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Old 11-24-2010, 06:58 PM   #1
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Default Runaway: A Twist of Fate

Note: This is my first written computer game review, (although I verbally review things all the time and I guess at the end of the day the target audience is the same – Anyone that will listen) so any feedback and comments welcome.

I was stoked to hear that Pendulo were releasing Runaway Twist of Fate, the third and final instalment of the Runaway series. Being an old school lover of adventure games, I really hadn’t found anything worth playing in about 10 years and had just about ceased looking. Also since I had bought my wiiŽ I has been so busy using the wiiŽ fit system and getting super skinny that I didn’t have time for any other games*. Anyway mid-last year I was in Dungeon Crawl and on a whim purchased the first Runaway and LOVED it so much that I threw my wiiŽ in the bin! * Adventure games were back. I also have to take a moment here to apologise for being so late to Runaway fan club as the first instalment “A road to Adventure” was released in 2001. This was followed up in 2007 by “The Dream of the Turtle”. I’ll shut up about my ignorance now and get on with the review of “Twist of Fate”.

I’ll start by letting you know that in my abode we have about 10 computers and laptops, some are crap, some are epic. This game has about 1000 requirements your computer needs to meet otherwise your next stop will be Crashville – population: You and anyone who still uses Windows 95. I put most games onto my sisters PC (lets call it the “pretty great PC”) because, despite my tight arse dad installing every bit of freeware to avoid spending, well anything, it’s pretty powerful. Unfortunately the game didn’t work. I was surprised at this as I had the other Runaway games on here so I trawled the message boards only to find stacks of people in the same position as me and Pendulo’s support team not being too much help. Not being a computer expert I didn’t understand what these geeks were saying so I decided to try and install it onto the best computer in the house (lets call it “The best computer in the house”) and – taadaa! Suck on that “Pretty great PC”! The “Best computer in the house reigns supreme!” I think it’s the NVDIA requirement that is causing most peoples problems, as Pendulo seemed to have moved on from Direct X. Although users need to ensure they have the system requirements to play a game, these were a little extreme and will be taken into account when I give my final score. (This is my first review and I haven’t decided if I should have a ranking system of golden stars or cans of V).

Now we can finally go onto initial thoughts of the game. The graphics are great in my opinion; however, I still think Secret of Mana graphics on SNES are great so maybe you should check with someone else. Seriously though, they have improved from the last two games but have stayed true to the game at the same time. In Twist of Fate you get to play as Gina as well as Brian. I have to say that Gina isn’t as an annoying character as Grace from Gabriel Knight. She is also a bit smarter than Brian (nee` luckier) in that items she is looking for are actually available and she doesn’t have to do ultra stupid combinations (hello, Brian remember putting the sunglasses in the oil in A road adventure to fool that drag lady into thinking she was tanned? I actually refer to the process of combining items that are inconceivable in order to process in a game as “pulling a Brian Basco”**. The game comprises of six chapters, using Brian and Gina interchangeably. Brian has been accused of murder and is placed in a loony bin because of the “hallucinations” experienced in Dream of a turtle. Gina’s chapters are focussed on her proving Brian’s innocence. Brian’s are focussed on him escaping the loony bin; they are played at different stages in time until they eventually cross over and meet toward the end. I think the plot is great, in that it’s simple but encompasses enough twists for you to keep on your toes. I really thought TDOTT was over the top and ridiculous (beyond the point of comprehension even for adventure gamers and a former Sierra fan).

I have to say that I liked playing as Gina; they gave her some depth without making her an annoying bitch (Are you reading this Grace Nakimura?). Brian’s chapters were great too but one thing I didn’t’ like was his new voice. OK I understand that the same voice character can’t always be available for all versions of a game but the person they hired for this one makes him sound like I should see him on TV at 11.55pm asking me to call him for the low price of 5.99 an hour. I get that Brian is no longer the nerd that he was in the first one but I didn’t realise that a complimentary voice transplant came with every hot chick you pulled? Speaking of voice acting, I’m going to say it was better than the previous two games but there is still room for improvement but I don’t think it really dampened my gameplay.

I’m going to bring up one of the new features of TOF – a hint system! Not one of those lame hotspot key things (although it has that too) but it’s like a walkthrough. You click it and Joshua (the alien lover) breaks into Pendulo studios and gives you a hint as to what you need to do next. I know that adventure hardcore fans are going to slap the shit out of this because they like to solve things themselves and where is the challenge in that f you can’t. Well I disagree I thought how Pendulo did this was really clever and it saves me having to print a walkthrough. I also like how you can’t stuff the game up which was something I HATED with Sierra games. (Along with their frigging copyright protection tests – I got a receipt, bro)

In terms of value, this game is shorter than the previous two. I thought TDOTT was too long anyway but it could have used another chapter or two.

