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Ratings by Lucien21

BEYOND: Two Souls


Stars - 40

Rating by Lucien21 posted on Oct 20, 2013 | edit | delete

Leisure Suit Larry – Reloaded


Stars - 20

Rating by Lucien21 posted on Aug 3, 2013 | edit | delete

Black Mirror, The


Stars - 25

Rating by Lucien21 posted on Jan 5, 2013 | edit | delete

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge - Special Edition


Stars - 50

Rating by Lucien21 posted on Aug 11, 2012 | edit | delete


Better than the original.


Guybrush. Mighty Pirate is back. Bragging about his conquest of LeChuck to everyone who can stand to hear it. Unforunatly he’s stuck on Scabb Island due to the Largo Embargo. His trouble is soon to worsen as LeChuck is back and looking for revenge.

The starting island is a great way to get back into the swing of adventuring. Once you get off Scabb the area opens up to two other items and a quest for four map pieces that will help you find the treasure of Big Whoop. These puzzles can be tackled in any order making for a fairly open world missle section of the game.

There are some classic multi layered puzzles in here (Spitting contest) and one infamous one (Monkey Wrench) that mount up to a superb and hilarious challenge all the way though.

Most of the characters from the first game make a welcome return making for a familiar and varied cast of pirates.

Played it on my iPad. The updated graphics are great, the audio commentary is hilarious and the option to instantly switch from the new to old game is fantastic.


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Time Played: Under 1 hour

Walking Dead: Episode Two - Starved for Help, The


Stars - 40

Rating by Lucien21 posted on Jul 7, 2012 | edit | delete


Braaains


Walking Dead - Episode 2

  As an interactive experience set in this world, it hits all the right notes. The world feels authentic, the characters interesting, the art stlye adds to the comic feel and you spend most of the time talking to other characters.

  As an actual game…it’s too short and waaaaaay too easy.

That was my opinion on Episode 1 and not a it’s pretty similar to how I feel about episode 2.

It’s still way too easy to complete the game and way too short.

However It is turning out to be one of the best things Telltale has ever done (if not the best thing). The atmosphere is superb and it tackles real adult issues in a pretty decent way.

There are 5 main moral decisions in each episode that have lasting implications on the game and there are a number of actions that are noted by the characters. Some of these decisions are life and death, make the wrong one and a character may die or at least the balance of power will be altered. Some of the decisions are seriously twisted and I applaud them for not shying away from it.

This time you are holed up in the motel, running out of food. You run across another group of people while out hunting and it leads to your first big decision. Soon you are visiting a new location and touching on a subject matter that was handled in the comics, but I think it is done better here.

If the world came to an end how far would you push it.

I think this is an innovative adventure game that is pushing the boundaries in it’s story and execution. I just wish that it was more substantial and it didn’t take me all of 2 hours to play through. Sure once all 5 episodes are out it should tote up to a 11-12 hour game, but seeing as it was 2 months since the last one and it was over in a flash it is frustrating.


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Time Played: 2-5 hours
Difficulty: Very Easy

Tex Murphy: The Pandora Directive


Stars - 50

Rating by Lucien21 posted on Jun 30, 2012 | edit | delete


Out of this World


Tex Murphy’s 4th outing is more of the same and that ain’t a bad thing. Using the same interface and FMV that adorned the last game it is instantly recognisable to fans of the series.

This time they have ramped up the puzzles by offering two difficulty levels. The normal playthrough is called Entertainment level, but for a harder more rewarding time try out the Gamer mode. It gives you extra puzzles and locations within the game as well as putting time limits on the major puzzles to earn bonus points.

It also introduced branching storylines. Will you be good or evil tex (or a mixture of both). A variety of moral decisions are made during playthrough and what you do and how you speak to the residents of the street dictactes which of the 8 endings you receive. Will you save the planet and get the girl?

Personally I got the Lombard street ending, saved the world was generally nice to everyone, but still ended up holodating at the end. Sealed Lips

There are a few new characters to meet in the game as well as all the old favourites. The acting and FMV are generally decent and cheesy enough to fit in with the asthetic.

The story is gripping and outlandish. It was fun from beginning to end.

Puzzles can be a hit or a miss with some outstnding ones and some that are a pain in the rear. The peg box one was particularly annoying and the fequency of death sequences at a couple of points (NSA and Roswell) was frustrating.

However Tex Murphy may be a bumbling idiot at times, but it’s a pleasure watching mim work.

Superb.


