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Old 09-26-2009, 01:38 PM   #201
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I am late for the party, only now having played the pilot episode, thanks to best Talk Like a Pirate Day's offer ever.

Now, I found Sam and Max enjoyable but underwhelming, and (I admit, from the coverage rather than first-hand experience) other Telltale's series looked like more of the same with different decorations. So my expectations when ToMI were announced were low. I had never quite worshipped the previous games like many here do (except maybe MI2), but there was certain elegance to each of them, which I assumed will be lost when Telltale tries to break out of their comfort zone (if they even try to, rather than repeat the same safe formula, I thought).

But Screaming Narwhal just... works. It works as a Monkey Island, it works as a standalone game, as a beginning of the new series and as a sequel. There were flaws, many of them already mentioned (One gripe I didn't see but annoyed me is the character design, namely the fact that three of the Shipwreck residents looked so alike. I understand corner-cutting in a serialized game might be necessary, but I'd prefer it either less blatant... or more eg. worked into a plot point or at least a joke.), but I, for one, simply want to see where the creators take me next, and that's what matters, right? I am buying the full season as soon as I figure out the mysteries of PayPal. (Yep, this game alone made me sign up for PayPal account. How's that for a box quote? )
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Old 09-26-2009, 01:58 PM   #202
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I'm glad you enjoyed it! I had a really great time playing the first two chapters and am definitely looking forward to the third chapter coming this Tuesday.

In particular, I am quite fond of the cinematic feel in the conversations, with very nice camera angles, depth of field effects, and silky smooth animation. And of course there's the writing, the music, plenty of rich colors, and pretty "curly" clouds in the sky. Good times!
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Old 09-27-2009, 03:13 AM   #203
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Quote:
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...the cinematic feel...
I must say I found the scene with the storm and the bouncing ships and the shaky camera the best game opening in recent memory. I see why it frustrated some players, but I thought that apart from being heckishly immersive, it worked as a great tutorial (meaning that if you can master the controls in such unsuitable conditions, you'll be fine later on).

I also forgot to mention in my last post that on the plus side of character design, I am huge fan of the new Guybrush look. It somehow manages to both incorporate elements of all the previous games and be interesting in its own right (unlike CMI Guybrush, which was well-drawn but disregarded any continuity, and EMI version, which had the opposite problem).
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Old 09-27-2009, 02:06 PM   #204
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I must say I found the scene with the storm and the bouncing ships and the shaky camera the best game opening in recent memory. I see why it frustrated some players, but I thought that apart from being heckishly immersive, it worked as a great tutorial (meaning that if you can master the controls in such unsuitable conditions, you'll be fine later on).
Agreed. I too found that opening scene mesmerizing, and the shaky camera totally immersed me somehow.

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I also forgot to mention in my last post that on the plus side of character design, I am huge fan of the new Guybrush look. It somehow manages to both incorporate elements of all the previous games and be interesting in its own right (unlike CMI Guybrush, which was well-drawn but disregarded any continuity, and EMI version, which had the opposite problem).
Again, no argument there for me. I've read a lot of negative comments regarding Guybrush, but personally, I am totally enjoying the new look, just as you are. Hey, that makes two of us!
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:21 PM   #205
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AFGNCAAP, glad you liked the opening of chapter one. It was all hands on deck (ugh not meant to be a pun!) to get that thing up and running, as it was pretty different from other things we've done at Telltale before, but I'm extremely pleased with how it came out. It's a bummer that there are people for whom that scene doesn't click and they find it frustrating (eg Evan ), but it makes me glad when people point it out as a notable moment!

