Just saw an ad for this on IGN and stopped by the official site. The idea of an entirely voice-activated game is just odd and intriguing enough that I’m thinking about getting this. Anybody know anything about this, how well the voice recognition works, whether the game is fun, is it out in the US yet, etc?

Everything I’ve read about it makes it out to be a pretty frustrating experience. Describing objects that you want the girl to interact with is a pain in the ass because you not only have to figure out what the hell it is but use the one correct term for it that she’ll understand. It’s out in the US, so if the premise is exciting enough for you to enjoy despite a flawed, frustrating realization…eh, probably best to avoid.

But it’s voiced by Kristen Miller, who’s super cute.

So it’s like a cross between old text adventures and Seaman? Hmmm.

It’s almost unplayable. It’s also almost good.

Take all the frustration of a finicky text parser and multiply it by all the frustration of finicky speech recognition. Yes, it’s your worst nightmare:

YOU: Look in the third dispenser.
RIO: What dispenser are you talking about?
YOU: Look in dispenser three
RIO: Ok, I’ll go to the table
RIO: What dispenser are you talking about?
RIO: I’ve already looked in dispenser one.
RIO: (looks in dispenser three) Ah! A keycard!
YOU: Sexy Pose!!

And yet… somehow there’s something here. I love navigating around by saying where you want to go instead of pressing and holding a button to manually “pedal” an avatar around. Makes you realize how much trudgery there is in regular games of this type.

If the voice recognition system worked better I think the combat would actually be pretty fun. As is, it is sometimes fun, mostly just aggravating, with the wacky he said/she said misunderstandings adding an extra layer of challenge and suspense to the simplest encounter.

When the system works, it makes the game feel more like a series of decisions instead of series of actions and for someone as deeply, pathologically lazy as myself this is very compelling. It’s like having a slightly deaf and more than slightly retarded kid brother play Resident Evil for you while you eat a sandwich.

In contrast to, say, Eye Toy, which is fun but feels like a novelty, this feels like the wobbly first (or second, considering voice-active squad games like Rainbow 6?) steps towards something different and potentially very cool.


The downloadable demo convinced me that the full game would be a frisbee the first time a monster appeared. So I’m grateful to Konami for that.