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Marketing 101: Hotel Dusk Room 215 on CBS.com

Chi Kong Lui's picture

When I went to CBS.com this morning, I was surprised to see this massive collapsing flash ad for the Nintendo DS title Hotel Dusk Room 215:

Ad of Hotel Dusk Room 215 on CBS.com

"Touch Generations" may be a marketing term for Nintendo's attempt to broaden the base of people of videogames beyond, but it is refreshing to see a company put its money where its mouth is. Not only did they create a innovative game that Nintendo is calling an "interactive mystery novel" and played by holding the DS like a book, but they are also marketing it to the mainstream CBS network audience, which is traditionally known to skew more toward the geriatric end.

I give this marketing campaign for Hotel Dusk Room 215 an "A."

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About the game...

Incidentally, I just got the game yesterday and from what I've seen so far, it's quite impressive.

Whenever I sign in on MSN messenger, there's an MSN-generated popup of its few sponsors, and I've always wondered about its seemingly permanent marketing of Riviera: The Promised Land.

hm

I hadn't actually heard of this game until I saw it at the game store last weekend. It looked interesting to me, atlhough I thought that holding the DS on its side seemed a little gimmicky. Yet shun likes it, so there must be some merit.

I don't watch Rules, so would I enjoy this game? :)

Hey Jase

Holding the DS by the sides is truly a gimmick; however, it's a very well done gimmick and a lot of the game's styles would've been compromised had it been made to be played as other DS games.

As for my thoughts for the game, I'm quoting my post from a thread:

"Make no mistakes about it: this is a point and click adventure. Haters of the particular genre, don't bother, as nothing - save the art style - will appeal to anyone of such group. Being a point and click game, Hotel Dusk Room 215 doesn't place too much emphasis on much gameplay, and interactions are limited. Entertainment is merely a matter of watching the mysteries unfold, and whether this title comes off strong or not wholly depends on the story and all its elements, such as characters, dialogues and settings.

The story is, at the very least, quite interesting. I'm constantly curious about the backgrounds of each characters I encounter. Without giving much away, the bulk of the plot deals with "collision" of people from different walks of life, all taking place on Hotel Dusk. While not dealing with the same theme, it's a method of storytelling familiar to those who have seen the movie Crash.

While I do appreciate much of the presentation, I have a few complaints. First of all, the dialogues aren't very well-written. While it was common for similar games of yesterdecade to elicit a few chuckles, and even Phoenix Wright wastes no time at giving players a few genuinely funny moments, Hotel Dusk's writing is dry. The "comedy" comes off forced, and it doesn't help that most of the characters take themselves too seriously. It also hurts that the translation is pretty bad as, although tolerable, some of the dialogues have glaring grammatical errors.

Another shortcoming is the main character. He's dull. Unlike Guybrush Threepwood or Phoenix Wright, he isn't lovable, nor amusing. What's worse is that he can be quite a jerk.

Lastly, the music is something of a pet peeve, but nothing screams LSS-inducing "elevator music" more than having a bad-quality Bossa Nova on the background while roaming on hallways of the dusky Hotel Dusk. The music detracts a lot from the otherwise edgy film noir feel. I'm much better off playing the game with Miles Davis' "Ascenseur Pour L'Echafaud" on the background.

All said, I don't think this game warrants the kind of praise EGM has given it; but while the game could use some polish, I won't deny that it is geniunely gripping, if only because of the stylistic artworks, coupled by a mystery story that strikes a chord for people who are nuts about sleuth stories. Comes recommended."

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