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Escape from Monster Manor (3DO) artwork

Escape from Monster Manor (3DO) review

"Don't be tricked by EA's illusion of a good FPS!"

To set the tone for this review I want everyone to close their eyes and remember back to the days when first person shooters were almost always bad, you plodded along endless mazes and corridors usually devoid of much detail or fun, there would be no variety in enemies, you would wander around endlessly searching for a single item in each stage and then wander around more until you find an exit, then rinse, lather, and repeat for each stage. Now open your eyes and breathe a sigh of relief because those days have come and are long gone.

With as much buzz as these games created back then why didn't they sell more consoles and carry the systems better, could it be that most really sucked and gamers finally saw through the illusion and realized that they were buying 80% hype and glamour and 20% game play? That's exactly right.

Now you're probably asking me why I gave you this scenario that you have no care on Earth to remember. Well, it's because Escape from Monster Manor fits this exact scenario with almost 100% accuracy. Electronic Arts wowed us with many other games on the 3DO that had great graphics and game play, but this game gives us great graphics, but that was their illusion for selling this game. You'll play the first few stages and think this game is amazing just as I did, but by the third or fourth stage once reality sinks in you finally have to admit that you've seen the whole game and the game plays exactly the same through the 12 stages total. The only difference is that they grow bigger and bigger, ammo becomes sparse, levels take longer and longer and if you die you get to start the whole stage over once again. Sound like something that'd be fun? No! Well, I didn't think so either.

Electronic Arts gives a great intro with some very smooth FMV and the level graphics are extremely smooth, but guess what there is almost no detail at all, start in an attic, which looks like it should the walls look great, sometimes there will be some corpse hanging in a noose but there is no way to tell any area apart from from level to level, I had to constantly go into the menu and look at my map to find my way just like those old 1st person RPG's. Like variety? Yeah. Well me too, but guess what there are only four enemies, Grim Reapers, ghosts, spiders, and these stupid heads with a face on each side, and it has to keep you entertained for 12 stages. You get the privilege of using this gun that looks like it's from a 1950's movie and zap the baddies with electricity (can someone say Ghost Busters rip-off) One cool thing I will point out is that your hand gets bloodier the more you get hurt. Gun replenishments look like urchins, and first aid signs add health, nothing original. The music is cool though and sets a creepy yet lighthearted tone and is pretty fun to listen to but it can't save the game from mediocrity.

This whole game painfully lacks variety; it looks great at first but lacks any game play worth remembering. I hope this review helped you see through EA's illusion of a good game. It's amazing what we accepted as good back then and I'm glad this genre has had such vast improvements in modern times.


vgc2000's avatar
Community review by vgc2000 (November 23, 2016)

vgc2000's more extensive backlog of reviews can be found on GameFaqs. But some now live here.

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