• Log In | Sign Up

  • News
  • Reviews
  • Games Database
  • Game Discovery
  • Search
  • New Releases
  • Forums
continue reading below

Ratings by TimovieMan

Lighthouse: The Dark Being


Stars - 25

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 27, 2020 | edit | delete

Stanley Parable, The


Stars - 40

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Sep 16, 2020 | edit | delete

Gone Home


Stars - 40

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Sep 16, 2020 | edit | delete

STASIS


Stars - 40

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Sep 16, 2020 | edit | delete

Anna's Quest


Stars - 45

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Aug 21, 2020 | edit | delete

Talos Principle, The


Stars - 40

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Aug 17, 2020 | edit | delete

Florence


Stars - 40

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Aug 17, 2020 | edit | delete

Tex Murphy: Martian Memorandum


Stars - 30

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Jul 25, 2020 | edit | delete

Freddi Fish and the Case of the Missing Kelp Seeds


Stars - 30

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Jul 11, 2020 | edit | delete

Freddi Fish 2: Case of the Haunted School House


Stars - 30

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Jul 11, 2020 | edit | delete

Portal 2


Stars - 40

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Jul 4, 2020 | edit | delete

Toonstruck


Stars - 45

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Jul 4, 2020 | edit | delete

Cat Lady, The


Stars - 45

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Jul 4, 2020 | edit | delete

Scratches (Director's Cut)


Stars - 35

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Jul 4, 2020 | edit | delete

Murder by Numbers


Stars - 35

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Jun 27, 2020 | edit | delete

Heavy Rain


Stars - 35

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Jun 27, 2020 | edit | delete

Disco Elysium


Stars - 45

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Jun 27, 2020 | edit | delete

Whispers of a Machine


Stars - 40

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Jun 27, 2020 | edit | delete

Beneath a Steel Sky


Stars - 30

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Jun 27, 2020 | edit | delete

The Puzzle Gallery: At the Carnival


Stars - 25

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Jun 27, 2020 | edit | delete

3 in Three


Stars - 35

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Jun 27, 2020 | edit | delete

Return of the Obra Dinn


Stars - 40

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Jun 27, 2020 | edit | delete

Beavis and Butt-head in Virtual Stupidity


Stars - 35

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Jun 27, 2020 | edit | delete

realMyst


Stars - 25

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Jun 27, 2020 | edit | delete

Contradiction


Stars - 30

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Jun 27, 2020 | edit | delete

Tex Murphy: Mean Streets


Stars - 20

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Feb 10, 2019 | edit | delete

Last Express, The


Stars - 35

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Feb 5, 2019 | edit | delete

CSI: Dark Motives


Stars - 25

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Aug 30, 2018 | edit | delete

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation


Stars - 20

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Aug 30, 2018 | edit | delete

Machinarium


Stars - 40

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Jan 13, 2017 | edit | delete


A deliciously cute game that transcends all language barriers.


In Machinarium you play as a nameless (*) little robot that’s been expelled from the robot city and reduced to scrap (for reasons unknown at this point). You start by reassembling yourself and going back to the city, encountering a group of bullies on the way that have caused you and your girlfriend grief before, and that now plan on bombing the largest tower in the city. It’s up to our little robot to foil their plans and to undo the damages they’ve caused to other robots in the city.

The best word to describe our robot protagonist is “cute”. With his bulging bug eyes, ability to stretch tall or compact small, and the way he moves around, everything about this guy is adorable. The cuteness factor is fueled further by a lack of speech - our robot only speaks in beeps and grunts or in thought bubbles that (telepathically?) show a small animation, often a flashback. These thought bubbles are done exceptionally well, and make the interactions with other robots very clear. They also fill in a lot of background story, showing heartwarming scenes of our robot and his (equally cute) robot girlfriend, or with scenes depicting the humiliations he had to endure from the bullies.

The fact that no words are written in the entire game (apart from the title screen), and none are heard either, make this a game that totally transcends all language barriers. And its cute main character, as well as its family-friendly content, make this a game that can appeal to *everyone*.