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Time Played: 10-20 hours

Tex Murphy: Under a Killing Moon


Stars - 45

Rating by Lucien21 posted on May 28, 2012 | edit | delete


Anyone for Twistee


The great Tex Murphy’s third adventure. After Mean Streets and Martian Memorandum, Tex jumped into the CD age with his first FMV adventure.

Tex is a down on his luck PI in the Raymond Chandler mold, dressed in an overcoat and fedora clad, his love of the ladies and drinking is only matched by his goofiness and ineptitude.

Somehow he always solves the case though.

In a post nuclear war San Francisco, Tex can be found in Chandler street. A mutant friendly neighbourhood filled with interesting characters, from the beautiful Chelsee to the old grumpy Pawnshop owner Rook.

You start the game broke and looking for work, an old friend posps by for a friendly warning and the local pawnshop is robbed. So what starts as a simple break in spirals out into multiple locations and a world threatening plot.

The game is presented in two main style with all the conversation and cut scenes etc filmed in Full motion video while all of the movement and locations are in 3D. This allows you to move the mouse around in movement mode and search the 3D locations for clues and interact with object. Once you hit the space bar to enter interaction mode you can look, pick up or generally fiddle with the environment. (I think at one point I may have been labled as a freak who likes to take down pictures from the walls). In this mode you can also examine and combine inventory items to solve the various devious puzzles that are thrown your way.

Clues etc can be found to interrogate the characters who inhabit the world so each new clue means going around them and watching the cut scenes as you ask them the new tidbit of information to gleam more clues to get you to new locations with more puzzles etc etc. All this until you finally reach the endgame and save the world.

The acting for the most part is hammy and overblown, but Chris Jones breaths so much wit and charm in the main character that the acting and humour all make perfect sense while you are playing it. Watch as Murphy stumbles into situations, prat falls and walks into pillars. It’s hilarious stuff.

Although the game is pretty straightforward there are a couple of issues with the puzzles. There are a couple of times where walking through the wrong door is instant death so save the game often. The movement can be a bit floaty and difficult to manouver in a hurry so avoiding the droid guard in GRS is annoying as hell and finally it is perfectly possible to make it to the end of the game and miss one or more vital inventory item which makes it impossible to finish the game without reloading an earlier save and then sitting through the whole shell game sequence again.

Tex Murphy is a delight to watch and a lot of fun to play.


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Time Played: 5-10 hours

Walking Dead: Episode One - A New Day, The


Stars - 35

Rating by Lucien21 posted on May 27, 2012 | edit | delete


Too short and too easy


I’m a big fan of the comic book series, it’s one of the best ongoing comics in recent years and it is known for it’s shock value and nobody is safe atmosphere. Kirkman is not shy about maiming of killing off main characters.

So when Telltale announced they were doing this game I was slightly skeptical. Up until that point all there games had been cartoony, type affairs. Could they pull off something edgier?

While there are plenty of Zombies in the world of the Walking Dead. The comic has always been about more about the humans and less about the Zombies. They are the threat and the background in which the human drama is unfolding, but the chatacters and their actions are always the main meat of the story.

So it was great to see that the game focuses more on the small group of survivors and is mostly a dialogue based affair with some puzzles and a few action sequences. It’s not Left for Dead.

You play as a convicted criminal who escapes in a great intro sequence as the world goes to hell in a Zombiepocalypse. You quickly run into Clementine ,a young girl, and become her protector. After helping out a couple of guys you end up in a familiar location for a little while before being dumped in a pharmacy where most of the action in this episode takes place.

Talk to all the characters to gain background and a sense of who they are and they will remember what actions you have taken, who you supported at crucial times, whether you confronted them or lied to them etc etc. This makes the game replayable to see if you missed anything and whether the choice you didn’t take was the better option.

Unfortunatly branching storylines like this mean that the action lenght of this episode seems SUPER short. I managed about 2.5 hours in the first playthrough. On smaller episodic type games it probably means that a 4 hour linear game is turned into a shorter experience with replayability.

Graphically the game still looks dated, but the cell shaded characters do give it a comic book feel that enhances the atmosphere of the game. The game world is pretty, but sparce of actual interactivity. There is a limited area in which to walk around keeping exploration to a bare minimum, but heightens the feeling of being trapped.

In keeping with most Telltale games of late there is little in the way of actual adventuring. Puzzles are few and far between and the couple that do exist are extremely easy to the point of insulting. It does have some actiony sequences, but thankfully they are constrained to a few situations and avoid the Jurassic Park nonsense.

As an interactive experience set in this world, it hits all the right notes. The world feels authentic, the characters interesting, the art stlye adds to the comic feel and you spend most of the time talking to other characters.

As an actual game…it’s too short and waaaaaay too easy.


