Yesterday, I was finally able to get my hands on "Clock Tower 3", a game released in 2003 for the PS2. I haven't played too many games in the survival horror genre, so I thought CT3 would be a unique experience. But despite seeing some cutscenes and gameplay footage, I still wasn't fully prepared for the heart-pounding (literally!) tension of this game.
The main reason that this game has so much tension, is due to the fact that you have no weapon in which to kill your enemies. The closest thing you have is a bottle of holy water - which you only get 3 uses to start out with. After that, you need to go to a fountain or sacred jar to refill. You are able to get more uses with every clover pendant piece you collect. After the first cutscene, we get the introduction with Alyssa and her meeting with a mysterious (well, not so mysterious for me, 'cause I've seen the ending and ruined some details) figure known only as The Dark Gentleman...and he seems to already know Alyssa...really
(Stranger danger! Stranger danger!)
We are then thrown in to WWII-era London, and this is where we learn the story about a young pianist named May and her father. That's where we also meet out first subordinate: Sledgehammer.
Sledgehammer is what I'd like to call a "terrifying nuisance" - meaning that at first, he's pretty scary, but then, as he keeps showing up again, he starts to get annoying - particularly when you're trying to scout the area in search of an item or a door. But at this point, the scariness outweighs how annoying he is - mainly because Sledgehammer would come seemingly out of nowhere, which really threw me off-kilter - and this is coming from someone who doesn't typically get scared from horror games! For example, when I entered the tailor's shop again after escaping the first time, I thought I was safe - clearly I was wrong! I had barely been in the room for two seconds when suddenly the doors burst open and in came the Sledgehammer! I honestly can't remember the last time I screamed so loudly. After a few more minutes of trying to evade this guy, I had to turn off the game because my heart was still pounding and I was even a bit shaky.
After a short break, I went ahead and turned it back on again. After a while, I became more used to his chasing (he's really speedy for such a big guy!) and what I needed to do. Soon, I finally reached the point where I needed to face him head-on with the only actual weapon in the game: the Rooder Crossbow.
(Which looks nothing like an actual crossbow.)
Don't rejoice yet - you only get to use this weapon in the boss battles and despite finally having a chance to fight back with one, I do have one complaint about it: you can't turn when you aim. When you aim at an enemy, you're stuck looking in that direction - which wouldn't be as much of a problem if you didn't have to charge it up to get a decently powerful attack. (Also, am I the only one who thinks Alyssa's arrows look like they're made of pixie dust? I couldn't stop cracking jokes about it.) Other than that though, the battle system wasn't too bad. He certainly was a challenge though, as it took me 4 tries to finally beat him - and damn, did it feel good when I finally did.
I'm now working through the next level "Ghost Town". Hopefully I'll post more thoughts soon, 'cause I'm really enjoying the game!