The game is meticulously drawn and has an amazing level of attention to detail. Every screen is more than just a backdrop, the entire place feels alive because so much is moving at all times. Wires sway with the wind, pipes leak, small robot critters (yes, even the birds and mice and cats are mechanical in this world) move around. Even our own little robot has plenty of idle animations. The design team went all out with this, and it adds tremendous value. The sound and music also add to the atmosphere, with a jam session by a band of busking robots as one of the many high points in the game.

Puzzle-wise the game eases you into things by containing itself to single screens early on, and slowly expanding the number of screens you can solve puzzles in, before opening up an entire section of the city. The puzzles themselves have a lot of variety, often manipulating the environment to achieve Rube Goldberg device-like results, stretching or compacting your little robot where necessary (depending on if you’re reaching for something high or something low). There are even a number of inventory items (handily stored inside our robot himself) that can be used and combined, but these are not the primary focus of the puzzles.

There are also a number of standalone puzzles in the game, that range from shout-outs to other works (like a blatant Space Invaders clone) to classic adventure puzzles (like slider puzzles). The difficulty of these vary the most in the entire game and some can be more than a little challenging at times. A variation on Connect-5 can be quite hard because the opponent AI is pretty decent and an in-game arcade game where you have to rearrange a bunch of blocks can be pretty devious, for instance. One minigame involves “shooting viruses” in a maze, and while it’s not particularly difficult, it can be quite challenging because of the awkward mouse-driven controls. And there’s even one timed puzzle in the game (where failure equals death - but no worries, you conveniently rewind to the start should you fail).

The variety of puzzle-types is one of the games bigger strengths, but also one of its biggest weaknesses since most of these tougher minigames are mandatory for progress, and many of the other puzzles require quite an amount of cartoon logic to figure out, which may not be all that easy for everyone. One particularly devious puzzle requires you to go against your own instinct by answering questions incorrectly to get results. That one had me stumped for a good long while.

Fortunately, the game comes with a built-in help system when you’re stuck. There’s a thought bubble available that shows a minor hint for a puzzle pertaining to the location you’re at, and a full-blown walkthrough feature shows a comic book-style depiction of the puzzle solution for the screen you’re on. The ingenuity of this walkthrough feature is the fact that you only get the solution for ONE puzzle, and you need to play a small minigame to unlock it first. This particular minigame may very well be the most boring one in the entire game, but since it unlocks a partial walkthrough, that may have been a deliberate choice by the development team.

Another minor issue with this otherwise unexpectedly complex game, is its relatively short play time (I clocked between 7 and 8 hours) and a rather abrupt ending (even though most plot threads - and there are more than you’d gather at first - have been resolved at this point). The game is easily forgiven, though, because its high points are really high, and the atmosphere and protagonist cuteness will melt your heart anyway.

It’s a unique little game that will definitely make a lasting impression. One could even say that it’s an instant-classic. Machinarium comes highly recommended to players of all ages and nationalities…

(*) According to the game documentation, the little robot protagonist is called Josef and his girlfriend is called Berta.


Read the review »

Time Played: 5-10 hours
Difficulty: Just Right

Portal


Stars - 35

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Jan 13, 2017 | edit | delete


Genre-busting game with a particularly well-executed physics-bending gimmick at its core.


You wake up in a confined “relaxation” room and are soon greeted by the computerized voice of GLaDOS, the resident AI. She says you’re the new test subject in Aperture Science’s Computer-Aided Enrichment Center, apparently a lab where you get to test a newly-developed portal-technology. And so your short and funny journey begins.

The Portal principle is simple: a portal is basically a hole in the wall (or floor, or ceiling) that is connected to another portal. Entering one makes you exit through the other, regardless of distance, position and orientation. For instance, you can end up walking through a wall and falling down from the ceiling when you do. A portal in the floor and one in the ceiling could have you falling indefinitely. The possibilities are endless.

