted image which becomes clearer the more pieces you get, and so on.
There are varying degrees of difficulty, which affect things like, amount of pieces, whether or not the pieces are laid out in a mess, with some bits facing the wrong way, or you can have all the pieces facing the right way and even pre-rotated to the correct orientation.
You can have the pieces separated into a menu of edges and colour groupings, allowing you to quickly find and select certain pieces.
To start with, I did a few of the challenges. Picking a few at random, I found different twists on the 'put the pieces in the right place' type fun that this game promises.
Twists such as bots who make frustrating attemps to complete the puzzle ahead of you. This is the equivalent of having 3 people over your shoulder, grabbing bits of your puzzle and moving them around, shouting - 'that bit goes there!'. Now, if I was actually doing a jig-saw puzzle, first of all, I'd have to be 80 and an old woman, and second; I'd be doing it to relax and have a bit of peace!
So this being the case, the last thing I'd want when doing a jig-saw is other people annoying me, or even time constraints, or missing pieces, or any thing in fact.
So after these challenges, I took to the main, 'just do a friggin regular jig-saw puzzle' mode. So here i thought I'd set up a puzzle, with the pieces not sorted - scattered about, upside down and six-ways from-Sunday, with the maximum amount of pieces (somewhere in the region of 1300).
So I spent about two hours, slowly grabbing pieces, flipping them if needed, sorting the edges and corners to one side, and getting ready to tackle a large puzzle.
Do you know what? It was actually quite relaxing, theraputic even! But after a couple of hours (at which point I hadn't even put two pieces together - I was still sorting edges!), I decided to take a break, and finish my monster puzzle later. It didn't allow me to save my progress. Gutted.
After sorting that mess for two hours, I wasn't able to save my progress and resume later. How in the name of shitting-crikey are you supposed to finish a 1300+ piece puzzle in one sitting?
I've given more than enough words out for this game so I'm going to get to the point - which is this - what's the point?
Why? Why would you play this game, who would play it? How long would they play it for?
Why would you play this game? I guess if you really like jig-saws, and think it's be cool taking pictures with the XBox Vision Camera and turning them into said puzzles, then yes, go for it. But who is going to want to do jig-saws on an XBox 360?
The lack of a save function for some puzzles means that there really is no point starting a huge one, as you'd have to do it in one sitting. Although some do allow saving.
The multiplayer aspect is a strange addition, and I guess it would work like the mode with the bots who keep grabbing bits of your jigsaw and moving them around (i.e. annoying). But I can't say for sure because I couldn't get an online match, ranked or otherwise, as presumably only someone with a very sad life would play online jigsaw puzzles at half ten on Saturday night. And as sad as my life is, I was reviewing it so I had an excuse and if I had found anyone playing this online I would have been interested to talk to them and possibly find out who they are and alert the authorities about a potential suicide risk.
So I'd struggle to justify buying or even playing this game. If you really want a taste of last century (or the one before that even) then go for this, if you think jig-saws belong in the past along with ball-in-a-cup, ludo and slap-the-stepchild, then avoid.
If you're that into jig-saws, then you probably aren't going to appreciate the extra factors and difficulties put into place by this game. You're better off with the real thing.
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