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Old 10-11-2008, 07:41 AM   #721
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davies View Post
"Pretty average" just about sums up AMBER. It's worth experiencing, but not worth paying collector's item prices to get hold of.
I agree as well. I had way to high expectations when I played Amber.

Today I finished Obsidian. I'm not sure what to say about it. It took me forever to finish since I've had so little time to spend on gaming recently. I enjoyed most of the puzzles and they were quite do-able (most of them). But the game wont leave an everlasting memory. It feels like an "OK shrug" or how to put it.
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Old 10-12-2008, 03:55 AM   #722
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Cluedo Chronicles 1: Fatal Illusion
(or Clue Chronicles to our friends in the USA)

Yeesh. I seem to be hitting a run of the mediocre lately. The main point about this "detective mystery adventure" is that there's no detecting involved. It's totally linear, as you move from one puzzle to the next and watch the story unfold in cutscenes. The final loose ends are wrapped up during the credits, so don't switch off too soon. The mystery itself, once explained, is rather far-fetched -- the sort of denouement that would make you throw a paperback across the room -- so be warned.

After an enigmatic intro depicting a murder during an Egyptian expedition in 1917, the game begins on New Year's Eve, 1938. You find yourself aboard a boat going up the Rhine to a multi-millionaire's mountain hideaway, where a party is planned. Also on board are all the usual Cluedo suspects, plus some original characters: a stage magician, a psychologist, an ESP researcher, a clairvoyant artist, and of course the wealthy host. Murder soon follows, and the story becomes entangled with magic both illusionistic and occult.

The graphics and sound are good, especially for their age, and the settings are sumptuously detailed and atmospheric. This loses some effect when you realise that there are actually very few places you can go and few things you can interact with or even look at. The puzzles are straightforward, either using inventory items or manipulating things in the environment. You will also be doing a lot of talking to the various suspects. You're well advised to ask everybody all available questions, and to make the rounds of everyone again after each major plot event.

The central section is padded out with an old gaming standby: finding six hidden jewels with the guidance of cryptic riddles that lead to puzzles. The riddles are easy enough to solve (one depends on an English-language rebus, so non-English-speakers will struggle there), but some of the puzzles are a bit tricky to complete. What I found unforgivable was the fact that, out of only six puzzles in this part, two are the same type. More padding comes later on with a maze section.

There is a hint option, but most of the time you shouldn't need any help. On the other hand, I grasped exactly what had to be done for the last major puzzle and couldn't solve it. Even after being fed the solution, I still don't understand the reasoning behind it...
Spoiler:
You have to put the six jewels in six pans. Each pan is marked with an Egyptian hieroglyph, and you have a document describing the hieroglyphs and their meanings. Each jewel is associated with one of the six suspects. So the problem is working out which hieroglyph can also be associated with which suspect, and arranging the jewels accordingly. It doesn't help that the pans are tiny and the hieroglyphs very difficult to make out (and there's no zoom or "examine" option).
I was sure of the placement of three jewels, and worked systematically through the permutations of the other three, but nothing clicked. Finally I gave up and got the solution. Utterly baffling, and I turned out to be wrong with the jewel I was most sure of.

I bought my copy from the bargain bin, and I guess it was worth the price of a sandwich. If you're in the mood for a puzzle-driven linear ride, and don't expect to be doing any actual sleuthing and deduction, it will kill a couple of evenings. It's certainly easy enough for beginners, although I'd hesitate in recommending it to anyone. Possibly most useful as a case study for those who want to design their own games, to pick apart and analyse what works and what doesn't.

PROS: Atmospheric. Good control system. Some well-thought-out puzzles. Decent characterisation, in that the characters are distinct from each other. Mostly logical and believable, most of the time. No sliders!
CONS: No detection or deduction involved. Strictly linear. Some illogical puzzles and duplication of puzzle types. Unsatisfyingly far-fetched explanation of mystery. Characters are objects to speak to, don't react believably to game events. Padded with treasure hunt and maze.

Overall score: 4/10
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Old 10-18-2008, 04:31 AM   #723
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Dracula Resurrection. Fairly pleasant, and I was rather impressed with the atmosphere for such a relatively old game, but it was rather thin on story.
The puzzles (most of them inventory, but later on here and there a logic puzzle) were not difficult but there were quite a few spots with irritating pixelhunts in dark obscure corners.

Not a bad game, but not soul-inspiring either...

Last edited by Moondancer; 10-18-2008 at 05:14 AM.
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Old 10-18-2008, 05:30 AM   #724
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Dreamfall

Finished replaying the adventures of Zoe and April.