The earliest levels of the game are very easy and simple and will often pose little challenge. They’re designed to easy you into the physics-bending concept and introduce you to all the different obstacles you can encounter, one at a time. There are pressurized buttons, weighted cubes, energy balls that need to be guided to oddly-placed recepticles, and as the game progresses, even acid pools and gun turrets.
At first when you get your portal gun, you can only shoot one portal (with the other one already in place), but every level introduces a new element or portal-possibility to the gameplay. Your own momentum when going through portals becomes increasingly important as the game progresses, for instance. This means that you often need to fall a long distance through one portal to be propelled over a distance at the other portal. As the game so easily explains: “speedy thing goes in, speedy thing comes out”.

The strength of the gameplay lies in its own learning curve. By introducing new ways to use portals, and slowly adding other game elements, the game ensures that you truly understand all the concepts before you can continue. This means that, when you upgrade your portal gun to allow you to shoot both portals at will, the difficulty can ramp up significantly without becoming *too* challenging. By the time you’ll need all the available tricks in the book to beat the levels, you’ll have mastered all of them. It’s a testament to Valve’s extensive playtesting that they more or less hit the perfect difficulty curve for the game.

Of course, there’s more to Portal than just its physics-bending gimmick. What makes this game stand out from other puzzle games is GLaDOS, the artificial intelligence that is your sole contact in the game. GLaDOS starts out as a sort of mentor, explaining the concepts, but there’s more to her than that. The occasional malfunction, the constant mixed messages, the very insincere-sounding concern for your safety, and the promise of cake at the end will not only make you laugh but also indicates there’s more to GLaDOS than meets the eye. As the game progresses, GLaDOS’ comments become more sarcastic, sometimes even hostile and can be flat-out blatant lies, but they never cease to be funny, no matter how disconcerting they may be. Discovering what the deal is with GLaDOS and the Aperture Science Lab becomes a puzzle in itself and adds some much-needed story to an otherwise bare game.

It’s hard to pin down just what genre Portal belongs to. On the one hand it’s a first-person platformer, but it’s also a puzzle game, can be described as an adventure game, etc. It breaks a lot of genre barriers, and that makes it appealing to a wide variety of players. The understated but nonetheless present need for dexterity may dissuade some adventure gamers, however. It’s not the most important skill you need in the game as it’s primarily a puzzle game (in fact, very few sequences rely on quick timing), but it’s still one you need.

And that brings me to the game’s short length. I clocked just over three hours for the main story, so this definitely qualifies as a very short game. The difference between the earlier and later levels becomes very apparent here: it took me just over an hour and a half to complete the first 17 levels, and then it took me another hour and a half to complete the final two levels and the endgame.

Despite the game’s short length, the endgame still felt like it was stretched a tad too long for me, so even with a mere three hours of gameplay, the central portal mechanism was nevertheless at risk of outstaying its welcome. For this reason, I’ve been reluctant to try the bonus levels (which are apparently revamped versions of some of the existing levels, with added difficulty), and I’m also not inclined to try out the (much longer) sequel within the first couple of months, for fear of overexposure. After all, Portal is an extremely well-executed game, but the core of the gameplay - while fun - is still just a gimmick…

But hey, at least when the game ends you’re treated to cake an amazingly funny and memorable song by GLaDOS…


Read the review »

Time Played: 2-5 hours
Difficulty: Just Right

Drawn: The Painted Tower


Stars - 30

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Mar 22, 2015 | edit | delete

Drawn: Dark Flight


Stars - 30

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Mar 22, 2015 | edit | delete

Time Dreamer


Stars - 20

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Mar 22, 2015 | edit | delete

I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream


Stars - 30

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Mar 22, 2015 | edit | delete

Enigmatis: The Mists of Ravenwood


Stars - 40

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Dec 25, 2014 | edit | delete

Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek


Stars - 30

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Dec 25, 2014 | edit | delete

Syberia


Stars - 40

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Nov 9, 2014 | edit | delete

Phantasmat


Stars - 35

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Nov 9, 2014 | edit | delete

Angelica Weaver: Catch Me When You Can


Stars - 30

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Nov 9, 2014 | edit | delete

James Noir's Hollywood Crimes


Stars - 25

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Aug 1, 2014 | edit | delete


Only half of the story is interesting, and even that is too puzzle-centric.


