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What game have you just finished?

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Doom - 06 March 2021 04:51 PM

No, Ghost Trick is not available on Steam unfortunately, it’s either DS or iOS. Funny, but only after finishing the game I read that the iOS version has improved graphics and is a preferable choice. Although I’m also not a fan of playing games on my phone, and I’m not an Apple user anyway. One thing I learned is that sometimes the solution to your problem is right under your nose - I had no idea my friend owned the game all those years Smile

It was so good and refreshing that I already want to replay it and discover all the content I missed. While it’s pretty linear and gives you clear directions where to go next, you can explore different places on your own and discover some new things. There are also tons of dialogues with wacky characters that could be easily missed.

Advie - 06 March 2021 12:50 PM

well, the best adventure ever made in this decade; Edna and Harvey, has a 3.5 ratings here.

Same with Memoria which was an absolute delight to play, gave it 4.5 stars last year.

I’ll see if I can find Ghost Trick for a reasonable price for DS, otherwise I will just bite the bullet and get it for IOS.

Man, Memoria. Ha. I was so pleasantly surprised by Chains Of Satinav, I couldn’t wait to play Memoria. I heard it was even better! Hoo boy, was I disappointed. Okay, it’s not a bad game, but it takes so much of what made CoS endearing and compelling and relegated it to a secondary place in the game. I liked Geron and Nuri, and I liked the way their relationship developed throughout CoS. I couldn’t wait to play Memoria and see where they would go from there. (I am being verrrrrry careful with spoilers here.) Then you end up playing 75% of Memoria as a really cold, arrogant, smug, mysterious, often morally ambiguous, and usually unlikable character and her cold, arrogant, smug, mysterious, often morally ambiguous, and usually unlikable sidekick. There are some *great* puzzles in this game—some stinkers, too, but also some really good ones—some really cool set pieces, and a wonderful subplot with lots of suspense, dread, and dare-I-hope. Unfortunately, that subplot should have been the main plot, and the main plot should have been the subplot.
Also, like in every other Daedalic game I’ve played, it wasn’t play tested enough. There are times when you click on something and the game responds in another language than the one you are playing in, or will respond as if you clicked on something all the way on the other side of the game. So frustrating how this company always goes 90% of the way pro with their games, but then they fall that 10% short and remain amateur.
Well…I’ve played four of their games, and that was the case. Still…if people keep on recommending them, I’ll keep trying them.

     

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“Touch Detective”

I have that game. It’s pretty marginal. Pretty much the bottom of DS adventure games, for me, anyway. In my collection.

I’d say play everything else first then play these games, there should be two of them.

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Adv_Lvr - 06 March 2021 05:52 PM

“Touch Detective”

I have that game. It’s pretty marginal. Pretty much the bottom of DS adventure games, for me, anyway. In my collection.

I’d say play everything else first then play these games, there should be two of them.

Heart

Oh, I played them. Back when the DS was current, I bought almost every adventure game that was released for it, regardless of reviews. They had a lot of potential, but if I recall correctly, there was some really horrible pixel hunting, which was exacerbated by the low res DS screen and the sometimes not-perfectly-precise stylus tapping. Did I miss the hotspot? Or is there even a hotspot there at all?

     

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Okay, *just* finished Conquests of the Longbow, the Christy Marx Sierra game about Robin Hood.

This is my favorite adventure game ever (DoTT is the best, but this is my favorite…and only a hair shy of equalling DoTT in gameplay brilliance).

I’ve been a huge fan of Robin Hood stories since I was little, and this is my favorite retelling. Where do I even begin…

First of all, to get to the Overlook from your camp on Day 1, head West 4 times.

