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Adv_Lvr

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What game have you just finished?

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I have not finished, but am finished with A New Beginning.

I’m at the very last scene, and it’s another puzzle in another metallic industrial structure involving doors and buttons and valves and vents. Sorry, there’s only so many I can take. I persevered through the first half dozen, hoping that something better would be next. A more inspired environment, an interesting plot point, a satisfying puzzle, a meaningful character development, something. Well, it took me the whole game to figure it out, but I won’t be fooled again. Maybe that, in a very meta manner, *is* the great puzzle of this game—how long will it take you to figure out that it’s a complete waste of time?

The theme of the plot may be one that is fairly unique in gaming, but the plot itself is tripe. The characters are garbage—I’ve rarely if ever felt such apathy toward a protagonist—, the voice acting and dialogue are nonsense—literally nonsense, as in, they makes no sense—, the puzzles range from stupid to merely serviceable, at a ratio of 10-1 in favor of stupid (none of them are particularly satisfying. The best ones merely work), after the first couple of hours of gameplay, the environments are one boring industrial structure after another…except for one scene in a jungle, which is limited to two screens and a couple of blah puzzles, and on the whole I can’t think of any reason whatsoever to recommend this game to anyone. It’s glitchy, it’s buggy, and clearly needed more playtesting. That said, even if all the glitches were fixed, the game would still be lousy, so perhaps the developers just cut their losses and released the game as is.

On the bright side, the way the interface wheel verbs change situationally was nice and something that might open up some interesting puzzling possibilities or added immersion, if used in the hands of a capable development team.

I’m not going into greater detail than this, because the game isn’t worth that many words. Suffice it to say, I could write a novella talking about the many ways in which this game fails.

Final Score: 2/10

I am not a harsh critic of games in general. I can recognize their strengths and weaknesses, and am as appreciative of the former as I am forgiving of the latter. That’s impossible with this game. It’s a disaster and a complete waste of time from start to finish. Don’t bother.
If playing the original German version, there’s a possibility of it going as high as 4/10, but that’s probably me being a little too forgiving of the latter.

Onward to better things.

     

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Baron_Blubba - 25 March 2021 07:04 PM

I have not finished, but am finished with A New Beginning.

I’m at the very last scene, and it’s another puzzle in another metallic industrial structure involving doors and buttons and valves and vents. Sorry, there’s only so many I can take. I persevered through the first half dozen, hoping that something better would be next. A more inspired environment, an interesting plot point, a satisfying puzzle, a meaningful character development, something. Well, it took me the whole game to figure it out, but I won’t be fooled again. Maybe that, in a very meta manner, *is* the great puzzle of this game—how long will it take you to figure out that it’s a complete waste of time?

The theme of the plot may be one that is fairly unique in gaming, but the plot itself is tripe. The characters are garbage—I’ve rarely if ever felt such apathy toward a protagonist—, the voice acting and dialogue are nonsense—literally nonsense, as in, they makes no sense—, the puzzles range from stupid to merely serviceable, at a ratio of 10-1 in favor of stupid (none of them are particularly satisfying. The best ones merely work), after the first couple of hours of gameplay, the environments are one boring industrial structure after another…except for one scene in a jungle, which is limited to two screens and a couple of blah puzzles, and on the whole I can’t think of any reason whatsoever to recommend this game to anyone. It’s glitchy, it’s buggy, and clearly needed more playtesting. That said, even if all the glitches were fixed, the game would still be lousy, so perhaps the developers just cut their losses and released the game as is.

On the bright side, the way the interface wheel verbs change situationally was nice and something that might open up some interesting puzzling possibilities or added immersion, if used in the hands of a capable development team.

I’m not going into greater detail than this, because the game isn’t worth that many words. Suffice it to say, I could write a novella talking about the many ways in which this game fails.

