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Old 05-13-2012, 01:19 PM   #1
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Default transition from Casual Adventure to fully fledged adventure

From time to time i go through a spell where i'll quite literally play "a new game every day" from bigfishgames, and while they pass the time, the fact that most of them, regardless of how they dress it up, have the same plot behind it that involves having to rescue a number of people all trapped in differently themed scenes, and they are bogged down by tons of Hidden Object games.

So i thought instead of playing another four or five of those next week, i might make the transition to a longer 1st person adventure game (like Barrow Hill, Scratches etc) as deep down they're similar to the casual games except the puzzles are more complicated and they don't have HOGs!

Bearing this in mind, what games would you recommend? I'd like ones with fairly decent graphics, as i play on a 60" tv so older games are just horrible to look at, and i'd prefer ones with a clear narrative and direction. I didn't like Scratches too much as it seemed to rely too much on using the phone to progress the game at random moments when i had been looking everywhere to the solution to a puzzle instead.

I'm a sucker for run down abandoned settings so i'm looking forward to Asylum if that ever materializes, so if there's anything similar to that theme i'd take a look.

i'm pretty sure i've played: Darkness Within, Darkness Within 2, Scratches, Penumbra series, Amnesia, Dark Fall: Lost Souls and Barrow Hill

Last edited by marcd2011; 05-13-2012 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 05-13-2012, 02:02 PM   #2
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Anything from Kheops Studios would be great for you. They're beautiful first-person games (but with a defined protagonist and a real story), with fantastic music. They always have a journal that keeps track of what you've done and you have to do, so you should never feel lost. Also, they're usually reasonably easy, but not insultingly so.

If you're transitioning from casual games, I'd recommend you start with Nostradamus or Destination Treasure Island. Nostradamus has you investigate a series of murders (which may or may not have supernatural causes) in 16th-century France. The gameplay mixes potion-brewing, stand-alone puzzles and investigating the crime scenes closely (think CSI Renaissance!). Destination Treasure Island is structured around a treasure hunt, so you always have a clear objective (solve the next verse of the riddle). It's probably their shortest and easiest game, so that might be a good introduction for you; and it's good fun.

At the beginning, you might want to avoid Secrets of da Vinci (fantastic game, but very non-linear, and revolving almost entirely around complex inventory puzzles), Return to Mysteruious Island (even more non-linear, even more inventory puzzles), or Voyage (hard, and extremely unwelcoming first section). Dracula 3 is their largest game, and probably their best (and darkest), but it has some brutally difficult puzzles (mostly about deciphering codes and stuff like that). And I'm sure I've forgotten a few (Cleopatra, Echo...), but basically they're all great. (Apart from The Fall Trilogy, which is a casual game and is also absolutely awful.)

(Damn it, it was so happy after the whole Jane Jensen Reddit thing, and now thinking about how much I miss Kheops's unique brand of games, I'm all depressed again... )
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Old 05-13-2012, 02:16 PM   #3
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I'd like ones with fairly decent graphics... I'm a sucker for run down abandoned settings
Art of Murder series seems to be perfect for you - especially the third one, with few of those abandoned places, like the amusement park.
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Old 05-13-2012, 02:21 PM   #4
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Thanks, i hadn't ever heard of Kheops before now, but looking at a few snippets of playthroughs of the first two games you mentioned on youtube, they do look like my sort of thing. I like how the camera is freely movable, it can be annoying when there are multiple camera angles for the same still frame like in Dark Fall 3 as it's very easy to miss things. I especially liked the look of the Dracula one, as i do prefer a dark and creepy setting.
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Old 05-13-2012, 02:54 PM   #5
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Though not a 1st person game and by now an old game, the "run down abandoned settings" makes me think of Syberia.
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Old 05-13-2012, 02:57 PM   #6
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Though not a 1st person game and by now an old game, the "run down abandoned settings" makes me think of Syberia.
i've actually got Syberia in its box on a shelf somewhere, back from when games still came in cardboard boxes! Never actually got around to playing it though, think i tried once and found it dull..
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:30 AM   #7
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I've played Destination: Treasure Island now, and overall i enjoyed it. The graphics were fairly nice and the puzzles were clever without being too obtuse apart from on a couple of occasions. I had to look at a walthrough once because i was stuck not knowing what to mix with water in the forge and it turned out i'd missed picking up both of the other ingredients so i never would have figured that out by myself!

I found the inventory quite annoying though, with the pointless "transition" area and the assembling and disassembling of certain objects multiple times during the game (although i loved this gameplay mechanic when used sparingly), and it wasn't until fairly late in the game that i realised there was more than one page of items!

The game also had some severe technical problems in Win 7 x64 with everything on the screen flickering wildly when in fullscreen mode. I fixed it by playing the game in Windowed mode and using a program called Game Companion to make the window borders go offscreen and make the window fit the screen.

I've also been playing Myst V. I started off really liking it, but the more i play of it, the more it just seems like random environments with ridiculously obtuse puzzles and i've had to consult a walkthrough just to find out what the hell i'm even meant to be trying to achieve, let alone how to achieve it. I gather the Myst series is known for this though, so i'm sure that style of game must appeal to some.

Next up is either Nostradamus or Dracula Path Of The Dragon. I'm expecting similar graphical issues but at least i have a fix
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:36 AM   #8
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Next up is either Nostradamus or Dracula Path Of The Dragon. I'm expecting similar graphical issues but at least i have a fix
I have played both without graphical issues. Or I haven't finished Nostradamus, should some day. Good games anyway.
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:45 PM   #9
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i've actually got Syberia in its box on a shelf somewhere, back from when games still came in cardboard boxes! Never actually got around to playing it though, think i tried once and found it dull..
I think it can be a bit dull during the first hour or two of gameplay. Alot of that is just trying to figure out what you're supposed to be doing. But once you get the train running, the pace picks up.
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Old 05-16-2012, 12:04 PM   #10
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I can't quite think of the perfect game for your criteria so I'll toss out some other possibilities that might work.

Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper
-It's first person with movement and camera control
-Has a dark theme which you appear to like
-Is not overly complex
-Doesn't generally have that "what am I supposed to be doing" feeling of Scratches

Still Life
-same as mentioned above except for the first person part. It is 3rd person fixed camera.
-Is generally considered one of the modern classics. Not super new with amazing graphics, but certainly decent looking enough to not be an issue....I think. I don't play on 60"
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Old 05-16-2012, 01:02 PM   #11
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i've actually played both of those in the past. I liked Sherlock Holmes except for a couple of the puzzles which i couldn't get my head round. I remember one with mannequins or heights something that i couldn't do without a guide.

Don't really remember too much about Still Life but i'm pretty sure i played it back when it originally came out.. think i remember it having a really awful cop-out "wait for the sequel" ending..
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Old 05-16-2012, 05:41 PM   #12
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think i remember it having a really awful cop-out "wait for the sequel" ending..
You remember correctly
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:28 PM   #13
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I'd go for Captain Morgane and the Golden Tortoise. It's one of the worst AG I've played and will send you straight back to casuals, leaving you with a lot of extra time on your hands instead of wasting them on time-consuming adventures.
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