Hollywood in the ‘60s. You get selected to participate in a popular TV show called “The Puzzle Masters”. Unfortunately, during your run on the show, a serial killer starts targeting past winners. The FBI agent that’s assigned to the case is an old friend of yours, and he enlists your help to take down the killer (who keeps leaving clues in the form of puzzles). Can you stop the killer before you become his next target?

A pretty sound premise for a puzzle-heavy adventure game, and the game really does start good. For instance, as part of your audition for the TV show, the game takes your actual picture, and that gets used in newspaper clippings and other moments throughout the game. This kind of involvement gets enhanced when the 3DS camera films you whenever you’re in front of a mirror in-game. Small touches that add to the game and your immersion in it.

Unfortunately, James Noir (a person who never once gets mentioned in the game nor in the manual) his “Hollywood Crimes” drop the ball at several opportunities. First of all, the graphics are lacklustre and mediocre (the background during the TV show is bland and generic, and the crowd is static). The puzzles also get repetitive fast, especially during the TV show sequences. And this is where the game falters most, the serial killer chase is pretty interesting, but the TV show is little more than a barrage of increasingly repetitive (not to mention easy) puzzles.

At least the investigation into the killer manages to mix things up more. It even surprises by making you, the player character, into a believable suspect as the serial killer. Sadly, this part takes up only less than half of the game, and even then it goes a bit too fast and is focused too much on puzzles and too little on plot.

All in all it’s not a bad game, but it had more potential than it finally ended up showing. It’s far too puzzle-centric for its own good (and the puzzles are not diverse enough), and its promise of “over 150 puzzles” only holds true for completionist players like myself. You’ll do less than half that number if you just play through the story once, without redoing any of the TV-show sections or solving the puzzles you get in the in-game fan mail.
Coupled with the weak production values, I feel this game is simply a missed opportunity that could have been a lot better with a bit more attention to detail, a bit more fleshing out of the story and a bit more use of the 3DS functionality. As it is, it looks more like a DS game than a 3DS game…


Read the review »

Time Played: 10-20 hours
Difficulty: Easy

Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask


Stars - 30

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Jul 21, 2014 | edit | delete


The series is running thin, and the switch to 3D didn't shake things up enough...


The fifth installment in the Professor Layton series delivers what you should expect by now: an over-the-top story that’s slowly revealed to you, one puzzle at a time.

Alas, after four games of basically the same formula over and over again, the series is now starting to run thin. The gameplay could really use an overhaul, and I thought the transition to the 3DS would be perfect for that. Unfortunately it was not to be.

While there are advantages to the 3DS switch (more quality cutscenes, more voiced lines, a couple of puzzles with added flair), there are also a few pitfalls that they didn’t avoid. Changing the wonderful 2D character animations to 3D ones isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, for one. While they tried to make the 3D models resemble the 2D ones closely through cel-shading, somehow in the process they lost some of the charm inherent in the artwork, and it hurts the game (especially in contrast with the beautiful and top notch 2D cutscenes). And it also feels like they didn’t take full advantage of the new capabilities the 3DS has to offer. Either the console was still too new when this game was in production, or the developers were too rusted in their old ways. Whatever it was, I feel that they left a lot of potential untapped and while this may improve the odds for the sixth game (Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy), I’m not that sure this team will go for it…

I’m not overly happy with the story’s resolution either. It lacked a good twist (as the main twist was more or less phoned in from the very beginning), and they kind of shoehorned a certain villain in, just to fit this game into a trilogy. Several of the main characters have really silly motivations as well, so you’d better not think too hard about it (but this holds true for the other Layton games as well).

