>>Community Game Brief
With shades of gray, and shades of Braid, A Fading Melody opens with an art-game pretense. You are a woman living in a world between dreams and a coma. By facing her nightmares she begins to unravel the truth of her circumstances. This is where you take control, running and jumping your way through a collection of obstacle courses. Much like Braid, there’s a huge difference between what you see and what you’re told, but with A Fading Melody, the juxtaposition is far less convincing.
The woman dreams of herself, naked, in a forest full of monsters. That’s what the game tells you. What you actually see is a repetitive gauntlet of blue platforms with a tree or two slapped in the background. The woman and monsters are nothing but poorly animated paper cut-outs. If not for the premise, this tale of a comatose woman’s struggle for truth wouldn’t get a passing glance.
Then there’s the actual gameplay. For the hour or so it takes to complete the story, it’s nothing but one tedious platforming challenge after another. Imprecise controls complement level design reminiscent of a bad Super Mario World hack. Checkpoints make it all a little more tolerable, but each one reached brings relief that you’ll never have to play that bit of A Fading Melody ever again.
Price: 200 points
Go to Xbox Live Marketplace
Community Game Briefs are short but informative impressions on the ever-expanding Community Games catalogue on Xbox Live. These are not full reviews. The verdict comes in three flavors: AVOID, TRY, or BUY. Anything can be awarded an AVOID or TRY rating, whether I actually buy it or only sample the demo. You can be assured that any game awarded the BUY rating has been purchased and played extensively.