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Time Played: 2-5 hours

Syberia


Stars - 40

Rating by Lucien21 posted on May 27, 2012 | edit | delete


Classic game of Automatons, Mammoths and an epic train journey.


You are Kate Walker, lawyer, in search of Hans Voralberg in Syberia.

I credit this game with getting me back into adventure games after a gap in the early 00’s. It’s georgous graphics and haunting soundtrack drew me into the strange world of Automatons as we went from one great location to another.

Most of the locations revolve around trying to find ways to wind up your clockwork train and range from a university to a space port.

Unfortunatly, the georgous visuals are great to look at but lack interaction. There are very little hotspots in the game making the game seem empty. It is frustrating to run through 5 screen of lanscapes with nothing to do, hit a dead end and have to run all the way back.

Puzzles are, for the most part very simplistic with only one that stretches the grey matter (The Blue Helena puzzle).

The characters and story are pretty decent. There is some decent background info to be found on the Hans/Ann story as you go from place to place. You meet some decent characters along the way that will help or hinder your progress. Your mobile phone remains a link to Kate’s past and over the course of the game you start to wonder what the hell she was like back home as other than her mother all her other contacts are idiots. Her annoying arse of a boss, her fiance is a stuck up git and her best friend bonks her fiance after Kate is away for a couple of days. With friends like these i’d run off to Syberia as well.

Overall it is a pretty simple game with a decent story and georgous visuals. The ending felt more like a mid interval break than a true ending, but I can forgive it because they did make a sequel.


Read the review »

Time Played: Under 1 hour

Still Life 2


Stars - 25

Rating by Lucien21 posted on May 27, 2012 | edit | delete


Looks rough and overstays it's welcome


Once again you take control of Vic McPherson in the hunt for a serial killer. This time dubbed the “East Coast Killer”. He abduct, tortures and kills his victims without leaving much in the way of evidence.

When a reporter following the case (Paloma Hernandez) is kidnapped it leads to a desperate hunt for leads and a desperate battle for survival.

You control both Vic and Paloma at various stages in the game. Vic’s segments are mostly investigation stages where you swab, scan, spray and analyse about a million blood stains and finger prints in every room in the house. (The one and only location in the game).

Paloma’s sections are inspired by the movie “Saw” as you are trapped by the killer and have to jump through various traps and puzzles in the vain hope of finding your way out.

Tension in the Paloma sections is higher and more fast paced than the Vic sections and unfortunatly include some pretty annoying timed sections. (You can die in this game).

While the Vic sections are more laid back this flips around towards the end of the game when the various plots all come together into a frenzied ending.

Graphically the game is rough. Animations are stilted, the 3D models basic and the mouth movements rarely approximate the speech. I prefered the 2.5D style of the first games. The 3D environments lack the atmosphere of the previous game, looking very sparse in comparison.

The puzzles are ok, but I felt there seemed to be far too many of the collection and analysing tasks that didn’t seem to go anywhere. I was collecting a lot of fingerprints and blood samples of the various victims, but there wasn’t much of a pay off. Especially as you already know where Paloma’s fingerprints etc would have been as you played that part already. On the Paloma side there was more of a puzzly nature to the tasks. Unfortunatly it decided that Resident Evil was a model inventory system and included a finite slot system and chest/closets to store items. This causes a fair bit of backtracking and swapping of items.

Plot wise the game is aiming for a Se7en meets Saw kind of vibe and for the most part the story is pretty decent. It’s not as deep as the historical based previous game and is more modern/mainstream in it’s approach. However it keeps the tension and plot twists going for most of the game. My biggest issue with the game is that unlike the previous game which felt unfinished, this game has one too many twists in the tail and over stays it’s welcome by a good hour. As Paloma says at one point “OMG will this never end”.

It also decides to weave into this new killer story some flashbacks to wrap up the loose ends from the previous game. It seems out of place and uses a tenuous method to trigger the flashback.

Finally the most annoying thing about the game is the over powering music which drowns out the speech at times in the game.

Overall it has it’s moments with it’s intersting take on the serial killer genre, but looks rough and overstays it’s welcome.


Read the review »

Time Played: 10-20 hours

Still Life


Stars - 40

Rating by Lucien21 posted on May 27, 2012 | edit | delete


Let's make Cookies


A mature adventure game. One that doesn’t shy away from the brutal murders carried out by a Jack the Ripper type killer. One that dabbles in the seedy side of Chicago sex trade. (well it does a little bit). One that isn’t afraid to swear.

It was a fresh breath of air when it was originally released and replaying it was just as enjoyable and frustrating as the first time.