Have you played chapter 2 yet? I like the opening for that one as well. It's again out at sea, but, I think, very different from chapter 1's.
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Old 09-28-2009, 05:47 AM   #206
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The problem of that sequence is that the camera changes like thrice within the space of a coaster - at least on Guybrush's ship. Try walking the "canon corner" of the ship, for instance. I think the start of Episode 2 is much greater than this, it has a really swashbuckling big adventure feel to it, like Mutiny On The Bounty big. Except a bit more intimate than that. You'll see. You'll like.
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Old 09-29-2009, 05:15 AM   #207
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The problem of that sequence is that the camera changes like thrice within the space of a coaster - at least on Guybrush's ship. Try walking the "canon corner" of the ship, for instance. I think the start of Episode 2 is much greater than this, it has a really swashbuckling big adventure feel to it, like Mutiny On The Bounty big. Except a bit more intimate than that. You'll see. You'll like.
The changing camera angles in Chapter 1's intro were a true highlight for me, so I guess it's a personal "love it or hate it" kinda thing. However, I couldn't agree more with your opinion of Chapter 2's opening scene. I was... TOTALLY blown away by it! I simply can't get enough of its goodness, and dearly hope Telltale is planning on more similar sequences for the series.

EDIT: Hey Chapter 3 is out now! Go grab your game!

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Old 09-29-2009, 11:34 AM   #208
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EDIT: Hey Chapter 3 is out now! Go grab your game!
Definitely my favourite episode yet.
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Old 09-29-2009, 07:46 PM   #209
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This latest (Ch. 3) one's definitely going to go down as a fan favorite. There's an especially obvious reason that I won't reveal here, but between the clever puzzles and the great characters in this episode, it's a standout winner. I see this one getting strong reviews and reactions across the board.

If they manage to make an even better episode in the next two months, I'll be a very, very satisfied customer/Monkey Island fan.

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Old 09-30-2009, 12:55 AM   #210
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I'm busy with the episode, but I can already say it's really making me laugh out loud, while the previous two just had me in giggles. I also like Morgan's character design - great addition to the cast!
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Old 09-30-2009, 06:22 AM   #211
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Quote:
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AFGNCAAP, glad you liked the opening of chapter one. It was all hands on deck (ugh not meant to be a pun!) to get that thing up and running, as it was pretty different from other things we've done at Telltale before, but I'm extremely pleased with how it came out. It's a bummer that there are people for whom that scene doesn't click and they find it frustrating (eg Evan ), but it makes me glad when people point it out as a notable moment!
Wow, one of the developers talked to me! I am blushing!

Quote:
Have you played chapter 2 yet?
Sadly, no. Bought the whole season yesterday as promised, though, so hopefully I should be up to date about the time Chapter 4 arrives.

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The problem of that sequence is that the camera changes like thrice within the space of a coaster - at least on Guybrush's ship. Try walking the "canon corner" of the ship, for instance.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadWolf View Post
The changing camera angles in Chapter 1's intro were a true highlight for me, so I guess it's a personal "love it or hate it" kinda thing.
Yeah, what Deadwolf said. I found the disorienting feeling it gave big part of the charm, really. Of course, if problematic camera angles or pathfinding continued beyond that prologue sequence, I would get annoyed quickly and concluded it hadn't been all intentional after all. But that wasn't the case, at least for me.

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This latest (Ch. 3) one's definitely going to go down as a fan favorite. There's an especially obvious reason that I won't reveal here,
Hm, intriguing! My unspoiled guess would be that that the "obvious reason" is

Spoiler:
Stan and/or Murray making an appearance.
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Old 09-30-2009, 07:15 AM   #212
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I picked up a free copy of the first episode for "Talk Like A Pirate Day", and I just don't think this is my type of game. I'm not much into comedy, but everyone loves it so, that I thought I'd give it a try. The swaying on the boat may have been realistic, but it was a bit annoying to me, especially the rotating camera angels, and how you make him move.

