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Old 01-01-2012, 09:30 AM   #1
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January

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Old 01-01-2012, 09:56 AM   #2
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Jurassic Park

Bought this just before Xmas in the Steam sale. 50% off which is just as well.

Was Telltale's first foray into the action genre worth the wait?

Unfortunately it is a resounding NO. There are too many issues with this game to call it anything but a massive disappointment.

The film is set sround the events of the original movie. Revolving round the canister of embryos lost by Nedry as he tried to flee the island.

You control a variety of characters from a father/daughter team (fun fact: the character has another daughter Sarah who appears in the 2nd movie) to a couple of Mercs and a female scientist. Unfortunately because you are flip flopping between all these characters you rarely get any sense of connection to any of them and as they die every other second you rarely care. In fact part way through the game it became more enjoyable to see how I could kill them in new an novel ways.

The graphics are laggy and dated on the PC highlighting that the Telltale engine is not built for this type of game and is seriously in need of an upgrade. The dinosaurs are well done, but the human characters are sloppily animated with guns and hands clipping through their bodies and the animation looking creepily off for most of the game.

The story is decent enough and moves at a reasonable pace, there are some very nice set pieces that get the blood pumping and are exciting to watch.

Ultimately though it is hampered by the "gameplay". Although this game has been compared to Heavy Rain that comparison is deeply flawed. This game has more in common with Dragon's Lair. You have no control over any of the characters and instead pan around a static location clicking on the couple of hotspots before flipping the camera to another location and doing the same.

The game then utilises Quick Time Events for the meat of the "game". However they are deeply broken, unresponsive to input and the nested multiple input (double or triple ringed prompts) usual require superhuman reflexes to complete.

You will die multiple times in this game. Fortunately that is the best part of this game are there are a multitude of death scenes in this game and they are always fun to watch (at least the first time).

I was really disappointed in this game. It is a barely interactive experience that might have been fine if the quality of the story was higher or if the control system was now dreadful.

A game that requires 65 million years more development.

2/5

Time to complete (6 hours)
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Old 01-01-2012, 01:24 PM   #3
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Need for Speed: The Run

Racing games are not normally my cup of tea. Just never been into them.

However the premise of this game has always tugged at me. It's basically the "Cannonball Run", a cross country race across America. Genius premise that I can't believe they have never tried before.

I wasn't willing to splash out on it on release so I picked it up cheap in the post Xmas sales.

The game basically gives you access to a lot of fast expensive cars and puts you on the varied terrain in the states between California and New York, via Las Vegas and Chicago.

Races come in a variety of types that include:

* Race against other racers to gain places
* Race against time
* Knockout battle against opponents (Overtake and keep in front for a small time to knock them out of the race)
* Battle against specific individuals in the race

Can you get from 100th to 1st before you get to New York to win the race and settle your debt with the mob?

Unfortunately it is a great premise, poorly executed.

The graphics are fantastic and utilised the Frostbite 2 engine meaning that the draw distance is massive, the weather effects and scenery is georgous and the cars look amazing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvQi2LzUouY

The game itself is incredibly short in the main race. My overall race time was 2hrs 22 mins. Of course that is race time and doesn't take into account the times you had to redo the races you failed. There are challenge stages and a multiplayer section that I havn't tried yet.

Racing although fun doesn't feel all that realistic and can be incredibly frustrating because at times you can take shortcuts etc, but leaving the road by a few feet resets the race. You can plow into barriers at 200 mph and bounce off then hit a small stump and the car gets written off.

The AI of the cars can be a blessing and a curse. They rubber band meaning that if you make a mistake you can still catch up, but also if you get in front they will always catch you up just before the end of the race.

Overall it was a fun ride, but not as fun as I pictured it could be. I was hoping for something less linear, less rigid in format and more like the Cannonball Run.

3/5
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Old 01-07-2012, 06:50 AM   #4
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Grim Fandango

I've been a bit off on adventure games for a while. Havn't really played one in a while other than the big console games like LA Noire.

So New year, new leaf and a desire to remind myself why I love these games.

So I cranked out the box for this classic and busted it out.

In total it took about 6 hours to play it through, but it is 6 hours of superb fun. Glottis is one of the best characters in video game history and the setting reeks of atmosphere and laughs.

It's not a perfect game, the controls are a problem, and the game never regains the heights that year 2 provides, but overall I would probably put this in the top 5 adventure games of all time and probably in my all time top 10 games of any genre.

