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Adventure Game Scene of the Day — Tuesday 2 October 2012

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King’s Quest Friday is dead, long live Tex Tuesday! I’ve already posted a scene from a Tex Murphy game once and it was the first (and one of the few) not to get a single comment, so I’m not sure how popular this is going to be.

So this is Mean Streets. If I remember correctly, this is Val Cal Davis’s lab. I’ve only played the game several years ago and I don’t remember it very well. I think I enjoyed the investigation sequences in the various locations, but found that the game was bogged down by the arcade sequences, far too much talking (and those conversation puzzles!) and a plot that had too many red herrings and got confusing.

Still, it’s Tex!

     

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Is this the one that got “remade” as Overseer? Or am I confusing with Martian Memorandum?

Should I play this as well when I start working on Tex games, or should I skip to a later game? (no later than UaKM, though, that one has been on my radar since its release)

     

Now playing: League of Light: The Game (CCPT) | realMyst: Masterpiece Edition | Return of the Obra Dinn (CPT) | Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy (3DS) | The Witcher: Enhanced Edition (on hold)
Recently finished: Contradiction - 3/5 | Tex Murphy: Mean Streets - 2/5 | The Last Express - 3.5/5 | South Park: The Fractured But Whole - 4/5 | Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (replay, CPT) - 5/5 | South Park: The Stick of Truth - 4.5/5 | FIFA 19 - The Journey: Champions - 3/5 | Post Mortem (CPT) - 2.5/5 | Grand Theft Auto V (abandoned) | The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (abandoned) | Shivers (CPT) - 3.5/5 | Mass Effect: Andromeda - 4/5

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TimovieMan - 02 October 2012 02:13 PM

Is this the one that got “remade” as Overseer? Or am I confusing with Martian Memorandum?

Should I play this as well when I start working on Tex games, or should I skip to a later game? (no later than UaKM, though, that one has been on my radar since its release)

Yes, Overseer is largely a remade of the first Tex Murphy game.

Personally I skipped this game as large part of it are an annoying flight simulator.

     
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If you still have not played the Tex Murphy games, you are in for a treat! Smile I have actually not played the first 2 ones, instead I picked up the 3 FMV ones (Under a killing moon, Pandora Directive, and Overseer). I did this quiet recently, since I missed those gems in the 90’s.  If you go for them, you can’t go wrong. Happy gaming. Smile

     

Anticipating:The Devil’s Men

Recently played:GK1 Remake (4), A Golden Wake (3), Child of Light (4) Memento Mori 2 (4) Face Noir (3.5) Tex Murphy: Tesla Effect (4) Blackwell Epiphany (4.5),Broken Sword 5(4.5), The Shivah Remake (4.5), Monkey Island 2 Remake (4.5)

Top 10 Adventure Games:Tex Murphy: Pandora Directive, Gabriel Knight:The Beast Within, Broken Sword:Shadow of the Templars, Gabriel Knight:Sins of the Fathers, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Tex Murphy: Under a Killing Moon, Lost Horizon, Grim Fandago, The Longest Journey, Blackwell Epiphany

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Niclas - 03 October 2012 04:07 AM

If you still have not played the Tex Murphy games, you are in for a treat! Smile

Oh, I’ll definitely play them. They’re pretty high up on my list too.

I’m just doubting whether or not I should start with Mean Streets, or skip it and start with Martian Memorandum or skip both and start with Under a Killing Moon.
I was leaning towards starting with Martian Memorandum, but this screenshot is giving me second thoughts. I should probably just play all 5 of them.

Hopefully by the time I’m finished, Project Fedora will be near completion… Tongue

     

Now playing: League of Light: The Game (CCPT) | realMyst: Masterpiece Edition | Return of the Obra Dinn (CPT) | Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy (3DS) | The Witcher: Enhanced Edition (on hold)
Recently finished: Contradiction - 3/5 | Tex Murphy: Mean Streets - 2/5 | The Last Express - 3.5/5 | South Park: The Fractured But Whole - 4/5 | Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (replay, CPT) - 5/5 | South Park: The Stick of Truth - 4.5/5 | FIFA 19 - The Journey: Champions - 3/5 | Post Mortem (CPT) - 2.5/5 | Grand Theft Auto V (abandoned) | The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (abandoned) | Shivers (CPT) - 3.5/5 | Mass Effect: Andromeda - 4/5

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I played all the Tex Murphy games in order, at the time of their release, except for Mean Streets which I played last, so I’m not sure how it would go for someone playing it first. I remember having to take quite a lot of notes, especially since the game doesn’t keep track of conversation topics for you (you have to type in what topic you want to discuss), and using a walkthrough shamelessly for the conversation puzzles (there are certain people that you must bribe/threaten/somethingorother to get information from, and if you don’t do it right you can piss them off, and I have better things to do with my time than spend 5 minutes finding out what the optimal amount of money to give to someone is).

As I said above, the exploration sequences are fun (in many cases, you have to find and disable an alarm quickly first; cf. the timer in the screenshot), and the story is interesting if a bit messy. I don’t remember the arcade sequences being much of a problem, and the flight simulator can be skipped by using the autopilot.

