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Is there any game from the past 5 years that would enter your Top 10?

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Doom - 09 September 2020 12:46 PM

In fact my main complaint about many “top something” published by websites (Adventuregamers included) is that they rush to include every decent game produced recently without giving it a replay or some time to pass.

There are pragmatic reasons for that.
I actually publish my own reviews only if I have gone through the game at least twice, just because I want to be sure that my review is correct. I don’t really review games which are less than one year old, because I want to play and review them fully patched. But all that means that I won’t be releasing too many reviews. Sites which have ads, a good number of visitors and all that can’t really wait some six months to have next new article, so that’s the way it goes.

Doom - 09 September 2020 12:46 PM

This is just not right, and I suspect that if a new Top-100 All Time Adventure Games is published, half or more than a half of the list will consist of new indie and experimental games that scored high on Adventuregamers, but would never win in a fair battle against recognized masterpieces of the past.

That’s a contradictory statement from the start. You can’t have a fair battle if you compare “recognised masterpieces” against newer games. If you want a fair assessment, you compare a game against another game regardless of their status or popularity.

For adventurers who have played for years or decades it can be almost impossible to do that, so an ideal review is an ideal and unreachable concept. I suppose if you could find some gamers who are like “Monkey Island? What Monkey Island” and then have those people compare some masterpieces with new releases you could get closer to a fair treatment there.

While I rarely if ever agree with Internet top lists, I wouldn’t fault a list simply because it has experimental games on it. It’s a matter of preference really, and sometimes a new concept is more inspiring than an application of an established formula. Late Shift, which I mentioned in this thread before, is such a game. Not much to play in the traditional sense, if you look at it critically the story makes no sense at all, but the way it uses FMV in a non-looping unstoppable manner makes it sort of great.

 

     
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Doom - 09 September 2020 12:46 PM

This is basically what I meant: many people (including myself) tend to be more forgiving towards small teams that produced a good game, especially if it was only their first or second game ever (which is the case with all adventures I listed). And vice versa - they tend to be more critical when rating a big-budget game from a well-established company. But if you take into consideration all the efforts spent on making AAA-titles and, say, on Obra Dinn where Lucas Pope limited the gameplay to walking around a small ship and chose a very specific graphical style reminiscent of the 1980s, it feels like games from different leagues. In Curse of Monkey Island or Riven every screen is the work of many talented artists and animators while the gameplay is not limited to one concept. They tried to make the game BOTH functionally and aesthetically attractive and spent a lot of resources just on that. Of course, at the same time Obra Dinn might be the single most popular adventure of this century, so Pope probably did everything right Smile

“More forgiving” doesn’t mean “all-forgiving”. Grin

Actually, the only one-man game that made my top 20 (well, top 18) is The Cat Lady. Anna’s Quest is only partially a one-man game, and games like To the Moon and Return of the Obra Dinn are great but more for a larger list…

     

Last played: There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension (CPT) - 4/5 | There Is No Game (replay) - 4/5 | Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars (replay) - 3/5 | Lighthouse: The Dark Being (CPT) - 2.5/5 | Anna’s Quest (CPT) - 4.5/5 | Simon the Sorcerer II: The Lion, the Wizard and the Wardrobe - 4/5 | Florence - 4/5 | Alice Trapped in Wonderland - 1/5 | The Hunt for the Lost Ship - 1.5/5 | The Talos Principle - 4/5 | Tex Murphy: Martian Memorandum - 3/5 | Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc - 3/5 | Simon the Sorcerer (replay) - 4/5 | Portal 2 - 4/5 | Murder By Numbers - 3.5/5 | Heavy Rain - 3.5/5 | Disco Elysium - 4.5/5 | Freddi Fish 2: The Case of the Haunted Schoolhouse - 3/5 | Freddi Fish and the Case of the Missing Kelp Seeds - 3/5 | Whispers of a Machine (CPT) - 4/5

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GateKeeper - 09 September 2020 01:48 PM

Sites which have ads, a good number of visitors and all that can’t really wait some six months to have next new article, so that’s the way it goes.