Vive La Revolution.

5/5
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Old 01-07-2012, 09:46 AM   #5
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I bet you recited the moon poem word by word along with good ol Velasco .

It shone pale as bone...
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Old 01-09-2012, 08:30 AM   #6
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I've said it before -- but I really hope that there is an afterlife that is exactly like year 2 of Grim Fandango.
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Old 01-09-2012, 02:15 PM   #7
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Jurassic Park

Bought this just before Xmas in the Steam sale. 50% off which is just as well.

Was Telltale's first foray into the action genre worth the wait?
You know it's funny, I never considered this game an "action" game until now, but it absolutely is. "Push these buttons quickly in this order to perform this action." As soon as it was released Adventure Gamers reviewed it, and that was 100% because it was a Telltale game. If it wasn't Telltale, it wouldn't have been looked at by any adventuring site.

Maybe that's why it got such a low score, as an adventure it sucked but as an action game I thought it was decent fun.
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Old 01-09-2012, 07:02 PM   #8
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Jurassic Park

The game then utilises Quick Time Events for the meat of the "game". However they are deeply broken, unresponsive to input and the nested multiple input (double or triple ringed prompts) usual require superhuman reflexes to complete.
Ah, a bit of a relief then that it's not just me. I've been failing at events when I thought I was hitting keys in time, and was having to press keys multiple times to get a response in other places. I was beginning to think it was a combination of an old keyboard and my atrophied twitch skills. Guess not. Not an impressive effort by Telltale at all.
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Old 01-13-2012, 03:16 PM   #9
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The Longest Journey

It's Friday the 13th and I have just spent 13 hours this week controlling April Ryan through 13 chapters in an epic adventure to find the 13th guardian of the balance.

That's a lot of 13.

Anywhoo My great adventure game resurrection continues with the 2nd greatest adventure game of all time (according to some website or other).

Longest Journey is a talky bitch, but fortunately the story has depth, excitement, adventure and talking birds to keep you enthralled and entertained for it's long conversations. A Story that treats you like an adult (and not just because of the few swear words) and rewards your exploration of the locations and the diary function with insight into the characters and the worlds as well as hints for what to do next.

It's no slouch in the puzzle department either with a few of those testing the memory and the brain cells. It's been a fair few years since I played through this and some of the scenes and locations were fuzzy in the old grey matter.

I was glad I played it and had a great time putting in a couple of hours a night re introducing me to those characters and that world.

The only downside is that the animations and graphics are really showing their age esp when blown up to my monitor size and I had a few technical issues with 64 bit Win 7 crashing the programme at the most inconvenient times. However a good regime of regular saving saved the frustrations and isn't a fault of the original game, but in the progress of technology.

Makes me want more (Dreamfall is No 52 on the list).

Fantastic.

5/5
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Old 01-15-2012, 10:06 AM   #10
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Gabriel Knight 2 - The Beast Within

IMO FMV games of the 90's were generally not that great. The acting was stilted and stiff because the "actors" have to return to a neutral spot between actions. It limits the actions the main characters can take to cut down on filming all the possible actions and the video was usually horrible compressed to fit on the CD's.

Gabriel Knight 2 suffers from most of these problems. It also simplified the interface from GK1 to a single click does everything action.

It didn't ,thankfully, affect the main reason for playing this series of games. The story and script are top drawer, the characters vivid and the history and locations compelling.

This time around Gabriel is in Germany researching his new book when he gets drawn into the mystery of Werewolves and a charismatic man called Van Glower.

In alternating chapters we control Gabriel and Grace.

Gabriel investigates a series of murders and gets closer to the members of a local hunting club run by Van Glower.

Grace researches the history of the region and Werewolves, visiting museums and castles in the region looking into the past of Ludwig II and Wagner.

Personally I found the Grace chapters to be the more interesting with the in depth history being fascinating. Unfortunately those chapters also highlighted the most frustrating problem with the game interface. To progress in any of the chapters you have to click on every possible hotspot to trigger actions in the correct order otherwise you end up wandering around not sure what you have missed. This is especially apparent in chapter 4 in which you had to click on absolutely everything in the museums and castle otherwise the chapter wont end. Some of those thing were waay too easy to miss.

I still think GK1 is a better game and Tim Curry a better Gabe than the floppy haired Erikson, but overall this is still a fantastic game and one I would play again in the future.

