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Old 11-03-2005, 07:15 PM   #1
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Default Myst V review

The review is a good one, but I was surprised to see 4/5 stars. Tom King seemed to be aggravated a good deal of the time from the review. I guess he liked it overall.

There is one place where he refers to the Bahro as "standing prone". Since prone means to be laying face down, I had no idea what was meant here.

"prone (prōn)
adj.
Lying with the front or face downward.
Having a tendency; inclined: paper that is prone to yellowing; children who are prone to mischief.
adv.
In a prone manner: The patient was lying prone on the bed."

I'm a nurse who uses the terms prone and supine (face down and face up) very frequently in work, but I looked it up to see if there was some meaning I don't know, but I didn't find any.

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Old 11-03-2005, 07:46 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fairygdmther
Tom King seemed to be aggravated a good deal of the time from the review.
I don't read that at all, aside from a few gripes about some sloppy slate implementation. Good graphics, good music, good characters, good controls, ties the series story together nicely, etc. What are you basing your comment on?

Quote:
There is one place where he refers to the Bahro as "standing prone". Since prone means to be laying face down, I had no idea what was meant here.
It CAN mean lying down, but doesn't have to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merriam Webster
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin pronus bent forward, tending; akin to Latin pro forward -- more at FOR
1 : having a tendency or inclination : being likely <prone to forget names> <accident-prone>
2 a : having the front or ventral surface downward b : lying flat or prostrate
I can't say for sure that this is what Tom meant, but the bolded sections are how I interpreted it. I don't think he has computer access at the moment, so that may have to do for now.
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Old 11-03-2005, 08:37 PM   #3
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"By helping you in this way, the Bahro act as the intercessors in puzzle resolution. This is a masterstroke idea, whose implementation can unfortunately be a little frustrating."


"In the two examples mentioned earlier, the Bahro also take your slate and return it to the nearest pedestal, leading the player to feel that these creatures are less inclined to render assistance than they are concerned about their tools lying about the landscape. This forces you to travel back to retrieve them once again; thus the hindrance. I can only guess the developers planned this as a sort of attenuated obstacle, but it's uselessly frustrating, and served little purpose but to force a muttered expletive from me each time it happened. At other times, you will have to track down your slate again because you've unintentionally dropped it, as apparently the stranger is rather uncoordinated, and can't hold a small rock slate and turn a door handle at the same time. Having said that, the puzzle implementation felt organic and relevant, within a game that requests the player to involve him or herself emotionally as well as intellectually."

"And at one point a Bahro took my dropped slate but failed to carry out what my crude drawing required, standing prone as though he'd had a particularly frightening epiphany that rooted him to the spot, forcing an exit and some backtracking."

I've highlighted the places I meant.

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Old 11-04-2005, 02:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackal
I don't read that at all, aside from a few gripes about some sloppy slate implementation.
Well, seeing as all the puzzles are using this stupid slate, these few gripes seem rather important for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackal
Good graphics, good music, good characters, good controls, ties the series story together nicely, etc.
I have a hard time understanding how people can say this about Myst 5. This is not an attack on Tom, since I've seen others saying the same thing, but it's still weird to me.
I would say: Average graphics, unimpressive music, unintersting characters, average controls, doesn't add anything to the story (but I haven't finished it yet, so that's just my impression after 3 quarter or more of the game).
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Old 11-04-2005, 04:39 AM   #5
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Well, those slate issues listed just strike me as secondary nuisances (or in the last case quoted, a bug). In an otherwise good game, such annoyances tend to stand out more, because it yanks you out of enjoying the game, so they need to be mentioned. But it's not like he's saying the puzzles themselves are poor. The review is generally fairly positive about those.

I've probably harped on a lot more about a lot less and still given games 4 stars. Our 4-star rating is described as "a game of very high quality. Although some aspects might have been executed better, we would recommend this game to any adventure gamer without hesitation."

I mean, really we have to explain the parts that might have been executed better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninth
I would say: Average graphics, unimpressive music, unintersting characters, average controls, doesn't add anything to the story (but I haven't finished it yet, so that's just my impression after 3 quarter or more of the game).
I've only played the demo, so my own experience is more limited. Just out of curiosity, when you say "average" graphics, what are you comparing them to? I agree they're hardly cutting edge quality, but I'd still call them above average. I'm biting my tongue on saying "especially for an adventure", but... well, you know. Let's face it - adventures haven't exactly set the real-time 3D bar very high to this point.

