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What game have you just finished?

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Joined 2005-07-07

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I have Amber in a box somewhere and also ripped to an iso-file on a hard drive. Come to think of it, I believe I actually have two physical copies of the game, the first release on 2 discs and a later one on 1 disc. Seem to remember the developer managed to squeeze the game to fit on 1 disc by using a more effective compression tool for the images. Does anyone know if that affects the quality in any way?

The first time I played it was on a Windows 98 machine and the second time in XP through a VM. Great that it seems to be playable in Windows 10! On my list to be replayed this fall.

     
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Joined 2017-05-18

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State of Mind and I actually really enjoyed it. Love the art style, graphics, highly detailed environments, music and the story wasn’t too bad. Got a Blade Runner vibe from it.

The characters though were all a bit forgettable.

Used to absolutely hate Daedelic but the last few games like this, Silence and Pillars of the Earth were all pretty good.

     
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Return of the Obra Dinn was amazing. I would never have thought I could be so immersed in a 1-bit-graphics universe with the size of a boat. It felt good do have some actual deducing to do, with some clues lying right in front of you, and others requiring you to dig, let’s say, a tiny little bit deeper. I resorted to guessing a few deaths and identities to wrap it up, but that didn’t feel unsatisfying, testing combinations (for identities, mostly) and eliminating options are valid methods after all.

I had liked the first Orwell game, so during sales I decided to give Orwell: Ignorance is Strength a go, and I didn’t enjoy it as much. Fewer characters to stalk monitor, lower stakes, a “Big Bad” who mostly deserves to go to jail for being insufferably whiny, and a very shallow treatment of current issues like fake news and filter bubble phenomenon (I wouldn’t care if it weren’t supposed to be the crux of the game). The first chapter was okay. The second felt exactly like the Mean Girls simulator that never existed in which you have to spread gossip and slander the whole school (except that game would have been funnier). The third chapter was a caricature of itself, I swear the rumor mill in Sabrina the Teenage Witch had more subtelty.

In a similar vein, I played Mainlining, in which you act as a governmental hacker supposed to dig dirt on people to have them arrested. Twelve short, easy cases, that work well because, unlike the above-mentioned game, this one never takes itself seriously. (I got it in a 2$ bundle, I don’t know if I would have payed 10$ for it considering its length).

I got The Rivers of Alice in the same bundle. I largely agree with the AG review. Esthetically pleasing backgrounds, charming music, cute puzzles that never feel repetitive, but it lacks something to tie it all together, it remains superficial and meaningless - it takes more depth to make a dreamlike narrative work. And those esoteric texts sounded like automatic translations of proverbs from a non-European language.
(Alice’s sidekick, the aptly named Sloth, despite not always being useful, has entered my personal top 10 of cutest ag characters of all time.)

Speaking of cute, I also played Cornelius Cat in: How the Cat Saved Christmas, an adorable AGS game starring felt finger-puppet animals that plays in 15 minutes tops. Great if you fancy a late shot of Christmas spirit or just a big dose of cuteness.

     
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Black Dahlia

Black Dahlia is a 1998 FMV adventure that I’d been wanting to play for at least a decade, but had been unable to, due to its being notoriously difficult to run on modern computers. A few days ago, I decided to give it another try, and this time the Internet finally provided a way to run it flawlessly (and without having to run Windows 95 in a VM, because fuck that).

The story starts with an investigation into possible Nazi spies in Cleveland in 1941, and somehow ends up tying into the (real-life) Black Dahlia murder, which took place in 1947 in Los Angeles. It is very strong, full of twists and turns and surprises, and keeps veering in directions that you don’t expect. (Although, having read plenty of Tintin, I immediately figured out that [spoiler]the guy smoking a rare of brand of cigarettes had to be a bad guy, and I was not disappointed.[/spoiler]) I should note, though, that, after 8 CDs’ worth of game, the ending felt a bit slight.

The surprising nature of the story is reinforced by the game’s ability to constantly change tones. One minute, it’s a noir investigation with hard-boiled cops; the next, it’s a thriller with a demented killer playing mind games; for a while, it’s a supernatural mystery; it goes through an Indiana Jones phase, complete with leather jacket and fedora; and for a few brief minutes in a shipping centre, it becomes a full-blown farce, before returning to the investigative mode. It feels like it should be a mess, like it shouldn’t work, yet it does, somehow?

The acting is surprisingly good. Black Dahlia’s definitely up there with The Pandora Directive. The main character is pretty good, if maybe a little stiff, but the scene stealer is clearly David Whalen as slimy FBI agent Dick Winslow. I’m pretty sure Famous Hollywood Actor Dennis Hopper didn’t deserve first billing for spending three minutes reciting some exposition, but whatever. (And then the game completely forgets about his character, which felt pretty jarring.) Also, Phoebe’s Mum from Friends as the Voodoo Lady, because why the fuck not!

