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Adventure Games that got Great Reviews and Awards that you think are way overrated

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Let’s discuss games that are overrated without derailing another thread. If you like the game, great. If you hate it, that’s fine too. Not everyone likes even BrokenSword or Syberia also. A New Beginning and Runaway and Runaway 2 are being discussed so far.

Pros:
+ Beautifully drawn graphics
+ Plot interesting enough
+ Pleasant music
+ Two different characters we can play

Heart

     

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

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Good idea.

So I played a little more tonight and these are my thoughts.

One’s of my mom’s favorite sayings when I was growing up was ‘if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all.’ Now, you might think I’m going to end my post right here, having nothing nice to say about A New Beginning, but no, that’s not where I’m going with that old momly gem. Instead, I’m going to use it to criticize the writing in A New Beginning. Because not. every. stupid. little. action. must. be. commented. on. If I use the screwdriver on the globe, Fay doesn’t have to say, in her perpetually vacant robot Barbie way, ‘Yes. That looks like the right tool for the job.’ And if I use a freakishly long broom handle to activate a ladder mechanism, she doesn’t need to say ‘This broom is the right length to reach the ladder.’ It’s not freaking Dora The Explorer here—if I used the screwdriver on the globe or the broom on the ladder, presumably it’s because I know that the screwdriver is the right tool to unscrew things, and that the long broom handle is a good object to reach things that are high up. The list goes on, but there’s so much more to have fun with. Speaking of freakishly long broomhandles, for example, Fay walks like she’s got one shoved down the back of her shirt and pants, keeping her spine erect while her head cringes forward and her arms hang lifeless and low like a monkey. It’s bad, really bad. How did this game make it to market? How did anyone seriously draw these things, write these things, say these things, and then lean back and think ‘yeah, job well done! Onward!’
So, there’s this scene where you hear your colleague scream for his life (the scream sounds like a baby crying, even though he’s in his mid-60’s at the youngest. I’m telling you, I thought for a split second ‘oooh, there’s an abandoned baby in this long-since abandoned San Franciscan wasteland!’ but no, it was a ~70 year old man dangling from a broken piece of rebar or something. Or something, you ask? Well, after leisurely meandering about, browsing the dusty books in an old library and pondering whether you could also use the aforementioned broom to sweep some mud out of an apartment complex hallway or use some soap to clean some drinking glasses, you eventually find your friend, and a DRAMATIC cutscene ensues. I wish you could see this—the music all of a sudden goes all Michael-Bay-Meets-Wagner, but the characters can’t decide if their voices should sound like they are in the midst of a matter of life and death, or if they are reading the yard sale section out loud from the Sunday paper. Because the dialogue is so stilted, it’s not quite clear what they are talking about with regard to some major plot points. Because the cut scene comic book direction is so bad, it’s not quite clear why Fay doesn’t just reach out and rescue her colleague from whatever it is he is clinging to. In fact, THEY ARE ACTUALLY HOLDING EACH OTHERS HANDS at one point, but somehow he falls anyway. There’s no struggle to pull him up, just ‘thank for handing me this crystal, bye now, have a nice trip, seeya next fall.’
Okay, the cutscene direction. So all the cutscenes are done as comic book panels. Part of the art of comic book illustration is choosing, out of an infinity of possible frames, exactly the ones that will best express the scene. The selected frames should be appropriately clear, obscure, dramatic, calm, etc…depending on what you want the viewer/reader to experience. Well, you know where I’m going with this…This game fails to do that. Let’s just leave it at that.

The fact that this game, which is so clearly broken, has received so many positive reviews, might actually indicate some questionable practices in certain games journalism outlets. Or, they are playing a different language version.

Regarding the gameplay, so far the puzzles are pretty casual stuff. You pick things up, you pretty much have a good idea of what to do with them or where they go. However! I give Daedalic credit for giving the player a knife and a screwdriver and other classic useful tools so early and so easily. These are the things that you are practically *begging* for in every other adventure game, but never get…or have to work inordinately hard to get.
However…they are *too* useful. Cut this, unscrew that, jimmy the other thing, bob’s your uncle! I like what they’re trying to do, but so far it’s been to the detriment of any quality puzzles.
That said, perhaps this was meant to be a casual game, in which case, good job. It is pretty engaging as a casual adventure game.

