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Myst (Hands-On) (Nintendo 3DS) Preview

Review for Myst (Hands-On) on Nintendo 3DS

Developed by Cyan Worlds, Myst has sold more than 13 million copies around the world since its original inception on PC. After numerous ports to various systems, including the Nintendo DS a few years back, now Hoplite Research is set to bring the classic abstract adventure to the Nintendo 3DS. Cubed3 was recently given the chance to give a work-in-progress version a try.

13 million people cannot be wrong, and they certainly are not, with Myst proving to be an extremely engrossing experience. It may not be as accessible as the likes of other PC-oriented adventures, such as Monkey Island or Broken Sword, but it does not mean there is not just as much fun to be had with what can only be described as an ‘abstract’ take on the genre. Anyone that played something like Zork Nemesis in the past will be more at home with Myst and its lack of narrative to draw the story along, with more of a focus on obscure puzzles that leave everything up to the imagination and creativity of the player’s mind as they travel, step-by-step in first-person mode, across six worlds, with more than 80 hours of gameplay promised.

As with past ports of Myst, this 3DS edition also includes the RIME Age that never launched with the original PC version, expanding upon the already intriguing storyline. This time, however, it is all delivered in auto-stereoscopic 3D that, whilst not imperative, adds a surprisingly deep effect to proceedings. There are two killers right from the off, though; the first is that the audio compression used makes any music or voice work sound extremely poor, especially through the already weak 3DS speakers, whilst the second is that the touch-screen is not used for movement around the world.

Screenshot for Myst (Hands-On) on Nintendo 3DS

The latter of these issues is the major worry, and is hopefully just a case of the game still being ‘in-progress.’ The way things work right now is that the Circle Pad is used to move the on-screen cursor around, highlighting areas of interest before clicking on them to trigger an interaction. Smooth movement around the screen would have been somewhat acceptable, but instead the cursor defaults to the centre of the top screen when the Circle Pad is untouched, meaning that the little visible hand pointer jerks around the screen inaccurately, flicking to its neutral position whenever the controller is let go. It makes for some extremely painful scouring of scenes due to the imprecision. The touch-screen is instead used for accessing a basic note pad, choosing a magnifying glass to zoom into key areas, opening up a map, and so on.

Thankfully the core game itself remains as engaging as ever. Taking on the role of ‘The Strange,’ moving from picturesque scene to the next static image, gathering the tiniest shreds of clues and attempting to piece everything together gets the old grey matter working to the maximum, and trying to figure out how moving something in one location affects something else around the island, or deciphering vague notes and messages can help to crack puzzles, makes the journey all the more immersive. The further you delve into the secrets of the island of Myst, unravelling the mysteries behind the special books found around the locale and jumping through portals into the different ‘Ages’ to gather more information all make for an impressive quest.

Screenshot for Myst (Hands-On) on Nintendo 3DS

Worth waiting for?

The story found in Myst is still as absorbing as ever, and the atmosphere that the adventure game exudes is admirable given its age now. Anyone approaching this for the first time is certainly in for a pleasant shock if they have enough patience to dig deep into the journey. Hopefully some of the quirks with the controls will be fixed before the US release on 31st July and the European / PAL territories launch on 14th September, though.

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Hoplite Research







C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10 (1 Votes)

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Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Preview

Rob64 (guest) 31.05.2012 10:47#1

That control system sounds so broken! They've got a touch screen but aren't using it for movement/panning around scenes?! That's just backwards!!! Smilie Smilie

Darkflame (guest) 03.06.2012 23:31#2

Compression sounds like they opted for a small cart.
The original Myst fit on one CD didnt it?
The 3DS carts can go much bigger then that!

As much of a Myst fan that I am, I'm kinda disappointed. I think they should base it off of realMYST as much as possible. Free movement, realistic weather effects... Maybe if they made the controls similar to Metroid Prime: Hunters. Use the Circle Pad for movement, the touch screen for free view, the stylus as the 'hand' cursor... Just my opinion.

"You make me want to play Russian Roulette with a glock. By myself."

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