(ags) Ben Jordan Case 2 – I don’t think Lost Galleon’s are paranormal, do you?

May11 Certainly strange to find a ship in a desert, but paranormal?  Hardly.  Even the Skunk-Ape wasn’t really paranormal, just weird, and legendary.  Just like the Legend of Boggy Creek II hilariously lampooned by Mystery Science Theatre 3000.  In any case.  A lost ship in a desert is an intriguing idea.  Is the legend true?  How did it get in the desert?  Is there’s still treasure in it?  All these questions and more are answered in Ben Jordan’s second case, entitled The Lost Galleon of the Salton Sea.  Actually Ben’s investigating a disappearance of a local man from Dunesburg, California, who was after the Spanish treasure ship.  So I guess mysterious disappearances are within the purview of paranormal investigator, who knows.  In any case this promises to be most interesting as did the first case.  I did manage to finish the first case by the way.  Now I, too, have seen the Skunk-Ape in person and lived to tell the tale.  Of course I also had help.  Good ol’ internet is to the rescue!  Anyways, whereas there’s something artistic about Ben Chandler’s games and less about the game play (not that these are bad, you can see my Shifter and Annie Android reviews to see what I think about them), and Wadjet Eye Games (Dave Gilbert who happens to actually have done testing for this and some voice work, who is superb by the way) eye toward professionalism but keeping with only New York.  Ben Jordan is characterized by strong umm, characters, and story.  So far both cases have been immediately engaging to me, more so than the others I have reviewed (no offense guys).  So here is Ben Jordan, Paranormal Investigator, Case 2: The Lost Galleon of the Salton Sea by Grundislav Games (aka Francisco Gonzalez).

BenJordan2SS01 Okay I’m generally going to do this review backwards.  Firstly my Final Analysis:  Granted I have not finished the game completely, but considering I do demos usually I think it’s ok that I’ve played it an hour or so and have an idea of what I’m doing.  I’ll be sure to finish it before heading on to case 3.  Fun game, engaging characters and story, mediocre graphics, good music, decent sound.  You should try Case 1 first however.  One thing I should mention is that sometimes you don’t know when you can walk off screen or where, or that you have to go back some place when something has happened.  You should probably go back to all the old places when something significant happens.  Also Case 2 seems to have a problem in audio when you try to switch windows in windowed mode.

BenJordan2SS02 Okay now for the differences between Case 1 Deluxe and Case 2.  Well you know when I said that Case 1 Deluxe was like amateur.  Well Case 2 makes Case 1 look downright professional.  Okay I’m not really putting down Case 2 like you think I am.  But Francisco has come a long way since the original Ben Jordan 1 (I haven’t actually played the original Case 1).  Since Deluxe was made after Case 2 seems a bit lacking.  The character portraits seem at times to have the wrong proportions and odd views.  Some of the backgrounds seem to have perspective problems.  Nothing too serious but something you can definitely tell in comparision to Case 1 Deluxe.  In case 2 there’s no voice acting.  Which you might think in some cases is a blessing, but after playing Case 1 Deluxe I sort of missed it in Case 2.  I really like the music, except at times it sounds like it was recorded in a garage.  Nothing to do about that other than spend more money, of which I’m sure Francisco would rather spend on other things.  The characters and story, however, is just as engaging.  I used to think playing some amateur adventure games wouldn’t be any fun.  And in fact some of the few I had played prior to Ben Chandler’s or Francisco Gonzalez’s games weren’t that engaging.  But I’m quite enjoying these.  What I think is if these two amateur adventure game greats got together, we would really have something truly awesome!  (Just a suggestion guys).

BenJordan2SS03 Okay so now we’re at the actual game.  Basically Ben Jordan gets a call about a missing person.  A man who was searching for this Lost Galleon in the desert, and now he’s missing.  So Ben Jordan goes to Dunesburg, California to see what’s up.  There’s an old prospector (and he’s like really old, i mean REALLY old, try 136) that knows about the legend.  He’ll help you if you get him some moonshine.  You need to find the recipe and ingredients and equipment to do this.  It’s nice because it’s a small thing to handle and still sort of gets you right into the story, without too much busy work.  Some more differences include the fact that in Case 2 you don’t have both a “talking” and “ask questions” icon, they’re combined into one.  Otherwise is pretty much works the same.  A standard interface is a good thing.  Thank goodness he hasn’t changed it but I’ve still yet to see if it’s been changed with 5 other cases yet!  Welp that’s about it.  Ben Jordan so far is a good series and I’m sure I’ll miss it when the credits roll on Case 8 (which isn’t out at the time of writing this).  BTW watch the credits on Case 1 deluxe, I’ll probably be doing it for Case 2 as well except I haven’t gotten there yet.

Name: Ben Jordan, Paranormal Investigator

Developer: Grundislav Games

Price: Free, free, free, everybody loves free!

Where you can get it:  Here!

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