Players: 1 Player Game | Release Date: 10/31/99 | Genre: Survival Horror
The original Resident Evil was the beginning of a completely new genre of gaming. The mix of horror and survival gave Capcom a new franchise and the gaming industry something to copy. These "cloned" Resident Evil games brought nothing new to the table and very few were able to even come close to matching the brilliance of Capcom's Resident Evil. Ascii, known as Agetec in the US, decided to innovate this new horror/survival genre with the popular Clock Tower. This point and click adventure game was quite successful in both the US and Japan and gave gamers the option to use the standard Playstation controller or use the Sony Mouse. After many delays, Agetec has released the Sequel, Clock Tower 2: The Struggle Within. After spending much time with the title, I can say it was well worth the wait.
The game starts out with some impressive cinemas and interactive scenes, setting the stage for the plot that lies ahead. While the in-game graphics may seem a bit outdated, Ascii originally released this title in Japan during the latter part of 1996. Despite these slightly outdated visuals, the originality more than makes up for it. The game is played by using the standard Playstation controller, the dual analog, or the Sony mouse.
You control Alyssa, a young girl coming to visit her relatives at their mansion. After arriving, she cannot seem to locate anyone. A quick walk into the nearby rooms reveals blood puddles and body parts are scattered on the floors in various parts of the mansion. Alyssa can try to escape and leave the mansion, but the front door is locked and she has no choice but to explore this deserted mansion and discover the truth behind the terror.
Clock Tower 2: The Struggle Within scared me as no other game has. In fact, I was so terrified after my first time playing that I had trouble sleeping. Normally the player has full control over the character and is able to move them through the world with relative ease. Because Clock Tower 2 is a point and click adventure, the player is not free to move as quickly throughout the gaming environment. During intense moments on the screen, the gamer will feel trapped and confined, panicking while trying to quickly plan their next move before death becomes a reality to Alyssa. This is exactly how the main character, Alyssa-who is a young teenager, must feel in these situations. It is rare that a game can allow the player to feel the same emotions as the main character.
The game is played throughout three different scenarios, a mansion, hospital, and a pharmaceutical lab. With over 13 endings, you will probably never replay the same game twice. Despite the delayed release, Clock Tower 2: The Struggle Within is a necessary addition to any gaming library. Just remember to keep the lights on while you play.