Final Score: 2/10

I am not a harsh critic of games in general. I can recognize their strengths and weaknesses, and am as appreciative of the former as I am forgiving of the latter. That’s impossible with this game. It’s a disaster and a complete waste of time from start to finish. Don’t bother.
If playing the original German version, there’s a possibility of it going as high as 4/10, but that’s probably me being a little too forgiving of the latter.

Onward to better things.

I think this might be the best review I’ve ever read Heart Eyes

Thumbs Up  Thumbs Up

Nothing against the reviewers on this site, but it’s infinitely more accurate and entertaining than their hard to fathom 4-star review.

     
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Baron_Blubba - 25 March 2021 07:04 PM

Final Score: 2/10

I am not a harsh critic of games in general.

I think 2/10 is quite harsh.

I can recognize their strengths and weaknesses, and am as appreciative of the former as I am forgiving of the latter.

What about the graphics, awful as well?

That’s impossible with this game. It’s a disaster and a complete waste of time from start to finish. Don’t bother.

Wow.
I didn’t care much for the game, but I’d never give it such a low score.

     

Nothing but endless sea… no sign of America yet… unless it’s on the other side of the boat… is that how boats work? - Veronica, Overboard!

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Jdawg445 - 25 March 2021 05:23 PM
Origami - 25 March 2021 03:56 PM

In my previous post I mentioned how also especially liked the movie. I don’t know what the hell I am referring to. It isn’t the cutscenes.

Also forgot to mention that the game is a huge tribute to Poirot obviously but especially what happens on the boat is very reminiscent of Death on the Nile.

Also to clarify: with the phrase “liked the ending more than I thought I would” I mean to say that I was familiar with the bad reputation the ending got. I heard about the identity of the Raven being a huge disappointment and it’s what kind of turned me off in the first place to play it. I gave it a try after reading jdawgs recommendation. In the end, like I said, ending didn’t bother me as much as I expected it would. Of course slightly disappointing because the appreciation for golden-age crime fiction by its team comes through and the writing was pretty solid and they ended up dropping the ball ultimately with the ending. I thought the game had a bigger issue than the ending, which was its pacing.

EDIT: figured out what movie was supposed to be lol. I meant to say the soundtrack. The music was really good.

Also isn’t the game quite anachronistic? Doesn’t the game take place in the 60s? What’s up with those cars then? Did they change the year later during production?

Pacing was not an issue for me, I felt like you never stayed in one situation or one scene for too long.the game kept it moving, besides near the end where you switch perspectives and play through certain parts again. I also really liked the soundtrack, the game is not perfect but I had a lot of fun with it

With pacing I meant more that the game rarely created a sense of urgency or excited moments. It kind of moves along in the same fashion all throughout. Guess that’s why it felt boring at times.

     
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That’s a great review. Thank you. I’m glad I bought and played the game before you posted your review because I would not have bought the game otherwise.

I myself enjoyed the game, yes it has faults, but most of the games we get today do. I’m hoping LIS True Colors is indeed an AA or AAA release that we all can agree on it’s review score, good or bad.

Until then, we’ll have to live with indies and their faults. Do note, I play these games on an iPad years after the PC release and the version I play will differ from yours. also, my 7.9 inch Retina display makes a big difference too.

Personally, I am playing Lamplight City for the second time and I suspect it’s in the same boat.

Heart

     

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

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Karlok - 26 March 2021 05:51 AM
Baron_Blubba - 25 March 2021 07:04 PM

Final Score: 2/10

I am not a harsh critic of games in general.

I think 2/10 is quite harsh.

I can recognize their strengths and weaknesses, and am as appreciative of the former as I am forgiving of the latter.

What about the graphics, awful as well?

That’s impossible with this game. It’s a disaster and a complete waste of time from start to finish. Don’t bother.

Wow.
I didn’t care much for the game, but I’d never give it such a low score.

