[Thanks to my good friend AbstractCactus for the banner image!]
Clock Tower 3 is a third-person survival horror game developed by Capcom and Sunsoft and released for the PlayStation 2 in 2002. The game bares little resemblance to the previous Clock Tower games, eschewing their point-and-click interface that had defined those games for a more standard third-person control scheme. It also has nothing to do with the overarching plot of Clock Tower or its sequel, despite its numbering indicating a follow-up to those stories. Clock Tower 3 is notable for being the only video game directed by Kinji Fukasaku, best known for his directorial work on the Battle Royale film, as well as Fukasaku’s final complete product before he died of prostate cancer in 2003. The story focuses on Alyssa Hamilton, a 14-year old girl who comes home from her boarding school after her mother leaves her an ominous letter. When she approaches the house, it becomes evident that nothing is quite as she remembers it…
While Clock Tower 3 is very different from its predecessors, the core of the game is kept mostly intact. The focus is on a horror experience where the main character cannot fight back against the entities that haunt them, forcing players to evade enemies until they can find another way to confront them, while also solving puzzles and piecing together a mystery. Clock Tower 3 is mostly the same, but does provide some combat sequences that are built into the overarching story. The game also features a Panic Meter, which increases when confronted by enemies. If it gets too high, Alyssa becomes harder to control, and some actions are rendered inaccessible until the player can escape their pursuant. Some may see this as frustrating from a gameplay perspective, but it causes me massive anxiety so it totally works.
Ultimately, Clock Tower 3 was a commercial failure, failing to reach Capcom’s projected sales number of 450,000 even after a full year. Reviews cited strong presentation, including graphics, script and cinematography, but criticized the game’s short length and weak gameplay mechanics. Many fans of the Clock Tower series see 3 as a betrayal of the original games, particularly in the way that iconic characters are handled. Personally, I love the game, despite being a baby when it comes to horror. I think it captures its tone remarkably well and does a lot with what little it has, making for a game that is worth experiencing, though not necessarily worth playing. But hey, that’s why I’m here!
I’m the Rooder duder ChorpSaway, and my accompanying Subordinates are TheJayOfSpade, FutureFriend and Taoc. Together, we’ll be exploring Clock Tower’s lush world of murderers and seeing if we can’t help Alyssa out in her quest to solve her family’s mysteries.
While there isn’t much to do outside of completing the main story, I will be saving all of the Spirits haunting the game, as well as showing off the bonus content you get from completing the game.
While I know that Clock Tower 3 has a bit of a reputation amongst video game circles, I would appreciate if you would hold off talking about events in the game until they come up in a video. I feel it’s a story best experienced blind, and I want to preserve that for the unknowing audience.