Unfortunately, the story can’t quite make up for the disaster that is the gameplay department. The puzzles start as rather investigative, requiring you to search locations and make various deductions to progress, before turning to lots of self-contained logic puzzles in the mid-game, and back to more investigation in the late game. Many of the puzzles feel extremely poorly clued, requiring either lots of trial-and-error or insane leaps of logic that make little sense outside the designer’s mind.

To be fair, some of the puzzles feel enjoyable and satisfying, but those are far from the majority. Most of them, even when fairly clued, tend to feel unnecessarily tedious. For instance, one puzzle has you navigate a confusing, surreal world to look for over-a-dozen spoken clues (such as “The comet is seen after the moon has risen”), which you have no choice but to write down so that you can work out how a series of symbols should be arranged. I did figure that one out entirely on my own, but a full page of notes for what is ultimately a pretty bland logic puzzle didn’t feel worth the effort.

Black Dahlia has a reputation as a difficult game, but the truth is that the difficulty resides not in the deviousness of the puzzles but rather in the fact that clearly nobody bothered playtesting them. Add to that an obscene amount of 3D pixel hunting, an over-reliance on events triggering at one location after you’ve done something unrelated at another location, and not one but two mazes, and you can see why I ended up playing with the UHS hint file almost constantly open on my phone—which is never satisfying to me.

And yet, for all the tedious gameplay, I never considered stopping playing, and ultimately I’m glad I’ve finally completed Black Dahlia. I guess the story, the characters, the mystery, and the allure of the puzzles (even if their resolution often proved unsatisfying) was enough. Still, if I replay it in a few years, already knowing the story, I expect that I might look less kindly upon it.

3/5

     
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The Last Express - 3.5/5


It’s captivating, extremely well-researched and very rich, but also very flawed.
The Orient Express has been painstakingly recreated and the way the brewing tension in Europe just before the first World War is presented, is historically accurate to a T, with plenty of details to be found in the game whether from conversations or from newspaper clippings. And the developers had the good sense to have every character speak their actual language (and being voiced by native speakers no less!).

It’s a wonderful and very representative slice of life at the end of the Belle Époque, and the game is made to allow you to soak that up to your heart’s delight.
The time-rewinding mechanism is a great save system, allowing you to practically eavesdrop on the entire train at the same time if you rewind enough times.
But here lies one of the main flaws of the gameplay: because you’re free to roam around and listen in on everyone, the game often leaves you without a clear purpose or goal.
Because time advances and you can’t be at two places at the same time, there are a couple of moments where you’re rewinding over and over again to see what you’ve missed, only to realize that you didn’t really miss anything. If you’re fast enough to do certain actions in-game (and with the time-rewinding, you can always be fast enough), there are several “dead” moments. If at that time the plot hasn’t advanced enough for you to know which direction to take, it can make you feel lost in this game.

This happened to me at the very beginning the first time I started the game, and it happened twice after reaching Munich in the game. That first time even caused me to put the game on hold for a while (which turned into quite an extended while, leading me to just start over when trying again).
The third lull in the game came when I was waiting for the concert to finish, after having done nearly all I set out to do during it in the game (again, courtesy of the time-rewinding mechanism). Fortunately here, the concert itself is wonderful, and it follows my favourite sequence in the game: walking through the concert room like you own the place, with the case of gold you just stole in plain view, and Kronos very much realising what’s going on and being helpless to stop you. Robert Cath is quite the awesome protagonist.

In the final third, the pace of the game picks up significantly, and there are three fight sequences in quick succession. These are quite doable once you figure out how they work (and where you need to click), but the last of the three could pose some issues because it has no margin for error: one false move and you have to redo the sequence.

But then you reach the endgame, and frankly, it doesn’t really work for me. In a game that spent its entire runtime trying to be as realistic as possible, we’re suddenly presented with a seemingly supernatural element. When the sun sets and the Firebird shows its dark side, the game breaks all realism for me, and not only that, but the entire endgame introduces a series of plot holes.
- Kronos left the train in Vienna. It’s an express train that even skipped most of its scheduled stops. Yet somehow he was able to not only catch up to it, but also board it?
- If the Firebird only becomes a weapon after dark, then how come it attacked Tyler? The sun hadn’t yet set when you boarded the train…
- I had activated the Firebird a few times during the playthrough, including a couple of times after sunset. Why didn’t it attack me then?

