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What game have you just finished?

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walas74 - 15 March 2021 02:51 PM
Baron_Blubba - 15 March 2021 02:43 PM

Dang, so much of what I hear about Shardlight, Unavowed, and Lamplight City appeals to me. And so much turns me off. I think I will try one of them and see how it goes.
As someone who enjoys puzzles and interaction, but also values a good story well told, which would you kind folks recommend?
(If I don’t like the game you recommend, don’t worry, we can still be friends. Just a little bit less.)

Do you mean among those three? Shardlight would be more balanced between puzzles and story, Unavowed definetely has a great story and poor puzzles, and Lamplight City is great as a detective game, but has no inventory as you work with suspects and clues.

That been said, if you haven’t played Technobabylon yet, start with it!

Lamplight “puzzles” are similar to how you investigate in the blackwell series.

The overall story to unavowed is fine i guess, but i dont like a lot of the characters bc most are underwritten to me. I also agree the puzzles are pretty weak to non exsistent.

Shardlight also has issues, but i like the characters more in this game, and the puzzles are mildly better than the other two. The antagonist is interesting at least, and is voiced by the guy that plays joey in the blackwell games.

I also agree that technobabylon is easily the best wadjet eye game and it’s one of my favorite modern adventure games of the last 10 years

     
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Jdawg445 - 15 March 2021 05:56 PM

Shardlight also has issues, but i like the characters more in this game, and the puzzles are mildly better than the other two. The antagonist is interesting at least, and is voiced by the guy that plays joey in the blackwell games.

I also agree that technobabylon is easily the best wadjet eye game and it’s one of my favorite modern adventure games of the last 10 years

And the voice of my beloved Crispin in Primordia and the voice of a new game that is coming soon…

Technobabylon rocks! As you say, one of the best modern adventure games. Let’s see what they do with the 3D sequel…

     
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Okay, Technobabylon will be my next Wadjeteye game. Shardlight sounds cool, too. I love a good villain.

Speaking of good villains AND games I just finished, I very recently finished A Plague Tale: Innocence. Not a point-and-click adventure game, but a very adventuresome game. My brief thoughts:

First of all, it had a great villain, one of the most enjoyably hatable and morbidly fun to behold bad guys whose devious plots and nefarious plans I have ever had the pleasure of foiling.

The environments are wonderful. One of my favorite things about the great adventure games is the way you feel like you are on an adventure, exploring and becoming immersed in the game world. The world of A Plague Tale is so meticulously detailed and often beautiful, it was just a pleasure to live in. Well, that’s one side of the coin…at times the world is also incredibly cruel and gruesome and oppressive.

The gameplay was not tuned to perfection like in a Metal Gear Solid game (both are stealth titles), but it’s good enough, although there are a few scenes where the mechanics are not quite honed enough to keep the player from becoming frustrated. The reach of the scenario exceeded the grasp of what the gameplay mechanics were capably of doing gracefully, you might say.

On the downside…

This is a game that banks on emotional resonance in order to leave its mark. Unfortunately, it often does this in the cheapest way possible, going the route that too many modern games do in order to make you ‘feel’. This is the ‘force the player to make the player do things they feel guilty about’ method of tear jerking. There are too many times where the only way forward is via committing an atrocity that is not consistent with the who the main character is, or who the player is (I hope). After doing these things, it’s hard to sympathize with the main character. I hate it when games do this, especially stealth games which, given their nature, ought to be mechanically equipped to offer alternative and more pacifistic solutions.
Make no mistake, I enjoy quite a few violent games, even games in which I am the villain, but in those games the violence isn’t used as a tool to make me feel things through guilt.

Also, the game begins under the auspices of a pure stealth game, but as it progresses it becomes more reliant on the use of stealthy killing than stealthy sneaking. This might be okay, but the game is often not clear about which path it wants you to take, and there are many instances where killing is mandatory, and some where pacifistic stealth is mandatory. I wasted a lot of time figuring out which were which.

Lastly, for a game with such wonderfully realistic environments, there were times when some props were clearly present only because they were needed to facilitate a gameplay mechanic. This is fine, but it wasn’t always gracefully done. For example, in a field patrolled by soldiers, you might have 6 tables in different areas, covered with the same metal armor, so you can ping them with pebbles to distract the guards. A little variety would have gone a long way toward immersive believability.

As a whole, A Plague Tale: Innocence was far greater than the sum of its parts. The gameplay is a 7/10, but the story, characters, environments, set pieces, and *especially the villains* really carry the game to another level.
I should mention, since this is an adventure game site,  that while some of the puzzles were frustrating, and some were just padding, there were also several very good ones.

A Plague Tale: Innocence final score: 8.5/10

Played on a PC with an XBOX 360 controller.

