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Forums > Submission Feedback > Suskie's Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem review

This thread is in response to a review for Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem on the GameCube. You are encouraged to view the review in a new window before reading this thread.

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Author: bluberry
Posted: July 16, 2009 (12:13 AM)
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awesome game. haven't had a chance to read your review yet so I guess this thread is pointless but good taste.

I'd only give it an 8, though. I had my problems with it. having sanity as a meter was beyond stupid.


Oh no, it's a Goomba!


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Author: Suskie
Posted: July 16, 2009 (12:16 AM)
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I would have given it an 8 at the time, probably because it's such a slow-paced game and my attention span was shorter at the time. But it REALLY stuck with me after all these years, and I realized recently that this game is so much better than anyone gives it credit for. My reasoning will (hopefully) make sense if you read it.


You exist because we allow it. And you will end because we demand it.


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Author: True
Posted: July 16, 2009 (12:19 AM)
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Let's just say I'm glad he's on my team, and I'm not facing him this week...


If I Offended You, You Needed It.


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Author: aschultz
Posted: July 16, 2009 (01:03 AM)
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Me too! I had fun proofreading it(not that I had any real suggestions) and I like the tricks described that the game plays on you. I'm too lazy to try survival horror & while reviews like this make me want to play it, it's more expedient just to reread.


My principal said, 'Emo, Emo, Emo.'
I said 'I'm the one in the middle, you lousy drunk!'
-- Emo Phillips


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: July 16, 2009 (01:03 AM)
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Great review, Suskie, and a fine example of how to take a single point from a game and run with it. For me, while I enjoyed ED the first time through, by the time I'd played it enough to get the "special" ending, I was thoroughly bored. The reoccuring locations, the fact that sanity is readily available (hell, there's a spell that recovers it), the baseness of combat... by the end they combined to make a memorable, but somewhat stunted, experience.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: mardraum
Posted: July 16, 2009 (01:18 AM)
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I disagree with this part:

"You do have some semblance of control over your sanity meter, of course: A monster’s gaze is what ultimately injects fear into a character’s heart, so defeating said enemies will restore confidence, even more so if you manage to execute a devilish finishing move on an enemy’s downed body. But the threat of a declining sanity meter hangs over you for the entire length of the adventure. No matter who you are, no matter where you are, no matter when you are, it’s the one impending force you can never escape from."

this is about where Venter would be telling me my opinion is stupid because I'm too good at videogames, but it was all too easy to cast sanity recovery spells and never have to worry about it. and there's not as much of a blur between illusion/reality because if something weird is going on, you can just take a look at the little green bar to see.

still, good review.


Cairo: no, but not many games appear to have been designed under the influence of so much LSD.

boo: jus cause there's a russian woman in a cyborg ninja costume that looks just like a cyborg ninja you fought before that was secretly a man you killed in a minefield in the middle east instead of a person whose baby was kidnapped by a mysterious shadow organizations the patriots that formed as a sort of raw consciousness in the primordial soup underneath the white house and wants a metrosexual tranny to have a swordfight with a dude with another ninja suit on top of federal hall

boo: jesus, pick-y


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Author: sashanan
Posted: July 16, 2009 (01:28 AM)
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Agreed. What I settled for in the end - what a lot of people I've talked to seem to have done - was to deliberately leave the sanity low, using sanity recovery only when an empty sanity meter started chipping into your health. Topping up sanity all the time - easy to do - throws the game's biggest draw out the window.

As for the low bar informing you that weird stuff is going to happen, that's just a matter of immersion, and immersion in survival horror is still best achieved by playing in the dark. Even though on one level you know the game is messing with you, if you can instill enough of a sense of unease you'll still jump when it makes your character's head randomly explode.

Or if - as alluded to at the end of my Fatal Frame review - your cat jumps onto your lap.


''Yes, yes...but apart from all that, Mrs Lincoln, how was the play?''


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Author: Suskie
Posted: July 16, 2009 (01:37 AM)
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Yeah, what Sash said. That's like... well, that's like playing a great game and continuously casting a spell that rids you of its biggest draw.