What I Liked

- The best writing I’ve yet seen in any game. The dialogue in this game is not to be hurriedly clicked through—read it slowly, imagine the voices and accents, and savor it. Same for the music and narration.
- Likewise, the background art and sprites are wonderful. They are warm and lush, loaded with lovingly crafted and meticulously researched detail. They transport me into the game world like almost no other game does, even cutting edge modern ones (closest thing I’ve found so far is A Plague Tale: Innocence).
- This is a true *adventure* game. There are so many different locations and scenes. The story is keenly focused, but also epic on a personal level. When you finish the game, think back to all the things you’ve done and places you’ve visited—not a lot of games go so many places (and I mean that literally and figuratively).
- The game never handholds, but also never leaves you with no clue as to where to go or what to do next. Pay attention to what your merry men tell you, and you’ll be fine.
- Perfect difficulty—challenging, thought provoking, but never frustrating (except for one time).
- The puzzles are beautifully integrated into the plot.
- Many of the puzzles could be considered glorified copy protection, but I disagree: Just because you need the accompanying game books for reference to solve the puzzles doesn’t mean they are copy protection. It’s just Robin doing his research! Either way, if it be copy protection, it is so well integrated that I wish more games had copy protection, if only they would do it like this.
- As far as I know, there are no dead ends, there are only better ways to play/finish and worse ones. I think there are 4 possible endings to the game. In addition to the different endings, your story will unfold in a drastically different way throughout the game, depending on what you do as you go along.
- Your choices matter to a degree puts the game over a decade ahead of its time.
- There are 2 arcade sequences -and they are easy and work just fine in context!
- The script has perfect cadence: It knows when to be serious and when to be humorous. You’ll get angry, you’ll get sad, and you will laugh. And if you try talking to the Fens monks as you climb the tower, you will laugh even more.
- So many Easter eggs. Such a rich world.
- Some of the best death scenes in the Sierra catalog, and finding out how to die is as much fun as finding out how to stay alive.

What I didn’t like

- Save often, and always keep a saved game at the start of your current day. There is a background timer on some days and in some scenes (never tough enough to stress you out, like in Freddy Pharkas, and they always let you know that, hey, hurry up, the clock is ticking—unlike in Freddy Pharkas), and if you dally you might get stuck in a less-than-optimal situation. The game will carry on whether you play optimally or not…but man, some dire things can happen if you tarry.
- Using the net in that one scene can be frustrating, but it’s easily doable if you save your game in the screen and keep trying.

- It’s one of the longest 80’s, 90’s graphic adventure games…but I wouldn’t mind if it was twice as long.

Overall score

10/10

If you haven’t played this yet…and it seems a surprising amount of folks haven’t…please do. It’s so good!

And if you have played it and agree or disagree, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

     

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Baron_Blubba - 06 March 2021 05:20 PM

I was so pleasantly surprised by Chains Of Satinav, I couldn’t wait to play Memoria. I heard it was even better! Hoo boy, was I disappointed.

It was actually another way around for me. I played Chains of Satinav to prepare myself for a Memoria community playthrough, found it too generic and uninspired, but was pleasantly surprised of how much better the sequel felt - epic plot, engaging characters, inventive puzzles and the lots and lots of magic, something I really missed in the first game.

Baron_Blubba - 06 March 2021 07:01 PM

And if you have played it and agree or disagree, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

I agree with you on Conquests of the Longbow, it’s one of my favourite Sierra games as well. Perfect mix of historical settings (as long as we consider legends of Robin Hood history) and mystical creatures, legends and magic. Very intelligent writing that makes an open-world game play like a story-driven game. Wonderful cast of characters. And I also had a lot of fun solving puzzles and making choices. I think I managed to find 2 different endings only.

     

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Doom - 06 March 2021 07:14 PM
Baron_Blubba - 06 March 2021 05:20 PM

I was so pleasantly surprised by Chains Of Satinav, I couldn’t wait to play Memoria. I heard it was even better! Hoo boy, was I disappointed.

It was actually another way around for me. I played Chains of Satinav to prepare myself for a Memoria community playthrough, found it too generic and uninspired, but was pleasantly surprised of how much better the sequel felt - epic plot, engaging characters, inventive puzzles and the lots and lots of magic, something I really missed in the first game.

maybe if one is only looking for a sequel to CoS, he wouldn’t be as much satisfied as us with memoria, as it’s better Memoria to be treated as a standalone, so you would not have to expect more from Nuri and Geron storyline.

     
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Advie - 06 March 2021 07:22 PM

maybe if one is only looking for a sequel to CoS, he wouldn’t as much satisfied as us with memoria, as its better Memoria to be treated as a standalone, so you would not have to expect more from Nuri and Geron storyline.

That’s what I thought, Memoria felt like a completely new experience which didn’t need the first game at all.

     

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Advie - 02 March 2021 11:01 AM

no, not the translation, the games goes downhill narrative-wise after chapter3

Agreed. Sealed Lips I was trying to give it the benefit of the doubt, but yeah I was so baffled by the creative choices in that game.

It looks beautiful, though.

     
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Holy Cow. I just finished Doki Doki Literature Club… That game was wild. I’m gonna litter this thing with over-vigilant spoiler tags because I think this is something that you should know as little about as possible when you start..

I knew going in that all wasn’t as it appeared to be, but I don’t know that I expected it to go to all the places it did.

