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Old 02-09-2011, 11:26 AM   #321
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Wow, I thought the Xbox 360 version would be release at the end of February, but I will already receive it tomorrow. I hope they did some fixing though.
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:36 PM   #322
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I am a lover for original well told stories. I am also an amateur magician and loved GK1.

If I found great enjoyment in Lost Horizon, with it's probable inferior story, will this game rock my socks?!

Lol...I think I shouldn't hype myself up.
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:59 AM   #323
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Default Gray Matter: First Impressions disappointing

I am currently playing Gray Matter and just completed Chapter 3, so no spoilers please!
I just wanted to share my first impressions so far and would like to hear from people who are playing or have finished playing Gray Matter (again no spoilers . I had enormous high expectations for this game and I must say I have been let down. The story and the characters are fantastic and are fully meeting my expectations, staying true to Jane Jensenīs reputation, however the game is a disappointment. First of all itīs so easy itīs just a mild cut above an hidden object game, then there are not enough items to click on or locations to visit and finally each chapter is painfully short. Is this a lack of budget? Or are adventure gamers now being dumbed down in order to attract the Hidden Object players? I can not believe it would be a lack of budget as surely Jane Jensen must get a very high budget considering her status in the adventure community. She herself has admitted that she made the game more approachable, which I guess translates into "dummer game in order to increase sales".
The adventure community might not be as successful as others but it has been thriving for a few years now, so I canīt see why Jane Jensen could not deliver a game worthy of her name. Hidden object players are supposed to move towards adventure gaming, not the other way around!
What are your impressions?
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Old 02-10-2011, 03:25 AM   #324
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Hidden object players are supposed to move towards adventure gaming, not the other way around!
Well, that's interesting theme to think of. It's also significant to what you're used to. But if someone never played an adventure game and plays casual game, will he/she be able to adopt more complex gameplay and puzzles? Or is it easier to seasoned adventure game player to play casual game?

And another question that comes to mind - are adventure games becoming casual, or is it vice versa? I don't really know the answer, but there are some things that are obvious. For example, full-fledged adventure games more and more incorporate in-game hints, or puzzles that are related only to one locations, more and more linear gameplay etc. However, casual games more and more tend to "distance" or disguise their origins of pure hidden object finding, and more and more incorporate things like inventory, though-out story, puzzles that require you to visit several locations or combine items, dialogs etc.

So, the real answer might be somewhere in the middle.
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Old 02-10-2011, 04:35 AM   #325
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Diego: I certainly welcome a merging of adventure and casual gaming in order to appeal to a wider audience and thus helping adventure games to thrive, however we are talking about the most anticipated and probably most widely revered adventure games author. If she can not or will not deliver a challenging, engaging and extensive adventure game, who will? If the merging of the two genres will result in easier , less-challenging and shorter adventure games, we might as well have killed the genre and just go back to playing scrabble...I realize I sound quite bitter, but I must say the disappointment of Gray Matter stings quite deeply. Given the complex story and characters, this game could have had the scope of Gabriel Knight and more, but what I am playing now is a little more than a short interactive story...
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Old 02-10-2011, 05:21 AM   #326
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well, as this article on Hidden Object games which i recommend says:

"Trends do pass, but we’re only at the beginning of this one, and even when it finally subsides, I suspect the genre won’t ever be the same. Not dead… but not the same."


So, if we're talking about merging of casual and traditional adventure games, then we're speaking also of merging the two markets, which means developers and publishers will try to please the both groups. That leads us to "easier" difficulty of course, when comparing it to the classics. About Jane Jensen, she actually did some casual games before the Gray Matter so it should not come as surprise. And you really can't blame her or publishers for their desire for their product to reach wider audience.

I see "heroes" of adventure gaming in these "troubled times" in everyone who tries to keep the spark of golden adventure gaming in a way. Puzzles, creative puzzles are one of the things that lack the most today. Going blindly into the "Heavy Rain" territory seems like the "easy way" today for developers and publishers. It seems like it's easier to come up with the story than rich gameplay and puzzles. Another proof of that is that we see less and less Myst-like and traditional puzzle oriented games.

On the other hand, "casual invasion" certainly shaked the mainstream gaming and accented the non-action gameplay in the tradition of adventure games. As for me, success of casual games is just another proof of how "immortal" basic adventure game elements are, or interactive storytelling. I'll quote Roberta Williams from this interview:

"I believe that the 'true' adventure game genre will never die any more than any type of storytelling would ever die. Sometimes, I think that something 'new' may come along for awhile and take away attention from longer, story-oriented genres, like movies took attention away from books for awhile, and TV took attention away from movies for awhile. Things like that."

and this

"Adventure games "as we know it" are dead. What does that mean? Does that mean "text" adventure games with text input; story, puzzles, no art, no animation, no music, no sound, no spoken dialog? Does that mean "picture book" adventure games with more advanced text input; story, puzzles, no animation, no music, no sound, no spoken dialog? Does that mean "2D worlds with cut screen shots" with icon bar input; story, puzzles, limited animation, limited music, limited sound, no spoken dialog? Does that mean "2D worlds with cut screen shots and limited short 'cartoons' or 'movies' with icon bar input; story, puzzles, better animation, better music, better sound, limited spoken dialog? Does that mean "2D worlds with lots more cut screen shots and more short 'cartoons/movies' with 'point and click' input; better story, easier puzzles, great animation, great music, great sound, lots of spoken dialog? Do you see a trend here in all of this?"