Now, all that being said I am enjoying this game! Yes, it’s a wreck, yes, it seems like they used a different artist for every scene of the game, and the script is utterly broken…but I dunno, I’m having a good time. I have shifted my expectations, and now that I’m no longer expecting a masterpiece or a 4/5 adventure game, I’m having fun. I feel more sorry for Daedalic than for myself. Clearly a lot of time, money, and effort was put into the making of this game, and, maybe due to running out of any or all of those things, the game is a crucial 10% - 15% away from being really good.

To be continued.

     

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Cons
-it sucks a fat one
-dialogue sounds like it was written by Google translate
-characters were bland and unlikeable
-voice acting is atrocious
-puzzles were not good in the first chapter

Pros
-the game crashed on me and ended the suffering

     
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The fact that this game, which is so clearly broken, has received so many positive reviews, might actually indicate some questionable practices in certain games journalism outlets. Or, they are playing a different language version.

I actually agree with the journalists. But, don’t forget, I am playing this on an iPad mini with Retina display. We used to have people play an adventure game or JRPG on a PSVITA and loved it (OLED screen) and people who played it on a PC hated it. I’ve heard that this game is best played in German.

I almost always play games I really like and here’s a few tips:

1) before you buy, watch some YouTube videos of the gameplay. This should show you if the game is your cup of tea or not.

2) of course, read the negative reviews of the game, that way you know what people who don’t like the game are saying about it.

3) this site, like many has a list of games that are similar to it, “if you liked this game you should like these too” a great way to start your research.

4) lastly, with 95% of our games being indies now, they just won’t compare to AAA level games and are pretty easy targets for critics.

Heart

 

     

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

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Long time since I played the game but I remember I really liked it. I’ve put much of the hatred against the game down to the (for some) controversial premise that humans are responsible for the climate change that’s destroying the world. At least that’s how I remember the premise.

May need to replay this someday.

     
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Baron_Blubba - 10 March 2021 09:59 PM

Speaking of freakishly long broomhandles, for example, Fay walks like she’s got one shoved down the back of her shirt and pants, keeping her spine erect while her head cringes forward and her arms hang lifeless and low like a monkey. It’s bad, really bad. How did this game make it to market? How did anyone seriously draw these things, write these things, say these things, and then lean back and think ‘yeah, job well done! Onward!’

Laughing

In all honesty, you could put it down to 26th century female walking fashions. I bet 500 years ago from today no one thought it would be fashionable for women to have a tiny waist and a butt the size of two watermelons, but here we are.

Veovis - 11 March 2021 03:58 AM

Long time since I played the game but I remember I really liked it. I’ve put much of the hatred against the game down to the (for some) controversial premise that humans are responsible for the climate change that’s destroying the world. At least that’s how I remember the premise.

May need to replay this someday.

I have no problem with that premise. In fact it was part of what got me interested in playing it.

     
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I’ve played it through a long time ago and my main take of it is, I didn’t care much of it. Easily among the weakest Daedalic titles.

     
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Whoops! Didn’t see this thread, so I’m gonna re-post my thoughts here:

As to why A New Beginning got such great reviews from Adventure Game sites (including this one) and such terrible reviews from more general video game sites… we were in a Graphic Adventure desert at the time. It had been a dead genre for a few years. 2011 had a couple heavy hitters, but mostly people were hungry for point-and-clicks and getting their fix from freeware AGS games. Any traditional PnC was going to shine brighter than… well… maybe it should have.