 

     

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Yesterday I finished Ben There, Dan That in Time Gentlemen, Please

What I Liked

- This has to be an apex in inventory-based puzzle gaming. So many different objects, and so many crazy but almost always adventure-game-logical ways to use them.
- I don’t think I’ve ever played a game with such comprehensive responses for trying different objects on different objects. Whereas in Monkey Island you’ll repeatedly get ‘I can’t use the [X Item] with that.’, in this game almost every possible combination has its own unique response from Dan and Ben. Finding them is similar to figuring out all the unique ways to die in an old Sierra game.
- The writing is much better this time around, and the text is much more pleasant to read. It’s hard to write this kind of sex and toilet humor and in a way that will appeal to people over the age of 16. TGP does not entirely succeed, but it is leaps and bounds better than its predecessor, and I laughed or chuckled often throughout the experience.
- Likewise, I’m usually not a fan of too much 4th wall breaking humor. In this game it was all welcome and good fun.
- In such an irreverent game that also involves Hitler and ‘Nazis’, it could have been easy to cross the line into tasteless WWII/Holocaust jokes. They never did. Kudos.
- The plot isn’t complex and it’s not going to keep you awake at night contemplating its surpassing brilliance, but it is set up nicely and does the trick in giving you motive to go from point A to B to C. A very nice vehicle for all the humor and great puzzles.
- Just like in the first game, the ending was amazing. I’m curious to hear other people’s thoughts on it. I love that they went there.

What I didn’t like

-Some of the humor was still too stupid. It’s hard to write smart stupid humor. Usually, they did it well, but in several instances they did not.
- Toward the end of the game, there is a puzzle that I think is unfair. There’s something there that I assumed was just for optional flavor, like finding the Maniac Mansion ‘easter egg’ in Day of the Tentacle. One character even tells you that it is, I think. It turns out to be crucial later on. Once I knew that, it was a great puzzle, but the game should have give a firm nudge in that direction when the time was right.

That’s about all I can complain about. I thought this was a really, really, good game. I enjoyed the first Ben There, Dan That game, but this is miles better. If it had voice acting and the LucasArts graphics guys behind it, it’d be a golden era adventure gaming classic.

As it is, I’ll give it an 8/10. It does what it sets out to do almost perfectly, but is not ambitious enough to earn a higher grade. Can’t wait to play Lair of the Clockwork God.

     

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Tantei - Kibukawa Ryosuke Jikenbo 1: Kamen Genso Satsujin Jiken (Detective Ryosuke Kibukawa Case Files 1: The Masque Fantasy Murder Case): G-Mode has been releasing ports of old Japanese feature phone games on the Japanese eShop for some while now, and it’s been a blessing because almost all of those games had been lost to time, given as they were only playable on Japanese feature phones, on models and services (like i-mode) that haven’t been supported for ages. G-Mode originally started with their own games, but has now also started releasing titles from other publishers under the name “G-Mode Archives+” and I was thrilled that they started with the Ryosuke Kibukawa series: this was a very long-running series of mystery adventures games that ran mainly on feature phones, though one entry was also released as an early DS game. I hadn’t played it myself yet, so I’m glad they’re finally playable on something that’s not a Japanese feature phone from twenty years ago.

This first game in the series was originally released in 2003, and is about a series of curious deaths of people playing the MMORPG Criticlimax. As an adventure game, it follows the familiar Japanese command-style adventure format, and it’s rather short and simple (an hour or so?), but I’m really looking forward to G-Mode bringing more of these lost adventure games out on Switch!

     

“Rationality, that was it. No esoteric mumbo jumbo could fool that fellow. Lord, no! His two feet were planted solidly on God’s good earth” - Ellery Queen, The Lamp of God

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Gray Matter - 3.5/5
Big Jane Jensen fan but expected more from this interesting setting. The pros, excellent characters, these are alone worth the play, nice deep interesting story although not epic enough for my taste. Graphics are good although they always reminded me of these horrible cheap casual games on the appstores with their clean over the top look. The cons, annoying puzzles which are always pretty simple, but a lot of times you don’t know what to do next until you find another small trigger thingy hidden in the world so you can proceed. Often the puzzles felt like a chore (especially the magic tricks, ugh), but story and characters were interesting enough to endure it. All in all good adventure game, few bugs so save from time to time, sadly not comparable to the quality of the Gabriel Knight series.

     
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Finished the Raven after someone recommended it to me.

Surprisingly I disliked the game more than I thought I would and liked the ending more than I thought I would.

Not a bad game by all means, but at one point boredom did kick in and I just wanted to rush it till the ending. Nice production values though, liked the dialogue characters and location designs and especially the movie(Edit: movie is supposed to be soundtrack lol). The ending was okay but probably works less the more you think about it, also didn’t help I saw it coming. I had my suspicions confirmed once someone uttered the line I am the Raven! which was supposed to serve as clever foreshadowing in hindsight.

All in all, a game worthy of a playthrough for adventure fanatics. 3/5.

     
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Origami - 23 March 2021 03:45 PM

Finished the Raven after someone recommended it to me.

Surprisingly I disliked the game more than I thought I would and liked the ending more than I thought I would.

Not a bad game by all means, but at one point boredom did kick in and I just wanted to rush it till the ending. Nice production values though, liked the dialogue characters and location designs and especially the movie. The ending was okay but probably works less the more you think about it, also didn’t help I saw it coming. I had my suspicions confirmed once someone uttered the line I am the Raven! which was supposed to serve as clever foreshadowing in hindsight.

