Hysteria Project 2 Review—How Many Deaths Can You Endure?
First of all, I have never had an interest in FMV-based games. In fact, this is the very first time I have gotten to play an interactive “video” game. Second, I wasn’t able to play the original Hysteria Project. So, at first, I was confused by the events in the opening sequence portraying flashbacks from the original title (I presume). Later on, as I continued playing the game, I somehow “got” that there is this hooded man who is obsessed with killing you (as that is the only thing that is crystal clear).
Hysteria Project 2 was originally released in the iOS environment, as was the earlier incarnation. As mentioned earlier, this is an FMV-based adventure game. As I see it, Hysteria Project 2 is more of a first-person survival-horror game with puzzle elements than a choose-your-own-adventure. The interactivity in this Mini is very limited, as you have no full control over how you go about the game. It’s like a slow-paced on-rails shooter using puzzles as mere distractions before you get killed a million times.
The video clips are well done. The atmosphere is there. Although the music/sound is a run-of-the-mill horror movie soundtrack, it is fitting for this game. The opening sequence’s video quality is great. In fact, all of the video sequences are great. It is worth noting that Hysteria Project 2 is around 90 MB worth of file.
It is very difficult for me to review this game. If I go into detail with the puzzles, I will be spoiling the entirety of the game. Hysteria Project 2 is good only for one run, and the mystery of the game should remain shrouded. I’ll leave the discovery to you.
Playing the game results in a mixed bag of feelings. It is totally immersive if you are lucky enough to progress in the game without getting stuck in places and/or getting repeatedly killed by the mysterious killer in the hood. By the way, I do have to agree with JeremyR; the antagonist is neither creepy nor scary. Aside from the fact that he’s skinny, he intensely reminds me of the killer in the late ’90s teen slasher flick Urban Legend.
Going back to the game, it is indeed immersive if you are able to chain several scenes without getting stuck or killed too much. I was only able to do that in the later parts of the game. The final act of the game, thankfully, is really worth it, given the ridiculous deaths and hurdles the game throws at you. For example, SPOILER ALERT! a lady scientist writes a code on your arms for opening an electronically sealed door. There is a part of the code that is smudged. I couldn’t figure out if it was a number or a letter. I got stuck. For days. END OF SPOILER I didn’t want to cheat, so I tried figuring it out myself. I eventually did, on the third day—sorry for being dumb. Indeed, if you get stuck, there are no other ways but to retry until you get things right yourself.
There are several kinds of puzzles you can enjoy or loathe, depending on your mood and disposition. There are certain parts of the game that are outrageously enjoyable, for example, SPOILER ALERT! the hide-and-seek portions. They were fun and show you how great the game can be. END OF SPOILER Consistency, though, is what this game is lacking; sometimes the game is unfair. You have to suffer several deaths without having the faintest clue what should you do in order to progress.
The immersion suffers a lot in this game, not because the game is badly designed, but because of how limiting the genre can be. There is only so much you can do in an FMV-based game, actually. If you are already into these kinds of games, buy this immediately. If you are not, I suggest you let this pass, especially if you haven’t played the original (or played it and hated it).
Hysteria Project 2 did exceed my expectations. It is unfair for it to be judged in line with other Minis. This took a rather outdated or, dare I say, obsolete genre and worked it into a polished and playable game. I think Hysteria Project 2 hit the limit of what the genre could offer in this modern age; still, that isn’t much to be impressed by. Nevertheless, it’s a good game, withstanding the genre’s inherent problems.
SPOILER ALERT! For sure, there will be a third title to wrap things up or continue to lengthen the series. END OF SPOILER