Yes, when it comes to reviews/previews. But with all-time tops released once in 30/20/10 years there is no need to include every decent game of late years. But it seems to be just the case with websites, independent of the genre. Even adventuregamers has Portal 2 as the 10th best adventure in their top-100 released same year as the game. I won’t even start the old talk that it’s not an adventure, but simply looking at Portal’s “neighbours” - Pandora Directive and Fate of Atlantis - tells you what I meant by “recognized masterpieces”. It’s not about the label, it’s about the quality by genre standards. Also both Portals are identical gameplay-wise and both are in the top. And they were followed by a line of other experimental games based around physical puzzles that also got high scores, so I expect to see them as well in addition to other 4-5 star games of the past years (don’t really want to discuss them further since this topic already took a wrong turn and it always ends with the battle of personal tastes Smile ).

TimovieMan - 09 September 2020 02:07 PM

Actually, the only one-man game that made my top 20 (well, top 18) is The Cat Lady.

Now this is actually a great example. I played the game recently and while gore is not my cup of tea (as I mentioned in my mini-review), the game in fact has no real issues and could easily compete with old or new classics. It looks very stylish, it is story-driven while also heavy on puzzles, the plot is multilayered and unique, the gameplay is varied. Animation could’ve used a little polish, but on the other hand it fits the mood. While I enjoyed Obra more, I’d say Cat Lady is more suitable for a top list, regardless of how many people are behind it.

     

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tomimt - 09 September 2020 02:06 AM
cyfoyjvx - 08 September 2020 11:32 PM

I like most of the games mentioned so far, I would just like to know which games you are going to knock out of your top 10. Not much is going to budge Riven, or Discworld, or Last Express or even a Gabriel Knight.

Discworld, without hesitation. It’s a good looking game with great voice acting and animation, but the puzzle design is terrible.

Difficult doesn’t have to mean bad puzzle design. When Discworld was released, it was praised for being long and challenging. The developers said it would take over 100 hours to finish. Somewhere around the turn of the century, adventure gamers became ‘soft’ and thought that getting stuck for longer than a few minutes meant turning to a walkthrough, so ‘difficult’ became ‘bad puzzle design’. You can see this reflected in the reviews over time.

Oddly, other genres appreciate challenge. There’s a big appreciation in the action genre, due to the Dark Souls series. Players expect to face the same challenge for hours, days or weeks until it’s beaten. The same mindset just isn’t there for adventure gamers any more.

It’s possible to play a game the wrong way, against what was intended, and here, rather than ‘bad puzzle design’, I think it’s more accurate to say ‘bad players’.

     
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Luhr28 - 09 September 2020 08:29 PM

Difficult doesn’t have to mean bad puzzle design. When Discworld was released, it was praised for being long and challenging. The developers said it would take over 100 hours to finish. Somewhere around the turn of the century, adventure gamers became ‘soft’ and thought that getting stuck for longer than a few minutes meant turning to a walkthrough, so ‘difficult’ became ‘bad puzzle design’. You can see this reflected in the reviews over time.

Very much true.
But then again when in many cases the difficulty and length of the game was created by an annoying maze, at some point it was quite justified to go 180 on the opinions about such puzzles.

Of course there are ways to do mazes well too. In The Guard Duty mazes aren’t annoying, and especially the one with the spider is even fun to play.

And the game that I was jokingly referring to, There Is A Way, at least promises to have a completely different appoach to adventures and mazes, by making mazes the central element of the story. I hope it works in real life too, and not only in the store description.

Luhr28 - 09 September 2020 08:29 PM

Oddly, other genres appreciate challenge. There’s a big appreciation in the action genre, due to the Dark Souls series. Players expect to face the same challenge for hours, days or weeks until it’s beaten. The same mindset just isn’t there for adventure gamers any more.

That’s kind of true, but not entirely.
Other genres have become easier over time too, for instance in platformer games you have much more lives than in the old Nintendo games, not to mention in some games you can continue playing after Game Over, but start with a 0 score from that point.

In action games you have difficulty levels which weren’t there in the old days, and in FPS games, especially console versions, you have assisted targetting which more or less acts like a target lock when the pointer is close enough.

Geoff Crammond innovated racing games, and I believe it was in his game for the first time ever that you could see an optional line on the track which shows the fastest driving line and the player only needed to keep the car on top of that line.

And I think obviously nobody draws maps by hand when playing RPGs these days, as games automap themselves, and so on.

So I wouldn’t say that only adventure games have become easier, as every genre seems to have done so. What is fair to say, however, is that where in other genres there also seems to be insanely difficult games or game settings, there are very few recent adventure games that even attempt to offer those. So it’s more about missing the difficult options.