So, maybe that "something new" could be casual games and the merging of two is just another step in "evolution".
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Old 02-10-2011, 07:43 AM   #327
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diego View Post


So, if we're talking about merging of casual and traditional adventure games, then we're speaking also of merging the two markets, which means developers and publishers will try to please the both groups. That leads us to "easier" difficulty of course, when comparing it to the classics. About Jane Jensen, she actually did some casual games before the Gray Matter so it should not come as surprise. And you really can't blame her or publishers for their desire for their product to reach wider audience.

So, maybe that "something new" could be casual games and the merging of two is just another step in "evolution".
I am afraid we are not talking about the merging of two markets, because in order to have a merger, both markets should stand on equal footing, which they donīt. Hidden Object games are vastly more popular than "classic" adventure games, so what we are seeing now is adventure games accommodating to hidden object games. Personally I donīt even mind that, but then at least give the option for different difficulty levels for people like me who have been playing adventure games forever and do not much care for hidden object or easier puzzles. Yes Jane Jensen has been doing a lot in the casual game department, but I did not expect her or the developers to bring her new adventure game down to a more approachable level. I mean we are talking about the author of Gabriel Knight here: the creme de la creme of adventure gaming. At least that should be kept intact for adventure gamers. This is not a transition like from 2D to 3D: this undermines the very reasons people play adventure games: puzzles, a well-developed world to immerse yourself into, challenging quests, etc. If we are going to miss all this, then I donīt see the reason to play adventure games anymore.
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:10 AM   #328
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Well, i certainly agree about the need for better and more difficult puzzles.

Jane Jensen might be the game designer here, but it's one thing working with Sierra then, and another with a new team today. She also might not be responsible for all choices about the game or puzzle design.

I think it comes to what the goals are of developer and publisher. That's why you can every day find a brand new traditional independent adventure game if you visit AGS site for example, because they are rid of commercial issues.

Also, there're a lot of companies that emphasizes traditional gameplay even the adoption of some new trends are inevitable.
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:13 AM   #329
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Diego: Have you played Gray Matter to the end? Do things get better/harder after chapter 3 or what I am getting now is what I will be getting throughout the game?
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:18 AM   #330
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No, i put it aside for now. I hope puzzles are getting more difficult towards the end.
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:25 AM   #331
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Funny, I thought the first two chapters felt long. But around chapter 4 is where I thought the story started to get really interesting, so I wouldn't say that "what you're getting now is what you'll be getting throughout the game."

That said, if you're not enjoying it by now, I don't know that you'll suddenly start enjoying it.
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Old 02-10-2011, 11:39 AM   #332
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I found this game too much old school and if want to play old school ag i play the originals again,why bother with inconsistencies of second hand experiences.
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Old 02-10-2011, 02:13 PM   #333
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^
Is it me or does that post throw logic out of the window?
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Old 02-10-2011, 05:35 PM   #334
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If you mean, did it make sense, no. Not to me, anyway.
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:08 AM   #335
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I don't think Gray Matter gets much "harder" in the later chapters but it definitely gets better. And I think there is more to do, so it probably gives at least a tad more challenge than the first chapters.

Even though the game was on the easier side it didn't feel as easy as many other recent games (Memento Mori for example). And personally I enjoyed the puzzles, they were realistic, logical, interesting and fun.
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Old 02-11-2011, 05:14 AM   #336
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I, for one, although being a 'seasoned' adventure gamer, would certainly prefer a game with easier puzzles that are all the same logical (as in Gray Matter), than one with 'harder' puzzles that are there just so that they impede the story, thus making the game longer. Let's face it - having an inventory with 50 items, taking everything that 'isn't nailed down' and zany solutions are not the way forward. And it's no wonder such are not appealing to gamers nowadays.

That being said, I certainly had fun with Gray Matter, the puzzles weren't hard, but they were, more importantly, varied. I never felt bored during the 10-12 hours I played that game. And that's more than I can say for, say, Monkey Island 2. =)
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Old 02-11-2011, 06:27 AM   #337
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Wow, I thought the Xbox 360 version would be release at the end of February, but I will already receive it tomorrow. I hope they did some fixing though.
Please post what you think about the interface! I'd love to get it for the XBox but I'm really worried if the interface stinks.
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Old 02-12-2011, 02:27 AM   #338
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Please post what you think about the interface! I'd love to get it for the XBox but I'm really worried if the interface stinks.
Well, I've played the game for about 2 hours now and the interface hasn't really improved since the demo. It's a bit clunky, but after a while I got used to it. But consindered the fact I can now play an adventure game from my bed instead of sitting in a desk chair I can live with it's few flaws.

Besides that the game is great! I love the atmosphere and the puzzles. One thing I disliked about a lot of third-person adventures (I'm more of a first-person adventure freak) is the fact that the puzzles are so illogical. Compared to that Gray Matter is really a breath of fresh air, which makes me love the game even more. No more cutting rubber chickens to pieces and then letting a monkey glue it together to create a helmet.
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Old 02-14-2011, 09:27 PM   #339
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where can I preorder the Xbox version in the US?
I couldnt find it anywhere :|
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Old 02-16-2011, 12:34 AM   #340
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Quote:
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where can I preorder the Xbox version in the US?
I couldnt find it anywhere :|
The Xbox version is still not out, February 25 it will be (I dunno if that's for US too).

I have a French version though, which is totally in English. Wouldn't know if it's region free.

Edit: Finished the game. It was fun, but not as great as it could have been. In my opinion the ending was quite bad.
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Last edited by M-E; 02-17-2011 at 05:07 AM.
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