Still like the game in a lot of ways. The interface and controls are very good and I wish more games used this 3D control scheme (like Broken Sword 4 as well).

Graphics are very good although the areas are very linear and very small with frequent loading.

The story is obviously the highlight of the game although it leaves waaay too much unanswered. Considering there is no indication that another Longest Journey game will come out soon (or ever) then it's frustrating to have so many loose threads. Cliffhangers only really work if there is a sequel due pretty soon.

Puzzle wise it is more or less puzzle free as there is nothing that remotely stretches the gray matter.

So overall no puzzles, but a nice, unfinished, story populated by decent characters and a decent control scheme.

8/10
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Old 10-21-2008, 09:06 PM   #725
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I've been pretty nostalgic lately and that's been reflected in what games I've played...

I've recently completed Super Mario Brothers 3, Super Mario World, Yoshi's Island and the three Donkey Kong Country games. Man, they're all still awesome. Solid, old school platforming games. There's not too many of them around these days except for Psychonauts. The Donkey Kong games have got me excited for the next Banjo Kazooie game.

Next up: Fable II...
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Old 10-22-2008, 07:56 AM   #726
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I just played Portal on a friend's computer. The gameplay's good, but I'm really disappointed by the story. There are lots of cute and interesting little bits to it, but those bits never come together to make anything more than "evil monster- kill to win". I would have enjoyed the game much more if it'd been a straight puzzle game, without all the fighting and storytelling.
3/5
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Old 10-24-2008, 11:38 AM   #727
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The demo for Braid

Simply amazing. I hate to say it, because it sounds, y'know, cheesy, but this game is magic. There's no other way to say it. The whimsical design, excellent art, soothing soundtrack, fascinating writing, and puzzles that make you smile just because they're so imaginative combine to make an incredible experience. If only the video game industry showed this much creativity more often.
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Old 10-26-2008, 12:13 AM   #728
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Syberia 2 [ps2] liked it cept for that annoying robot and Mystery Case File loved it, something my niece and I can play together [ds].
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Old 10-29-2008, 06:34 PM   #729
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Lost Crown

Good story, atmosphere, place, characters, art. Awkward character movements and a bit slow developing. Great consistent mood.

8.5

Replay: Dreamfall: still 8.5 and Discworld Noir (believe it or not) still 9. Love that Noir!!!
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Old 11-02-2008, 09:27 AM   #730
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Dead Space

One part Resident Evil, one part Event Horizon meets doom3 and one part commentary on those Scientology nutters (for legal reasons Unitology isn't really scientology ). Dead Space is a survival Horror game based in space.

You are Issac Clark (See what they did there?) mute hero and ace Engineer, Handy with cutting tools and fearless in the face of rampaging mutant monsters. Sent to see what happened to the planet Cracking Mining ship, you soon find out they are all dead and have been replaced by a variety of mutations. You soon find out it has something to do with some religious nutters and an artifact of some kind.

Armed with a selection of mining tools as weapons (you only really need the one you start the game with) you have to slice and dice the monsters as you make your way through the ship.

Ok the story is a bit of a hodge podge of cliches, but the environments are suitable dark and depressing, the sound work is superb and scary and the monsters well animated (but lack variety). Cutting off limbs is this games raison d'etre and it's huge fun slicing off arms and legs and other appendages. There are some nice set pieces and it's difficulty is pretty well pitched right. The holographic interface is superb and makes it easy to manage you stuff and the addition of the guideline to the next objective is helpful as long as you don't overuse it.

Like most survival horror games it's mostly about inventory management, conserving your ammo and health, but I never really felt short of ammo of health all that much. Upgrading of your weapons and suit was easy enough
and there are save points about ever 2 feet-ish.

Overall it is a satisfying addition to the genre, plenty of fun and creepy as hell, cutting of limbs and the zero-G puzzle sections were interesting enough to hook you in.

8/10
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Old 11-03-2008, 01:33 PM   #731
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World of Goo (Wii)
A marvelous physics puzzle game. It started out good, got better and better, and ended leaving me wanting more. Which is not to say it wasn't long enough to be satisfying- it was. It keeps sticking in more and more twists to the gameplay, so it stays fresh and challenging throughout. There's one point where in a dramatic gesture it throws out all the gameplay and starts over as an action game, then starts pulling the old elements back in and weaving it all together. Bravo.

I was disappointed when I heard this game would have a story, since it didn't seem like the sort of game a story would suit. But I've been proven wrong- the themes on this game are a delight. They never distract from the puzzles, but often enhance them. The plot is just a paper-thin, barely-trying-to-be-coherent excuse to get from one visual theme to the next, but it's cleverly written and -again- not distracting at all.