For example, Sayori’s suicide wasn’t a huge surprise to me, as I kind of thought that’s where the “horror” elements would come in. But DELETING MONIKA FROM THE ACTUAL GAME FILES!?? I realize that was more of a magic trick than reality, but it still had me yelling out loud at my computer screen. What an emotional roller coaster that was. And so difficult to tell when it’s actually over… until it isn’t.

I don’t want to say it was *brilliant* because some of the horror stuff was a little rote and ineffective, but the ideas in that game are off-the-charts smart and psychologically troubling. I love any piece of art that makes you consider the simple consequences of the art existing, and the consumption of it. I feel like that’s a rare thing to see at all, but more rare to see something get it right.

     
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I’ve never even heard of Doki Doki Literature Club. Sounds interesting, will look into it.

I have just finished Nelly Cootalot - Spoonbeaks Ahoy (HD)

What I liked:

- Wow, what a sense of humor! This is one of the funniest games I have ever played. If this was released 20-30 years ago, the characters and jokes would be iconic!
- Nelly is so likeable! If her game had been released 20-30 years ago, she’d be an adventure gaming icon!
- The puzzles! The game is not long, but the puzzles are perfectly layered so that each one overlaps the next. You almost always have at least two objectives to work on, so despite being a very linear game, it’s not terribly rigid. And even though the game is pretty short, there is a very nice amount of variety. Also, I never felt like I had to brute force a puzzle - I always knew why I was doing what I was about to do before I did it, and had a pretty good idea of what would happen when I did.
- The story! It’s simple, it’s fun, it’s well told, and even though there isn’t much depth to most of the characters, they are all still a hoot to interact with. I exhausted every dialogue tree intentionally.
- Great writing!
- The game’s maker, Allistair Beckett King, is very self deprecating about the voice acting, which I think he did all by himself(?). Fact is, it’s great!
- Game length. It’ll probably take you 3-4 hours to complete if you take your time and enjoy yourself. Considering the scope of the game world and plot, that’s perfect. There is no padding.

What I didn’t like
- Nit picky, but saying ‘Bye’ to some characters involved several lines of dialogue until you actually gained control again. This got tiresome quickly.
- A couple of the puzzles felt like they would have benefited from having a couple more steps in them; instead, you do what feels like half the work, and the game does the rest for you. This is a much more minor quibble than it seems, given how good the puzzles and how even the difficulty is across the board.

Final thoughts
And that’s it! Wow! What a little gem of a game. It’s only $2 on Steam, and that’s the best $2 you could spend this side of a Broken Sword sale (And we’ve all already played Broken Sword, so…). This makes me think, there aren’t really that many piratey adventure games. There’s this, Monkey Island, and…not much else. Speaking of Monkey Island, while Spoonbeaks Ahoy doesn’t have the same scope as that game and series…I think…I actually…like it better…than all the MI games except for Curse of Monkey Island. I dunno for sure, but darn, what a *great* game!
9/10
Onwards to Nelly Cootalot and the Fowl Fleet!

     

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Doom - 06 March 2021 07:32 PM
Advie - 06 March 2021 07:22 PM

maybe if one is only looking for a sequel to CoS, he wouldn’t as much satisfied as us with memoria, as its better Memoria to be treated as a standalone, so you would not have to expect more from Nuri and Geron storyline.

That’s what I thought, Memoria felt like a completely new experience which didn’t need the first game at all.

I can see that. Having played CoS first for its own merits, I was disappointed that Memoria didn’t give me the continuation of the story I had become attached to in CoS. However, I still would have felt a dissonance with Memoria, caused by my dislike of the characters. It’s also almost always poor writing to make the user’s avatar character keep important secrets from the user. Very hard device to implement well, and I don’t think Memoria implemented it well. Whenever she would get smug about a secret that she held which put her at an advantage over an adversary, I would be left thinking, ‘well, what about me? Aren’t we supposed to be one and the same, or at least on the same team?’

     

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Baron_Blubba - 07 March 2021 08:55 PM

It’s also almost always poor writing to make the user’s avatar character keep important secrets from the user. Very hard device to implement well, and I don’t think Memoria implemented it well. Whenever she would get smug about a secret that she held which put her at an advantage over an adversary, I would be left thinking, ‘well, what about me? Aren’t we supposed to be one and the same, or at least on the same team?’

