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October 2004

14

Oct

Let's start off with C&VG's review of Aura: Fate of the Ages, where they reward it with an appalling 47 out of a 100, in the world's shortest review. It's so short, let me just quote it all here:

 

How do you open a locked door? You find a key, put it in the slot, turn it until the lock clicks and then pull the door handle. Not if you happen to live in an adventure game you don't.

 

To open a locked door in an adventure game, you usually have to first discover the whereabouts of the key by travelling halfway across a bizarre landscape in which

every rock is inscribed with an obscurely enigmatic zodiac symbol. You then embark on twisting a series of differently-shaped levers into a combination that's revealed to you only after looking through a prism at the sun's reflection in a mystical puddle, before putting the key into a completely different door in another building across a lake of fire. You usually then have to enter a combination based on the reverse order of the zodiac symbols seen earlier into an indescribably weird device sitting in an attic, and then turn the door handle backwards. And even then, you usually find the door doesn't lead where you expect it to, and the real one is off round the back somewhere instead, disguised as a daffodil or something.

That's not actually one of the puzzles in obscure logic stretcher Aura: Fate Of The Ages, but it might as well be. It's not all bad. Apart from the acting and character animation. Oh, and the interface. And the story. True, some of the puzzles do make a twisted kind of sense. But there's nothing gripping about it. Life's too short, basically.

 

If you want to read this same text with a blue background and white text, go here.

Next up is a more juicy review by GameZone of Myst IV: Revelations, where they give it an overall score of 9.0:

 

Myst IV is a graphical treat. The pre-rendered environments look amazing, each of them a beautiful representation of Myst’s atmosphere. The scenes have little sections of activity, like running water down a waterfall and objects that become blurry when not being focused on when you look away from them. Interspersed within the game are full motion videos of the people that you meet and interact with. These videos look remarkably well and are very high quality, no doubt a benefit of the game shipping on two DVD-ROMs. There’s a lot to look at in Myst VI, as it truly is a beautiful game.

 

Read the full review here.

And last but not least, a Myst IV review over at Game Connect Magazine. The four-page review concludes with a perfect score of 10:

 

Like the original Myst, Myst IV: Revelation represents a crossroads of the gaming world. Like its predecessor, it utilizes a medium that had yet to be properly made use of, coming as it does on two DVDs, both full to the brim of incredible graphics and sound. And, like its predecessor, it represents a gaming experience that no one should be without, by virtue of the masterfully crafted balance of dynamism, storyline and atmosphere it delivers.

 

More of this can be found here.



14

Oct

The British games publisher Digital Jesters announced today that their upcoming adventure Moment of Silence will be the exclusive sponsor of Sky One's co-production Battlestar Galactica. In addition to sponsorship of the exclusive worldwide premiere of the new 13-episode series from Monday 18 October 2004, the deal includes sponsorship of the highly successful mini-series on 14 and 15 October 2004.

Battlestar Galactica is a complete re-imagining of the original 1970s hit series. The new series picks up where the mini-series finished with the 12 colonies of man destroyed after a 100-year war with the Cylon Empire.

Digital Jesters' new sci-fi political thriller The Moment of Silence, a cinematic adventure game set in a futuristic version of New York City, will be promoted via a series of opening and closing credits, break bumpers and branding on all promos across Sky's wholly-owned channels.

"With its lavish production values, a complex sci-fi storyline and brilliant action sequences, The Moment of Silence is the perfect game to sit either side of such a breathtaking TV show," says Leo Zullo, marketing director, Digital Jesters. "Just as The Moment of Silence breaks new ground for adventure games, so Battlestar Galactica redefines television science fiction. As this is our first ever TV sponsorship deal, we needed to pick the right vehicle, and Battlestar Galactica hits exactly the audience we're aiming for."

This marks an exciting, new turn in the advertising of adventure games, and it will be interesting to see the outcome of the collaboration. The Moment of Silence is one of the most anticipated adventure games of the year, and will be released early next month.