     

Currently playing: Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Silver Earring | Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
Recently finished: Mage’s Initiation (3.5/5) | Black Dahlia (3/5) | The Witcher 3 (R) (5/5) | Ticket to Earth, ep. 3 (3/5) | XING: The Land Beyond (R) (4.5/5) | Lost Lands 5: Ice Spell (3.5/5) | Assassin’s Creed Rogue (3/5) | The Witcher 2 (R) (4/5)

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TimovieMan - 03 October 2012 06:27 AM

Oh, I’ll definitely play them. They’re pretty high up on my list too.

Well, fast-forward more than six years, and I finally played the first game in the series… Grin

Hopefully by the time I’m finished, Project Fedora will be near completion… Tongue

By the time I’m finished, Project Fedora will have been renamed Tesla Effect, will have been completed and will have ceased being “new”. Hell, it’s not even “relatively new” any more…

Kurufinwe - 03 October 2012 09:29 AM

I played all the Tex Murphy games in order, at the time of their release, except for Mean Streets which I played last, so I’m not sure how it would go for someone playing it first.

Well, I agree with most of what you said about the game:

I remember having to take quite a lot of notes, especially since the game doesn’t keep track of conversation topics for you (you have to type in what topic you want to discuss)

Oh yeah, a LOT of notes! Names, locations, relationships, passwords, the works. As the game went on, notes became more efficient, though: just the name of a person, the location where they could be found, and a small description of who they were, and a “I still need to do something here” if I was still missing something from a location. Basically my first pages of notes were a jumbled mess, and later (reworked) pages were simple lists. Worked well enough.

and using a walkthrough shamelessly for the conversation puzzles (there are certain people that you must bribe/threaten/somethingorother to get information from, and if you don’t do it right you can piss them off, and I have better things to do with my time than spend 5 minutes finding out what the optimal amount of money to give to someone is).

Hehe, I shamelessly used a walkthrough as well, to figure out the optimal amount of money to bribe with. I didn’t feel like wasting too much time on trial-and-error after the first few times.
Especially since your budget is limited. Although Tex is such a good kleptomaniac that by the end of the game I had over 40K in my pocket, all stolen from the locations I had visited. Tongue

As I said above, the exploration sequences are fun (in many cases, you have to find and disable an alarm quickly first; cf. the timer in the screenshot)

The exploration is indeed fun, as are the ways to die in them (often telegraphed so at least you should have known - e.g. I tasted cyanide on purpose Tongue), but there’s a bunch of dead ends in them. For instance, moving a box in a cupboard can reveal a switch (that opens a safe, or disables the alarm), but taking that box instead reveals no switch. In fact, taking something without looking at it or opening it first will often lead to you missing something and being forced to reload. After doing all there was to do in a location, I checked a walkthrough to see what I’d missed, and often had to redo the entire sequence because my system of “look-taste-open-on/off-move-look-get everything” wasn’t as foolproof as I figured (either that or I got sloppy).

and the story is interesting if a bit messy.

Actually, I loved the story. It really felt like following trails of bread crumbs where some were dead ends or red herrings, and others led to finding more trails of bread crumbs to follow. The structure of solving the mystery, the amount of people you talk to and the amount of locations you visit was the best part of the game and really showed 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. I mean, there’s a promising lead that turns out to be a dead end, and to rub salt in the wound, the red herring guy you’re interrogating is literally eating a red herring. Tongue

And the final gag of the game (right before the “The End” note) is hilarious too. Tex gets the girl and this unfolds:

Tex Murphy: “Oh, Sylvia!”
Sylvia: “Mmmm, Tex, lower!”
Tex (in a much lower tone of voice): “OH, SYLVIA!”
Grin

I don’t remember the arcade sequences being much of a problem,

They weren’t a problem, but they weren’t exactly fun either, and before you figure out that advancing is more important than shooting goons, they’re quite tedious…

and the flight simulator can be skipped by using the autopilot.

Except that doesn’t really skip it. It’s basically “turn on autopilot, go do something else for a couple of minutes, come back and continue the game”. Although combining the autopilot with flying some parts (especially near the landing) yourself speeds up the process a little.
Still, too much flying (with the poorest graphics in the game and the part that feels most outdated), too little options to speed the process up or skip it.


The game has a great story that unfolds in a superb manner, nails its moments of comedy, but is marred by trying to be too many things at once, with a lot of the gameplay (the flight sim and the side-scrolling shooter parts) being tedious as hell.


Also, the penultimate puzzle (escaping the boiler room) has a very unforgiving time frame. I needed well over a dozen attempts to make it through the door faster than the robot. Good thing it wasn’t a “failure is death” puzzle…

     

Now playing: League of Light: The Game (CCPT) | realMyst: Masterpiece Edition | Return of the Obra Dinn (CPT) | Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy (3DS) | The Witcher: Enhanced Edition (on hold)
Recently finished: Contradiction - 3/5 | Tex Murphy: Mean Streets - 2/5 | The Last Express - 3.5/5 | South Park: The Fractured But Whole - 4/5 | Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (replay, CPT) - 5/5 | South Park: The Stick of Truth - 4.5/5 | FIFA 19 - The Journey: Champions - 3/5 | Post Mortem (CPT) - 2.5/5 | Grand Theft Auto V (abandoned) | The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (abandoned) | Shivers (CPT) - 3.5/5 | Mass Effect: Andromeda - 4/5

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