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Old 02-02-2012, 09:40 AM   #21
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I read "The Book of Atrus" after playing "Riven", and now it makes a lot more sense, and brings a lot of depth to it. I also foubnd a website called "Riven Illuminated", or something along those lines, that described the scenery and what was going on in the background, I found it made the game have a lot more depth for me. By itself, yeah there wasn't much story, but I love all of the supplemental reading...it really made the game a favorite for me.
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Old 02-03-2012, 04:36 AM   #22
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I had a look at that website it was informative and interesting. I also watched a Riven playthrough on youtube (after I finished the game) where the girl was describing stuff as she went along.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ax5rX...eature=related

Still wish the extra research wasn't needed and that the game had more books to read that gave you the option in the game to get more of this information.
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Old 02-03-2012, 04:49 AM   #23
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Portal 2

Replayed one of the best games of last year (No.10 in the Top 100).

Portal 2 takes the premise of being trapped in a facility with a insane AI called GlaDOS and fleshes out the characters and back history of Aperture Science testing.

This time you have a few new companions along the way from the hilarious Wheatly to Cave Johnson in the old historical parts of the facility.

There is a lot more variety in the puzzles with new element like Gels and light bridges etc to be used to solve puzzles.

The 2nd Playthrough has the same issues as replaying most adventure games. Once you know how the puzzles are solved it is pretty easy to breeze through the game reasonably fast.

So sans difficulty what are you left with....

3 Fantastic characters in Glados, Wheatly and Cave Johnson.
A hilarious script
The puzzles are still fun.
A bonkers mad ending ......
Spoiler:
SPACE


Still a superb game.

5/5
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:42 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucien21 View Post
[IMG] Portal 2
Replayed one of the best games of last year (No.10 in the Top 100).
I have only had time to play the first five minutes or so, and found the beginning so hilarious I have repeated it several times. I could be me, of course, my children do not find it so funny.
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Old 02-06-2012, 10:49 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucien21 View Post


Portal 2

Replayed one of the best games of last year (No.10 in the Top 100).

Portal 2 takes the premise of being trapped in a facility with a insane AI called GlaDOS and fleshes out the characters and back history of Aperture Science testing.

This time you have a few new companions along the way from the hilarious Wheatly to Cave Johnson in the old historical parts of the facility.

There is a lot more variety in the puzzles with new element like Gels and light bridges etc to be used to solve puzzles.

The 2nd Playthrough has the same issues as replaying most adventure games. Once you know how the puzzles are solved it is pretty easy to breeze through the game reasonably fast.

So sans difficulty what are you left with....

3 Fantastic characters in Glados, Wheatly and Cave Johnson.
A hilarious script
The puzzles are still fun.
A bonkers mad ending ......
Spoiler:
SPACE


Still a superb game.

5/5
I just ordered this game and I'm really looking forward to playing!
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Old 02-11-2012, 03:18 PM   #26
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Day of the Tentacle

A travesty that this game wasn't in the top 5

IMO it is by far the best adventure game ever and "More fun than a jumpsuit full of weasels".

It has a unique premise that works so well that it's amazing that nobody has tried to emulate it over the years. Set in three distinct time periods and controlling three different characters it very early on sets out the rules for interactions.

Small inanimate items can be passed from character to character either directly or through the passage of time to solve some ingenious 4th dimensional puzzling.

The time frame setting really brings out the depth of creativity in the puzzles. You are constantly trying to think where and in what time frame are the items relevant.

It's a brightly coloured world with a skewed art style that is perfect for the host of hilarious and kooky characters in the game. Including some great US historical figures and Mr Ed

Overall it's a game that tickled the funny bone like no game before it or since, stretches the brain matter with some lateral thinking and has some of the funniest sound effects in video gaming.

Adventure gaming Nirvana.

5/5
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Old 02-19-2012, 05:45 AM   #27
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The Last Express

A $5million game that famously flopped on it's initial release. Mainly due to bad timing and a company going bust.

The game takes place on the Orient Express on the eve of WWI. You jump on the train to meet a friend and find him dead. Taking his place on the train you have to investigate his death.