In the end, though, I still got a game with (once again) high production values, a great deal of puzzles (150 + minigames), and a staggering 365 daily downloadable puzzles. All these combined netted me about a 60-hour puzzle fix, so while this installment may be the weakest of the Layton series so far, it’s by no means a bad one. I just hope the devs step up their game somewhat in the conclusion to this prequel trilogy…


Read the review »

Time Played: Over 20 hours
Difficulty: Just Right

Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders


Stars - 30

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 4, 2013 | edit | delete

Zork Nemesis: The Forbidden Lands


Stars - 40

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 4, 2013 | edit | delete

Time Hollow


Stars - 45

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 4, 2013 | edit | delete


One of my all-time favourite DS games!


Wow, was this a pleasant surprise! This game totally blew me away. It grabbed my attention in the very first minute and made it very hard for me to put it down. Because of that, I finished it in just three sessions.
The prologue had only just started and I already got a glimpse of an alternative ending. I immediately restarted (without acting like a know-it-all this time) to avoid spoilers. But just knowing that there was the possibility of an alternative ending made me even more excited to finish it.
And then I got sucked into the game. The story is really engrossing, the writing is good, and even though there are some minor plot issues (inherent in time-travel stories), these are easily overlooked because all the main characters are very likeable.
Plus the game has a lot of production value: the animation throughout is very good, the voice-acting in the cutscenes is great, and above all: the opening video has a superb theme (which gets repeated as a ringtone, in a mellow version as a sadder theme in the game, and during the end credits).
The game may be very light on gameplay, but with this amount of immersion in the game, I don’t care about the gameplay. In fact, some of my absolute favourite games are more “interactive novels” than actual games.
The only downside is that it’s relatively short, and that you only have one slot to save your game in. And that’s pretty much it.


Read the review »

Time Played: 5-10 hours
Difficulty: Easy

To the Moon


Stars - 45

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 4, 2013 | edit | delete

Uru: Ages Beyond Myst


Stars - 30

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 4, 2013 | edit | delete

Sydney Mystery, The


Stars - 25

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 4, 2013 | edit | delete

Space Quest: Chapter I - The Sarien Encounter


Stars - 15

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 4, 2013 | edit | delete

Simon the Sorcerer II: The Lion, the Wizard and the Wardrobe


Stars - 40

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 4, 2013 | edit | delete

Simon the Sorcerer 3D


Stars - 30

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 4, 2013 | edit | delete

Simon the Sorcerer


Stars - 40

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 4, 2013 | edit | delete

Secret of Monkey Island, The


Stars - 45

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 4, 2013 | edit | delete

Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, The


Stars - 45

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 4, 2013 | edit | delete


Still lots of fun!


Hilariously awesome game, and hearing Dominic Armato this time around is a great plus! It was nice to see some upgraded visuals, too, but to be honest, I must have pressed F10 at just about every screen (at least when no-one was speaking, otherwise I’d lose the voice-over - something they fixed for the sequel). There’s something charming about those dated visuals.
Insult sword-fighting was once again a blast (luckily I’d forgotten most of them) and the nonsense in this was just as fun as it was the first time around (Deadly Piranha Poodles and their “No animals were harmed”-disclaimer).

I’ve even taken the time to do something I failed to do all those years ago: have Guybrush drown! And apparently, I had missed a few good jokes by “going too fast”. Not only do you get an entire conversation between two guys who are going to ditch a sword right above your location - a sword you could use - only to have them reconsider, but the best joke comes when Guybrush dies (the only time he can die). Guybrush starts bobbing in the water, with a very unhealthy *green* skin colour.
The joke comes in the form of altered verbs: instead of Open / Close / Use / Pull / Push etc. you can now Bob / Float / Bloat / Rot / Stink and above all: Order Hintbook!
That nearly made me spray my drink…

Lots of fun was had once again!


