Titanic: An Interactive History Reviews


RUN to your nearest Philips' dealer and check out this extraordinary disc. What they have done is create a multimedia disc that just about everyone finds captivating, no matter what their previous level of interest in things interactive.

A multilayered exploration of the Titanic and its ill-fated maiden voyage, this disc offers more than 2,500 original photographs --many never seen before—plus drawings, paintings, excerpts from memoirs, vintage video clips and recent interviews with survivors, all tied together with authoritative narration by Patrick Stewart. The user can follow individual guests and crew members on the ships last day and experience a harrowing recreation of the disaster.

PROS: Depth of information, riveting narrative, high production values.
CONS: None.

Better than a book or a documentary video, one of the few multimedia titles worthy of serious attention.

Titanic: An Interactive Exploration is the best argument for multimedia as an information and entertainment medium I've yet seen. Those who go on this voyage will be richly rewarded. You'll be in for a playing time of around three hours. Remarkably, I hardly noticed this much time had passed.

Put simply, this title has the production values, intelligence, and appeal of a Ken Burn's documentary such as the Civil War. The story is told with horror and humor assisted by thousands of graphics and the narration of Patrick Stewart. For once multimedia designers haven't wasted accomplishments of form on some safe, family-friendly goo, or some trite pop culture -- the story of the Titanic is a shocking disaster, a story which features great bravery and incredible stupidity and writer/director Jay Woelfel hasn't shied away from telling the story with a voice, a point-of-view, and with convictions about what the Titanic's story means.

Like any multimedia disc you may wonder if you'll go back after seeing it once, if you'll get your $30 worth. Trust me this one holds up. Every multimedia disc should be this good. Heck, every book should be this good.

Expecting another dry reference title I was more than a little surprised at how enthralled I was by Titanic. Intriguing and informative, Titanic is effective both on an emotional and an intellectual level. This is partially due to Patrick Stewart's gripping narration -- the most powerful since Orson Welles'.

What makes Titanic so enthralling, however is not the depth of its knowledge, although this is certainly important aspect. The real impact of this disc comes from its ability to make you realize what a great human tragedy the fate of the Titanic really was. I was surprised to find myself so interested in a subject I had previously only associated with bad disaster films. And this was not only true for myself. Everyone who happened by while I was playing pulled up a chair and watched. I moved from section to section without stopping, almost frustrated by the interruption of the menu screen at the end of each chapter. As with the best documentaries, Titanic will completely involve you and leave you feeling emotionally drained. And the best part is that because of the interactive capabilities you will find hours of enjoyment long after the intial impact has subsided. A deeply and profoundly moving Presentation.

This is a deeply involving "edutainment" title that few will be able to resist. Put it on and watch even multimedia neophytes settle in for the long haul to get through this wonderful disc). More titles of this caliber will be required for Phillips to fulfill the original promise of CD-I.

On the fateful night of April 14th, 1912, the legendary ship TITANIC had struck an iceberg and began sinking. Once it became clear what was happening, passengers on board began scrambling for the all too few lifeboats in a desperate attempt to live. Many books, movies, and stories have been made about this famous ship... but this CD-i title puts them all to shame. You're not even close to second place, Mr. Cameron. :-)

Narrated by Star Trek's Patrick Stewart, TITANIC: AN INTERACTIVE EXPLORATION is quite possibly the best informational title ever made on the subject. Dare I say, the best informational title...PERIOD. It's no wonder this little gem is sought out by not only fans of the CD-i, but by those intrigued by the TITANIC's story as well.

First, lets talk audio. The music, a humble score of extremely high quality orchestral music, can be heard throughout the "GUIDED PRESENTATIONS", though its never very intrusive or distracting. Never overbearing, and never flat and dull as you get in some info-titles, Stewart gives an impressive reading of everything from simple descriptive passages on the ships areas, to telling the story of the great ship, conveying not just the information, but a dramatic sense of feeling and emotion. Truly one of the key assets to this title.

Some of the real treats to this title are also the visuals. Everything from hand-painted scenes, classic oil paintings, sketches, photos, video clips and more look absolutely flawless on the CD-i. An interesting asset is only noticeable when you have the DV Cart. Some of the small window size videos are switched to full screen MPEGs of the same scene. A real treat, as you get to see some of the old archival footage of the ship or shots of the undersea exploration in full screen, crystal clear video. If you don't have the cart... the improvements to this title alone makes it worth getting.

From it's easy to use icon navigated menus, to the sheer amount of information at your disposal, TITANIC: An Interactive Exploration shows just how good a multimedia title can be. It's kind of like visiting a Titanic theme park. Lots to do. Not just a linear biographical film (or drippy romance flick). This title should be a staple in every CD-i owners library. Absolutely... FLAWLESS!!
Overall rating : ***** (out of five) stars