The puzzles themselves are tricky, and I might never have passed some of them without the game gently nudging me in the right direction. You've got to pay attention to everything, continually rethink the way you're using the gameplay, and be fast without being careless. The whole game is a learning process, finding new objects and figuring out what you're supposed to do with them.

It's really surprising how good this is once you get into it.
5/5
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Old 11-04-2008, 11:09 PM   #732
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Fable 2 9/10, Fallout 3 9/10. Good couple of weeks for RPGs.
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Old 11-06-2008, 07:58 AM   #733
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Call of Duty 2
A good FPS that keeps the pacing high and makes the player feel vulnerable and small in a huge war.

Grade: 7 / 10


Ace Combat 6
Awesome flight game that reminds me of the glory days of X-wing and Wing Commander. If it weren't for the short single player game and its' linearity this would be a perfect ten.

Grade: 8 /10
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Old 11-14-2008, 01:28 AM   #734
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Oh, what the heck- I'm not going to really finish this game ever. It's way too hard for that.

Art Style: Rotohex (beat Solo mode, and could do it again)
Shockingly, this is even simpler than the last two Art Style games. There aren't any levels until you beat the game. (The levels are too brutally tough to present at the start.) You go in, you start playing from the beginning, you keep going until you win or lose. Very old-school. The gameplay is all rotating hexagons in order to make hexagons of one color, which makes it disappear. If you get a few of the specific color they're telling you to get, a new color is added in. (Oh, I should probably say this: if you're colorblind, don't even try. Sorry.)

What surprised me most is the music. It's brilliant. It's got this looping, minimalist thing going on, where each time you make the tiniest bit of progress another little bit is added into the loop. And when you get a new color, it starts over with a different simple tune without breaking the beat. So you get this escalating level of intensity, and then back to the start with a different tune.

Anyway. It took me a while to get the hang of it. It's totally abstract, in a way that reminds me of Rubik's Cubes. And yet it's actually really simple, so it's a matter of building habits, which takes time and is very rewarding. There's no tutorial, so I sort of figured out more and more rules as I went along. That was rewarding too. When I started out, the Solo mode seemed impossible. Now it seems almost easy.

The one thing that's missing, and this would have made a big difference, is motion controls. They give you the option of playing with either the pointer or the D-pad, and if you use the pointer it's confusing to remember which button is clockwise and which is counter-clockwise. I think actually twisting my wrist a tiny bit would be much more intuitive. Maybe they were worried about people hurting their hands after so much repetitive movement, but I would have liked the option. Or you know what they could have done? They could have mapped the rotating to the D-pad. That would have been more intuitive too. Look, it may seem like a nitpick. But rotating is literally all you do, the entire game. That it's not as intuitive as it should be is a problem.

Regardless, very fun and addictive. I can never get rotating hexagons out of my head now.
4/5
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Old 11-19-2008, 01:22 AM   #735
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayvielle View Post
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attourney
And as for Edgeworth? The evolution of his character throughout the game just burned down the battery on my DS.
The first 3 PW's on DS are gems. Apollo isn't anywhere near as good but if you must play a PW style game I guess it'll do until... Perfect Prosecutor comes out. I'm looking forward to playing as Edgy. Even if I'm not a complete queen, into purple and frills I'll be fun to play one.

I think the strength of the earlier PW's is its a great platform for ship to ship warfare, much like Harry Potter in that respect too I guess. You can never tell who goes with who even after three whole games and such a dramatic and over the top story arc, but that's because the writers embrace that aspect and have fun with it.

----

Contributing to the thread:

I just finished Portal.

It took me about 3 hours. I was racing to find the much lauded story line and a new romantic interest in a metal cube with a heart on it. But I didn't find either. Its a fun if not entirely original concept that didn't flesh out, like ever.

I never learned much about the scientists, just finding empty rooms and the same slideshow twice, and most telling I never learned who was leaving the scribbled wall notes or when, or why. I also didn't find companion cube love. It lasts one quick level and you never do anything with it you haven't done already with other cubes.

I love the mechanics, I really ate up the flash version and am looking forward to the challenges and extra 'just puzzles' levels. It was also pleasant to read that 'Portal 2' won't just be more levels but will further the story. Its a shame I missed out on the website content completely, now it just runs a looping holiday video feed from years ago.

I sound like I had a meh time but I really didn't, it brought back a LOT of fond memories from my Teamfortress days (for quakeworld, not that half-life(1) abomination version). There used to be a server at my old ISP that just cycled training maps for TF classes to teach cuss jumping, grenade jumping, rocket jumping, pipe jumping, bunny hopping etc. Good times.
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Old 11-19-2008, 06:11 AM   #736
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunchy in milk View Post
I also didn't find companion cube love. It lasts one quick level and you never do anything with it you haven't done already with other cubes.
Yeah, i don't understand all the love some people have for the companion cube. I mean... it's just a cube with hearts on all sides. It doesn't speak, it has no personality and it's not even remotely cute.