Beyond just the gamplay mechanics, the comedy wasn't really funny to me, but again, I'm not that into comedy. So at least I can say I tried it, and it's just not for me.
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Old 09-30-2009, 07:46 AM   #213
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Just finished the third chapter, it has a way better writing than the first two chapters, I laughed countless times and I enjoyed it more than the first two.
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Old 09-30-2009, 11:34 PM   #214
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The new chapter didn't quite feel as open as the first two, and I didn't really like the whole face off contest you had to do which started to enter into Monkey Combat territory, but it definitely gets better as it goes along and there's some really great moments like the body possession scene and the manatee wooing with puns. I'm still surprised by just how consistently good the series has been so far and this one is no exception, I'm already dying to play chapter 4.
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:29 AM   #215
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Same here, best episode yet. Puzzle difficulty is just right for me. Jokes are wonderful and so in key with previous games. Real laugh-out-loud moments, somewhat absent in the first two chapters.
Spoiler:
Loved the very recognizable diving sequence. Murray is his old self.
Everything is so much better than in EMI.
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Old 10-01-2009, 03:02 AM   #216
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AFGNCAAP View Post
One gripe I didn't see but annoyed me is the character design, namely the fact that three of the Shipwreck residents looked so alike. I understand corner-cutting in a serialized game might be necessary, but I'd prefer it either less blatant... or more eg. worked into a plot point or at least a joke.)
Personally I didn't notice any strong similarities in the appearances of the characters other than the underlying similarities between them you can expect to find in almost all games and cartoons, where the style of drawing (or CG rendering) have all been done with some signature technique.

One thing that I do find striking enough to call to mind every time I see it is the similarity between Mister Winslow, Guybrush's new first mate, and the Major from Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures. This didn't really bother me, though, in fact it amused me quite a bit; the same company, and likely the same team, designing characters for 2 games in relatively quick succession accidentally dropping in 2 very similar models...

I wouldn't put this down to corner cutting at all, though, as much as I'd say it was due to a hard working creative team (probably one that's working a little too hard) with time constraints and numerous other issues that we should all already be aware of that affect small games developers in general and those that affect the AG devs specifically.
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Old 10-01-2009, 11:20 AM   #217
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I do very much enjoy these new bits of MI, however.

Is it just me or do these episodes just keep getting shorter?

The first episode felt quite long. Plenty of areas to explore, several major puzzles. Completed it in about 4 sessions.

The second one had basically one major puzzle and a few smaller one tied into it. A bit of travel, didn't feel as big though. 2 sessions.

The latest one (nr 3) was perhaps just as long as the second, just easier.
Pretty much every idea for i solution that popped into my head turned out to be the correct one, several of the problems where so obvious that no thinking at all was required. 1 session.


I bought both seasons of sam and max, the games were just as short but the puzzles harder so they lasted longer.


No real point to this rant except perhaps a general complaint against the dumbing down of society.
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Old 10-01-2009, 01:49 PM   #218
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I don't think it was so much shorter as there were fewer locations to flit through.

I noticed this in Broken Sword 2, when you only had the options of going to 1 or maybe 2 locations from the one you were at. I didn't mind what felt like a loss of freedom because when I started hitting walls at one place I'd choose another at random and go there. When you don't have a map of locations to choose from you can only go to the relevant places that will advance the story.

What was missing in 'Lair' was the map and so we had the same effect.
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Old 10-01-2009, 02:00 PM   #219
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I have to agree with the rest that this was the most enjoyable episode yet.
I really like Morgana Leflay, it's the kind of character you'd want to see in a sequel which is something I can't say for all the rest of the new characters. To me this episode felt longer that the previous ones.
Spoiler:
Murray was perfect as always and I really liked the manatee matchmaking puzzle


As for the atmosphere, although it's a better game overall, it still feels like EMI. For example we've seen over a half of the game and still there's not a night time location.
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Old 10-01-2009, 02:51 PM   #220
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As for the atmosphere, although it's a better game overall, it still feels like EMI. For example we've seen over a half of the game and still there's not a night time location.
Replay the opening of chapter 1. There ya go
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