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Jekyll & Hyde

Score: 60%
ESRB: Mature
Publisher: DreamCatcher Interactive
Developer: DreamCatcher Interactive
Media: CD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Action/ Adventure

Graphics & Sound:

In an incredibly twisted sort of way, the colorful characters of Jekyll & Hyde are transformed to your computer screen. The 3D environments are lush, and there is absolutely no slowdown or loss of framerate. Adding to the un-reality of the world of J&H is the eerie music that is constantly droned into you subconscious... done perfectly. One look at this title and you realize that you will be in for a twisted tale of horror. And, after turning up the speakers, your ears will tell you the same.


You begin your adventure as the prevalent Dr. Henry Jekyll. And, as you all know the story, you will soon be transformed into Mr. Hyde. As Jekyll, you are on a quest to save your daughter from kidnappers. Along the way, you must solve many puzzles and accomplish many feats. To do so, you will have to resurrect the evil behind your eyes and relive your past... bringing out Mr. Hyde. But in your path are escaped mental patients, people in a whorehouse, and many other characters just waiting to knock you off.

As great as the premise is, the gameplay is unfortunately tainted by two horrible flaws. The first is the way you must fight. First off, Dr. Jekyll uses a walking stick to club his enemies. Mr. Hyde uses his bare hands. Neither one is easy to do. You must have absolute perfect timing to hit the baddies or you WILL get nailed yourself. It's hard to describe on paper, but if saying the words 'Extremely Frustrating' gives you any idea, I've done my job. I promise you that you will find yourself practically screaming at the screen after you work your way through 90 percent of a complicated level, only to be struck down by some not-so-tough loony-toon. The only thing that may save you is that there are checkpoints along the way.

The second disappointment is the way the camera seems to have a mind of its own. You play the game with a third-person point of view, and the camera does everything but follow you. There are points in the game where you must make death-defying leaps of faith, but it will take you many restarts before getting it right. The only helpful aspect of the camera is that at (almost) any point in the game you can switch to a subjective (first-person) view while standing still. There is even a point in the game that I couldn't scuttle (move sideways) while hanging on a ledge simply because the camera jerked back and forth and I couldn't get a good angle at it without falling off.

However, if you can get by these faults (and they are big ones), then Jekyll & Hyde's imaginative concepts and puzzles are pretty good. Voice acting for the cut-scenes is above average, but it would have been nice if the characters' mouths moved while talking. Along your journey you will need to pick up items and use them on your quest. Undoubtedly, the best item for your inventory will be the formula for turning into Mr. Hyde. With it, you will be able to accomplish feats that the good doctor could only dream about.


Jekyll & Hyde's difficulty is hard to describe. The true difficulty of the game itself really isn't that incredibly hard. It may take a while to figure out a puzzle here and there, but you will figure it out. The biggest difficulty lies solely in the terrible camera movement and fighting system. These turn the actual difficulty up a notch or two, and may have you gouging your eyes out with your pinky toe.

Game Mechanics:

Although you can use the keyboard, I highly recommend the use of an analog gamepad. Use of a digital gamepad is not recommended, because you will always be in the run mode, and won't be able to use stealth as your ally because you can't sneak up on patients in a dead sprint. The configuration menu gives you a chance to easily configure your controller specific to your needs.

I do have one other huge piece of advice. Save. And save often! It's true that you will automatically restart when you die after a checkpoint, but having that backup with all of your inventory items in place is good practice. Trust me, making jumps with a bad camera angle or killing the crazies without kicking up daisies yourself is tough, and you'll thank yourself for saving the game (especially if the game locks up or boots you back to Windows like it did for me). Keep your wits and put your frustration aside and you have a game that has a lot of potential. Unfortunately, ignoring the major flaws in an otherwise nice game is impossible to do.

-Woody, GameVortex Communications
AKA Shane Wodele

Minimum System Requirements:

Pentium II 400MHz; Windows 95/98/ME; 64MB RAM; 12x CD-ROM; DirectX compatible Sound Card; 8MB DirectX compatible 16-bit Video Card; Keyboard and Mouse; Analog gamepad compatible (optional/recommended)

Test System:

Pentium II 400MHz CPU; Windows 98 SE; 256MB 100MHz SDRAM; Creative's 3D Blaster Annihilator 2 32MB 3D-Accellerator AGP Video Card (nVIDIA geForce 2 chipset); Ensoniq AudioPCI sound card; DirectX 7.0a; using Hewlett Packard CD-Writer Plus 9100 (reads 32x, writes 8x, rewrites 4x) as main CD-ROM; 1 gameport; 2 USB ports; ThrustMaster FireStorm Dual Power Gamepad (USB connection); 56k modem

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