Read the review »

Time Played: 5-10 hours
Difficulty: Just Right

Secret Files: Tunguska (DS)


Stars - 35

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 4, 2013 | edit | delete

Secret Files 2: Puritas Cordis


Stars - 35

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 4, 2013 | edit | delete

Sam & Max Hit the Road


Stars - 35

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 4, 2013 | edit | delete

Police Quest 2: The Vengeance


Stars - 35

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 3, 2013 | edit | delete

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations


Stars - 45

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 3, 2013 | edit | delete

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Justice for All


Stars - 40

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 3, 2013 | edit | delete

Phantasmagoria


Stars - 40

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 3, 2013 | edit | delete

Paradise


Stars - 15

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 3, 2013 | edit | delete

Professor Layton and the Unwound Future


Stars - 35

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 3, 2013 | edit | delete

Professor Layton and the Last Specter


Stars - 35

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 3, 2013 | edit | delete

Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box


Stars - 35

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 3, 2013 | edit | delete

Professor Layton and the Curious Village


Stars - 35

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 3, 2013 | edit | delete

Myst


Stars - 20

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 3, 2013 | edit | delete

Myst DS


Stars - 5

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 3, 2013 | edit | delete

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge


Stars - 45

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 3, 2013 | edit | delete

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge - Special Edition


Stars - 45

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 3, 2013 | edit | delete


An improvement over the first Special Edition, possibly even better than the original!


They’ve changed some things for the better when compared to the Special Edition of Monkey 1: object highlighting eliminates pixel hunting, the added “director’s commentary” by Ron Gilbert, Tim Schafer and Dave Grossman is a nice touch (and not too intrusive when playing), the voice acting remains when switching back to the old graphics, but most of all: the newly implemented control system is pure brilliance! In contrast to the previous Special Edition, this time around it’s a lot more intuitive, it uses only the mouse, and having access to the inventory via the middle mouse button is a magnificent stroke of point-and-click development genius! This is only the first game I’ve played where they handled the inventory this way, but damn, me likey!
On the other hand, graphics are - just like in the previous SE - a bit lackluster. It looks good but it lacks the charm of the old graphics. Because of the magnificent control system, though, I couldn’t just keep using the old graphics, or I’d lose all the benefits of the new controls.
Director’s commentary was a slight letdown, too. Not enough banter between the three, and it’s obvious that they didn’t prepare anything beforehand which makes it less informative than it could (and should) have been.

The game itself is great, of course. And it was a lot longer than I remembered. The second part is also one of the best crafted bits of adventure gaming ever: multiple objectives across three islands (and plenty of locations per island) - it’s almost as good as the second year of Grim Fandango! The main difference here is that it’s rather difficult at times - some puzzles are pretty illogical (I’ll keep frowning at the “monkey wrench” puzzle) and the inventory is massive (which makes *using everything on everything* a hassle when stuck). But the game is still as hilarious as ever, making it one of the most fun adventure games of all time!
Because of the voice acting, they even nail their Star Wars references a lot better. Not only is the entire “I—am you father!”-scene (well, “I—am your brother!” in this case) the exact same text-wise, but they’ve acted it out exactly like in the movie too (with a “NOOOOOOOOoooooooo!” in two parts - just like the edit in The Empire Strikes Back). I admit that I nearly wet myself laughing…
And then the ending…
What an ending…
I still don’t really know what to think of it. I can’t even say that I like the ending. They’ve just slapped you on the head with several ridiculous plot twists, and then they go all-out with an even bigger (and totally incomprehensable) plot twist. I’m not even sure Ron Gilbert himself knew what he was doing there…
It definitely counts as one of the most “WTF?”-moments in adventure gaming history. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

To conclude, I’ll just say that “Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge” still stands as one of the best adventure games of all-time!