The following 2 years, we’d see Walking Dead and Deponia and Wolf Among us and the Silent Age and Kentucky Route Zero and the genre would really come alive again to where this year, we had something like 200 Aggie-Eligible games (!!) and we can afford to be more critical, while not in any way abandoning our favorite genre. But in 2011 it was kind of… catch as catch can…

     
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mattaukamp - 11 March 2021 11:26 AM

Whoops! Didn’t see this thread, so I’m gonna re-post my thoughts here:

As to why A New Beginning got such great reviews from Adventure Game sites (including this one) and such terrible reviews from more general video game sites… we were in a Graphic Adventure desert at the time. It had been a dead genre for a few years. 2011 had a couple heavy hitters, but mostly people were hungry for point-and-clicks and getting their fix from freeware AGS games. Any traditional PnC was going to shine brighter than… well… maybe it should have.

The following 2 years, we’d see Walking Dead and Deponia and Wolf Among us and the Silent Age and Kentucky Route Zero and the genre would really come alive again to where this year, we had something like 200 Aggie-Eligible games (!!) and we can afford to be more critical, while not in any way abandoning our favorite genre. But in 2011 it was kind of… catch as catch can…

I hear what you’re saying I feel like adventure game sites did the same thing with the game runaway a road adventure. It was a drought and a decently made game but nowhere near Broken Sword quality which is what they were trying to relate it to

     
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Adv_Lvr - 10 March 2021 11:14 PM

I actually agree with the journalists. But, don’t forget, I am playing this on an iPad mini with Retina display. We used to have people play an adventure game or JRPG on a PSVITA and loved it (OLED screen) and people who played it on a PC hated it. I’ve heard that this game is best played in German.

I understand how playing on a nice display can enhance the experience of playing a good game, I don’t think that it could ever make a bad game good. Beautiful, maybe, but not good.
But I have no problem playing lo-fi games. I just finished Ben There, Dan That, which is about as fancy as King’s Quest 1, and enjoyed that just fine.
As far as the message goes, I was enjoying Eco Quest and giving a hoot (to not pollute) long before environmental activism was trendy,

I would agree that this game would probably be much better in German, or with the sound turned off if you wanted a ‘serious’ experience. I’m enjoying it as a campy experience, that I can laugh with/at, so in that regard the voices and dialogue programming are making the game better for me. Maybe not what the developers intended, but hey, I’m digging the game one way or another.

I will say this: A New Beginning is grandiose and ambitious. The theme is pretty unique, especially the scope to toward which is seems to be expanding. A New Beginning is also very unpolished, and is severely hampered by a tragically flawed execution in several significant areas. Could it have been a great game, in the way the designers intended it to be? I don’t know. Could it have been a very good game, in the same sense? So far, certainly. It’s just a shame that it wasn’t proofed more carefully,, edited more thoughtfully, tested more exactingly, and iterated with more care. I primarily play small indie titles—much smaller than your typical Daedalic game—, and understand and even appreciate that not every game is a AA or AAA game. But whether your game is $2.99 or $59.99, things like excessive typos, miscued subtitles (where they are 10 seconds off of the actual dialogue), and other instances of ‘kinda sorta maybe good enough is totally good enough’ design or execution, are inexcusable.

 

 

     

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Jdawg445 - 11 March 2021 12:16 PM

I hear what you’re saying I feel like adventure game sites did the same thing with the game runaway a road adventure. It was a drought and a decently made game but nowhere near Brokers Sword quality which is what they were trying to relate it to


YES! I did that with Runaway A Road Adventure!! I played it right when it came out and I saw it on the shelf at my local video game store. I was like “OH MY GOD A NEW POINT AND CLICK ADVENTURE!” and I was determined to love it no matter what.

I played it again last year and YEEEEEEESH. I’m playing the sequel right now and I honestly think it’s one of the worst PnC games I’ve ever played in my life.  Meh

     
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mattaukamp - 11 March 2021 01:03 PM
Jdawg445 - 11 March 2021 12:16 PM

I hear what you’re saying I feel like adventure game sites did the same thing with the game runaway a road adventure. It was a drought and a decently made game but nowhere near Brokers Sword quality which is what they were trying to relate it to


YES! I did that with Runaway A Road Adventure!! I played it right when it came out and I saw it on the shelf at my local video game store. I was like “OH MY GOD A NEW POINT AND CLICK ADVENTURE!” and I was determined to love it no matter what.