On the plus side the games atmosphere and setting is great. The gritty, cold modern day Chicago is mirrored in the brighter old world flashbacks to Prague. Two sets of murders connected by family and killer.

The graphics and cut scenes are great, the character models decent for their time (unfortunalty the goofy run animations are hilarious).

The story is captivating and grips you from start to finish with only the odd misstep along the way (Stopping to make daddy Cookies for instance)

Puzzles are generally of a very high standard with codes, lockpicking (fecking frustrating but logical puzzle), sliders and other puzzles keeping me entertained for most of the game. There are a couple of infamous puzzles like the aformentioned cookie puzzle and the timed spider maze late in the game that are the low points of the game but nothing game stopping.

On the negative side there are unfortunatly a few issues with the game.

The conversation system may as well be a cut scene as you are not given much of a choice of topics and just left of right click the mouse at regular intervals to advance the story.

The prague story progresses well with a decent conclusion, but unfortunatly the modern day Chicago story is unfinished and left open ended. You never find out the identity of the killer and even the obvious suspect is given such little screen time that you know nothing about them.

The game was rushed towards the end with Microids financial problems at the time and it shows in the frustrating and unsatisfactory ending to what is for the most part a superb adventure game.


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Time Played: 10-20 hours

Dreamfall: The Longest Journey


Stars - 40

Rating by Lucien21 posted on May 27, 2012 | edit | delete


When's Chapters coming out?


Dreamfall is the sequal to The Longest Journey. Something is strange in the twin worlds of Stark and Arcadia once again.

This time you are Zoe Castillo a young woman in Casablanca, a college drop out with no direction. Used to lazing about with her friends and genreally not having a clue when she starts seeing strange visions of a creepy house and a young girl asking her to find and save April Ryan.

Spurned into action after her reporter friend Reza disappears she sets out to find out what happened to her friend and how it is linked to her strange visions.

During the game you will visit some old locations in both Stark and Arcadia, meet some old friends and make some new ones. You switch control of characters at certain times in the game but will mostly control Zoe Later in the game you will also control April Ryan and new guy Kian Alvane (Religious warrior who is chasing April).

In a major change from the first game the game is presented in 3D and directly controlled with the keyboard or gamepad (I chose this one). I liked this method of control and was soon running about looking for hotspots with ease. Unfortunatly they felt that they needed to add some stealth and fight sequences into the game. Luckily they are few and far between because the fighting mechanics are hilariously bad.

Graphics are pretty good for it’s day, but look a bit old now. The areas to run around in a very small before hitting a load screen, but luckily the loads are fairly fast. Voice acting and music is superb for the most part (I still hate the stilted voice of the yellow skinned woman who follows Ryan).

Puzzles are mostly inventory based and are pretty straight forward. There are a few hacking mini games which are fun for the few times you have to do them.

The story is up to the same standard as it’s predecessor, the story is deep and intertwines the two worlds and various characters in a mostly satisfying way however my biggest complaint about this game is it is far too openended. The Longest Journey worked as it was a self contained storyline, but this was designed as a multiple game story that so far has not been completed.

Overall I had alot of fun with this game, but now i’m frustrated that six years leater i’m still waiting to what fate lies for April, Zoe et al.


Read the review »

Time Played: 10-20 hours

Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, The


Stars - 50

Rating by Lucien21 posted on May 27, 2012 | edit | delete


Never pay more than $20 for a video game


I loved the remake of the classic Lucasfilm game on the iPad.

The new graphics were cool, the new full voice work for every character was fitting and the touch screen interface that is really easy to use. The Scumm icons are along the bottom and tapping the screen interacts with the world.

All of the original goodness is still there, including the “Ask me about LOOM” dialogue. Swiping the screen switches instantly back to the original graphics and interface.

It is a fascinating journey helping Guybrush Threepwood on his quest to become a Pirate. From Insult Sword fighting to the funniest behind a wall robbery ever there are many classic moments to be had.

So after eight hilarious hours I became a pirate, found Monkey Island, saved the girl from the Ghost Pirate LeChuck and learned a life lesson (“Never pay more than $20 for a video game” )

Classic


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Time Played: 5-10 hours

Stacking


Stars - 40

Rating by Lucien21 posted on May 27, 2012 | edit | delete


Charming.


This is a Double Fine game I downloaded a while ago on PSN and never really played.

You play as Charlie the smallest member of the Blackmore family. They are a family of chimney sweeps during the American industrial revolution. The family is tricked by an evil moustache twirling Baron into slavery to pay off their debts and it’s left to you to rescue the family one by one.