This last one can be an oversight by the developers (although given the amount of alternate paths and alternate reactions throughout the game, they’d already displayed quite an astute sense of foresight), but especially that second one irks me. I realize that the Firebird is supposed to be a metaphor for war and the end of an era, but it just doesn’t sit right with me.


So is this a good game? Absolutely! But it’s also heavily flawed if you ask me…

     

Last played: 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 | Beneath a Steel Sky (CPT) - 3/5 | 3 in Three - 3.5/5 | Puzzle Gallery: At the Carnival - 2.5/5 | The Fool’s Errand (replay) - 3/5

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TimovieMan - 05 February 2019 08:08 AM

But here lies one of the main flaws of the gameplay: because you’re free to roam around and listen in on everyone, the game often leaves you without a clear purpose or goal.

I learned to love this about The Last Express, because it added to the realism. The game and the mystery (and, the goals) are created along the way, you just need to hang in there. There’re plenty of adventure games that don’t state your clear purpose, or at least your next goal (some of them quite good, though it’s often better if they do present some sort of a goal), but The Last Express was among first that combined that with real-time, and the result added to the mystery if you ask me.

TimovieMan - 05 February 2019 08:08 AM

Because time advances and you can’t be at two places at the same time, there are a couple of moments where you’re rewinding over and over again to see what you’ve missed, only to realize that you didn’t really miss anything.

The Last Express is a game where you can die (dead-end is irrelevant, because you’ll die anyway), so I only rewind when I reach the death screen, and start over, doing something differently. I never actually bothered to rewind the game (while I’m still doing good, or at least I thought I’m doing good) to try something different or to see what I’ve missed.

TimovieMan - 05 February 2019 08:08 AM

If you’re fast enough to do certain actions in-game (and with the time-rewinding, you can always be fast enough), there are several “dead” moments. If at that time the plot hasn’t advanced enough for you to know which direction to take, it can make you feel lost in this game.

Like I said, if you do reach the dead-end, soon the game will be over because the time passes and you will die. So, it didn’t bother to me if I feel like I’m “lost” (that’s the overall feel and “enjoyment” of the game, IMO) because I knew that I will soon have to start over from some point if I’m on a dead-end route.


Ultimately, the game IS frustrating at times because no one (I guess) will be able to progress smoothly without any rewinding, but the fact that it happens in real-time with so many things you can miss makes up for that.
As for the supernatural: I kinda agree with you (the game was super-realistic up to that point) but then, it just added to the cinematic feel of the game - how many times we’ve seen in movies such turnarounds, that came out of blue - for example, in one of your favorite movies if I’m not mistaken - Indiana Jones?

As for the plot-holes I really can’t remember the details, so I can’t comment on that.

     

Recently finished: Four Last Things 4/5, Edna & Harvey: The Breakout 5/5, Chains of Satinav 3,95/5, A Vampyre Story 88, Sam Peters 3/5, Broken Sword 1 4,5/5, Broken Sword 2 4,3/5, Broken Sword 3 85, Broken Sword 5 81, Gray Matter 4/5\nCurrently playing: Broken Sword 4, Keepsake (Let\‘s Play), Callahan\‘s Crosstime Saloon (post-Community Playthrough)\nLooking forward to: A Playwright’s Tale

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diego - 05 February 2019 10:05 AM

As for the plot-holes I really can’t remember the details, so I can’t comment on that.

I do remember. No real plot holes.

- Light and dark are the keywords for the Firebird, not sunset and sunrise. The book in Kronos’ car mentions a fluid that’s sensitive to light in general. When Cath boarded the train the sky was very clouded and dark. The train was not dark at night, so the bird would not attack Cath. It could also be argued that Tyler did not turn on any lights when he examined the Firebird.
- The train was put on another track (to the bridge that collapsed), which was the old and longer route. Kronos did have the opportunity to use the newer tracks and arrive at the last stop just in time to catch up. After his night with Anna Cath looks out of the window and we see Kronos’private car at the last station before Constantinople. 

     
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Karlok - 05 February 2019 11:26 AM

- Light and dark are the keywords for the Firebird, not sunset and sunrise. The book in Kronos’ car mentions a fluid that’s sensitive to light in general. When Cath boarded the train the sky was very clouded and dark. The train was not dark at night, so the bird would not attack Cath. It could also be argued that Tyler did not turn on any lights when he examined the Firebird.

By that very same reasoning, the train was not dark when the Firebird attacked Kronos…
And Tyler not turning on any light makes no sense. Does investigating something go better in the dark???