All in all, a game worthy of a playthrough for adventure fanatics. 3/5.

Mostly agree with this, although I really hated the ending. Really stupid and silly. The same can be said about, for example, the first Black Mirror game, but at least in that game there is an explanation as to why we as players don’t know that we in fact have been the culprit all the time.

     
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I think the ending to The Raven actually works, I had figured out the truth about halfway through. they do a good job of dropping hints throughout the game like in the first chapter on the train Zellner tells a little boy that he is an actor in his community theater which made me think, why would a cop be an actor unless he’s playing a cop.

     
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I just bought The Raven on the GOG Spring Sale, after learning that it is a KingArt game.

I just finished King’s Quest II: Romancing The Stones (VGA Redux) by AGD Interactive/Himalaya Studios. This is probably my fourth play through. The first time was immediately after it was released, when I reviewed it for the once megalithic but now long defunct GameHippo.com freeware site. Anyone here remember that place?

King’s Quest II Redux is to adventure game remakes what Resident Evil is to modern generation AAA remakes. It’s one of my top 20 adventure games, and right up there with the best of the Sierra Golden Age classics.
Wonderful plot, characters, places, and puzzles.
The voice acting, cut scene art, and an exciting final act that is watched rather than played, are the only slight misses here. And I’ll give the voice acting an easy pass because it’s still leagues better than any Daedalic game I’ve played (and King’s Quest 5, actually) and this was coming from a freeware game circa ~2000.

I’m sure everyone reading this post will have played the game by now, but if you haven’t, go go go! (Then play everything else Himalaya has made, both free and premium!)

Final score, ranked as a classic Sierra game: 9/10, right up there with KQ 6 and Space Quest 5, a bit below Gabriel Knight, and a bit more below Conquest of the Longbow.

     

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Speaking of The Raven, how long was spent on the train? I started the game ages ago, but couldn’t play more than a minute due to motion sickness. I am wondering if it is worth getting through it a few minutes at a time until I get past that section.

     

The real problem with reality is the lack of background music.

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skeeter_93 - 25 March 2021 07:21 AM

Speaking of The Raven, how long was spent on the train? I started the game ages ago, but couldn’t play more than a minute due to motion sickness. I am wondering if it is worth getting through it a few minutes at a time until I get past that section.

the train is most of the first chapter or act if I remember, sorry to hear that, it didnt bother me.

     
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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?

     
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I just finished King’s Quest III Redux: To Heir Is Human by AGD Interactive/Himalaya Studios.
This was my second play through of this version, and I’ve beaten the original once as well (a proud accomplishment!).

What a fantastic game. I give Himalaya tremendous credit for maintaining the feel of the original, while moving it gracefully into modernity. And by ‘modernity’ I mean ‘1993’.

Mannanan is one of my favorite adventure game villains, and the sense of dread his looming presence instills in the player (or at least, me) is amazing when you consider hey…it’s just a game! The first half of the game is really one great big layered puzzle, which you acquire the necessary components to solve by completing smaller tasks and puzzles. The only downside to this first part of the game is that, with the exception of the hero and the wizard, all of the characters are blatant puzzle constructs—they don’t ring as actual inhabitants/passers-through of the land of Llewdor. By contrast, one of the best things that Himalaya did with their earlier remake of KQ II was flesh out all of the incidental one-dimensional characters into ‘real’ people. That same attention in KQ III would have doubtlessly enhanced the plot and the player’s immersion into the land.
Part two remedies this somewhat, as you do spend a bit more time with the very few characters you meet, but at this point it’s more about the journey, which takes you to some wonderful (if ‘classic/cliche’) places, all rendered in beautiful watercolor and described with some beautiful adventure game narrator’s prose (I love this stuff, when done well). It’s all suitably dramatic, with the perfect touch of charm and humor. The only downside to this half of the game is that it’s all over way too soon. In the first half, you spend hours wandering around the small region of Llewdor, which is too small and lacks the aforementioned organic characters to feel believable or immersive. In the second half, you spend just a few minutes in each beautiful region. While I appreciated the journey *very much* for what it is, I also feel like the journey would have felt more appropriately epic had there been more puzzles and more challenging puzzles compelling me to explore and dwell in them a while longer. In fact, I don’t think there’s a single inventory pick up in the last 1/3 of the game, and only really two in the second half…if that.

I’m spending time talking about the flaws because everything else is simply great. The art, the acting, the writing, the puzzles, all top notch. What. A. Game. Thanks, Himalaya!

Score: 8/10
Not as good as KQ II Redux or the *very best* of the Sierra Golden Age (Conquest of the Longbow, QFG IV, Gabriel Knight, King’s Quest VI), but right there with the other greats (SQ V, Conquest of Camelot, QFG II).

Edit: As good as this game is, it only makes it a greater shame that AGD/Himalaya never continued their KQ Redux saga. This and their previous two games set the stage beautifully for what would have been an awesome Peril’s of Rosella Redux. Doubt it will happen now, but…who knows? I know I’d pitch in for that Kickstarter at a high level.

     

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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

     

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