Anyway...

LEGO Indiana Jones - The Original Adventures

Finally got round to finishing this game. It's good, but not great like some reviews/game sites would lead you to believe. Whilst its style is cute and funny at times, the gameplay just feels repetitive to me and the 'fun factor' eventually disappeared. Breaking loads of objects and getting loads of studs certainly wore a bit thin after a bit. Also a bit irritating when you've collected loads of them and get killed over again. Either by enemies, with a few hits (one when a rocket launcher is involved ), or by accidentally falling down a pit because of a miss-timed jump. Not to mention your other character standing in the way, causing you to fall again.
The game does keep pretty faithful to the movies, which is good. The humour is there, which is appropriate for kids or even adults (depending on your sense of humour) and for a game that's all about LEGO. The achievements are easy to get (always a bonus to me ), entertaining uses of LEGO in the game world, collecting/finding all the secrets was kinda fun, especially after finishing the game and unlocking certain characters from the movies. I liked being able to use specific characters and using their abilities, although disappointing that i couldn't choose all the characters i wanted to take with me. Only 1 or 2 could be chosen whilst the others were chosen for you. Finding all the secrets did take me longer than it ought to have done. But then that was down to me constantly loosing interest.

Playing a kids game like this really reminded me why i much prefer more adult-themed games (esp. on the 360). If this game was around when i was much younger, i would have loved it to bits (no pun intended). I loved LEGO and i always hoped that an action/adventure game or movie would be made involving it. Unfortunately i've grown up a lot since then so the idea of a LEGO game wasn't as exciting as it probably would've been back then. But hell, it's Indiana Jones and i have fond memories of the movies and playing with LEGO. I am, however, more interested in the next Indy game though. It should be more like the movies and have a more serious tone, which i prefer when it comes to Indiana Jones.

Overall: good

3.5/5
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Old 11-19-2008, 09:50 AM   #737
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alucard View Post
Yeah, i don't understand all the love some people have for the companion cube. I mean... it's just a cube with hearts on all sides. It doesn't speak, it has no personality and it's not even remotely cute.
It's bizarre that the computer would think you'd consider it your friend just because it has hearts on it. That's why it's funny. The gag never really goes anywhere, though. Much like the game as a whole.
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Old 11-23-2008, 12:24 PM   #738
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The World Ends With You and Dangeresque 3.

TWEWY was really fun, and had some great moments in terms of story, though the battle system felt somewhat complicated at times, keeping track of 2 screens at the same time :S
9/10

Dangeresque 3 was flat out funny. The whole idea was great and the dialog and "mistakes" were just plain funny.
9/10
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Old 11-28-2008, 11:42 AM   #739
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Portal was the first game out of the Orange Box I played to finish, I've since finished Half Life 2 and Episode One.

Maybe it's fond memories talking, but I felt the original Half Life had more charm. This time around I really didn't enjoy myself nearly so much in Half Life 2. It's really pounded home hard that all you do is shoot stuff and there's little to break that up. It got quite tedious to be honest, to the point that I didn't enjoy the super gravity gun at the end nearly so much as I should have.

If anything HL2 really drove home just how sad Gordan's life has become to be 'thawed out' and thrust into these situations at the whim of the 'G-man'. In my opinion it needed more 'human connection' parts to make me/Gordan want to save the world this time for my own reasons. The story-important NPCs where under utilised and really lacked for personality beyond "Hey Gordan, heres what you do next..."

Episode 1 felt more of a genre revolutionary title than HL2. The survival horror aspect was a lot more engaging in this outing with a much more personable and functional Alyx and some puzzles that didn't require bullets, grenades or crates (at least on their own) to solve.

I've since started Episode 2, and I have to say that despite the effort to keep me/Gordan connected via the Alyx plot there has already been far too much 'Oh roadblock, you go on ahead and circle back for me after you deal with all that shit' moments. A sad step backwards from the enjoyable Episode 1.

They must have done something right though (perhaps unintentionally) because apon hearing the G-man express interest in souls other than myself I felt _true_ sorrow for them. Which is odd because I started out playing this game for fun.
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Old 11-28-2008, 03:45 PM   #740
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Mirror's Edge

If it were up to me, I'd give the GOTY award to Mirror's Edge. Graphics, gameplay, story, and sound are all among the best I've seen ever. It was a blast from start to finish, and ended far too soon.
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