WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE'S ROMEO + JULIET: AN INTERACTIVE TRIP TO VERONA BEACH

by HeroOfAvalon
Based on the famous play by William Shakespeare and the 1996 adaptation set in modern times, William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet: An Interactive Trip to Verona Beach explores Shakespeare's timeless classic in-depth. It features the complete text of Romeo and Juliet, which can be compared with the script of the 1996 movie adaptation. Outside of the play, the CD-ROM features a look at the characters and world of the movie and features the film's music score.
~ blurb 

Oh Content, Content wherefore art thou Content?

Baz Luhrman’s 1996 film based on William Shakespeare’s seminal play of Romeo and Juliet was something of a cultural phenomenon upon release. It starred hot-young-things Leonardo Di Caprio and Clare Danes. It modernised the famous play with quick cuts and a memorably hip soundtrack. It replaced the 'and' with a '+', bringing a touch of mathematics to the infamous romance. What more could you want?

How about a tie-in with actual substance? The film was a critical darling and a commercial success, even crossing over into the consciousness of the schoolyard as something cool and exciting. Shakespeare; cool and exciting to 13-year-olds. Who'd have thought?

With all this hype, William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet: An Interactive Trip to Verona Beach released alongside the movie. Created by Circumstance Interactive on behalf of Fox Interactive it proposed to take the user to the very same hyper-stylised Verona Beach of the film where it would further explore the adaptation of the classic play.

Unfortunately, what is delivered is little more than flashy marketing material. The interactive trip mainly consists of clips and music from the film, all quickly cut together. It does include character bios, but they lack any substance other than a brief sentence or two to describe their roles and perhaps a video clip of them from the movie.

Upon further exploration, you will find a page with brief explanations to the setting, social structures of the time and the language that is used, but once again this is a very slight affair. If you keep searching the menus you will find a comparison between the screenplay and the original play tucked away. Navigating there is a little convoluted; I would have liked to make the texts the central pillar and be able to find all the content and trivia off that. Instead, we have a confused and muddled attempt that's as ADHD and in-your-face as the source material.

Sadly, there is not much to speak of during your Interactive Trip to Verona Beach. What there is feels padded with quick cuts and jarring music to try and make you forget how little content there actually is. You may find some enjoyment in this if you're either a big fan of this classic adaption or if you're a student studying the play, were supposed to have read it over a month ago and have an essay due tomorrow. If you don’t fill either of those criteria, I would say give it a miss and file it under 'Much Ado About Nothing'.

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To download the game, follow the link below. This exclusive installer uses the DOSBox Daum build of DOSBox 0.74 running Windows '95. Manual included. Tested on Windows 10.

IMPORTANT - Remember to shut down the emulated version of Windows before exiting DOSBox. This could potentially result in errors, lost saves and corrupt data. Press Ctrl-F9 when it is safe to do so.
    01.03.2020 - Version 2 - Program now autostarts
                                            Added Windows '95 wallpaper

File Size: 514 Mb.  Install Size: 764 Mb.  Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ

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William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet: An Interactive Trip to Verona Beach is © Fox Interactive
Review by HeroOfAvalon
Cover Design and Installer created by me


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7 comments:

  1. It was indeed impressive to have 13-year-olds in 1996 think R+J is "cool and exciting". Sadly, it is accepted now that Shakespeare films no longer have appeal to the masses, which is why there are no mainstream Shakespeare films this millennium, at least none using Shakespearean language.

    The closest mainstream Bard adaptation I can think of is Netflix's The King, loosely based on the Henriad and starring Timothee Chalamet, aka Leo version II. Michod and Edgerton didn't acknowledge it as a Shakespeare adaptation though, eschewing all the original dialogue and altering the story and themes and characters too. If they wanted to create their own version of the Henry V history, they probably shouldn't have included the character of Falstaff, who was a creation of Shakespeare's. The changes to Falstaff seem to be what upset critics the most, which is why the film had such divisive reviews, ranging from excellent to flawed-but-interesting to a travesty. I would take the middle option, giving it a score of 3.5/5.

    There will be a Macbeth coming at the end of this year or maybe next year, starring Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand, who are great actors but are possibly too old for the roles. This play has been adapted too many times, but it might still be good. I'll see.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There've been a couple this past decade such as Justin Kurzel's Macbeth from 2015 starring Michael Fassbender, Ralph Feinnes' Coriolanus from 2011 and Julie Taymor's 2010 adap of The Tempest starring Helen Mirren, but nothing nearly like it was in the 90s. Much Ado About Nothing, A Midsummer Night's Dream and two excellent Hamlets not to mention the teen versions like 10 Things I Hate Bout You. It was a golden age for Shakespeare-loving movie buffs.

      I've not seen The King yet, but I've been meaning to give it a go. It looks interesting at the very least. I'll keep an eye out for Macbeth, but I'm not sure what more they can say after already having 2 movie versions within the last 5 years.

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    2. I watched all those mainstream 90s films, some of which had awards attention, and expected the Shakespearean film genre to grow, but the opposite happened. The three you mentioned from this decade were hardly mainstream films. I didn't see the Macbeth; I enjoyed Coriolanus simply because I had been unfamiliar with the play before; I'm afraid I thought the gender swap in The Tempest was ill-conceived, as it broke the connection between the character of Prospero and the author William Shakespeare, and it changed the relationship between Prospero and Ariel.

      I can't see Macbeth being improved either, unless they do something radically different like in Kurosawa's Throne of Blood. They're great actors, but I'll be surprised if this is an awards contender.
      I look forward to seeing Frances McDormand in The French Dispatch this July.

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  2. Hi,

    thanks alot for this, I'm a great fan of the movie :) However, when I run it, the screen seems to be cut off at the right side and/or top, meaning I cannot access all the features. This happens regardless of what resolution I set. Any idea what might be wrong?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, this will be due to your desktop's DPI settings. Right-click Rn.exe from the isntall directory and click on the Compatibiiy tab. Select 'Change high DPI settings and tick both Program DPI and High DPI Sclaing Override and click OK. It should be fine now, though be aware you may still find issues if you go fullscreen before the Emulated Win'95 has lanched (I'll add this to the FAQ if it's not there already).

      As an aside, I've noticed I didn't implement autorun for this game - I was pushed for time with these 5 so expect an update in this regard.

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  3. Try making Sonic's Schoolhouse. Can you?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't guarantee anything, but I'll add it to the request list.

      Delete