The game has a very cartoony 30’s asthetic and is portrayed as a silent movie. The characters are all based around Russian matryoshka dolls that stack on into each other in sets.

As the smallest matryoshka doll in your family set you can wander the world, but ultimately can’t do a lot. So you can “stack” into the next size doll and upwards until you are a large character of 6 dolls. Using which ever doll is the largest you can use it’s skills to solve the puzzles within the game.

All of the puzzles have multiple solutions making for great replayability. Need to clear out a room you could use a character to fart in a vent, or seduce the guard and sneak in and slap the beejesus out of the waiter.

Gameplay video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWh2o…eature=related

I loved it. It did feel a bit drawn out towards the end, but it was a lot of fun.


Read the review »

Time Played: 5-10 hours

Last Express, The


Stars - 45

Rating by Lucien21 posted on May 27, 2012 | edit | delete


Choices, choices.


A $5million game that famously flopped on it’s initial release. Mainly due to bad timing and a company going bust.

The game takes place on the Orient Express on the eve of WWI. You jump on the train to meet a friend and find him dead. Taking his place on the train you have to investigate his death.

This game has a unique gameplay feature that is one of the games biggest strenghs and one it it’s weaknesses. The game takes place in an accelerated real time world. Characters move about independantly of your actions, important events happen at certain times whether you are there or not.

So you walk around and evesdrop on conversations, pick up items, talk to people or sneak into their cabins when they are otherwise engaged.

There is a wealth of story and background to be found by being in the right place. The characters are rich and varied, from the overweight letcherous German to the beautiful musician, the lesbian couple or the African royal. They all have secrets to unfold.

It certainly lends a lot of replayability to the game however it also makes the game hard to know what to do next. Do I sit here and listen to Sophie dominate and manipulate poor Rebecca, do I watch Madame B complain about the Dog for the 10th time or do I try and sneak into the young Russians room and find out what he is up to?

Choices, choices.

It this leads to multiple endings and a branching storyline that makes each play through slightly different. Make a mistake and you will have to rewind time and try again.

Mechanically the game is a 1st person flip style game with some great graphics. The characters are all animated in a rotoscope fashion with the real actors being fillmed and then animated. It make for some decent if choppy as hell animations. Most of the puzzles are situational and require you to be in the right place at the right time and hear the next clue or talk to the right person, but there are occassional inventory puzzles.

There are also some action fights in the game that require you to do some basic QTE type button mashing to win. These are extremly frustrating and could probably have been left out of the game.

Overall, This is a game with a fantastic story and a superb set of realistic characters (the game is not afraid to have them all speak their native language). It is slightly held back by the dodgy fight sequences, the choppy graphics and a weird ending that I never thought fit with the rest of the game.


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Time Played: 5-10 hours

Day of the Tentacle


Stars - 50

Rating by Lucien21 posted on May 27, 2012 | edit | delete


More fun than a jumpsuit full of weasels


A travesty that this game wasn’t in the top 5 of the Adventure Gamers Top 100 adventure games of all time.

IMO it is by far the best adventure game ever and “More fun than a jumpsuit full of weasels”.

It has a unique premise that works so well that it’s amazing that nobody has tried to emulate it over the years. Set in three distinct time periods and controlling three different characters it very early on sets out the rules for interactions.

Small inanimate items can be passed from character to character either directly or through the passage of time to solve some ingenious 4th dimensional puzzling.

The time frame setting really brings out the depth of creativity in the puzzles. You are constantly trying to think where and in what time frame are the items relevant.

It’s a brightly coloured world with a skewed art style that is perfect for the host of hilarious and kooky characters in the game. Including some great US historical figures and Mr Ed

Overall it’s a game that tickled the funny bone like no game before it or since, stretches the brain matter with some lateral thinking and has some of the funniest sound effects in video gaming.

Adventure gaming Nirvana.


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Time Played: 5-10 hours

Portal 2


Stars - 50

Rating by Lucien21 posted on May 27, 2012 | edit | delete


Superb


Portal 2 takes the premise of being trapped in a facility with a insane AI called GlaDOS and fleshes out the characters and back history of Aperture Science testing.

This time you have a few new companions along the way from the hilarious Wheatly to Cave Johnson in the old historical parts of the facility.

There is a lot more variety in the puzzles with new element like Gels and light bridges etc to be used to solve puzzles.

The 2nd Playthrough has the same issues as replaying most adventure games. Once you know how the puzzles are solved it is pretty easy to breeze through the game reasonably fast.

So sans difficulty what are you left with….

3 Fantastic characters in Glados, Wheatly and Cave Johnson.
A hilarious script
The puzzles are still fun.
A bonkers mad ending ......