Oh, and I encountered a bug in the Special Edition of the game. At the point where Guybrush is dropped in the acid pit (and Elaine consequently confronts him for lying), you get another escape attempt. My cursor had disappeared at that point, though, so I couldn’t do anything at all. I had to reload an earlier save (because the autosave had the same problem) and solve the puzzle on the first try to be able to continue…
Not game-breaking (especially because I had saved at the beginning of Part III, making me lose only ten minutes), but annoying to say the least…


Read the review »

Time Played: 10-20 hours
Difficulty: Hard

Monty Python's Complete Waste of Time


Stars - 35

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 3, 2013 | edit | delete

MISSING: Since January


Stars - 35

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 3, 2013 | edit | delete

Maniac Mansion Deluxe


Stars - 30

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 3, 2013 | edit | delete

Maniac Mansion


Stars - 30

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 3, 2013 | edit | delete

Lost Horizon


Stars - 40

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 2, 2013 | edit | delete

Lost Eden


Stars - 30

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 2, 2013 | edit | delete

Loom


Stars - 35

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 2, 2013 | edit | delete

Longest Journey, The


Stars - 40

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 2, 2013 | edit | delete

Leisure Suit Larry 3: Passionate Patti in Pursuit of the Pulsating Pectorals


Stars - 30

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 2, 2013 | edit | delete

Leisure Suit Larry 5: Passionate Patti Does a Little Undercover Work


Stars - 30

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 2, 2013 | edit | delete

Leisure Suit Larry 6: Shape Up or Slip Out!


Stars - 35

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 2, 2013 | edit | delete

Leisure Suit Larry 7: Love for Sail!


Stars - 40

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 2, 2013 | edit | delete

Leisure Suit Larry Goes Looking for Love (In Several Wrong Places)


Stars - 30

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 2, 2013 | edit | delete

Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards


Stars - 30

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 2, 2013 | edit | delete

Law & Order: Justice is Served


Stars - 30

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 2, 2013 | edit | delete

Last Window: The Secret of Cape West


Stars - 40

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 2, 2013 | edit | delete

L.A. Noire


Stars - 35

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 2, 2013 | edit | delete


Stunningly beautiful, but heavily flawed


L.A. Noire is a flawed game. Not only is there too much action (half the cases have a shootout, and a couple of cases have a small war going on - hence my body count of over 200, and EVERY case has at least one chase sequence whether that be on foot or by car) but that action is handled badly. The driving is difficult unless you’re just tapping the gas instead of flooring it, but in a chase sequence, you kinda HAVE to floor it - even though they’re using that unrealistic ‘Rubber Band AI’ where the guy you’re chasing slows down if you’re too far behind. When you’re not in a chase, driving is just tedious, so it’s best to let your partner drive as much as possible. That way, you miss out on street crime, but the street crime is nonsensical anyway. They basically have you driving to the other side of town for a random shootout (that should have been handled by ANY police car that was actually NEAR that location), and it ALWAYS ends with the coroner pushing a body in his truck and you looking on. I basically stopped caring for street crime after about 8 of them.
Similarly, the fighting in the game is overly simplistic. When you get used to ‘grappling’, you can end any fight in about five seconds: grapple and throw your opponent to the floor, then finish him while he’s down. Very repetitive.
The same goes for the interviewing mechanism: it’s far too limited. While the motion capturing allows for some subtle facial tells, it’s just too easy. Responses are too simple as well. If you think they’re telling the truth, you respond like a wimp. If you think they’re lying, you’re playing it suave and show evidence that exposes the lie, and if you don’t have proof you go into an ALL CAPS RAGE! Cole Phelps even does this when it’s really inappropriate - going off against a 15-year old that just got raped for instance.
In terms of gameplay, L.A. Noire leaves much to be desired…

