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Old 07-08-2004, 03:38 PM   #1
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Default Another Zak Mckracken and the Alien Mindbenders Review

I know it's been done, but I just wanted to show my oppinion.

Zak Mckracken and the Alien Mindbenders has been adored by many adventure gamers over the years. Whenever you ask a serious adventure gamer what they think of the game, they would probably say something along the lines of "ridiculously underratted". And who could blame them? Zak was the second adventure game by Lucasarts that really turrned heads, and went on to be an award winning game for it's awsome story.
Yes, there's no doubt that this game has been adored. So, you'd excpect me to give it an adoring review, right?

Here's my review of Zak Mckracken and the Alien Mindbenders.

Story: As mentioned before, Zak is an award winning adventure for it's unforgettable story, and rightfully so. At the time, this had the funniest, greatest, and most original story I had ever seen.
You play as Zak Mckracken (you might have guessed that), a reporter for a sleezy tabloid and who's only ambishion in life is to win a Politzer award. However he knows he can't do that working for a tabliod, so he wants to write a novel. His boss has agreed that he only has to do one more assignment tomorrow. So, later that night, he has the wierdest dream he's ever had. Something about Mars, a girl, a strange deivce, and odd looking people with nose glasses on. Later, he finds out that aliens in discises are planning to make the world stupid! And it's up to him and three other girls to globe trot around the world (and Mars) and stop them! As they travel the world, they will discover local myths, depending what location you're in.
I won't give away anything, but if you play the game, you'll realize why it won an award for it's hilarious and original characters, premice, and settings. You'll uncover a story of conspiracy, romance, intrigue, and above all comedy.
Story gets my first ever 10/10

Graphics: Zak's graphics weren't very different from Maniac Mansion's, but they were a bit more polished. Zak also had great colors, detail, and settings. If you were playing the game on it's realese date in '88, you'd be impressed as you traveled Zak's enviroments. San Fransisco, England, the jungles of South America, the Mars Face, and the Bermuda Triangle are all pretty eye pleasing.
Graphics get an 8/10

Sound/Music: Adventure Gaming in the 1980s wasn't driven on sound. Just some beeps and boops. Pretty much every computer game on the market was like this. Zak does have a bit of music and okay sound for the time. However, the sound will not affect the games overall score.
Sound gets a (for the time) 7/10

Gameplay: Here's where the game falls way short.
Zak, much like Maniac Mansion, ran on the still young SCUMM system. The early SCUMM was a bit more complex than the interface we love today. You had to double click on everything, and yet there were too many useless icons. They added more even though there were a lot to begin with.
Then there's the puzzles. Too many mazes, too confusing, too hard. And just like in Maniac Mansion, you can die. But you really only need 2 people in that game, so if one person dies, it's not a big deal. How ever in Zak, you get 4 people, but if just one of them dies, even if they weren't carrying anything, back to start. And the money system just sucks. You shouldn't have to keep a balanced credit card in an adventure game.
Gameplay gets a 4/10

Zak isn't a bad game by any means, but it doesn't deserve most of the praise it gets. However, the story just might keep you interested enough for you to finish the game.
I give Zak Mckracken and the Alien Mindbenders a