Hmm can’t say I agree. It’s a popular plot device in fiction, there is even a name for it: unreliable narrator. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie, Confessions of Felix Krull by Thomas Mann or The Eye by Vladimir Nabokov, for example, are based around it, and I don’t see why a video game can’t rely on it as well. Especially since the character is not exactly our avatar - neither in the traditional sense (like in RPGs or IFs) nor plot-wise since those parts are shown as flashbacks that happen in the protagonist’s head when he is either listening to the story, reading a diary or losing consciousness. In fact the plot is cleverly conceived.

     

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- Wow, what a sense of humor! This is one of the funniest games I have ever played. If this was released 20-30 years ago, the characters and jokes would be iconic!

Thanks for the review, I could not agree more.

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Doom - 08 March 2021 03:05 PM
Baron_Blubba - 07 March 2021 08:55 PM

It’s also almost always poor writing to make the user’s avatar character keep important secrets from the user. Very hard device to implement well, and I don’t think Memoria implemented it well. Whenever she would get smug about a secret that she held which put her at an advantage over an adversary, I would be left thinking, ‘well, what about me? Aren’t we supposed to be one and the same, or at least on the same team?’

Hmm can’t say I agree. It’s a popular plot device in fiction, there is even a name for it: unreliable narrator. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie, Confessions of Felix Krull by Thomas Mann or The Eye by Vladimir Nabokov, for example, are based around it, and I don’t see why a video game can’t rely on it as well. Especially since the character is not exactly our avatar - neither in the traditional sense (like in RPGs or IFs) nor plot-wise since those parts are shown as flashbacks that happen in the protagonist’s head when he is either listening to the story, reading a diary or losing consciousness. In fact the plot is cleverly conceived.

All good points, there are times when the unreliable narrator can be a very effective plot device. Perhaps the writers of Memoria just didn’t have the skill to pull it off. Sadja (the protagonist) hints multiple times that she has all sorts of aces up her sleeve, yet she never ends up revealing any of them—every situation seems to get the best of her and seriously hinder both her and I, the player. If I *knew* what special talents she was hiding, I’d be able to use them.
In literature, the protagonist is not your avatar. Perhaps in Memoria, since you are only reading about Sadja as a history, she is not *supposed to be* your avatar, either. But since you directly control her and are responsible for making her accomplish whatever she needs to accomplish, you A) are inextricably linked as character-avatar to some significant degree, and B) kind of need to know what her *known* abilities (she may have powers hidden even to herself, in which case I’m fine with not knowing them either) and motives are in order to be fully invested.
Maybe it’d make a better book. As a game narrative, I think Sadja’s part of the story is by and large a failure.
Certainly, there were times when I cared about what happen and was driven by this interest to keep playing…but overall, bleh.
I’d give the game a 6.5/10, which for me is actually a good rating (there are several games that I’d rate 5/10 that I would consider worth playing).

     

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Today I finished Ben There, Dan That<B>.

<b>What I liked:

- The ending!  What a great ending! I can’t say more, but holy smokes, what a great ending!
- The humor did a good job of referencing the its myriad influences, without ever just telling us the same old jokes that those influences already told way back when.
- The puzzles are nicely layered and fair. The game progresses neatly from mostly self contained location to self contained location, but you still have to keep everywhere you’ve been and everything you’ve seen in the back of your mind, because there are times when you’ll need to go back. And when you do figure out those times, you will often feel clever for doing so.
- Good length for what it is—a whimsical freeware adventure game.
- Well programmed and play tested. No typos or glitches or anything like that.
- Sets up brilliantly (brillo!) for a sequel which promises to be so much better.

What I didn’t like
- The humor mostly didn’t work for me. It’s the kind of stuff where I’d nod my head and think ‘yeah, that’s technically humor, but it’s not necessarily funny.’ Just a lot of easy low hanging fruit jokes. I did laugh a few times, but mostly it’s like being at a party with someone who keeps making jokes and doesn’t realize that no one is really laughing at them, and it just gets awkward after a short while.
- The puzzles work, but very few of them were actually creative or imaginative, nor did they make me feel creative or imaginative. Not bad, but not inspiring.
- The in game text is often hard to read, with the font colors blending in which the background and generally just not being pleasant to read from.
- The plot ain’t great until the end, when it gets great. Like the puzzles, it’s just there because it needs to be there.

Overall: A quality freeware game to spend a few hours with, but not a great game by any means, unless the endless barrage of jokes resonate with you a lot more than they did with me. It won’t change your gaming life, but you won’t regret playing it either. I would recommend it primarily because it is essential to appreciating the sequel…which I’m guessing/hoping is much better. 

Score
5.5/10

I have already begun the next game in the series, Time Gentlemen, Please and indeed, after playing for only 30 minutes, it seems to be a big improvement on this one.

     

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