This game has a unique gameplay feature that is one of the games biggest strenghs and one it it's weaknesses. The game takes place in an accelerated real time world. Characters move about independantly of your actions, important events happen at certain times whether you are there or not.

So you walk around and evesdrop on conversations, pick up items, talk to people or sneak into their cabins when they are otherwise engaged.

There is a wealth of story and background to be found by being in the right place. The characters are rich and varied, from the overweight letcherous German to the beautiful musician, the lesbian couple or the African royal. They all have secrets to unfold.

It certainly lends a lot of replayability to the game however it also makes the game hard to know what to do next. Do I sit here and listen to Sophie dominate and manipulate poor Rebecca, do I watch Madame B complain about the Dog for the 10th time or do I try and sneak into the young Russians room and find out what he is up to?

Choices, choices.

It this leads to multiple endings and a branching storyline that makes each play through slightly different. Make a mistake and you will have to rewind time and try again.

Mechanically the game is a 1st person flip style game with some great graphics. The characters are all animated in a rotoscope fashion with the real actors being fillmed and then animated. It make for some decent if choppy as hell animations. Most of the puzzles are situational and require you to be in the right place at the right time and hear the next clue or talk to the right person, but there are occassional inventory puzzles.

There are also some action fights in the game that require you to do some basic QTE type button mashing to win. These are extremly frustrating and could probably have been left out of the game.

Overall, This is a game with a fantastic story and a superb set of realistic characters (the game is not afraid to have them all speak their native language). It is slightly held back by the dodgy fight sequences, the choppy graphics and a weird ending that I never thought fit with the rest of the game.

4.5/5
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Old 02-25-2012, 04:11 AM   #28
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Stacking

This is a Double Fine game I downloaded a while ago on PSN and never really played.

You play as Charlie the smallest member of the Blackmore family. They are a family of chimney sweeps during the American industrial revolution. The family is tricked by an evil moustache twirling Baron into slavery to pay off their debts and it's left to you to rescue the family one by one.

The game has a very cartoony 30's asthetic and is portrayed as a silent movie. The characters are all based around Russian matryoshka dolls that stack on into each other in sets.

As the smallest matryoshka doll in your family set you can wander the world, but ultimately can't do a lot. So you can "stack" into the next size doll and upwards until you are a large character of 6 dolls. Using which ever doll is the largest you can use it's skills to solve the puzzles within the game.

All of the puzzles have multiple solutions making for great replayability. Need to clear out a room you could use a character to fart in a vent, or seduce the guard and sneak in and slap the beejesus out of the waiter.

Gamplay video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWh2o...eature=related

I loved it. It did feel a bit drawn out towards the end, but it was a lot of fun.

4/5
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:27 AM   #29
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Syndicate

Rebooting an old franchise is always tricky especially when you are changing the fundamental gameplay that made the originals great.

Foregoing the 3rd person strategy game in favour of First Person Shooter was a controversal decision that upset a lot of people.(including myself)

However the studio (Starbreeze) have a very good track record in this genre so I gave it a go.

I loved it. It's a lot of fun if a bit of a throwback to older sensibilities.

People expecting this to ape the recent Deus Ex reboot will also be disappointed. Syndicate is a straight forward corridor shooter with none of the freedom and choices that Dues Ex has.

You play an "Agent" of EuroCorp one of the almight Syndicate corporations that control the world. Implanted with a data chip that allows you direct access to the datanet.

This allows you to have a floating interface in your head that highlights objects with descriptions, grants you access to "Dart" mode which slows down time and highlights enemies that you have already spotted (even through walls) and most importantly gives you access to the Breaching procedures.

Breaching is like hacking it allows you to manipulate machines in the environment and also allows you to breach the enemy heads with some skills. These are "Backfire" which makes enemy guns explode, "Suicide" which make the enemies blow themselves up and "Persuade" which turns one of the enemy to your side and he fires on his comrades before eating his gun.

