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The Mansion of Hidden Souls Game Sample - Sega Saturn

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Published on Mar 27, 2010

Original Air Date: November 16th, 2009

System Sacom's "Mansion of Hidden Souls" is a short "series" of games within the adventure and FMV game genre that are fairly to critically panned by many review sites, though looked upon moderately well by gaming mags. The first game was made near the end of 1993 for the Sega CD and the psuedo-sequel of (almost) the same name was released over a year and a half later (at least in the U.S.) towards the end of August (August 31st according to the manual) of 1995.

While the game is often ridiculed for being a hyped up horror experience and for possessing a "Resident Evil" or "D" style setting, there are a few obvious things wrong with that assessment. The game was clearly released before RE or D and the game, while noting it's darkness as an advertising element, was hardly hyped or promoted as the next great horror experience. Rather, the game attempts to employ mystery and intrigue with the element of fear playing second or even third fiddle.

It's interesting how I came accross the two games because I found the Saturn game in a pawn shop stashed in the music section of the shop for a few bucks and only recently found the Sega CD game less than a week ago (after my recent "Sega CD" run) and assumed they were the same game, but learned that they differ in a number of ways besides the visuals. This may explain why some things seem more than cryptic, as playing the previous game, while not essential, may clear some things up and remove one or two misconceptions. That is also how the Saturn game can get away with being a "Saturn Exclusive".

Of course, all of that doesn't mean that the game is great or that people are wrong for disliking it. On the contrary, the game isn't anything special. While adequate in its presentation, the delivery is certainly not comparable to some of the great FMV adventures, and I don't like FMV games to begin with.

The pace is fairly slow, the game lacks the decent hint system like the Sega CD game, and dying due to poor guidance within the game or for seemingly no reason just to open a few doors and talk to a few floating heads that rarely offer anything really intriguing or useful (this and the original are incredibly short games with little exploration) seems like a slap in the face, especially for the patient gamer expecting to come from this game feeling rewarded in the end. The game isn't a major letdown and it may be unjustly criticized somewhat (it's an old Saturn game), but I wouldn't call the game essential by any means.

- ADDITION -

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