14

Oct

Larry Laffer's nephew, Larry Lovage, has just been shipped to PC, PlayStation 2 and Xbox in North America. Magna Cum Laude is the latest addition to the Leisure Suit Larry series, although the original creator, Al Lowe, has not been involved in the development.

In spite of reviews reporting on the game's main focus on arcade and mini-games, High Voltage claims that the game will also appeal to traditional adventure gamers. Philip W. O’Neil of Vivendi Universal said that "For the latest installment, we took what fans loved about the original Larry character and franchise and updated the gameplay and humor. Old school fans and newbies alike will feel right at home with Larry’s latest adventure.”

In Magna Cum Laude players will explore 17 different locations on and around the college campus, interacting with sexy female characters and play dozens of mini-games, including Quarters, Tapper, Trampoline and Wet T-shirt Contests.



13

Oct

The Adventure Company has announced that Return To Mysterious Island, from developer Kheops Studio (who also made The Egyptian Prophecy and Crystal Key 2), has reached gold status and will soon be on store shelves:

"The Jules Verne-inspired title will see players assuming the role of a young woman named Mina, who becomes stranded alone on a desert island while on a round-the-world sailing expedition. After building a home and a new life for herself on the island, Mina encounters the ghost of Captain Nemo, whose body is located in the nautilus at the bottom of the ocean. After exploring the island, locating hints and clues, and solving puzzles, players will eventually get to travel to the nautilus themselves, retrieve Nemo's body, and free his tortured soul with a proper burial."

For more on this game check out the interview with Benoît Josjan, the President of Kheops Studio, over at Warcry News Network.



13

Oct

Dark Fall: Lights Out was reviewed at Gamersinfo.net:

"While the story is filled with many surprises (which I won't go into in order to keep them just that-surprises!), I found the ending to be rather anti-climatic and sat through the credits half-expecting some sort of resolution. Instead, I was left wondering if I had actually finished the game or just accidentally hit a button which ran the credits. This is too bad, since the story is very well done and the ending does not seem to live up to the rest of the story."

At Game Over and My Guy Games, Leisure Suit Larry: Magna cum Laude received scores of 69/100% and 7.1/10 respectively:

"...Magna Cum Laude didn't really feel like a game at all. After about the 5 hour mark, it almost felt like a chore, just treading to each new girl just to see what Larry could say next. Because of this, I was very let down by what I expected to be a game still digging from what made it a popular series in the first place."

Action Trip gave Myst IV: Revelation 87/100 ('Very Good'):

"Revelation is a game that will be enjoyed by many. Old fans of the series will love it and some new players will also be attracted to it thanks to the inclusion of the puzzle-solver. This game is a feast for the eyes and ears and can boast an excellent story that unfolds brilliantly. Still, it also has some drawbacks, such as the problem with discerning which objects are vital to finishing the game. Another major issue is finding hotspots on heavily saturated screens with millions of details."

And Secret Of The Silver Earring garnered a score of 8.3/10 over at IGN.com:

"While many people proclaim the death of the adventure game genre, the past two years has seen a significant number of good adventure titles. From the Myst series continuing its releases to cute titles like Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon and the upcoming release of Funcom's sequel to The Longest Journey, I would say those people need to look again. Secret of the Silver Earring is another great title to add to this genre's hit list and every lover of these games should pick it up."



13

Oct

Remember Bad Mojo? You know, the cockroach adventure game? Well, Got Game Entertainment, who has been building a name for themselves recently as a prolific publisher of adventures, is bringing the cult classic back to PC and Mac platforms this November.

The game, developed by San Francisco-based Pulse Entertainment in 1996, features a roach as its main character and is appreciated in the adventure community for its surreal and disturbing visuals and intuitive control system.

In conjunction with the announcement, Adventure Gamers has an exclusive interview with Alex Louie of Pulse Entertainment. Also check out our review.

Keep reading Adventure Gamers for further news about the project.



12

Oct

We've posted five new screenshots from House of Tales' upcoming The Moment of Silence, giving us a glimpse of the lush 2D world of this upcoming adventure.

The sci-fi political thrill is one of the year's most anticipated adventures, and is due for release next month. For more info, check out the game's official website.



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