I found the game to be pretty challenging with strategic use of all the weapons (the standard pistol, shotgun, machine guns, rocket launcer line up) along with the Dart overlay and breaching skills, essential to continued survival. Later enemies need to have their armour hacked before they can be shot. The boss battles can be a pain in the ass until you learn the strict patterns required to defeat them.

The story is ok, standard Cyberpunk fare written by Richard Morgan, but I expected more from the man who wrote Altered Carbon (one of the best Cyberpunk novels of recent years). The voice work is great from Brian COx and Rosario Dawson, but it's pretty obvious from the start of the game who the end baddie is going to be.

Overall I had a lot of fun with the single player. A couple of the boss battles were frustrating as hell and the 2nd last level was a grindfest of just non stop enemies, but the old school difficulty and design was a refreshing challenge.

4/5

Now to try some 4 player co-op. and listen to the Dubstep remake of the Syndicate theme.

http://www.giantbomb.com/syndicate-d...ailer/17-4972/
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Old 02-27-2012, 02:50 AM   #30
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The Secret of Monkey Island SE

I loved the remake of the classic Lucasfilm game on the iPad.

The new graphics were cool, the new full voice work for every character was fitting and the touch screen interface that is really easy to use. The Scumm icons are along the bottom and tapping the screen interacts with the world.

All of the original goodness is still there, including the "Ask me about LOOM" dialogue. Swiping the screen switches instantly back to the original graphics and interface.

It is a fascinating journey helping Guybrush Threepwood on his quest to become a Pirate. From Insult Sword fighting to the funniest behind a wall robbery ever there are many classic moments to be had.

So after eight hilarious hours I became a pirate, found Monkey Island, saved the girl from the Ghost Pirate LeChuck and learned a life lesson ("Never pay more than $20 for a video game" )

Classic

5/5
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Old 03-17-2012, 02:14 PM   #31
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Been a couple of weeks since I finished a game. Mostly because the two games I have been playing a huge time commitments.

Anyway I finished one of them.



Mass Effect 3

Male Shepard
Playtime: 39hrs
Romance: Liara (Blue Alien loving )
Effective Military Strengh: 4200
Ending:
Spoiler:
Synth


This was an epic game that is 5 years in the making. The first game was released in 2007 and since then this Galaxy spanning story has gripped me from the start.

Sure it has had it's bumps along the way. The moon buggy controls in 1, the tedious scanning in 2 and the blatant selling out in 3.

In terms of the 3rd game i'm going to seperate out the actual game from the business nonsense that clouds the issue.

Business Stuff : Ok so they decided that they need more Mass Effect players and want to go after the Call of Duty market. However it has been shoddily handled. From the day one DLC, the real money purchase of packs in the multiplayer to the multiple pre order nonsense to the way the story ends with an advert for DLC. It's all blatent BS by EA to fleech money out of the consumer.

That Said....

The Game: It was soooo good to be my shepard again. Importing my character from ME2 the same way I imported the ME1 character into 2 meant that choices that I made in the last two games are reflected in the new game. That is a fantastic touch that allows everyone to have a slightly different game with their own personal character. Who lived, who died, did you save the genophage data, did you destroy the collector base and loads of other small decisions that have a effect on Mass Effect 3.

It starts with a bang.. Earth is under attack and it's up to you to pull together all the races to launch a massive fight back. Travel the universe solving centuaries old predjucies and finding artifacts and other war resources to add to the fight.

The game is familiar to anyone who played the last game. They have tightened up the shooter controls again and simplified the scanning mechanics to a make it quicker. There are still the RPG trapping of the previous games, you do side missions for randoms you some across in the citadel and various places (although the stalker vibe of getting these missions by eavesdropping is a tad creepy), you buy and find upgrades to your weapons and biotic powers and talk to a hell of a lot of people making hard decisions on the lives and deaths of those around you.

Technically it is pretty much Mass Effect 2.5. The environments are varied and pretty, the character models are a bit dodgy (esp the reporter gal who just looks wrong...), but the voice work and music is top drawer.

