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did we take the 2000s decade for granted?

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I think those 10 years had been always taken as a disappointment bc they were always compared to the golden age, but I can see that those ten years have held so many good/great titles of classic adventures and with at least AA qualities that we could not really appreciate back then enough. what do you think? can anyone agree?

     
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Nah, it was a terrible decade. Sure, there were a few diamonds in the rough but let’s be realistic, it was generally truly awful. Even the games we appreciated were usually praised because we were starved, in the same way a starving person ‘appreciates’ a piece of stale mouldy bread, because there’s nothing better around.

Maybe you could tell us what are these masterpieces you are thinking of? The hilarious Simon the Sorcerer sequels from Germany? The brilliant Leisure Suit Larry revivals? All the incredibly not-bland and not-tedious Myst clones?

     

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There were definitely some good games made in the 2000’s.
At least I liked them. Some of my favorites…
Games from Kheops Studios like Secret of the Lost Cavern, Egypt III, and Return to Mysterious Island,
Some of the Sherlock Holmes games from Frogwares like The Awakened, vs. Arsene Lupin, and vs. Jack the Ripper,
The Schizm and RHEM games,
Scratches,
Lost Horizon (much better than the sequel),
Uru and Myst III: Exile
Black Mirror—the first—check Ross’s Game Dungeon—he explains better than I could why I like it better than the later ones—

Then there were games like Ghost in the Sheet and Baron Wittard that I had fun with.
And many people liked Syberia 1 and 2 and Still Life.

If you go to https://alofmethbin.com/pagoda/years.php and look at the games listed under the years 2000-2009 (or 2001-2010 if you prefer) there are many good games listed in that time range. Not as many as in the 1990’s, but overall I found more games I liked in the 2000’s than in the 2010’s. I found hardly any in the 2010’s after Daedalic stopped making classic adventures—a few games from indie developers but no more AA types from established publishers.

 

     
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As I look over these game lists from the 2000’s (the naughties ;]) I see a ton of games that I love!

Part of this is going to be nostalgia, as I was born in 1992.

But also, I’m noticing a pattern of most of the games from this time are not “classic style adventures” but those which play with genres and mechanics.

I can understand a lot of people being put-off by that, but I really enjoy some hybrids.
Sometimes what I want in my AG is an additional layer of interaction! 

I don’t know if hybrids count for this discussion, but I would agree with Advie.  I wouldn’t say “taken for granted” but more stigmatized maybe.  I think individually we could point out a 100 really fun AG’s from the naughties, but collectively they didn’t compare to the innovation of 80’s or the polish of pure-AGs in the 90’s.

     
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Luhr28 - 08 July 2020 10:22 PM

Nah, it was a terrible decade. Sure, there were a few diamonds in the rough

Nope, there was only one of those, they never made a sequel.
http://adventuregamers.com/games/view/16171

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Luhr28 - 08 July 2020 10:22 PM

Maybe you could tell us what are these masterpieces you are thinking of?

Ben There, Dan That
Time Gentlemen, Please!
Runaway
Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures
The Shivah

     

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crabapple - 09 July 2020 12:09 AM

There were definitely some good games made in the 2000’s.
At least I liked them. Some of my favorites…
Games from Kheops Studios like Secret of the Lost Cavern, Egypt III, and Return to Mysterious Island,
Some of the Sherlock Holmes games from Frogwares like The Awakened, vs. Arsene Lupin, and vs. Jack the Ripper,
The Schizm and RHEM games,
Scratches,
Lost Horizon (much better than the sequel),
Uru and Myst III: Exile
Black Mirror—the first—check Ross’s Game Dungeon—he explains better than I could why I like it better than the later ones—

Then there were games like Ghost in the Sheet and Baron Wittard that I had fun with.
And many people liked Syberia 1 and 2 and Still Life.

 

I agree with most of these. You could add Machinarium, Portal and Phoenix Wright.