I thought the controls were fantastic, though. Not that any one option does things better than any other game, necessarily, but I don't know of another game that offers that kind of range. And actually, no, I lied. I don't think I've seen a node movement game that handled its scene transition that well, either. I was really impressed.
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Old 11-04-2005, 04:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackal
I've only played the demo, so my own experience is more limited. Just out of curiosity, when you say "average" graphics, what are you comparing them to? I agree they're hardly cutting edge quality, but I'd still call them above average. I'm biting my tongue on saying "especially for an adventure", but... well, you know. Let's face it - adventures haven't exactly set the real-time 3D bar very high to this point.

I thought the controls were fantastic, though. Not that any one option does things better than any other game, necessarily, but I don't know of another game that offers that kind of range. And actually, no, I lied. I don't think I've seen a node movement game that handled its scene transition that well, either. I was really impressed.
Average graphics, compared to Myst 3 and Myst 4. And, if you want 3d comparison, compared to Fahrenheit. Or Sentinel. Or Schizm 2. Mind you, the worlds are very different in this departement. Over the 5 worlds I've visited already, I'd say that one is lame, one is gorgeous, and 3 are average.

The controls are much better than Uru, but not as good as in Sentinel, in my opinion, ie: not very responsive, as far as movement is concerned, and not that intuitive, especially with the slate. Nothing dire, but nothing great either, in my eyes. And I'm not sure what you mean with "that kind of range"...
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Old 11-04-2005, 04:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninth
Average graphics, compared to Myst 3 and Myst 4. And, if you want 3d comparison, compared to Fahrenheit. Or Sentinel. Or Schizm 2. Mind you, the worlds are very different in this departement. Over the 5 worlds I've visited already, I'd say that one is lame, one is gorgeous, and 3 are average.
Average compared to Fahrenheit? Ouch. I really didn't see enough from the Myst V demo to feel strongly either way. Just curious.

Quote:
And I'm not sure what you mean with "that kind of range"...
I meant the option to choose either free roaming or node movement. In terms of accessibility, it seems like the best of both worlds. Maybe I didn't play long enough to notice the weaknesses, but my immediate impression was favourable.
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Old 11-04-2005, 05:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackal
Average compared to Fahrenheit? Ouch. I really didn't see enough from the Myst V demo to feel strongly either way. Just curious.
I don't know. I guess that Myst 5 is probably more crisp, but Fahrenheit's graphics gave me an impression of a living world, while Myst 5 graphics didn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackal
I meant the option to choose either free roaming or node movement. In terms of accessibility, it seems like the best of both worlds. Maybe I didn't play long enough to notice the weaknesses, but my immediate impression was favourable.
Yes, this option is good, but the free roaming (which is what I uses, except to be sure I can't access some place) isn't exactly smooth. Not bad, but not as smooth as other similar games (like Sentinel, again).
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Old 11-04-2005, 05:02 AM   #9
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I'm guessing that by "prone," Tom meant "standing still." Since "lying prone" is often used as a cliché for when people are knocked out or unconscious, it would be easy to get the impression that it simply means "motionless."

I don't think I explicitly knew the definition for the word until now, but my intuition would fall somewhere between the two. (I probably wouldn't write "lying prone," but I didn't react when I read it, either.)
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Old 11-04-2005, 01:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninth
I don't know. I guess that Myst 5 is probably more crisp, but Fahrenheit's graphics gave me an impression of a living world, while Myst 5 graphics didn't.
I'm guessing this 'living world' feeling has more do to with any little attention paid to such things as idle animations (leaves falling, water rippling, birds and other animals, rain, snow, etc.) than to the quality of the graphics itself. Basically, things that many 3D games of other genres (KOTOR, Morrowind, Psychonauts, etc.) automatically have.
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Old 11-04-2005, 02:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Intrepid Homoludens
I'm guessing this 'living world' feeling has more do to with any little attention paid to such things as idle animations (leaves falling, water rippling, birds and other animals, rain, snow, etc.) than to the quality of the graphics itself. Basically, things that many 3D games of other genres (KOTOR, Morrowind, Psychonauts, etc.) automatically have.
I'm not sure. I must say that Myst V look doesn't appeal to me at all even in the screenshots, although I can't put my finger on why. I think it might be emptiness. Not a sense of solitude or desolation, because it would be something I actually expect from Mystian ages, but emptiness - too wide spaces with sparse varieties (none of them too exciting or eye-catching anyway) added almost as an afterthought. A typical worn-out, and seen in countless movies, diner from the beginning of Fahrenheit, seems to have much more going for it in terms of art direction than this.