I had a lot of fun playing this game and I LOVED the ending that I chose. Yes there are a couple of oddities like
Spoiler:
Liara appearing at the end when she was in my party that stormed the beam
, but I was happy with the outcome that I chose. It was a fitting ending for my journey through this universe.

That said there was a couple of mechanical thing wrong with the way you had to make the choice at the end.
Spoiler:
It basically forced you to choose a Renegade option even though I was playing Paragon. I missed let them slide and ended up with Anderson and myself getting shot.
That and the fact that if you want the full access to all the choices you are forced to play the multiplayer (which is a lot of fun by the way so I didn't mind)

So overall there are a few technical and issues with the game (just like the last two), but the story and gameplay were fantastic and I loved it.

5/5
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:26 PM   #32
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Dreamfall: The Longest Journey

Dreamfall killed my PC. To be fair it was more like Starforce killed my PC. When I reinstalled this to play a few weeks ago it installed the copy protection that came with the limited edition. Windows 7 had a hissy fit and wouldn't reboot past a blue screen of death. I ended up having to restore my PC to factory default and reinstall everything.



Anyway after reinstalling it and cracking the software protection I finally got to play it again.

Dreamfall is the sequal to The Longest Journey. Something is strange in the twin worlds of Stark and Arcadia once again.

This time you are Zoe Castillo a young woman in Casablanca, a college drop out with no direction. Used to lazing about with her friends and genreally not having a clue when she starts seeing strange visions of a creepy house and a young girl asking her to find and save April Ryan.

Spurned into action after her reporter friend Reza disappears she sets out to find out what happened to her friend and how it is linked to her strange visions.

During the game you will visit some old locations in both Stark and Arcadia, meet some old friends and make some new ones. You switch control of characters at certain times in the game but will mostly control Zoe Later in the game you will also control April Ryan and new guy Kian Alvane (Religious warrior who is chasing April).

In a major change from the first game the game is presented in 3D and directly controlled with the keyboard or gamepad (I chose this one). I liked this method of control and was soon running about looking for hotspots with ease. Unfortunatly they felt that they needed to add some stealth and fight sequences into the game. Luckily they are few and far between because the fighting mechanics are hilariously bad.

Graphics are pretty good for it's day, but look a bit old now. The areas to run around in a very small before hitting a load screen, but luckily the loads are fairly fast. Voice acting and music is superb for the most part (I still hate the stilted voice of the yellow skinned woman who follows Ryan).

Puzzles are mostly inventory based and are pretty straight forward. There are a few hacking mini games which are fun for the few times you have to do them.

The story is up to the same standard as it's predecessor, the story is deep and intertwines the two worlds and various characters in a mostly satisfying way however my biggest complaint about this game is it is far too openended. The Longest Journey worked as it was a self contained storyline, but this was designed as a multiple game story that so far has not been completed.

Overall I had alot of fun with this game, but now i'm frustrated that six years leater i'm still waiting to what fate lies for April, Zoe et al.

4/5
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Old 03-31-2012, 12:33 PM   #33
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Uncharted: Golden Abyss

Nathan Drake, Dude Raider, is back this time you can carry him in your pocket. The latest Uncharted Game on the new Playstation Vita is a throwback to the first game in the PS3 series.

The PSVita is a powerhouse of a handheld console with front and back touchscreens, cameras, tilt motion sensors, dual analogue sticks and a georgous screen. However it is not good enought to compete with the giant set pieces and graphical power of the 2nd and 3rd PS3 games.

Golden Abyss brings new tricks to the table. It goes out of it's way to include ALL the new features of the new console. The touch screens are used to clean items, do charcoal rubbings, row boats, cut bamboo, reload your gun, punch dudes etc etc etc.

You move Drake around with the two analogue sticks and aim and shoot with the shoulder buttons, although you can move the PSVita around to aim the sniper rifle or take pictures of the scenery and solve puzzles.

The plot revolves around Drake and a couple of new characters trying to locate a fabled city of gold in Panama, hampered at all turns by the local corrupt military leader.