I would describe the decade as “workmanlike”. It produced some solid, playable titles, but very few classics that will be remembered in 30 years time. In contrast, 2011-20 was probably more varied, with higher highs and lower lows.

     
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GateKeeper - 09 July 2020 01:46 AM
Luhr28 - 08 July 2020 10:22 PM

Maybe you could tell us what are these masterpieces you are thinking of?

Ben There, Dan That
Time Gentlemen, Please!
Runaway
Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures
The Shivah

Nice picks! Don’t forget What Makes You Tick: A Stitch in Time - very cool and underrated game.

     

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GateKeeper - 09 July 2020 01:46 AM

Ben There, Dan That
Time Gentlemen, Please!
Runaway
Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures
The Shivah

What a strange list. If I was a lawyer, I would’ve used those titles as a proof why this decade marked the death of the genre - three short amateur AGS adventures, an episodic licensed casual game which killed the whole idea of a claymation cartoon (and British humour) and a title with good presentation, but very flawed design/writing (although they improved a lot with the Runaway sequels).

I would’ve rather suggested games by Jonathan Boakes, Kheops, Cyan, Amanita, Lexis (those popular detective games where you searched internet for clues plus The Experiment which really pushed adventures in a new direction), Scratches and Penumbra. Maybe not masterpieces, but they helped to keep the genre afloat.

     

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Doom - 09 July 2020 06:42 AM
GateKeeper - 09 July 2020 01:46 AM

Ben There, Dan That
Time Gentlemen, Please!
Runaway
Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures
The Shivah

What a strange list. If I was a lawyer, I would’ve used those titles as a proof why this decade marked the death of the genre - three short amateur AGS adventures, an episodic licensed casual game which killed the whole idea of a claymation cartoon (and British humour) and a title with good presentation, but very flawed design/writing (although they improved a lot with the Runaway sequels).

Short or AGS shouldn’t be of any importance, as the question was about great games, not game length or underlying engine. Amateur shouldn’t be an issue either, as the question wasn’t about studio games, it was about quality of games during that decade. If amateurs made the best games during that era, then so be it. More power to them.

And I stand by every game I listed.

Ben & Dan series is simply one of the funniest things ever in the history of the genre, after those games only The Darkside Detective has had the same level of comedy, also, Ben & Dan games have more unique “item on item” responses than almost any other games in genre.

The Shivah has an unsual protagonist in a setting which is comparable to Alfred Hitchcock’s “I Confess” and other films of that nature. Also, that short game also has multiple endings, which is always a plus.

Runaway is another take on the classic “innocent bystander gets involved in strange stuff” scenario, and with fantastic production values behind it. There are some minor issues in the game, but I think it’s among the best adventure games of all times. The sequels, not so much, but they are worth playing anyway.

Wallace & Gromit is a great game that captures the charm of the original thing in a different medium. Out of adventure games based on licensed IP’s, it is one of the best, right up there with Interplay’s Star Trek games. It was quite possibly the best thing that Telltale ever did, even if some of their later games had bigger production values obviously.

And again, we could challenge every word from your statement “an episodic licensed casual game” if we get down to it. Sure, not everyone likes episodic games, but does it mean that all episodic games are bad? If being licensed is a bad thing, then we can’t even begin to discuss Sam & Max games, because they are based on a comic? Being casual might be a point of discussion for sure, but I don’t think Wallace & Gromit comes even close to most casual adventure games, and it certainly is much closer to oldschool adventuring than most of Telltale’s catalogue otherwise is.

     

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Doom - 09 July 2020 06:42 AM
GateKeeper - 09 July 2020 01:46 AM

Ben There, Dan That
Time Gentlemen, Please!
Runaway
Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures
The Shivah

What a strange list. If I was a lawyer, I would’ve used those titles as a proof why this decade marked the death of the genre - three short amateur AGS adventures, an episodic licensed casual game which killed the whole idea of a claymation cartoon (and British humour) and a title with good presentation, but very flawed design/writing (although they improved a lot with the Runaway sequels).

