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Review - Killing Time

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:00 am
by awbacon
Killing Time has always been , and I can only imagine will remain , hands down my favorite game of all time. Why? Hell...some days im not even sure myself. I will try to keep that fact from tarnishing my review , and give you some honest opinion instead.

I would risk saying that Killing Time is the most impressive FPS on the 3DO platform. Compared to Space Hulk, the graphics might suffer a bit, but the overall scope and ambition the game shows puts it over the top for me.

Story : Its confusing, and played out by FMV sequences of actors digitized and placed in the game. Each will give a bit of the story, so that you can piece together the puzzle yourself. Some FMV's give you clues on how to proceed, while others make absolutely no sense until much later in the game.

The basic story involves an Egyptologist that has traveled to the Isle of Matinicus (a real island in Maine, which I have actually been on, just a fun fact!) where Tess Conway and her 'society friends' spend the days scheming and the nights drinking. Desiring eternal life, Tess aquires a mysterious water clock that can grant eternal life. Except when she tried to use it, something went wrong....and thats where the story starts.

The reason I love the story : Its one of the most original concepts in gaming! Its not cookie cutter, there is always something to find out, and most of all both the actors and voices are more than capable. No corny lines (unless intended) , no bad acting...just solid story overall.

Gameplay : This is where the debate is with Killing Time. The first time you pick up the controller you are faced with the games biggest hurdle. FRAMERATE. I imagine alot of people who game this game a chance gave up before ever getting out of the beginning maze and into the Mansion. I know I almost did myself

If you can give the game an hour, the frame rate issues will blend into the backround, and it becomes much less noticeable.

Overall the gameplay is solid! Plenty of enemies in all shapes and sizes (again, all digitized actors) with unique presentations and attacks. Some are humerous, some are more horror themed, and some are so evil you may never sleep again! (Clowns that chase you down to tickle you)

You search out keys and winged vessles, traversing over a huge amount of game, progressing to parts of the mansion and Island grounds that were completely inaccessible when you first started playing. You go from ballrooms to kitchens, wine cellars to attics, and hedge mazes to sewers. The developers certainly did not cheap out when it came to giving you a diverse and large game to explore.

My only complaint is weaponry. The game is a bit slim, with only a handgun (and dual wield handguns) shotgun, tommy gun, and a flame thrower at your disposal.

This game can be hard! Even on normal, you will die and load your save game ALOT! My only complaint, and this is a pain in the ass, is that when you die, you cannot quick load. The game boots you back to the title screen, where you have to load your game, taking up too much time!

Graphics : Killing Time definitely shows what the 3DO can do in regards to smartly integrated full motion video. Characters and enemies are all presented as FMV actors, and never does it seem out of place. At a distance they appear to be quite impressive with a solid resolution. Of course up close pixelation occurs, but the digital video in this game is a perfect example of FMV used right.

The textures and colors in the game are outstanding as well. The game has a mood to it, which helps engross you into the story even further. Each section of the Island has its own distinct mood and even better...

Audio : Hands down this game has the best soundtrack this side of Grim Fandango. One minute its jazz, the next its swing, and its never out of place. I cannot write enough to express my sheer enjoyment of the game soundtrack. One of the classics in my book.

Overall : Killing Time is a prime example of the 3DO hardware showing where it excels. It gives credence to the FMV craze, using digital actors and video tightly integrated into the game itself, in a seamless presentation.

Yes, the frame rate is a bit off, but considering what is in front of you on screen, I cant imagine being able to get any more frames out of the hardware. People love AvP for the Jaguar, and the frame rate on that is no more than what Killing Time shows

Killing Time is a game that I always wanted a sequel to, until I was enough into gaming to realize that any sequel would never hold up to the original. For me, its a great example of the 'new generation' of gaming that sprung up around this time period. Open world FPS with unique enemies, a great story, and excellent presentation values

If you havent had a chance to check it out, give it a try

Note : Two (or three) versions of this game exist.

First - Red Disc w/ Black letters. First pressing of the US version of the game. Has two glitches. First is that when transitioning between 'levels' , if you make contact with a wall, or reverse back into the previous 'level', you can get nasty random polygons that appear to stretch into the center of the screen. If you save while this problem pops up, only fixing the save with Game Guru can remedy the problem. A new game will be fine, but your save will exhibit the issue.

Second : The map doesnt always save your progress. If you leave an area at 100%, and come back, it doesnt remember you covered the whole area. As far as I ever knew, no fix for this

Second - Black Disc w/ Red Letters - Fixed both glitches above

Third - Japanese language version which I believe is titled 'Inescapable Chateau'. Same game, w/ japanese voice cast.

If anyone owns this game and wants to sell it to me, please pm me! Seriously.

Hope someone enjoyed this! If I get decent feedback Ill write some more

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:10 am
by awbacon
Also info to note : The game was also released for PC / Mac , and it is an abomination.

They scrapped the entire game itself , and created an entirely new game. Sprite enemies replaced the FMV enemy actors, and they were much less inspired than the 3DO enemies.

The story and fmv videos are the same, but the entire layout of the game has been changed. New graphics, new areas, new enemies...all of which I consider inferior to the original

On its own, not a bad game, but dont start with this version.

Its a great example of a game that was re-released, and has nothing in common with the original. Definitely interesting to play both and see the difference

Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 9:11 pm
by 3DOKid
I never used to enjoy FPS games. Doom was over-rated and I rebelled against the whole genre. Which I admit was a mistake. This game. like you say, is very good and so is Tetsujin 2 on the 3DO. Both of which made me see the FPS light. That said, I still don;t really enjoy horror FPS games, as I'm the nervous type - but I did enjoy this.

Thanks for the review - I should check in here more often! :oops:

Posted: Thu May 14, 2009 10:16 pm
by NikeX
Today I've got my FZ-10 and so I started KT again. I'm stuck after the first clock on the wall, in the cellar. The music is really outstanding. Everyone should have this: ... 11&start=0
I don't think the story is good. Island, egypt, woman. ???
But the framerate really is annoying. When using L and R against shooting enemys, your're usually to slow and take a few hits. If you're in the wine cellar and press START you'll see a mess: The map is like spaghetti-chaos. This is what I don't like also. I think I'm too skeptical. I'll continue this night.

Posted: Wed May 20, 2009 12:55 am
by awbacon
I actually enjoy the story. Sure its a bit contrived, but its one of the more original stories I have come across in a game.

I think the digital actors they chose for the game really helped the story progress. Alot of FMV bits from the 3DO era really took me out of the games, but in KT it helps suck you in.

But yes...the frame rate and aiming are shit. There is no arguing that point.

Soundtrack = I still hum bits today, even if I havent heard them in a while

Re: Review - Killing Time

Posted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:56 am
by zetastrike
I initially didn't have any interest in this one due to the poor framerate, but watching more videos is making me care a bit more. It looks to me like the framerate is inconsistent but veers more towards tolerable most of the time. I haven't watched very far into it.

Is buying a red disc copy not recommended if you don't have the game guru? A quick ebay search turned up only one overpriced game guru that was located in Scandinavia. I don't use CDRs.

Re: Review - Killing Time

Posted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:04 am
by Austin
zetastrike wrote:I initially didn't have any interest in this one due to the poor framerate, but watching more videos is making me care a bit more. It looks to me like the framerate is inconsistent but veers more towards tolerable most of the time. I haven't watched very far into it.
Remember that, unless the video is new, YouTube clips are locked at 30fps and as such it makes framerate issues in games less apparent. What you see in a YT video will not be what you will get when playing the game in person, unless the footage was recorded and uploaded at 60fps.