5/5
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Old 01-15-2012, 11:10 AM   #11
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Are we seeing a blog in the making or what?
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Old 01-16-2012, 12:44 AM   #12
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Isn't that a large amount of criticism to still be handing out a 5/5?

Are you planning to do the full 100? Because that would be awesome while at the same time also insane...
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Old 01-16-2012, 10:16 AM   #13
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Are you planning to do the full 100? Because that would be awesome while at the same time also insane...
I don't own all 100, but I do have most of the top 20.

Probably won't have time to do that many of them.

It would be fun though......
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Old 01-20-2012, 12:47 PM   #14
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Shadows of the Damned

Another game I picked up on the cheap just after Xmas.

This is a 3rd person action horror game by Suda51 and Shinji Mikami. As you would expect from the people that brought you Killer 7 and No More Heroes, this is a game that was well respected but nobody bought.

You are Garcia "Fu*king" Hotspur, Demon Hunter. After finding you girlfriend (Paula) dead in your apartment her soul is trapped by Fleming (Pervert Lord of the Demons) and taken to hell.

You jump in after her and must fight your way through 5 levels of hell fighting some strange ass demons on the way with only a disembodied British skull (Johnson) for company.

Johnson also acts as your weapons in the game as he shifts into "The Boner" (upgradable to the Hot Boner and "BIG BONER", "The Skullfest 9000 and various other guns during the course of the game.

As you might have guessed from the character names this game is VERY into penis jokes and with a large helping of innuendo and nakedness thrown in with you horror tropes.

There is a very strange relationship between Garcia and Johnson that more or less makes this game as good as it is. Without their hilarious banter and the absurd situations you find yourself in (fighting giant horse bosses who fart out bubbles of darkness at you , with the appropriate *Phuuurp* noses ) this game would have been half the fun it was.

The shooting mechanics are fairly standard fair for these type of game, It's not the most inventive action in the world, but it is suitable bloody and effective for it's setting. However the game structure is pretty retro with mini bosses and end of level bosses like some of the games of yore.The graphics are suitable for the setting but the camera is completely pants and you will end up getting swiped by enemies you didn't see coming.

The music and sound work really pulls up the level of the design if the game. The little ditties on the loading screens, the sound effects and soundtrack are all fantastic.

So overall it is a slightly retro action game with a bonkers plot and a lot of innuendo that is great fun to play if you like that sort of thing.

I loved it.

4/5
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Old 01-22-2012, 07:13 AM   #15
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Broken Sword - The Shadow of the Templars (Directors Cut)

I got this free on GOG a while ago and hadn't played it so on my quest to play some of the Top 100 adventure games, it was next on the list.

When they released the Directors Cut they added about 2 hours of content to it and changed some of the graphics and audio of the game.

The original game had a classic opening sequence that is ruined in this directors cut of the game. Instead of starting with a birds eye flight over Paris and meeting George we start the game controlling Nico on a investigation of a murder by Mime.

Although it is nice getting more of a back story on Nico, it kinda ruins the flow of the story for me. Nico was a mysterious sassy journalist that you slowly get to know in the first game, building up the relationship between her and George. The story that starts this game ends up going nowhere and fizzles out as the game switches to the original George controlled game. It seems like a pointless exercise that doesn't add a lot to the plot.

It would probably have been better if they had included it at the end of the game as a DLC flashback Nico centric adventure rather than try unsuccessfully to integrate it into the main game.

That aside the new graphics and audio are reasonably well done and the original game is still a cracking story with decent characters in it and some challenging puzzles.

4/5
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:30 AM   #16
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The original game had a classic opening sequence that is ruined in this directors cut of the game. Instead of starting with a birds eye flight over Paris and meeting George we start the game controlling Nico on a investigation of a murder by Mime.

Although it is nice getting more of a back story on Nico, it kinda ruins the flow of the story for me. Nico was a mysterious sassy journalist that you slowly get to know in the first game, building up the relationship between her and George. The story that starts this game ends up going nowhere and fizzles out as the game switches to the original George controlled game. It seems like a pointless exercise that doesn't add a lot to the plot.
I think that sums up my view of the directors cut pretty exactly.

The opening to the original was essentially perfect [/subjective opinion] and even the version of it they have after the tacked on Nico business does not properly reflect it.

I really don't think the Nico part adds anything to the story and I agree that it splutters and conks out. After this, George at the Cafe feels like the beginning of another game (which it is!) and we lose the slowly getting to know Nico part.