I played it again last year and YEEEEEEESH. I’m playing the sequel right now and I honestly think it’s one of the worst PnC games I’ve ever played in my life.  Meh

Lol. I only ever played the first one and thought it was pretty average not terrible not great, just kind of forgettable

     
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Baron_Blubba - 11 March 2021 12:53 PM
Adv_Lvr - 10 March 2021 11:14 PM

I actually agree with the journalists. But, don’t forget, I am playing this on an iPad mini with Retina display. We used to have people play an adventure game or JRPG on a PSVITA and loved it (OLED screen) and people who played it on a PC hated it. I’ve heard that this game is best played in German.

I understand how playing on a nice display can enhance the experience of playing a good game, I don’t think that it could ever make a bad game good. Beautiful, maybe, but not good.
But I have no problem playing lo-fi games. I just finished Ben There, Dan That, which is about as fancy as King’s Quest 1, and enjoyed that just fine.
As far as the message goes, I was enjoying Eco Quest and giving a hoot (to not pollute) long before environmental activism was trendy,

I would agree that this game would probably be much better in German, or with the sound turned off if you wanted a ‘serious’ experience. I’m enjoying it as a campy experience, that I can laugh with/at, so in that regard the voices and dialogue programming are making the game better for me. Maybe not what the developers intended, but hey, I’m digging the game one way or another.

I will say this: A New Beginning is grandiose and ambitious. The theme is pretty unique, especially the scope to toward which is seems to be expanding. A New Beginning is also very unpolished, and is severely hampered by a tragically flawed execution in several significant areas. Could it have been a great game, in the way the designers intended it to be? I don’t know. Could it have been a very good game, in the same sense? So far, certainly. It’s just a shame that it wasn’t proofed more carefully,, edited more thoughtfully, tested more exactingly, and iterated with more care. I primarily play small indie titles—much smaller than your typical Daedalic game—, and understand and even appreciate that not every game is a AA or AAA game. But whether your game is $2.99 or $59.99, things like excessive typos, miscued subtitles (where they are 10 seconds off of the actual dialogue), and other instances of ‘kinda sorta maybe good enough is totally good enough’ design or execution, are inexcusable.

 

 

I actually adore the first Eco quest game. good puzzles for kids, pretty good voice acting, nice environmental message aka not over the top and it was an overall fun adventure. I replayed it last year with my daughter and still enjoyed it.

     
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Yeah, they are really good ‘edutainment’ (as they were unfortunately monikered back then) games, only really held back by some typical Sierra design from the era. It’s been decades since I’ve played ‘em, perhaps a replay is in order. They’d make an interesting community playthrough.

     

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Seems to me this whole argument is about tastes. Be it Daedelic, or Pendulo, or some other European/Asian developer who produces games (you can insert “movies”, or “music”, or whatever else instead) a bit different from the Americans, and it turns into a love/hate debate. And, indeed, German humour is very specific and doesn’t translate well - yet well enough to gain a cult following, while Spanish guys at Pendulo brought back colorful 2D point-n-click adventures with insane logic. I enjoyed the Runaway series, with the 3rd game being my favourite. And Benoit Sokal did something else to the French market - personally I always found him to be a lousy game designer, but he is still beloved by many.

As for A New Beginning, I played a demo or a journalist version of the game back in the day, got bored quickly and switched to something else. But I had played Edna & Harvey before and loved it. Daedalic was a great company with a huge catalogue of varying quality developed by different people, there’s nothing wrong about enjoing some games and not enjoying others. I just disagree that the company “followed some pattern” - they just tried to produce classic adventure games the German way.

     

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Baron_Blubba - 11 March 2021 01:32 PM

Yeah, they are really good ‘edutainment’ (as they were unfortunately monikered back then) games, only really held back by some typical Sierra design from the era. It’s been decades since I’ve played ‘em, perhaps a replay is in order. They’d make an interesting community playthrough.

I never did get around to the 2nd one, I think it takes place in a jungle

     

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