A superb game.


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Time Played: 5-10 hours

Riven: The Sequel to Myst


Stars - 35

Rating by Lucien21 posted on May 27, 2012 | edit | delete


Beautiful, but empty experience


It’s no secret I was never the biggest fan of Myst. However tell people that you hate Myst is normally interpreted as a hatred for all first person puzzles games of that type.

That’s not true I just never got into the whole D’Ni history and the worlds were always far too barren for my liking.

Riven being the sequel to Myst isn’t a game I’ve played twice. Until now that is.

Getting the game to run on my PC was an adventure all on it’s own. The 5 disc version I have isn’t windows 7 friendly. I ended up having to install it on the Virtual PC set up that I have and then manually copying the CD files to the hard drive so that I didn’t have to swaps discs when you go to another island.

Anyway, the game itself…....

The world itself is or at least was in it’s day, beautifully rendered with a nice variety of locations between the islands. Moving between them treats you to a fun roller coaster ride on rails or mine cart. The screens are far too static though. Apart from the occasional insect or a couple of times you see some wildlife or native there is precious little happening on screen.

Moving around is clunky flip screen movement but is fine for that type of game. Although it was frustrating that the turn radius changed all the time and sometimes you turned 90 degrees and sometimes 180 which lead to a couple of occasions getting confused and going in circles on the forest island while trying to find a particular location.

The atmosphere is nice and there is something to be said about exploration in a stranger in a strange land scenario. Slowly having to learn everything about a totally new environment would be fun. In this it is mainly reserved to learning the numbering system or some animals and their noises.

I yearned for more information on the background to the islands, the plants and animals, the machinery, the characters etc etc There is precious little in the way of story except for the 3 or 4 journals that you read in the game.

Puzzles were harder than Myst and a couple of them are very obscure (blooming placing marbles on a 25x25 grid comes to mind). It did remind me of the good old days of playing adventure games with a pad of paper and a pen and scribbling down a lot of useless information in the hope it solves a puzzle.

A lot of the time it was a case of randomly pulling levers in the hopes that something would happen.

Overall I can see how people revere this game as highly as they do. It has a peaceful charm, it is challenging and it looks very good. I had some fun playing it.

However it just ain’t my thing. It’s too empty and not enough of a plot to be any where near my top 5.


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Time Played: Under 1 hour

Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars - The Director's Cut


Stars - 40

Rating by Lucien21 posted on May 27, 2012 | edit | delete


Ruined the Intro


I got this free on GOG a while ago and hadn’t played it so on my quest to play some of the Top 100 adventure games, it was next on the list.

When they released the Directors Cut they added about 2 hours of content to it and changed some of the graphics and audio of the game.

The original game had a classic opening sequence that is ruined in this directors cut of the game. Instead of starting with a birds eye flight over Paris and meeting George we start the game controlling Nico on a investigation of a murder by Mime.

Although it is nice getting more of a back story on Nico, it kinda ruins the flow of the story for me. Nico was a mysterious sassy journalist that you slowly get to know in the first game, building up the relationship between her and George. The story that starts this game ends up going nowhere and fizzles out as the game switches to the original George controlled game. It seems like a pointless exercise that doesn’t add a lot to the plot.

It would probably have been better if they had included it at the end of the game as a DLC flashback Nico centric adventure rather than try unsuccessfully to integrate it into the main game.

That aside the new graphics and audio are reasonably well done and the original game is still a cracking story with decent characters in it and some challenging puzzles.


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Time Played: 5-10 hours

Gabriel Knight: The Beast Within


Stars - 50

Rating by Lucien21 posted on May 27, 2012 | edit | delete


Bring Back Curry


IMO FMV games of the 90’s were generally not that great. The acting was stilted and stiff because the “actors” have to return to a neutral spot between actions. It limits the actions the main characters can take to cut down on filming all the possible actions and the video was usually horrible compressed to fit on the CD’s.

Gabriel Knight 2 suffers from most of these problems. It also simplified the interface from GK1 to a single click does everything action.

It didn’t ,thankfully, affect the main reason for playing this series of games. The story and script are top drawer, the characters vivid and the history and locations compelling.

This time around Gabriel is in Germany researching his new book when he gets drawn into the mystery of Werewolves and a charismatic man called Van Glower.

In alternating chapters we control Gabriel and Grace.

Gabriel investigates a series of murders and gets closer to the members of a local hunting club run by Van Glower.

Grace researches the history of the region and Werewolves, visiting museums and castles in the region looking into the past of Ludwig II and Wagner.