The game is not the funniest out there but some of the characters make it hard for you not to laugh out loud (Marcelo, the contortionist mime is my favourite). The dialogue could use a little work as it does get repetitive especially when Brian and Gina tell you items in your inventory don’t work together.

There’s no music in the game until you clock it and then it has tunes reminiscent of those in A road adventure.


I have been up and down in my review as I have pointed out what I liked and what I didn’t but overall I loved this game; it is probably my favourite in the series (or a tie with A road adventure I can’t quite decide). The pro’s far outweigh any cons. Runaway fans won’t be disappointed. If you are new to the series you do need to play the other two to truly enjoy this game.



I give Runaway: A Twist of Fate 3.5 cans of V out of a possible 4 pack. Hey, who took a sip from my V? Oh, it was the installation problems and Pendulo’s lack of support.

*Lies

**This is my term, don’t use it.

This review originally appears on my blog http://www.pointersandclickers.wordpress.com
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Old 11-25-2010, 02:55 AM   #2
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Nice review. Here are a few (hopefully constructive) comments:

- Your intro is a bit too long and only slightly related to the game. You should focus on the technical issues and Pendulo's lack of support rather than the anecdotes about your computers at home.

- A few uses of slang which I didn't understand: "stuff up the game" means hitting a dead-end, right?
Also, what does "clock it" mean?

- Bashing Grace Nakimura might get you in trouble among adventure fans .

All in all, it feels like this review would work better as a video review. I think the jokes would work better there.

Also, personally I feel that you can play this game if you haven't played the previous two, since there is little connection to the previous titles, especially to the first Runaway.
Also also, there's no way this game is shorter than the first Runaway - that game took me 6 hours to finish!
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Old 11-25-2010, 03:32 PM   #3
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Hi Shany

Thanks for your feedback your comments are really helpful. I would never post something and not be prepared to take any criticisms.

Yeah I know the intro is too long, I have a tendency to ramble. My sister is supposed to edit it for me one of these days. I did put in a disclaimer though.

With some games if you don't do things in a certain order you can't go any further in the game, that's what I was referring to by "stuffing up" and clocking means finishing as you say. I do like using slang, especially australian slang but I didn't consider either of those terms slang.

LOL. When I was bashing Grace I was NOT bashing GK I love that game but Grace is a dog and I am happy to defend that point with anyone and will not back down!

What does a video review mean?

I guess you could play it as a standalone game because you wouldn't know what you're missing but I appreciate the links the trilogy has to each other. I am quite shocked how often this series is appearing on peoples "worst games" list in the forums!

I'm thinking about your last point now and when I think about how long it took to walk from Douglasville to that stupid train to fill it with water, you just might be right!
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Old 11-27-2010, 05:46 AM   #4
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By video review I mean recording yourself talking about the game on camera. Like what the Angry Video Game Nerd and The Spoony one (if you've heard of them) do.

Back to your review, I forgot to say that I agree with you opinion on them giving Gina a more personality and background. The option to call and talk with her father was a great touch.
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Old 11-28-2010, 06:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shany View Post
By video review I mean recording yourself talking about the game on camera. Like what the Angry Video Game Nerd and The Spoony one (if you've heard of them) do.

Back to your review, I forgot to say that I agree with you opinion on them giving Gina a more personality and background. The option to call and talk with her father was a great touch.
Oh thanks for clarifying, I don't know if I'd be confident enough to do that, I'm a bit camera shy.

I really liked that part with Gina as well and just how she revealed bits of information about herself throughout the game.
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Old 12-20-2010, 08:55 AM   #6
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This is a very good game!
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Old 01-09-2011, 05:26 PM   #7
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In my opinion the game (ToF) was the better of the Three.
I can't say the series is up there on my favorite list of AG.... but its pretty good.
Unfortunately the game (ToF) is way too short. I pretty much finished it in one or two sittings. But the story and the way everything is played out is much better than the others...
so yeah nice review needlefeast
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Old 06-14-2011, 06:07 AM   #8
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After hating the first Runaway for it's lame dialogs, useless characters, short length and repetitive backgrounds, after loathing the second Runaway for it's awful, idiotic story and absolute lack of, erm, funny-ness..., I, well, really enjoyed A Twist of Fate.

The worst part is that I don't really know why, although a few possible reasons come to mind:
The humour is probably a tad less over-wacky
The rythm feels great, not making the player dwell is one place forever while still letting him or her get a good feeling of the surroundings
Said surroundings are gorgeous and varied, and actually manage to create a coherent atmosphere, which the two previous game failed to achieve.
Also, the difficulty is rather well balanced, and I was neither stuck for hours nor breezing through the game.

So yeah, as much as I hate to admit it, I would recommend this game.
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