Having said that, the Nico bit is interesting enough to play through if you have already played the original, however, I think it takes away from the original if you are on a first playthrough.
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Old 01-29-2012, 08:32 AM   #17
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Resistance 3

Insomniac's WWII Alien Invasion story comes to an end with the best game in the series.

After the misstep that was Resistance 2 it's good to see that Insomniac went back to the drawing board.

This time around it is a more personal story of Joseph, he and his family are living underground, barely surviving in a chimerian controlled world.

Their survival is interrupted by a scientist looking for Joseph to help him win the war and stop the chimera once and for all. Reluctant to help, he is forced to when the enemy attack the town forcing everyone to run.

Sending his wife and child to safety you have to escort the scientist to New York to shut down the tower that is generating a wormhole to the alien home planet. Along the way you will fight a wide variety of aliens as well as a bunch or Rednecks in a Prison.

Fabulous lighting and graphic models show of the post apocalyptic America as you work you way towards the big apple.

However the mainstay of every Insomniac game has always been the weapons and you will not be disappointed here. There are 12 weapons from a Sledgehammer to a Rocket Launcher, the obligatory shotgun and machine guns and the unique Auger (shoots through walls) and mutation gun.

All the weapons are upgradable based on usage and have secondary fire modes. It's a complete blast learning which guns are best for which situation.

The pacing of the game is pretty much spot on from all out action sequences to more quiet and emotional story telling parts, by the end you want Joseph to survive and get back to his family. Surviving in this world is made harder by the need to find health packs, foregoing the usual health regeneration of most other shooters to make you think about shooting it out on the battlefield on one health slither or hunkering down.

Overall it was a decent story (although too much of it is told on "notes" found in the game world), great graphics and fantastic weapons and gameplay.

Insomniac retired from this series on a high.

4/5

Game Time: 7:13:05
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Old 01-30-2012, 10:47 AM   #18
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The Longest Journey
I desperately want to replay this, too!

Should really ban myself from reading this thread.
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Old 01-31-2012, 04:09 PM   #19
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Riven

It's no secret I was never the biggest fan of Myst. However tell people that you hate Myst is normally interpreted as a hatred for all first person puzzles games of that type.

That's not true I just never got into the whole D'Ni history and the worlds were always far too barren for my liking.

Riven being the sequel to Myst isn't a game I've played twice. Until now that is.

Getting the game to run on my PC was an adventure all on it's own. The 5 disc version I have isn't windows 7 friendly. I ended up having to install it on the Virtual PC set up that I have and then manually copying the CD files to the hard drive so that I didn't have to swaps discs when you go to another island.

Anyway, the game itself.......

The world itself is or at least was in it's day, beautifully rendered with a nice variety of locations between the islands. Moving between them treats you to a fun roller coaster ride on rails or mine cart. The screens are far too static though. Apart from the occasional insect or a couple of times you see some wildlife or native there is precious little happening on screen.

Moving around is clunky flip screen movement but is fine for that type of game. Although it was frustrating that the turn radius changed all the time and sometimes you turned 90 degrees and sometimes 180 which lead to a couple of occasions getting confused and going in circles on the forest island while trying to find a particular location.

The atmosphere is nice and there is something to be said about exploration in a stranger in a strange land scenario. Slowly having to learn everything about a totally new environment would be fun. In this it is mainly reserved to learning the numbering system or some animals and their noises.

I yearned for more information on the background to the islands, the plants and animals, the machinery, the characters etc etc There is precious little in the way of story except for the 3 or 4 journals that you read in the game.

Puzzles were harder than Myst and a couple of them are very obscure (blooming placing marbles on a 25x25 grid comes to mind). It did remind me of the good old days of playing adventure games with a pad of paper and a pen and scribbling down a lot of useless information in the hope it solves a puzzle.

A lot of the time it was a case of randomly pulling levers in the hopes that something would happen.

Overall I can see how people revere this game as highly as they do. It has a peaceful charm, it is challenging and it looks very good. I had some fun playing it.

However it just ain't my thing. It's too empty and not enough of a plot to be any where near my top 5.

3.5/5
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Old 01-31-2012, 05:16 PM   #20
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I yearned for more information on the background to the islands, the plants and animals, the machinery, the characters etc etc There is precious little in the way of story except for the 3 or 4 journals that you read in the game.
One of Riven's flaws is that it's so tightly connected to The Book of Atrus. I've always wondered how different the experience was for people who hadn't read the novel beforehand. Clearly it doesn't work as well.
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