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The Last Chance Reviews
Author: Arthur McKingsly
Date: 2013
TADS



In this game you assume the role of an aspiring filmmaker who is blackmailed into making a porn movie by the Russian mafia. I was unconvinced by this backstory for a couple of reasons. Firstly, during the convoluted introduction the PC makes a series of very stupid decisions. He assumes that there is no risk attached to borrowing money from the mafia, he doesn't think insurance is necessary, and he doesn't think he can go to the police when the mafia threaten him because he borrowed the money of his own free will. Consequently, by the time I actually got control of the PC, I didn't have a very high opinion of him. I don't really see what the point of having the PC be blackmailed is either, since it wouldn't exactly be a stretch for most AIF characters to want to make porn. I suppose the fact that he's being forced does preserve the PC's integrity. However, his eagerness to get Debbie drunk so that he can have sex with her really undercuts that.
My impression is that English is not the author's native language. There are spelling mistakes, random capitalisation and the tense often changes mid-sentence. As such, I don't think it would be fair to criticise the quality of the writing too much, even though it detracted from my enjoyment of the game. However, I do think that the game would have benefitted greatly from thorough proof-reading or possibly a co-writer. It also would have helped readability if the text was broken up into paragraphs, especially the dialogue. However, in technical terms the game is much more polished. The closest thing to a bug that I found was that some responses can potentially contradict what's already happened.
The characters are rather a mixed bag. Jazzman is a stereotypical streetwalker and thoroughly jaded. Katrin is a student whose mother is always nagging her to have more sex, so she has sex with the PC just to show her. Oookay. Katrin's mother (Denser as the game refers to her) is a more pleasantly familiar stereotype, the horny milf. Debbie is one of the actors in the PC's original film, and he has to get her drunk before she will have sex with him. Finally, there's Mel who's very clearly intended to be Melissa from SD3 (and her friend Kristy might be a reference to Becky's sister Kirsty). It's subjective, but I didn't feel that it added anything to the game and in fact it was somewhat distracting (which is the same criticism I have for other GoblinBoy 'homages').
As one might expect from a game about making a porn film, there is not one shred of romance to be found here. None of the female NPCs have sex with the PC because they have any feelings for him, or even because they're attracted to him in most cases. They do it for the money or because the PC has got them drunk. Jazzman's soulless simulated enthusiasm was something of a mood-killer for me, as was the fact that the PC is effectively raping Debbie (by reducing her ability to give informed consent). The scene with Mel would be more enjoyable if it wasn't completely non-interactive. That leaves the scenes with Katrin and her mother, which are both a lot of fun (although I can't resist pointing out that it's not very believable that the Katrin and her mother find the PC attractive since he's a typical faceless protagonist who's not detailed in any way).
Overall, The Last Chance feels like an old school kind of game. It's relatively uncomplicated in terms of plot (the convoluted backstory notwithstanding). Rather than having to solve a murder or escape from a Nazi fortress, the PC just goes out and has sex with some women. It's a bit rough around the edges, but then it is the author's first game so that's understandable. My only real criticism concerns the lack of proof-reading. With it, this would have been an excellent game. Without it, it's still fun but there's a nagging sense of what might have been.



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