Personally I found the Grace chapters to be the more interesting with the in depth history being fascinating. Unfortunately those chapters also highlighted the most frustrating problem with the game interface. To progress in any of the chapters you have to click on every possible hotspot to trigger actions in the correct order otherwise you end up wandering around not sure what you have missed. This is especially apparent in chapter 4 in which you had to click on absolutely everything in the museums and castle otherwise the chapter wont end. Some of those thing were waay too easy to miss.

I still think GK1 is a better game and Tim Curry a better Gabe than the floppy haired Erikson, but overall this is still a fantastic game and one I would play again in the future.


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Time Played: 10-20 hours

Longest Journey, The


Stars - 50

Rating by Lucien21 posted on May 27, 2012 | edit | delete


Longest Journey is a talky bitch


Longest Journey is a talky bitch, but fortunately the story has depth, excitement, adventure and talking birds to keep you enthralled and entertained for it’s long conversations. A Story that treats you like an adult (and not just because of the few swear words) and rewards your exploration of the locations and the diary function with insight into the characters and the worlds as well as hints for what to do next.

It’s no slouch in the puzzle department either with a few of those testing the memory and the brain cells. It’s been a fair few years since I played through this and some of the scenes and locations were fuzzy in the old grey matter.

I was glad I played it and had a great time putting in a couple of hours a night re introducing me to those characters and that world.

The only downside is that the animations and graphics are really showing their age esp when blown up to my monitor size and I had a few technical issues with 64 bit Win 7 crashing the programme at the most inconvenient times. However a good regime of regular saving saved the frustrations and isn’t a fault of the original game, but in the progress of technology.

Makes me want more

Fantastic.


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Time Played: Over 20 hours

Grim Fandango


Stars - 50

Rating by Lucien21 posted on May 27, 2012 | edit | delete


Vive La Revolution


Mexican Folklore has never looked this good. In one of the last adventure games to come from Lucasarts you control Manny Calavera, employee of the Department of Death in a four year journey of the soul across the lands of the dead.

Unable to get decent commissions you and your new driver Glottis hijack a poisioning and meet Meche a saint who should qualify for a number 9 ticket straight to the ninth underworld.

However someone has stolen her ticket and you become embrolied in a case of corruption as you chase her across the land trying to put it right.

You will lead Manny through the city of El Marrow, the port town Rubacava, a mining colony at the edge of the world, and the gates of the ninth underworld itself.

This game is possibly my 2nd favourite game of all time. Everything from the artistic look and feel, the cool laid back soundtrack and the fantastic characters (Glottis is possibly the best character ever) and script sings of high quality and fun.

The game hits a high in the second year as a casino owner in Rubacava with a casablanca inspired storyline and atmosphere. Here there are so many wonder locations and characters from your love struck coat check girl, to the morose mortician and the beatnicks at the poetry club. Unfortunatly the later levels never quite hit the same high, but are still miles ahead of most adventure games.

The only real complaint I had with the game is the interface which was fostered onto the game in the wake of the move to 3D. The direct control with a gamepad would have been fine if it wasn’t tank like controls (i.e stop and rotate to turn)and the inventory controls were fiddly resulting in me taking out the scyth all the time by mistake.

Overall though this is a well realise world with a fantastic script that should go down in history as a classic game.


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Time Played: 10-20 hours

Runaway: A Road Adventure


Stars - 35

Rating by Lucien21 posted on May 26, 2012 | edit | delete


Men are Crazy


A Spanish adventure game that once and for all proves when it comes to pretty ladies with short skirts and large *Cough* Assets *Cough* all men are idiots.

After running down Gina with his car on a New York street, your character Brian finds himself on the run from the Mafia. With his life in danger at every turn Brian goes from New York to Chicago and a couple of desert locations in the hope of solving the riddle of the indian crucifix and get the mafia off Gina’s back once and for all.

It’s just as well she is pretty as Gina spends most of the game missing in action for one reason or another (Coma, Captured, Dead, and injured) as the lust struck Brian invokes the help of a variety of quirky character from a trio of transvestites, to a rastafarian and a cute computer hacker.

What some people will do for a bit of slap and tickle is hilarious.

Graphically the game still looks great with all the various locations and characters looking fantastic for most of the game. The cut scenes are starting to look dated but don’t detract from the fun. It’s a colourful and exciting world.

The audio work is varied with some of the character voices being a bit bland and the musical score can be at odds with the tone of the game at times. However the main characters are distinct and add a certain flavour to the game.

The most frustrating thing about this game though is the puzzles and the item mechanics. While most of the puzzles are logical and a lot of fun there are some of them that are just plain bonkers. The peanut butter puzzle for example is a bit WTF.