     

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Obra Dinn is definitely Top 10 material for me, even compared to the oldies. Even merely thinking about it a year after my playthrough gives me a shiver of thrill and expectation.

The Witness and The Talos Principle are the next best thing, but probably not enough to dethrone the old Lucas Arts and Co in my heart.

     
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Karlok - 09 September 2020 09:56 AM

Diego, you can’t have played Obra Dinn if you believe that comment.

TimovieMan - 09 September 2020 11:23 AM

Did you do more than just boot up the game and walk around on the ship for about half a minute?

I played only through the first flashback if I’m not mistaken. Will definitely give it another go.

     

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GateKeeper - 09 September 2020 01:48 PM

While I rarely if ever agree with Internet top lists, I wouldn’t fault a list simply because it has experimental games on it. It’s a matter of preference really, and sometimes a new concept is more inspiring than an application of an established formula. Late Shift, which I mentioned in this thread before, is such a game. Not much to play in the traditional sense, if you look at it critically the story makes no sense at all, but the way it uses FMV in a non-looping unstoppable manner makes it sort of great.

Late Shift belongs in the (sub)genre interactive movies, which includes Dracula Unleashed, The Psychic Detective, The Complex, Tender Loving Care, A Fork in the Tale, Urban Runner, Johnny Mnemonic, The Bunker, Point of View, and many others. There’s nothing new or experimental about “non-looping unstoppable FMV” in interactive movies, The Psychic Detective (1995) being a case in point.

     

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Return of the Obra Din and Kathy Rain. Like our esteemed OP, I’ve not played as many games/year as I used to. I didn’t play Obra Din when it played as an AGCPT, but I eventually succumbed to the Siren’s Song, and found it well worth the effort. I did play the Kathy Rain AGCPT. And despite my well-known disdain of retro-pixelated graphic style, I found the game very enjoyable.

Which is more than I can say about most of the games I’ve played over the last five years. I’m guessing that 50% of the games I bought I never finished. And almost all of the others were simply OK. But simply OK doesn’t equal Top 10, which is the question.

Edit: The two above games would probably not make it into my Top 10 of all time games. They are simply the best games I played in the last five years. And, because I’ve played so few, maybe 15-20, I’m sure there are some other great games I just never played.

     

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Inside 2016
What Remains of Edith Finch 2017
Gorogoa 2017
The Pillars of the Earth 2018
Detroit - Become Human 2018
Disco Elysium 2019

These are in my Top 20 now.

     

“The universe is a dream dreamed by a single dreamer where all the dream characters dream too.”

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Jabod - 08 September 2020 11:15 AM

For me it would definitely be The Painscreek Killings. Very involved and you have to think, that’s for sure.
The main downside is there’s a whole town to investigate and, although there’s a map, there’s no fast travel which it could use once you’ve found a reason/way to visit new areas.
Also needs a fairly powerful PC to run smoothly.

I don’t know about top 20 of all time, but I second The Painscreek Killings as one of the absolute best in recent years. INFRA is a fantastic game too. And I too loved Return of the Obra Dinn and The Witness. Dark Fall: Ghost Vigil is another that I really recommend. Almost as good as the first one.

     
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Veovis - 11 September 2020 08:31 AM
Jabod - 08 September 2020 11:15 AM

For me it would definitely be The Painscreek Killings.

I don’t know about top 20 of all time, but I second The Painscreek Killings as one of the absolute best in recent years.

Interesting that title not found in Adventure Games DB but found via steam link.

 

     

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Gabe - 11 September 2020 10:40 AM
Veovis - 11 September 2020 08:31 AM
Jabod - 08 September 2020 11:15 AM

For me it would definitely be The Painscreek Killings.

I don’t know about top 20 of all time, but I second The Painscreek Killings as one of the absolute best in recent years.

Interesting that title not found in Adventure Games DB but found via steam link.

You must have misspelled the title, it got 4.5 stars from the AG reviewer. https://adventuregamers.com/games/view/33788 
I finished it, so they must have done something right, but imo it was a pretty bad game. Only 2.5 stars from me.

     

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We’ve had some great games these past 5 years, Detroit - Become Human is on my list as well.

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diego - 08 September 2020 11:09 AM

I’m missing out on recent titles, so I’d like to have some shortcuts, and to see the opinion of a beloved community - which recent game would enter your All Time Top 10 list? (Or at least Top 20, if there’s no place in Top 10).

No recent game I’ve played would bump an old favorite.

     

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