And the comment that KOTOR, Morrowind and Psychonauts feature idle animations etc. "automatically" sounds kind of degrading to their developers who spent months of their lives on implementing it. But I suppose that's not how you meant it.
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Old 11-04-2005, 02:17 PM   #12
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By idle animations I meant that whatever characters/creatures/flora do on their own when you're not interacting with them. For example, two NPCs carrying on a conversation until you come up and ask them for directions. A flock of birds feeding until you approach and they fly away. Even things like smoke billowing form chimneys, insects, and passing clouds.

Sound is also a crucial element. I remember in realMyst how alive it felt primarily because of all the ambient sounds of water, rain, toads, and whales. Walking through those Ages I never felt them to be empty and lifeless, just merely empy of life like people and large animals and bustling towns.
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Old 11-04-2005, 02:58 PM   #13
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I understand the significance of it all, but my point is that even in the screenshots, which are devoid of these little touches by definition, the game looks less compelling that eg. Fahrenheit (IMO), which leads to the conclusion that the graphics itself may be not that good as well (again, obviously, IMO).
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Old 11-04-2005, 03:17 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by AFGNCAAP
I understand the significance of it all, but my point is that even in the screenshots, which are devoid of these little touches by definition, the game looks less compelling that eg. Fahrenheit (IMO),...
Wait a minute. What criteria are you using to compare the 'compelling-ness' of each game? How is Fahrenheit more 'compelling' than Myst V? By what standard? And is this standard usable for any other kind of game or should be it be exclusive to these two titles?

Quote:
which leads to the conclusion that the graphics itself may be not that good as well (again, obviously, IMO).
Well, imo, Fahrenheit has lousy graphics quality compared to, say, Splinter Cell: CT or Half-Life 2. That the graphics quality must have been decidedly considered further down the list of priorties most likely has to do with where the beef of the game was focused on by David Cage - i.e., the story, character development, and the overall quality of the experience, AND MORE IMPORTANTLY making the game accessible by as many people as possible. Which meant that the PS2 is the common denominator of all platform versions of the game (more people own a PS2 than an Xbox and a top of the line PC).

It's definitely possible to scale up the graphics to the quality of HL2 or SC:CT, but Cage and Atari must have thought the number of potential audience would be severely cut down.
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Old 11-04-2005, 03:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Intrepid Homoludens
Wait a minute. What criteria are you using to compare the 'compelling-ness' of each game? How is Fahrenheit more 'compelling' than Myst V? By what standard? And is this standard usable for any other kind of game or should be it be exclusive to these two titles?
I think've lost track on what we are arguing about, but let me try to answer. Compelling-ness would be a completely subjective factor, hence repeated "IMO" in my previous post. Fahrenheit is a pretty natural comparison, being a cutting-edge game (as far as adventures are concerned) released on the very same day. Just as well I could put Myst V next to its previous instalments, by which it pales, but that you would call unfair because Exile and Revelation, you'd argue, were play-it-safe in terms of graphics, rather than in revolutionary 3D.
Quote:
Well, imo, Fahrenheit has lousy graphics quality compared to, say, Splinter Cell: CT or Half-Life 2. That the graphics quality must have been decidedly considered further down the list of priorties most likely has to do with where the beef of the game was focused on by David Cage - i.e., the story, character development, and the overall quality of the experience, AND MORE IMPORTANTLY making the game accessible by as many people as possible. Which meant that the PS2 is the common denominator of all platform versions of the game (more people own a PS2 than an Xbox and a top of the line PC).

It's definitely possible to scale up the graphics to the quality of HL2 or SC:CT, but Cage and Atari must have thought the number of potential audience would be severely cut down.
Fair enough, but none of these apply to Myst. It was not designed for consoles, the marketability is almost certain, and, at least according to people like Ninth whose opinion I learnt to value, lowering the graphics quality didn't help to improve the game in other areas like the story or the puzzles. (And I never said Fahrenheit looked bad, so why I am writing this at all?)
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Old 11-07-2005, 12:54 AM   #16
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I think it might be emptiness. Not a sense of solitude or desolation, because it would be something I actually expect from Mystian ages, but emptiness - too wide spaces with sparse varieties (none of them too exciting or eye-catching anyway) added almost as an afterthought.
Yeah, that's something like that. And the screenshots you linked to features one of the good parts.

What mesmerize me is why they would make one incredibly compelling world, with a huge planet hanging in a beautiful night sky, and 4 other barely average worlds, among which a cardboard beach + sewer.
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