     

Last played: 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 | Beneath a Steel Sky (CPT) - 3/5 | 3 in Three - 3.5/5 | Puzzle Gallery: At the Carnival - 2.5/5 | The Fool’s Errand (replay) - 3/5

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I just finished NAIRI: Tower of Shirin. Cute little game and probably warranted the 4 star review that made me buy it. The characters and art were charming and it presented a nice, unique world to explore. Puzzles perhaps could have been slightly harder - the last section what what the whole game should have been with lots of interrelated sections and mechanisms and things to figure out. And the ending.. well let’s just say I hope there’s a sequel…

     

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TimovieMan - 05 February 2019 05:45 PM
Karlok - 05 February 2019 11:26 AM

- Light and dark are the keywords for the Firebird, not sunset and sunrise. The book in Kronos’ car mentions a fluid that’s sensitive to light in general. When Cath boarded the train the sky was very clouded and dark. The train was not dark at night, so the bird would not attack Cath. It could also be argued that Tyler did not turn on any lights when he examined the Firebird.

[spoiler]By that very same reasoning, the train was not dark when the Firebird attacked Kronos…

The sun was setting, just like Kronos said. You can see it through the windows.

And Tyler not turning on any light makes no sense. Does investigating something go better in the dark???

Sure it makes sense. When the train left Paris it was dark and cloudy but there was still enough light for Tyler to examine his firebird. After fiddling with it for a while it turned too dark and the bird changed. Remember that in the book the sultan’s mistress was able to see the portrait by the moonlight? Total darkness is not needed for the bird to change.

     
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Maybe not a pure adventure game, but I just tried to finish Echo Night for the Playstation. I say tried because I couldn’t bother with the end game, having running around in a maze like machine room for about fifteen minutes with a ghost hunting me while unsuccessfully trying to find the stuff I needed to win the game. Will probably watch the end(ings) on Youtube instead. Up until the badly designed action sequence at the end it’s a good game with pretty strong adventure game elements, strangely similar in theme to Morpheus.

     
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Karlok - 05 February 2019 09:10 PM

The sun was setting, just like Kronos said. You can see it through the windows.

[spoiler]But the lights are always on in the train, especially in public areas like the smoking car and the dining car. How much light falls in from outside shouldn’t matter then, otherwise the Firebird would have attacked Robert Cath the times he blew the whistle after dark.

Sure it makes sense. When the train left Paris it was dark and cloudy but there was still enough light for Tyler to examine his firebird. After fiddling with it for a while it turned too dark and the bird changed. Remember that in the book the sultan’s mistress was able to see the portrait by the moonlight? Total darkness is not needed for the bird to change.

Even with all the windows, trains are dark. If it’s dark and cloudy outside, it makes no sense not to turn on the lights inside if you want to examine something.

We’re probably not going to agree on this whole matter. Let’s just keep it at this: the whole “Firebird changing into an attack weapon” thing just doesn’t sit right with me. Which makes me scrutinize it even more…

diego - 05 February 2019 10:05 AM

As for the supernatural: I kinda agree with you (the game was super-realistic up to that point) but then, it just added to the cinematic feel of the game - how many times we’ve seen in movies such turnarounds, that came out of blue - for example, in one of your favorite movies if I’m not mistaken - Indiana Jones?

Actually, the whole “Deus Ex Machina” moment when the Ark gets opened in Raiders of the Lost Ark, is my least favourite moment in the entire film. They handled the supernatural element better (less “appearing out of nowhere”) in The Last Crusade, which is still my favourite Indy film.
But Indiana Jones films aren’t exactly going for super-realism, are they? The Last Express is, which makes that element stand out more.

     

Last played: 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 | Beneath a Steel Sky (CPT) - 3/5 | 3 in Three - 3.5/5 | Puzzle Gallery: At the Carnival - 2.5/5 | The Fool’s Errand (replay) - 3/5

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Tex Murphy: Mean Streets - 2/5


I’ve finally played the first Tex Murphy game, and it’s a very mixed bag. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a really good game in there somewhere. Sadly, it’s buried in a whole lot of tedium while trying to be too many things at once, most of which is even executed poorly.

Traveling from location to location is done through some sort of flight simulator. It’s pretty simple and actually very manageable, but unfortunately the graphics are piss-poor and were very outdated even back in 1989. The landscape you’re flying over is just a green blotch, with some gray for urban areas and blue for water. Mountains are brown triangles (that you can fly against with no damage taken), and the very few buildings that were added, are just plain gray blocks. Far too little detail to be interesting. And it wouldn’t be so bad if you didn’t need to fly dozens and dozens of times throughout the game, turning this into quite the tedious pastime. It almost boils down to several minutes of flight sim for every minute of non-flight in-game…
Fortunately, there’s an autopilot function where the game flies for you, but sadly you still have to watch the entire flight - it doesn’t skip to the end.
Eventually, you just turn on the autopilot and go do something else away from the computer for a few minutes.