I don’t think 2/10 is harsh for this game; I think it’s fair. There were a couple of parts toward the beginning which were okay, but the rest of it was pretty dire, and it’s a long game. With a couple of logic puzzle exceptions, none of the puzzle solving was satisfying at all to me. It’s hard to explain, but in some games you get a good feeling from solving a puzzle, even a simple puzzle. In this game it was just ‘oh, okay, I did what the game wanted me to do. Onward.’ I felt no excitement, cleverness, or satisfaction from solving the ones in A New Beginning. Since the narrative was not particularly compelling, to put it kindly, and the characters were not particularly endearing, to put it euphemistically, and the scenery was not particularly lovely, imaginative, or inspiring to behold, to put it Pollyannically—well, then, I’m not quite sure how to score the game any higher.

I’m not going to add or remove points for the graphics. As Adv_Lvr pointed out, this is not a AAA title, and we must temper our expectations accordingly. That said, there are plenty of great looking freeware and indie games out there, and A New Beginning is not one of them. Yes, everything is very high res and sharp. From a technical perspective, the game is great when it’s standing still. In motion, it’s very half baked. The robotic nature of the characters is not limited to their personalities; it’s manifest in their every animation (and often lack thereof).  Further, while the backgrounds might be technically impressive in a high-definition way, the art direction and imagination are sorely lacking. A good adventure game moves you from one distinct setting to another, so it feels like you are on an adventure. Here, it’s one industrial setting after another. Cold, staid, boring. Just like every single playable character and NPC in the game.

The glitches, where the text and voices will switch languages in certain parts of the game (just for a line or two here and there), show a lack of pride of ownership from the developer, and a lack of respect for the people who bought their game. These ought to be unmissable mistakes, easily corrected.
And very close to the end of the game, you get a cutscene where all of a sudden you can choose dialogue lines to pursue, which was never done before all game in a cutscene context. I thought the game had frozen, until I accidentally clicked on the line. Just so stupid.
Speaking of the cutscenes…actually, let’s not speak of the cutscenes. Geez.

     

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Adv_Lvr - 26 March 2021 01:14 PM

That’s a great review. Thank you. I’m glad I bought and played the game before you posted your review because I would not have bought the game otherwise.

I myself enjoyed the game, yes it has faults, but most of the games we get today do. I’m hoping LIS True Colors is indeed an AA or AAA release that we all can agree on it’s review score, good or bad.

Until then, we’ll have to live with indies and their faults. Do note, I play these games on an iPad years after the PC release and the version I play will differ from yours. also, my 7.9 inch Retina display makes a big difference too.

Personally, I am playing Lamplight City for the second time and I suspect it’s in the same boat.

Heart

Guarantee I will like Lamplight City a bazillion times more than A New Beginning. I’ve heard interviews with the developer, and he seems to know what he’s about. It’s not a puzzle heavy game, but it seems like it has a strong narrative, and Wadjeteye is a professional operation that pays attention to all the important details, large and small. I can appreciate and enjoy an adventure game, if it’s not my personal ideal type of game, if it’s done well and tells me a good story.

     

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Origami - 26 March 2021 12:12 PM
Jdawg445 - 25 March 2021 05:23 PM
Origami - 25 March 2021 03:56 PM

In my previous post I mentioned how also especially liked the movie. I don’t know what the hell I am referring to. It isn’t the cutscenes.

Also forgot to mention that the game is a huge tribute to Poirot obviously but especially what happens on the boat is very reminiscent of Death on the Nile.

Also to clarify: with the phrase “liked the ending more than I thought I would” I mean to say that I was familiar with the bad reputation the ending got. I heard about the identity of the Raven being a huge disappointment and it’s what kind of turned me off in the first place to play it. I gave it a try after reading jdawgs recommendation. In the end, like I said, ending didn’t bother me as much as I expected it would. Of course slightly disappointing because the appreciation for golden-age crime fiction by its team comes through and the writing was pretty solid and they ended up dropping the ball ultimately with the ending. I thought the game had a bigger issue than the ending, which was its pacing.