Storywise it’s not without its flaws either. The game takes forever to go somewhere - you’re already at the end of the vice desk before the actual story behind it starts picking up. Until then you’re just solving case after case without real meaning. While some of these cases are quite good, it all feels a bit unnecessary. They’re supposed to be for character development, I guess, but the development is far too slow and - like the plot - only picks up near the end of the game.
In the meantime you’re solving mediocre traffic cases where the only plus side is being teamed up with a great partner (yes, I’m a Stephan Bukowski fan). And just when the cases start to become more interesting, you’re promoted to homicide, where both your captain and your partner are nothing but annoying, and where you’re solving all cases with inconclusive evidence that left me really dissatisfied.
During all this, all glimpses of the backstory come either from newspapers that show cutscenes featuring the worst character in this game (Dr. Harlan Fontaine, whose overenunciating only grates on my nerves) or from war flashbacks inbetween chapters.
The game slowly picks up the pace when you get promoted to vice (after a real bitter pill at the end of the last homicide case - possibly the noirest (most noir?) moment in the game). Not that the cases get a lot better, but the corruption becomes more and more visible. That’s rather easy when you’re partnered with the slickest dude in the game, the guy you’ll love to hate.

The thing is, near the end of the game, halfway through the arson desk, the game takes an unexpected turn: you’re suddenly playing as another character. While I get this decision in terms of the story, they might have included the occasional Jack Kelso-case earlier in the game. This just felt too abrupt and weird after some 15-odd hours of playing as Cole Phelps. Fortunately, the game’s really going full-speed by now, so you quickly get over your initial shock.

The conclusion of the game is a bit underwhelming but at least it’s reasonably satisfying. It’s all a little low on actual ‘noir’, though. I don’t know, for some reason, the entire game never felt all that noir to me - even when playing in black-and-white. For a game that uses that as its title, it missed its purpose a little. Disworld Noir pulled the noir-part off a whole lot better. Heck, Grim Fandango did a better job at it than L.A. Noire…

Despite all this criticism, though, the game is better than the sum of its parts, and if you spread out the cases a bit (i.e. not rushing through the game), it’s actually quite enjoyable. It definitely *feels* like you’re in L.A. at the end of the ‘40s and the sheer vastness of the city is impressive to say the least. The amount of motion capturing they did is just insane (and with great acting to boot!), and the game is by far the best-looking game I’ve ever played. It is simply beautiful!


Read the review »

Time Played: Over 20 hours
Difficulty: Just Right

King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder!


Stars - 30

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 2, 2013 | edit | delete


Typical early Sierra brutality


This was typical early Sierra brutality. Hundreds of deaths and dead ends had me restoring previous saves more often than in all the games I’ve played these last 5 years combined. And I was using a walkthrough to avoid the dead ends!

The story is decent, graphics were actually quite good (especially given its time period) and the voice-over (with Josh Mandel as the lead) was pretty good. Cedric the Owl was slightly annoying after a while (but not as bad as most people claim), and I didn’t like the fact that it was either voice-over or text, not both at the same time. Fortunately pronounciation and sound quality was good enough for everything to be clear.

It’s really not a bad game, but I’ve never liked the abundance of deaths and dead ends in Sierra’s games. It’s just too unforgiving…


Read the review »

Time Played: 5-10 hours
Difficulty: Very Hard

KGB


Stars - 15

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 2, 2013 | edit | delete

Journey to the Center of the Earth


Stars - 30

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Sep 30, 2013 | edit | delete

Jack Orlando: A Cinematic Adventure


Stars - 20

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Sep 30, 2013 | edit | delete

Jack Keane


Stars - 30

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Sep 30, 2013 | edit | delete

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure


Stars - 35

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Sep 30, 2013 | edit | delete

Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis


Stars - 50

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Sep 30, 2013 | edit | delete

Hotel Dusk: Room 215


Stars - 40

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Sep 30, 2013 | edit | delete

Grim Fandango


Stars - 50

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Sep 30, 2013 | edit | delete

Gray Matter


Stars - 35

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Sep 30, 2013 | edit | delete

Gold and Glory: The Road to El Dorado


Stars - 30

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Sep 30, 2013 | edit | delete

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective


Stars - 35

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Sep 30, 2013 | edit | delete

Gemini Rue


Stars - 40

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Sep 30, 2013 | edit | delete

Back to the top