Bounty hunting and shootouts are done with a sidescroller where you can shoot, duck (so the others’ bullets fly over you), and advance forward. None of which you can do at the same time, for added difficulty.
These sections are not particularly hard, but they’re not fun either, and like the flight simulation, it gets very repetitive very quickly.

Then there’s the money management (on top of ammo management for the shootouts). You’re a down-on-your-luck P.I., so you’re penniless at the start. The lady that gives you the case, pays you 10K in advance, and that’s your budget for the entire game. You need to use that money to bribe some people, or to track people down via an informer, and none of it is cheap.
So it’s a good thing that our beloved Tex is a capable kleptomaniac who robs all locations he visits empty and pawns off all the valuables he comes across. This ensures that you can finish the game with more than 40K in the bank, but for that you have to make sure that you paid the optimal amount every time you had to buy info or bribe someone.
Finding this amount to pay is purely done by trial and error, and after having found the first few “optimal” amounts (the lowest amounts people accept to give up their info), this too starts to become merely busywork. I skipped most of it by looking at a walkthrough so I could just suggest the correct amount immediately and be done with it.

But there are also investigation parts, where you’re going through a location to look at every nook and cranny (moving all the objects to make sure nothing is hidden behind it), to find the next clue that will help you on your case. This is the part where the game excels, because it’s through exploring that you discover new names of suspects, new locations to visit, and start figuring out what the evil plot behind it all is, and who’s responsible.
And through exploring you can also find money, valuables or ammo lying around (often well-hidden, but not beyond the reach of a poor thieving P.I.). Tongue

The way the story unfolds, with several trails of breadcrumbs to follow, where some were dead ends or red herrings, and others led to finding more trails of bread crumbs to follow, was very well done.
The structure in which you get to solve the mystery, the amount of people you can talk to and the amount of locations you can visit really show the potential this game had.
Especially since the bits of comedy sprinkled throughout (including threatening people that shouldn’t be threatened and getting kicked in the groin as a result) are actually funny.

The game has a great storyline to discover and it handles its comedy well. It’s just very sad that all that is wrapped in gameplay that is highly repetitive and so very very tedious. Mean Streets has great potential but doesn’t deliver because it spends too much time doing other things that are nowhere near as fun as the adventuring parts…
A missed opportunity, but still a solid starting point for the rest of the series as long as the other games shift their focus (which apparently, they do).

     

Last played: 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 | Beneath a Steel Sky (CPT) - 3/5 | 3 in Three - 3.5/5 | Puzzle Gallery: At the Carnival - 2.5/5 | The Fool’s Errand (replay) - 3/5

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Loom 5/5

I remember playing this with my girlfriend when I was maybe 15 and us both exclaiming “oh, that’s over already … that’s a shame” and then the joy of it largely got swamped by Monkey Island.  I remembered enjoying the spellcasting mechanic a lot and thinking that the game looked very beautiful and had an endearing story.  I looked up a few reviews before replaying this yesterday and it does seem to have garnered the reputation of an overlooked classic with Brian Moriarty now being an industry legend.

I was prepared this time, for it to be easy and for it to be short.  I confess, when it finished I still felt a little bit unsatisfied.  Firstly, I wish I hadn’t played the CD-ROM version available through steam.  I’ve done some post-play research and the graphics and musical accompaniment are far lovelier in EGA, so that’s a shame, I’ll know next time. Secondly, contextually, this is still nothing short of a masterpiece.  The design work, the interface, the storytelling are all fabulous – this is a great piece of work and it’s sad that Monkey Island overshadowed the release of this at the time and that Moriarty sort of disappeared post-Loom.  But … this so desperately wants for a sequel.  It feels like a beautiful little teaser demo that sets up a wonderful game-playing mechanic and has a story which rushes through its ideas and locations just a little too quickly.  It’s not the ease of it (I can happily play a game on this skill level for hours – I never feel lost!  Wonderful!), it’s the fact that we are introduced to so much wonderful stuff and it just ends when we’ve just discovered what we can do, who the characters are, who the bad guy is.

So I’m torn about Loom.  It’s an easy 5*  game for its craftsmanship but it’s also the most frustrating 5* game you’ll play that’s not annoying for obscure puzzles (a la Longest Journey) and not for Grim Fandango’s tank controls + inventory.  Ok, Adventure games are always a source of frustration.  I give up then, I loved Loom.

     

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