Latest User Reviews

Review of Indigo Prophecy


Rating by emric posted on Jun 1, 2012


a bit of genre-mixing, but focus still firmly on narrative and emotional impact


i've never played a game quite like Indigo Prophecy (also known as Fahrenheit). It's mixes genres a bit. sorta like a traditional adventure game but without an inventory, and with multiple action sequences requiring timing/sequence prowess. the conversation interface attempts to be more "realistic" by presenting you with a list of up to 4 topics to choose from and only giving you 3 seconds to pick one before it picks one for you (!). supposedly this is to maintain a "natural flow of conversation". each character also has a mental health gauge which is pretty cool. i enjoyed trying to find random little things for the characters to do which would boost their mental state :) i really enjoyed the soundtrack too. there's some great songs splashed throughout the game, my favourite of which was martina topley bird's 'sandpaper kisses' :) the focus of the game is always heavily on the story and it aims to maximise the emotional impact—and it does this quite well. it's a great supernatural/psychological/suspense/thriller that kept me captivated all the way through. stylistically, the game seems to be highly inspired by the matrix ;) the complete 3D environment graphics and characters are well conceived, but not stunning. Overall, though, a very enjoyable experience! Time Played: 10-20 hours

Review of Gemini Rue


Rating by emric posted on May 31, 2012


a masterpiece of neo-retro intelligent sci-fi adventuring


Game creator Joshua Nuernberger won the Student Showcase Award in the 2010 Independent Games Festival with this game. I can confirm that the award is well deserved. Gemini Rue is expertly written and paced! It's Bladerunnery / noirish style story kept me enthralled from start to finish. Made with the AGS engine, this game has the lo-res look and feel of all those classic adventure games from late 80s/early 90s—but with the modern addition of voice acting (fantastic quality too) and much better music. It shows how to deliver a highly satisfying narrative experience even without flashy modern graphics—and in my opinion is all the more charming because of it. It's a perfect fit for developer Wadjet Eye Games who have already demonstrated a love for retro adventure gaming with previous titles such as the Blackwell Legacy and its sequels. I seriously can't wait to play Joshua Nuernberger's next creation! Time Played: 10-20 hours

Review of Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective


Rating by emric posted on May 31, 2012


an absolute DS adventuring winner!


very fun and innovative gameplay with a satisfyingly complex and well-structured story containing awesome (often humourously over-the-top) characters. in particular the character animations were very impressive (though strangely not anti-aliased). this is an absolute DS winner from the creators of the popular phoenix wright ace attorney games :) Time Played: 10-20 hours

Review of Grim Fandango


Rating by emric posted on May 31, 2012


strong creativity and originality, but not the standout i was expecting


very original setting and character designs. also a somewhat distinctive user interface (which initially took some getting used to). the voice acting was superb. the writing, plot and characters were good. a well structured game. i found that many of the puzzles weren't obvious enough tho. i don't mean they were too hard to solve, but it just wasn't obvious what the puzzle was or what the goal was. the interface on one level was very intuitive and unobtrusive, but occasionally there would be issues with it—like you could easily try something and not get the desired result, so you think you got it wrong, only to later realise that the only reason it didn't work was because manny wasn't quite looking at the right thing at the time. overall, it's a solid and enjoyable game, but for me it had more flaws than people seem to attribute to it. Time Played: Over 20 hours

Review of Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned


Rating by emric posted on May 31, 2012


a highly satisfying adventure spoilt only by ugly 3D presentation


it's a complex, intelligent and immersive story that is expertly told and structured by the amazing Jane Jensen. The very beginning was just a touch slow, but thereafter just kept getting better and better until the amazing climax. Thankfully, Tim Curry is back as Gabriel Knight in this 3rd game of the series (he wasn't in the 2nd one). but i'm even more glad they didn't do another full-motion-video game (like the 2nd one was). I would've been happiest if they'd returned to an updated version of the 2D style of Gabriel Knight 1, but instead they opted for full 3D environments and characters—and this was the only thing I didn't appreciate about the game. I'm not totally opposed to 3D games, but the technology of the time this was released (1999) had not progressed to the point where it was possible to make an attractive looking 3D game. There is nothing visually in this game that I could call even remotely beautiful. The characters have a distinct lack of polygons and therefore look very blocky. The environments are also very blocky and the textures are sometimes downright ugly. They've done the best they could I guess, but I would've preferred a 2D experience. The interface controls are great tho and the puzzle design—especially the 'le serpent rouge' geometric stuff—was outstanding! Time Played: Over 20 hours

Review of Gabriel Knight: The Beast Within


Rating by emric posted on May 31, 2012


FMV & overall poor visual presentation spoils an otherwise amazing sequel


Jane Jensen has once again done a brilliant job with story & pacing & characters! the whole premise kept me thoroughly intrigued and engrossed! however various presentation and design issues were such a problem for me that, unfortunately, it seriously affected my overall ability to enjoy the game. for me, the decision to go for a game presentation centred mostly around the use of full-motion video was very unfortunate. the acting wasn't too bad, but the way it chops in and out of gameplay made it feel like i was watching an odd telemovie or a mediocre play. but even worse is the overall look itself. the colours throughout the entire game are so drab it reminded me of the days of old 4-color CGA. i mean, i know it's not the kinda game where you'd use bright colours, but i felt the palette had no class at all. all the FMV looked blotchy and grainy (and yes i was using the patch which gets rid of the game's original video interlacing), like i was watching it through an old television set that'd been badly affected by cyan and magenta magnetic interference. worse than this though is the non FMV background graphics—they look like very poor lo-res photo realism attempts. but even worse than this is that the characters on top of these backgrounds look like cardboard cutouts throughout the entire game! it makes the game feel incredibly static with all the characters just standing there often with entirely no movement. The audio engineering is also notably poor. It sounds like the voices were recorded in two different studios—one being fine and the other sounding remarkably muffled and having significant background noise. but this becomes laughable when a character is reading a document and these two different audio presentations change with different paragraphs. not good sierra! not good at all! the puzzle design was mostly good, but with a few nonsensical exceptions. and while i liked Grace having a prominent role in this second Gabriel Knight game, i found her sometimes acting a little out of character. i know a lot of the technical problems i had with the video are probably due to the poorer technology available at the time this game was made. but i still feel their over-ambition has really bitten them on this occasion. and the loss of tim curry playing gabriel really is a huge loss. Time Played: Over 20 hours

Review of Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers


Rating by emric posted on May 31, 2012


an absolute beacon of the genre!


Easily one of the best games I've ever played!! The strong character and plot development ensure a highly immersive and engaging experience all the way through. Most of the puzzles are really well designed. And the game even surprised me by taking an unexpected locational turn in the final third. The music and voice acting are fantastic (Tim Curry FTW!) When this was first released in 1993, I was busy devouring fantasy/sci-fi adventures and wasn't into this investigative thriller kinda stuff. But I'm so glad I went back to check it out now. I can see why it is often lauded amoungst the best adventure games ever made. The only minor issue I had with this game was its slightly over-complex interface. Separate tools for "open", "pick up", "operate" & "move" could easily have been combined into one "action" tool. And 1 "talk" tool could replace "chat" & "interrogate". and an "action" tool in inventory could've replaced "read", "look at" & "open". Time Played: Over 20 hours

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