EDIT: figured out what movie was supposed to be lol. I meant to say the soundtrack. The music was really good.

Also isn’t the game quite anachronistic? Doesn’t the game take place in the 60s? What’s up with those cars then? Did they change the year later during production?

Pacing was not an issue for me, I felt like you never stayed in one situation or one scene for too long.the game kept it moving, besides near the end where you switch perspectives and play through certain parts again. I also really liked the soundtrack, the game is not perfect but I had a lot of fun with it

With pacing I meant more that the game rarely created a sense of urgency or excited moments. It kind of moves along in the same fashion all throughout. Guess that’s why it felt boring at times.

Oh see i really enjoyed the murder case on the ship. Loved the pacing there

     
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That opening 45 mins or so of a new beginning told me everything i needed to know. The first hr or so of any game is there to hook the player and create a desire to continue. This game had the exact opposite effect on me. Lame animations, lame characters, and atrocious voice acting.

     
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you guys like to rouble yourself, i gave that verdict 100+  (other) pages ago

     
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Advie - 26 March 2021 07:58 PM

you guys like to rouble yourself, i gave that verdict 100+  (other) pages ago

We like to talk.

Okay, I just finished King’s Quest IV: The Peril’s of Rosella, for probably the third or fourth time.

This is often regarded as the best or second best game in the King’s Quest series (not counting the AGDI/Himalaya Studios ‘Redux’ remakes). I’m not so sure about that.

After KQ III, which had a plot that developed over the course of the game, the story in KQ IV seemed a little simple. You’re on a quest to save your dad, and the only way to do that is to find a magic fruit and recover a magical amulet to save a fairy queen. Not a bad story, but we learn all this in the introduction, and it doesn’t really go anywhere from there. Well, there is the Edgar thing, that was really nice. But still, it’s shallow compared to KQ III.
As far as the puzzles and environments go, it’s certainly better than the original versions of KQ I and II—the haunted house and witch’s cave are very cool, sneaking around in the giant’s house reminds me of the dread of getting caught by Mannannan in KQ III, and getting swallowed by the whale is, of course, legendary—but there’s still the pervading feeling that all of the places and inhabitants of this world are only pieces of a puzzle, not actual people who live here. There should be more to each of them, or at least some of them, than a ‘one and done’ deal. Still, this is a 3 megabyte game, and it *is* a step up from the games that preceded it, so not a big deal—just something that keeps it from greatness.

As far as the puzzles go, and the rest of the game in general, it’s very pleasant. This is meant as praise and pejorative. I don’t really see many puzzles here; all of the obstacles are pretty obvious fetch quests. Someone has this thing you need (or might have *a* thing you need), and they need something in return for it. What that thing is, and how to get it, are usually pretty obvious. It’s more a matter of mapping the world out and remembering who needs what than anything else.
Because of this, I feel like the difficulty of KQ IV is largely artificial. How much trial and error will it take to climb the whale’s tongue? Do you know the word ‘uvula’? Will you try to dig before knowing what to dig for, and then break your fragile shovel two hours later, forcing you to replay half the game? How many times will you load your game before lucking out and making it past the cave troll? So on and so forth.

Overall, I really enjoyed the game, despite its simplicity. It is charming and just challenging enough to be engaging. The world is full of interesting places to visit, so the game feels like a real adventure, and each environment produces its own desired effect—usually dread, wonder, or some combination thereof.
Also, lunch for 7 Dwarves + Rosella make this the most bowl-heavy Sierra game I’ve played so far.

Word of warning: Don’t use the shovel until you *know* it’s the right time.

Final score 7.5/10 with a cherry on top.

 

     

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Baron_Blubba - 26 March 2021 04:49 PM

Guarantee I will like Lamplight City a bazillion times more than A New Beginning. I’ve heard interviews with the developer, and he seems to know what he’s about. It’s not a puzzle heavy game, but it seems like it has a strong narrative, and Wadjeteye is a professional operation that pays attention to all the important details, large and small. I can appreciate and enjoy an adventure game, if it’s not my personal ideal type of game, if it’s done well and tells me a good story.