Erm.. what? To borrow your own analogy, I would’ve used that last statement as a proof that you’re ****ing crazy Crazy

I thought it was pretty much consensus that the 1st Runaway game was great and the sequels sucked.

I suppose I should contribute to this thread. So I’ll just mention Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Barrow Hill and 1893: A World’s Fair Mystery. All of them I consider ‘must play’ in one way or another.

     
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Advie - 08 July 2020 10:02 PM

I think those 10 years had been always taken as a disappointment bc they were always compared to the golden age, but I can see that those ten years have held so many good/great titles of classic adventures and with at least AA qualities that we could not really appreciate back then enough. what do you think? can anyone agree?

Golden age’s obvious classics are Sierra,Lucasarts,Revolution,Cyan and Activision games.
But 2000’s genre become so diversified with indie experience and Microids,Daedalic,Telltales,Dontnod,Quantic,Wadjet Eye.. games,golden era comparisons not viable anymore.

     

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The years 2000 - 2010 saw the shift from Western developers and publishers to Europe and Japan. Games like Dreamfall: The Longest Journey and quite a few adventure games for the DS like the Prof. Layton Series showed that the genre remained popular but had shifted where that popularity was located.

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I enjoy playing adventure games on handheld systems- PS VITA, Nintendo DS and ipad mini.

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GateKeeper - 09 July 2020 07:41 AM

Short or AGS shouldn’t be of any importance, as the question was about great games, not game length or underlying engine. Amateur shouldn’t be an issue either, as the question wasn’t about studio games, it was about quality of games during that decade. If amateurs made the best games during that era, then so be it. More power to them.

Yes, but in his post Advie compared the 1990s and the 2000s, suggesting that there were still great adventures of equal (or nearly equal) quality, and you list Ben & Dan series + The Shivah as examples? Seriously, same quality? Yes, Ben & Dan were funny, and I enjoyed the series as I wrote in my recent post about Lair of the Clockwork God, but humour alone doesn’t make something a masterpiece. The games were very crude and disjointed, the characters even joked about the poor production and how nothing made sense. And while The Shivah might have somewhat original plot (although of little interest to those who are not into Judaism), I felt totally cheated when I finished it (the commercial remake) in like an hour. Who cares about multiple endings when there is no game to speak of? Again, how does this compare to the golden age?

And as a fan of the Wallace & Gromit cartoons I found the Telltale game lacking any of the the original charm. They substituted claymation, the main feature of Aardman’s films, with their cheap 3D, they didn’t even care to invite Peter Sallis and used some unknown American voice actor instead. And yes, in this case “licensed” is a bad thing, because this is a British (a very British) license recycled by American screenwriters using their usual sitcom approach. Writing is of poor quality as there is a clear cultural gap and no understanding of what made the films work. Add to this the typical lazy Telltale puzzle design (collect 3 items and click through the final segment) repeated through every episode. At least in LucasArts games there were plenty of other things to do.

Vehelon - 09 July 2020 07:47 AM

Erm.. what? To borrow your own analogy, I would’ve used that last statement as a proof that you’re ****ing crazy Crazy

I thought it was pretty much consensus that the 1st Runaway game was great and the sequels sucked.

Well, then you’d lose the case. Runaway 3 was the only one that made it into the TOP-100 AGs of all time by adventuregamers, the first two games are even specifically mentioned as having some serious issues which prevented them from entering the top. And Runaway 1 was heavily criticized on its initial release for the story - a mix of all cliches in the world - and for annoying puzzle design, with a lot of pixelhunting and insane linearity when you couldn’t even pick up an item until you needed it. The devs listened to the critics and got rid of those issues in later games.

     

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Doom - 09 July 2020 09:33 AM
GateKeeper - 09 July 2020 07:41 AM

Short or AGS shouldn’t be of any importance, as the question was about great games, not game length or underlying engine. Amateur shouldn’t be an issue either, as the question wasn’t about studio games, it was about quality of games during that decade. If amateurs made the best games during that era, then so be it. More power to them.