Gameplay is a mixture of exploration and combat. Nathan clambers up and down with ease using either the traditional sticks and buttons or by tapping out a route on the touchscreen. Combat is a cover based system with the left shoulder popping out to aim and the right button shooting.

Graphically the game is fantastic, on par with early PS3 games it looks bright and clear on the OLED screen, moves at a decent pace and has some stunning visual backgrounds.

The voice work is exemplary, with the voice talent from the main series reprising their roles.

Overall I loved the game. Vita is a powerful handheld and this launch game is a perfect demonstration of that power.

4/5
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Old 03-31-2012, 01:47 PM   #34
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Wing Commander Saga

Ahh Wing Commander. Memories of the days when it was released and you had to amend your Config and Autoexec files to get the thing to run. The days when DLC didn't exist and you had to buy mission discs and sound packs in seperate boxes. When Origin were the king of developers and not just a Steam service rip off, when each sequal meant you had to upgrade you PC.

Ahhh Nostalgia.

Well the good folks at http://www.wcsaga.com/ have spent the last 10 years dreaming of those days and recreating them using the Freespace open Engine.

It is a free fan based game in the Wing Commander universe. Based around the familiar mission structure of the classic games you will launch your fighter/bomber against the Kilrathi with 55 new Wing Commander missions set around the time of WC3.

Everything is pretty authentic to the original games from the menu to the enemy taunts, the ship designs and the sounds. The script seems fairly decent and the voice work is surprising not hideous for a fan project.
You really feel like you are playing playing one of the old games.

The graphics are ok in the space parts, most of the ships look fine. The animation briefings and map screens are authentic and even if they look a bit amateurish they do the job.

Unfortunatly it is missing a couple of items that made the WC games so much fun. The game is pretty much one mission breifing after another. There is no walking around you ship talking to the other pilots etc and the classic running to you ship animation is missing

It is a fun and competant space shooter which suffers from a little slowdown here and there and has a stiff learning curve (i.e it's a 90's game).

Pretty decent fo £0.00.

3.5/5
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:01 AM   #35
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Still Life

A mature adventure game. One that doesn't shy away from the brutal murders carried out by a Jack the Ripper type killer. One that dabbles in the seedy side of Chicago sex trade. (well it does a little bit). One that isn't afraid to swear.

It was a fresh breath of air when it was originally released and replaying it was just as enjoyable and frustrating as the first time.

On the plus side the games atmosphere and setting is great. The gritty, cold modern day Chicago is mirrored in the brighter old world flashbacks to Prague. Two sets of murders connected by family and killer.

The graphics and cut scenes are great, the character models decent for their time (unfortunalty the goofy run animations are hilarious).

The story is captivating and grips you from start to finish with only the odd misstep along the way (Stopping to make daddy Cookies for instance)

Puzzles are generally of a very high standard with codes, lockpicking (fecking frustrating but logical puzzle), sliders and other puzzles keeping me entertained for most of the game. There are a couple of infamous puzzles like the aformentioned cookie puzzle and the timed spider maze late in the game that are the low points of the game but nothing game stopping.

On the negative side there are unfortunatly a few issues with the game.

The conversation system may as well be a cut scene as you are not given much of a choice of topics and just left of right click the mouse at regular intervals to advance the story.

The prague story progresses well with a decent conclusion, but unfortunatly the modern day Chicago story is unfinished and left open ended. You never find out the identity of the killer and even the obvious suspect (
Spoiler:
The boyfriend
) is given such little screen time that you know nothing about them.

The game was rushed towards the end with Microids financial problems at the time and it shows in the frustrating and unsatisfactory ending to what is for the most part a superb adventure game.

4/5
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Old 04-15-2012, 01:36 PM   #36
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Still Life 2

Once again you take control of Vic McPherson in the hunt for a serial killer. This time dubbed the "East Coast Killer". He abduct, tortures and kills his victims without leaving much in the way of evidence.

When a reporter following the case (Paloma Hernandez) is kidnapped it leads to a desperate hunt for leads and a desperate battle for survival.