I’m not sure if you will enjoy Lamplight City as much as I did, but I’m pretty confident…

     
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Lamplight City is NOT a wadjet production. Not even close. Does not in any way play like a wadjet game. It has a way different interface and no inventory.

I’m not sure if you will enjoy Lamplight City as much as I did, but I’m pretty confident…

I’m playing it for the second time and it still has an excellent steampunk vibe to it. For all steampunk fans that like a game with a strong narrative I recommend it.

Heart

     

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

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Adv_Lvr - 30 March 2021 06:39 PM

Lamplight City is NOT a wadjet production. Not even close. Does not in any way play like a wadjet game. It has a way different interface and no inventory.

As a matter of fact, I am pretty sure that was the reason why Francisco Gonzalez didn’t publish the game with WEG, probably Dave Gilbert’s meddling make him going his way.

     
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I just finished King’s Quest V, perhaps the most unappreciated and misunderstood adventure game ever made. This was probably my 4th complete play through.

I hear and read a lot about the shoddy voice acting and script in this game, not exclusively but largely referring to King Graham. Fact is, KQV is one of the most brilliantly written and acted games, and KQV Graham is one of the most well written and voiced characters in gaming. Here’s the thing: Graham, and the world he inhabits, are not meant to be taken seriously. It’s straight faced deadpan comedy.The lands of Daventry, Sirenia, and Mordack’s are inherently absurd, yet they don’t know it themselves. Moon logic to them is perfectly logical logic.
For his part, Graham is a perfectly normal, logical, practical, human being—albeit one with a great sense of deadpan humor. He recognizes the absurdity of Sirenia, and plays to it, tongue in cheek. He panders to the ridiculous manners, customs, and laws of the people and the land itself. He relishes every flourish, trope, and exaggeration. His family may be in danger, but if a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do, why not try and have a great time while doing it? He’s the Dread Pirate Roberts and Guybrush Threepwood combined, only unlike Guybrush, who frequently breaks the fourth wall to let us know that he knows how dumb this all is, Graham never leaves character to explain the joke.
It’s fantastic, I love it, and it’s what makes KQV the best game in the series up until this point.

But, that’s not to say it’s perfect. Far from it. Although the art is beautiful, and the journey is by far the most epic-questy of all the KQ’s so far, the flaws are many. Yes, there are way too many dead ends. KQ4 had the shovel as the only real deal breaker for me—you get it early, and have so much time to break it before you need it, it’s just not fair. In KQ V, there are so many little pixels you can miss along the way that will render the game unwinnable. The boot is the most vicious because it is the easiest to miss,  but there are quite a few others along the way.
Experienced Sierra game players will know to save early and often…but man, if I didn’t already know this game front-to-back-back-to-front, it would be frustrating.
Otherwise, the inventory puzzles are fine. Pie at yeti makes perfect sense in a zany adventure game, and if you look at Mordack’s machine the narrator will tell you that it smells really bad…so if you’ve already given the dead fish to the cat (gosh, I love this game), then the next smelliest thing in your inventory would be the cheese.
The only nonsense puzzle is waiting in just the right spot and for way too long in the library before Mordack takes a nap.

The environments are beautiful and imaginative, and this game feels like such a great adventure. I’m jaded to it by now, but mapping the desert for the first time, finding the treasure filled temple, going from oasis to oasis and eventually stumbling upon the bandits hideout, then robbing the temple…that was *amazing*!
Outsmarting the witch, exploring that scary forest, and discovering the exit through the elves world? C’mon, as a kid it doesn’t get any better than that. Well, not until you find the Rusalka in Quest for Glory IV, at least.

Oh, and Cedric is not worth making a fuss over. Much ado about nothing, he doesn’t even accompany you for most of the game.

Final Score: 8 hoots out of 10

     

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