Yes, but in his post Advie compared the 1990s and the 2000s, suggesting that there were still great adventures of equal (or nearly equal) quality

I really shouldn’t speak for him, and perhaps he can clarify his views, but the way I read it, he did quite the opposite!
He wrote:

I think those 10 years had been always taken as a disappointment bc they were always compared to the golden age, but I can see that those ten years have held so many good/great titles of classic adventures

I read that as he specifically wants games of that era to be appreciated as what they are, and NOT be compared to the “golden age”, which is difficult to define anyway and everyone has his own idea about the beginning and ending point of that.

 

Doom - 09 July 2020 09:33 AM

and you list Ben & Dan series + The Shivah as examples? Seriously, same quality? Yes, Ben & Dan were funny, and I enjoyed the series as I wrote in my recent post about Lair of the Clockwork God, but humour alone doesn’t make something a masterpiece. The games were very crude and disjointed, the characters even joked about the poor production and how nothing made sense. And while The Shivah might have somewhat original plot (although of little interest to those who are not into Judaism), I felt totally cheated when I finished it (the commercial remake) in like an hour. Who cares about multiple endings when there is no game to speak of? Again, how does this compare to the golden age?

Those games look just as good, or even better, as many games from the “golden age”. Sure, there is a difference: many of the golden age games were state-of-the-art cutting edge technology, and AGS is and has always been a low resolution pixel arts tool, so relative to their own age, AGS games do look outdated.

But if you want to compare those games to those of the golden era, then they look quite as good, in many cases even better, than the games from a previous decade. Ben & Dan and The Shivah look much better (technically, artistically it’s always debatable) than AGI games, with SCI and Scumm games it’s more or less a tie, and goes one way or the other based on individual titles.

Making fun of production values is a straight throwback to the golden age itself, just think about how you can visit Space Quest I in Space Quest IV or whatever. Stanman’s jacket in Monkey Island series can be seen as a joke about the limits of animation technology too. They couldn’t animate jacket movements realistically back then, so they made a decision to not animate it at all, and have it display a static pattern in the middle of the character. So games mocking themselves (and each other) was something that happened in golden era almost excessively.

The game length is of no concern to me. If it’s five minutes, and it’s good, I like it. You can’t say that a short film of 20 minutes is bad because it isn’t a two hour long movie? Once upon a time there were technical limitations on how long a film can be, but anything short after 1910’s is made on purpose, it’s a decision. The same goes with games. Also, many of the golden era games gave the impression of being long, because
1) they had mazes, deaths and dead-ends
2) there was no Internet with several walkthroughs.

There were other factors too. Some time ago I played Rex Nebular and the Cosmic Gender Bender, and I found out that the most playtime goes to simply moving from one area to another, as there are many things to slow the progress down. Using that car or whatever was in the end too annoying to even mention, so counting the time it takes to solve puzzles is maybe 40% there?

I don’t know if you count the early Sierra AGI games as golden era, but writing a walkthrough about the first King’s Quest doesn’t take up much space for sure.

     

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Doom - 09 July 2020 06:42 AM
GateKeeper - 09 July 2020 01:46 AM

Ben There, Dan That
Time Gentlemen, Please!
Runaway
Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures
The Shivah

What a strange list.

Heh, I thought more or less the same thing. There’s no accounting for taste.

Here’s my list of games I enjoyed.
Shadow of Memories - Dark Fall 1 - Moment of Silence - Myst 3 - Return to Mysterious Island - Barrow Hill - Dreamfall - The Path - Sam and Max Season 1 - Edna and Harvey: The Breakout - Rhiannon - Machinarium - Whispered World.

Only three of those are in my Top 20 After 2000: Edna, Dreamfall and Machinarium. The other 17 were released after 2010.

Pagoda also lists adventures by year. So many mediocre games.
https://alofmethbin.com/pagoda/years.php

 

     
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Give it more time. The glasses aren’t tinted enough yet.

     

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