Hysteria Project is a PlayStation Mini title that brings back memories for those who played FMV (full motion video) games from the 90s. Essentially there is no real “gameplay” involved in these sorts of games. You pretty much watch what unfolds and either choose a path or decision for the next move the protagonist makes.
With the recent release of Heavy Rain on the PS3, can this FMV game share the same enjoyment? Is this game worth playing or is playing even the right word to use here? Let take a look at the HOTs and NOTs to find out:
The game is very cheap. You can download this PlayStation Mini for only $1.99. This translates to NZD$2.90 (If you’re in New Zealand like me). A bargain I must say as most other PlayStation Mini titles cost around NZD$10 in New Zealand. And it only takes 82mb to download, so it won’t eat up much of your memory stick or hard drive space. Sadly the price is the only thing good I thought was good about the game…
Well, first of all the game does not have any animated graphics. Being that its an FMV game all the footage you see is real actors and locations. Having said that, the quality of the footage shot is at a very low resolution. It reminds me of the movie “The Blair Witch Project”. All the camera work is done through the eyes of the protagonist. I do feel this style of camera creates suspense but to me it felt very amateurish. This type of camera work seems like a bunch of high school kids were doing it with their handy cam. It might have been better had the camera they used would have been of a better quality as the footage looks shockingly pixelated.
Not Very Scary
When you first start the game you can tell the main character is tied up. It your job to decide whether he should look around the room first or try to untie himself first. This introduction was the first and only scary part of the game. I do stress the visuals of the game hindered the experience heavily, as the pixelated screen obsecures the view of the player and you’re not entirely sure what you’re looking at. When you finally get out you realize a shadowy Grim Reaper like figure is trying to kill you. In most cases this will be scary, but I thought his supernatural-like appearance and his ability to cloak himself hindered the eerie experience. It would have been more effective for the player to empathize with the main character if the killer was a normal human being psycho. As reality based events are always more scary than the supernatural in my opinion.
Unlike in Heavy Rain the gameplay is very linear. The game mostly consists of the player running away from the Grim Reaper-like character and nothing else. There is a moment or two where you can choose the player to hide or search for something but nothing else. Most of the time you’ll just be telling the main character to turn left or right. Worse still is the fact that there is no alternate path to take in this game. If you choose the wrong decision it automatically counts as game over. Heavy Rain on the other hand had many different paths for the player to take – not to mention various endings too. Sadly, there is only one path to take in this game which I thought was very linear.
Depending on how long it takes for you to choose the correct decisions for the main character it the game’s length is still criminally short; even for a PlayStation Mini title. It should not take players more than 20 to 30 minutes to finish this game. In saying this, the game ends with a “to be continued” so this is not the end of the story. However this inevitably means you’ll have to pay another $1.99 when an addition to the game is eventually released. Still, I felt it ended quite abruptly without too much explanation of where and how the main character got in this predicament in the first place.
Well, all I can say about this game is that you pay for what you get. Although this game is cheap in price it is equally cheap when it comes to quality too. It may not be a bad game to play if you’re playing it on your PSP while waiting for the bus or something. However, if you’re looking for something enjoyable with pretty visuals there are much better PlayStation Mini titles out there. They may be more expensive but I guarantee you they are more worth your time and money. If you’re a fan of movies such as “The Blair Witch Project” or Paranormal Activity” this may spur your interest. For everyone else, even though it only costs $1.99 is not worth it your time.
Receiving a 2 out 5 score should be a red flag for every gamer out there. We do not recommend wasting time or money
on games that receive this score, as they have serious issues that make them not worthwhile.