You control both Vic and Paloma at various stages in the game. Vic's segments are mostly investigation stages where you swab, scan, spray and analyse about a million blood stains and finger prints in every room in the house. (The one and only location in the game).

Paloma's sections are inspired by the movie "Saw" as you are trapped by the killer and have to jump through various traps and puzzles in the vain hope of finding your way out.

Tension in the Paloma sections is higher and more fast paced than the Vic sections and unfortunatly include some pretty annoying timed sections. (You can die in this game).

While the Vic sections are more laid back this flips around towards the end of the game when the various plots all come together into a frenzied ending.

Graphically the game is rough. Animations are stilted, the 3D models basic and the mouth movements rarely approximate the speech. I prefered the 2.5D style of the first games. The 3D environments lack the atmosphere of the previous game, looking very sparse in comparison.

The puzzles are ok, but I felt there seemed to be far too many of the collection and analysing tasks that didn't seem to go anywhere. I was collecting a lot of fingerprints and blood samples of the various victims, but there wasn't much of a pay off. Especially as you already know where Paloma's fingerprints etc would have been as you played that part already. On the Paloma side there was more of a puzzly nature to the tasks. Unfortunatly it decided that Resident Evil was a model inventory system and included a finite slot system and chest/closets to store items. This causes a fair bit of backtracking and swapping of items.

Plot wise the game is aiming for a Se7en meets Saw kind of vibe and for the most part the story is pretty decent. It's not as deep as the historical based previous game and is more modern/mainstream in it's approach. However it keeps the tension and plot twists going for most of the game. My biggest issue with the game is that unlike the previous game which felt unfinished, this game has one too many twists in the tail and over stays it's welcome by a good hour. As Paloma says at one point "OMG will this never end".

It also decides to weave into this new killer story some flashbacks to wrap up the loose ends from the previous game. It seems out of place and uses a tenuous method to trigger the flashback.

Finally the most annoying thing about the game is the over powering music which drowns out the speech at times in the game.

Overall it has it's moments with it's intersting take on the serial killer genre, but looks rough and overstays it's welcome.

2.5/5
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Old 04-15-2012, 03:30 PM   #37
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I've always heard how bad Still Life 2 is, but from reading your plot, it sounds interesting, at the very least.

And I know it was about 10 posts back, but The Last Express. I own it and really want to play it, but the sheer amount of choices overwhelms me. I'm the type who likes to go through all dialogue, know everything, etc. So that something can happen when I'm not there kind of freaks me out. I want to be everywhere! I'll try and give it a go another time, and just let it happen, I guess.
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Favorite Adventure Games-Lost Crown/Dark Fall 1&2, Longest Journey games, Myst games, Barrow Hill
Favorite Other Games-King's Bounty, Sims 2, Fable, Disciples 2 Gold
Currently Playing-Trine 2
Games I Want-Kings Bounty: Warriors of the North!!!, Asylum, Last Crown, Braken Tor, Testament of Sherlock Holmes
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Old 04-16-2012, 03:56 AM   #38
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Quote:
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3.5/5
Ouch, Ouch ..OUCH!!!
1st i love your journal .. good job
but man in this world when you talk about adventure games or some one ask you about or an advice, the answer is like this ..."There are Adventure games and there is Riven"
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:51 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fantasysci5
... the sheer amount of choices overwhelms me. I'm the type who likes to go through all dialogue, know everything, etc. So that something can happen when I'm not there kind of freaks me out. I want to be everywhere!
I know how you feel. Wanting to experience everything a game has to offer takes away a big part of my enjoyment of RPGs, because I often nearly always play them with a walkthrough by my side, just so I'm sure that I'm not overlooking a location or a hidden item.
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:12 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimovieMan View Post
takes away a big part of my enjoyment of RPGs, because I often nearly always play them with a walkthrough by my side, just so I'm sure that I'm not overlooking a location or a hidden item.
I KNOW! I was playing through The Witcher by myself, and when I looked online and found out I had missed a sex scene and there was no way I could go back, I got really upset!

It ruins the story to see what choices you have to make in a walkthrough, but at least it's thorough in finding and getting *everything*!
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