(Too tired to make analogies.)


You exist because we allow it. And you will end because we demand it.


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Author: bluberry
Posted: July 16, 2009 (01:40 AM)
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constantly? I think I had to do it like every twenty minutes or so. and it just seemed silly to leave it empty. that's like saying Doom is at its best when you're low on ammo and struggling to survive, so I guess I'll just shoot my BFG at this Imp to really show it who's boss.

I still liked the game, though.


Oh no, it's a Goomba!


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Author: True
Posted: July 16, 2009 (03:16 AM)
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Yeah, what Sash said. That's like... well, that's like playing a great game and continuously casting a spell that rids you of its biggest draw.

It would be like Shining Force with a secret code to warp you right to the end of the field and laying a one-hit kill on the boss.


If I Offended You, You Needed It.


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Author: sashanan
Posted: July 16, 2009 (05:15 AM)
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Granted, I do feel the game itself should have addressed this. Even if a flaw can be redeemed by playing in a certain way, it still would have been better if the game took care of it.

The way I envision I would have done Eternal Darkness would simply be to *have* no sanity recovery spell, and probably limit the effect of an empty bar on your health so as not to unbalance it by that. But if you were playing my survival horror, there is no way I would allow you reprieve from my nightmares by topping off a bar.


''Yes, yes...but apart from all that, Mrs Lincoln, how was the play?''


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Author: bloomer
Posted: July 16, 2009 (08:32 AM)
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While the sanity tricks got me a few times and were hugely trumpeted in the media, they were proportionally a small part of my overall experience with the game. They make up about the same proportion of the reasons I would give this game a 10, which I would (and, well I did, at least in clicking the rating box). When I first completed it, I played twice through again almost back to back (going with a different alignment each time). I did start a review in 2003 or 2004... and the file's still sitting there, but it ended up in the too hard basket and now I'd have to play again to relight the kindling.

This is a great game for reviewers, as it prompts highly varied responses. You just look at this thread and already you can see how everyone responds to it quite personally, and sometimes without much overlap.


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Author: randxian
Posted: July 16, 2009 (07:50 PM)
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Wow. I typically don't care for more violent, mature, spooky games, but you managed to make me interested in this game. I want to play this just to experience those 4th barrier portions. Sounds intriguing.

I was also turned off by the crummy tank controls in RE, but you explain this game has much better controls, so this might be enjoyable for me.

Hell, I might even pick up a copy. Way to sell a horror game to someone who plays One Piece and Pokemon.


I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?


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Author: qxz
Posted: July 16, 2009 (09:15 PM)
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I don't know if I'd ever be able to muster up the strength to return to Eternal Darkness. Last time I played it was about five years ago, and I remember being thoroughly bored by it only two chapters in -- boring enough to the point I just didn't want to care what happened afterward.

My brother, on the other hand, loves Eternal Darkness, and has actually played it to completion. Doesn't really help my interest level any, since I'm usually in the same room as my GameCube when he plays it, and I've been spoiled as to how everything progresses in the game.


"I reject your reality and substitute my own."
-- Adam Savage


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Author: Lewis
Posted: July 17, 2009 (03:34 AM)
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It's a really masterfully created game.

I was in a talk from its lead designer yesterday, about games as an art form (yeah, surprise surprise, I went to the art talk). Inexplicably, he used Too Human as a Silicon Knights example to walk us through their methodology. ED would have been an infinitely better idea.


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Author: Suskie
Posted: July 17, 2009 (11:24 AM)
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Denis Dyack, you mean?


You exist because we allow it. And you will end because we demand it.


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Author: mrmiyamoto
Posted: November 05, 2013 (06:41 AM)
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Great review, Suskie. I will echo a previous reader's sentiment about the sanity effects being a decidedly small portion of the experience. Often times I had to actively LET my meter drain to actually experience some of the hallucinations, which affected my level of immersion. Still, a great game, and I enjoyed the spell-casting quite a bit also.


"Nowadays, people know the price of everything and the value of nothing"

*Oscar Wilde*


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