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Clock Tower II: The Struggle Within

Clock Tower II: The Struggle Within by Agetek, Inc. Clock Tower II: The Struggle Within
by Agetek, Inc.

Platform: PlayStation
ESRB Rating: Mature

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GameSpot Review: Sometimes it takes games that first come out in Japan a year or more to be translated and then published in the US. And sometimes games that arrive around the launch of a new system later get sequels with only incremental improvements to the engine and gameplay, making them feel very dated. Both of these factors are at work in Human's Clock Tower II: The Struggle Within, a game that, like the original, features a time-lost mix of 7th Guest and Resident Evil styles of gameplay.

To understand this blend better, realize that Clock Tower II is a point-and-click-style 3D adventure game. The graphics are polygonal, and you take your character through a series of static Resident Evil-like environments, complete with loading sequences as you travel from room to room. You point and click on objects that you want your character to investigate. You click on items from your inventory and drag them to areas you want them to interact with. You click on places you want your characters to walk to and on doors you want them to go through. Yes, the PlayStation mouse peripheral is supported.

The game's storyline begins with you, as a young Japanese schoolgirl, arriving at your aunt and uncle's house. Something strange has recently happened there, and you must investigate the disappearance of your aunt, uncle, and their children. Things don't look good, though - yellow blood and strange body parts adorn the household, and a knife-wielding ghost child has taken up stalking you. Oh, and your recurring problem with the malevolent male personality that shares space in your head is acting up again.

It goes without saying that Clock Tower II's storyline is bizarre, but it's also disjointed and weird to a point that makes Konami's Silent Hill seem like a clear and concise little narrative. There are more than a dozen possible endings to the game, and while you may beat Silent Hill without a strong sense of the events you've lived through, you can finish Clock Tower II several times and still have absolutely no idea what had happened at all. And the interface and gameplay will keep you from wanting to continually go back and find out.

The game screams for Resident Evil-like control of your character, but you're left with the archaic point-and-click setup that's slow to acknowledge your commands, occasionally misconstrues them, and sometimes won't accept them for unexplained reasons. According to your character's response, your directional commands are often misinterpreted for another location in the room, something that can cause you to get killed if an assailant is chasing you. Events are often triggered only after you've significantly looked around, and then eventually the game lets you enter new rooms or open drawers in unrelated areas. It seems like an arbitrary way to solve puzzles, and one that doesn't force you to think, but to spend quantifiable time wandering around areas you've been before, pointing and clicking until you can go on. It's like being stuck on a Rubik's Cube, going into the next room, turning on the TV, and coming back later to find the cube solved. It makes sense that your other personality looks at the world differently and can access different areas, but many of the puzzles are simply counterintuitive.

The graphics in Clock Tower II are pure first-generation PlayStation. The character models are so aged-looking that they creak, and their movements are likewise clunky and wooden. The rooms are also sparsely decorated, and loading times rule the day. The music and sound effects are similarly poor, occurring only during tense moments. The translation is much like that found in the original Resident Evil, except without the charmingly camp moments. Instead of, "You were almost a Jill sandwich" or "You, the master of unlocking," you get reactions to appliances like washers and refrigerators in the tone of, "Wow, it's full." A strange noise? "What!" A disembodied limb? "Only a leg!" And so on.

Clock Tower II isn't a good choice for those looking for a solid puzzle adventure or a compelling and scary game - it's neither smart, nor frightening, nor fun. Readers are better advised to look at either the most recent Oddworld or Resident Evil titles, and leave this one for the antique collectors. --Joe Fielder

--Copyright ©1999 GameSpot Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of GameSpot is prohibited. GameSpot and the GameSpot logo are trademarks of GameSpot Inc.

From the Manufacturer: The Game Horror Fans are Screaming For! More blood, terror, and gore than ever, features 13 different endings, more enemies than before, 3 scenarios, an old house, a hospital and a pharmaceutical lab, over 20 hours of engrossing adventure game play, and is Dual Shock compatible. Clock Tower II: The Struggle Within, delivers more of what made the first Clock Tower such a big seller, and it delivers it big. Horror/adventure gamers looking for a big dose of horror, blood, and suspense, will find Clock Tower II is up to the challenge. This installment of the series features a main character with a split personality, Alyssa. Each of Alyssa's personalities has a different set of skills and gamers will have to learn how to use each personality effectively if they want to survive the game. Add to this twist a great story, 13 different endings, 3 spooky locations, and more than 20 hours of terrifying game play and you've got the the game that Clock Tower fans have been screaming for.

Customer Reviews:
This game rocks, March 8, 2002
Reviewer: Xdude from Los angelas,california
This Game rocks. the graphics are not great but their still good.the Game is one of the freakest ever.

Dissapointing, but scary..., April 18, 2001
Reviewer: A gamer from Somewhere
This game is quite the stupid type. But, soon it get's scarrier and more dark. I found it very scary, being a little kid and all. Though, I wouldn't reccomend buying it. It's really a bad storyline and the graphics are horrible (except for the beginning appearence.) This game is really a bad game!

garbage, February 4, 2001
Reviewer: jacob farris from starkville, ms United States
the point and click moving is old, the graphics ..., it takes too long to play, i reccomend you don't even rent this game

Not as Bad as you Thought, April 6, 2000
Reviewer: A gamer from michigan
Sure, Clock Tower one was great, and kinda creepy, so I got Clock Tower two. Aside from the slow moving actions with the point and click system, I found the game perplexing. It was fun unlocking the secrets behind the yellow blood, and the knife wielding psycho child, with the echoing giggle. The highlight of the game however is the alternate personatlity, Bates. The voice acting was about as bad as you could get, but for some reason Bates stood out. The 13 endings are difficult to uncover, there are so many things you could do wrong, or right, and you'll find yourself a little disturbed with all 30 zombies you have to destroy, at once. At least rent Clock Tower two, you may be surprised.

Major disappointment..., March 24, 2000
Reviewer: A gamer from Washington, DC
As a horror-action Playstation fanatic, this was possibly one of the worst video game purchases I have ever made. The polygon-like graphics were primative, the voice-acting was terrible, and the "point-and-click" action made the game mundane and boring. I would've given this game 'zero' stars, but Amazon didn't give me this option.

For those Playstation fans interested in action-filled, horror-themes, I'd suggest the Resident Evil series, and Silent Hill.

Boring and slow, March 20, 2000
Reviewer: Cavan Reagan from college campus
I thought the Clock Tower games looked interesting, but I was sorely disappointed. The controls (point-and-click) are out-of-date and sometimes do not make sense, the voice acting is AWFUL, the movements are SLOW, the graphics are mediocre, the storyline (as much as I could handle) was corny... There are many endings to the game, but who can sit through it?

VERDICT: Don't even rent this one, unless you are a HUGE (and curious) fan of the first game.

Clock Tower fans will be disappointed., January 8, 2000
Reviewer: A gamer from New Brunswick, Canada
I am a big fan of the first Clock Tower game but I was very unhappy with Clock Tower II. The game is very slow going and is not nearly as spooky as the first.

I found that through out most of the game I just went from room to room and click on everything I could. The game quickly gets boring and the reply value isn't all that great either. On the plus side the game has 13 endings.

Overall, even fans of the first Clock Tower should keep away from this title.

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