GAME REVIEWS

Friday, November 9, 2012

De Ja


~ DE JA ~
NEC Interchannel / Elf
Super CD-ROM
1996

Positive initial impressions led me to believe that De Ja had the makings of an elite digital comic. The opening cinema and first few moments of play acquainted me with an Indiana Jones-like protagonist and seemed to promise high adventure of the treasure-hunting, monster-battling sort, with Elf's typically charming anime femmes tossed in for good measure.


But after spending a great deal of time on a single dull scene with no apparent method of tale advancement in sight, I realized what De Ja is truly all about. Ridiculously lengthy back-and-forth discussions and wordy internal monologues temper high hopes for fast-paced plot progression. Even "climactic" encounters with evildoers are drained of tension as the garrulous characters prattle on and on and on. A solid soundtrack ends up wasted on a comic that clocks in as an epic for all the wrong reasons. Being a somewhat-rare late release, the debacle commands a relatively hefty sum on auction sites, and thus should be dismissed out of hand even by fans of the genre.


The opening moments are pretty misleading.


Forget about acquiring wealth and dueling with villains; your character spends most of his time contemplating matters or engaging in terribly dull discussions.


Once he's done with any given chain of seemingly interminable chats, he's able to undertake heroic endeavors like panty pirating.


There's no shortage of fruitcakes to come across while you're out and about.


After you've put in a significant amount of time wandering around town and harassing the local women, you'll finally get to do some adventuring--which will mainly consist of hopping aboard trains and planes to reach destinations where not much of anything is going on.


A typical late-game maze sequence is dressed up as a walk through the woods.


As for good parts, there's a fairly amusing (and all-too-brief) fight scene that sees the main lout finally get what's coming to him.


And, well, there's this, too.


Persist beyond those unforgettable episodes and you'll encounter some "puzzles" that may prove troublesome. Here's the correct solution to one of them, though it won't get you anywhere until the protagonist himself realizes what needs to be done.


For the doorknob puzzle, enter 6 and 9 (of course).


The game's "final challenge" calls for you to spread eight "visits" amongst eight different girls. If you go about things correctly, you will have encountered one of the ladies more than once, leaving another unseen.


The ending is actually pretty nice but stands as insufficient reason to endure the monotony that precedes it.

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