This isn’t helped by the occassional item being too small and hard to locate making you treat most locations as a pixel hunt to ensure you didn’t miss that small nail or hand vacumn cleaner. It also doesn’t help that some items are only available after you trigger their need or by searching locations more than once. There was a couple of times I was stuck because I never thought to look somewhere that previous told me was useless junk.

Overall the plot is crazy and the characters quirky and I had a lot of fun with it. The occasional niggles with the puzzles were annoying and dragged the game down a bit in my opinion. However the worst part for me was that I didn’t get any chemistry at all between the main characters. Gina is hardly in the game and I felt Brian had more attraction with the Sushi character towards the end that I think he chose wrong in the end.


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Time Played: 5-10 hours

Syberia II


Stars - 40

Rating by Lucien21 posted on May 19, 2012 | edit | delete


Mammoth Task


Playing this game so close to the original just highlights for me the fact that this is a continuation of the last game rather than a sequel. It’s as if funding ran out half way through the game and we ended up with the weird rushed ending of the first game and now it picks up straight after that ending in game 2.

Kate, having found Hans, is now escorting him across the wilds of Russia to find Hans’s dream of riding a Mammoth.

The same rules apply to this game in that the graphics are georgous, but ultimatly empty screens with little interactivity. There are neat touches like footprints in the snow etc. The character models are improved, but Hans now looks like a creepy old man.

The puzzles are fairly straight forward, but there are a few challenging ones towards the end. This time around the constant winding of the train is replaced with the frailty of your companion requiring a lot of health care as the prefered puzzle of choice.

Locations are larger than the previous game, but can become confusing in their layout especially in the youkal villiage near the end.

The ending this time seems more appropriate with it’s bittersweet finality to the journey.

It did however have a few problems. It was nice that they played down the constant phone calls, however the tedious and ultimatly pointless private eye cut scenes fizzle out into nothing. You never see him and he has absolultly no bearing on the storyline (I hope the bear ate him).

What was Kate planning to do next? Is she going to replace the lookout she pushed over near the boat dock Is she going to try and sail back by herself or is she going to join Mammoth society?

However in a game that is about clockwork devices, Mammoths and other wonderful fantasy visuals. Why does the fact that 4ft penguins seem to be in the wrong hemisphere bug me the most…....Damn penguins only live at the south pole

Overall though it is an enjoyable ride and I will miss the lovable Oscar, the creepy old man and the way Kate emphasises “Stuck” when she can’t interact with things.


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Time Played: 10-20 hours

Jurassic Park: The Game


Stars - 20

Rating by Lucien21 posted on May 19, 2012 | edit | delete


A game that requires 65 million years more development.


Bought this just before Xmas in the Steam sale. 50% off which is just as well.

Was Telltale’s first foray into the action genre worth the wait?

Unfortunately it is a resounding NO. There are too many issues with this game to call it anything but a massive disappointment.

The film is set around the events of the original movie. Revolving round the canister of embryos lost by Nedry as he tried to flee the island.

You control a variety of characters from a father/daughter team (fun fact: the character has another daughter Sarah who appears in the 2nd movie) to a couple of Mercs and a female scientist. Unfortunately because you are flip flopping between all these characters you rarely get any sense of connection to any of them and as they die every other second you rarely care. In fact part way through the game it became more enjoyable to see how I could kill them in new an novel ways.

The graphics are laggy and dated on the PC highlighting that the Telltale engine is not built for this type of game and is seriously in need of an upgrade. The dinosaurs are well done, but the human characters are sloppily animated with guns and hands clipping through their bodies and the animation looking creepily off for most of the game.

The story is decent enough and moves at a reasonable pace, there are some very nice set pieces that get the blood pumping and are exciting to watch.

Ultimately though it is hampered by the “gameplay”. Although this game has been compared to Heavy Rain that comparison is deeply flawed. This game has more in common with Dragon’s Lair. You have no control over any of the characters and instead pan around a static location clicking on the couple of hotspots before flipping the camera to another location and doing the same.

The game then utilises Quick Time Events for the meat of the “game”. However they are deeply broken, unresponsive to input and the nested multiple input (double or triple ringed prompts) usual require superhuman reflexes to complete.

You will die multiple times in this game. Fortunately that is the best part of this game are there are a multitude of death scenes in this game and they are always fun to watch (at least the first time).

I was really disappointed in this game. It is a barely interactive experience that might have been fine if the quality of the story was higher or if the control system was now dreadful.


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Time Played: 5-10 hours
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