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The Longest Journey & Dreamfall
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Squeeself



Joined: 23 Mar 2008
Posts: 258

PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 4:36 am    Post subject: The Longest Journey & Dreamfall Reply with quote

*sniff* Bring back the Game discussion forum! Squee misses it Sad

The Tinman is probably the only one who really would know what Squee's talking about but...Squee was browsing Steam for some new games to play, and stumbled across The Longest Journey available for a pretty cheap price (including the Dreamfall sequel). Since Squee had heard Tin give some glowing comments about TLJ, and it had a very high metacritic score, Squee bought it and played it between semesters the last couple weeks.

Squee absolutely loved The Longest Journey. Squee's more of a Myst-like adventure or action-adventure gamer than a classic adventure gamer, but Squee couldn't put it down. Finished it in just 3 days over a weekend. It was a captivating story, which just the right amount of humor to offset the seriousness. And it had some great characters. April Ryan was very likable, and Crow was a big hoot! Crow is definitely one of Squee's all-time favorite game characters now. Smile It was a fabulous game, and I highly recommend it to anyone. Squee's only complaints where with the graphics. Squee finds it a little silly they stuck 3D on the 2D landscape like other games of the era did. It always led to a mismatch that just never worked, imho. Would've been just fine with 2D sprites, considering the low polygon count of all the people in the game...

But yes, Squee gives TLJ a 9/10. It lost points on graphics complaints above, and kinda lame prologue/epilogue sequences. But I guess they're an interesting twist on things...they just annoyed me for some reason.

Now, I remember reading Tin's review of Dreamfall and his troubles with it from the old forums. So I kinda kept my expectations lower....I'd have to say, my expectations weren't even really met Sad

Dreamfall...is the child that should not have been born. At least, not with the team working on it. We shall list its faults one by one.

1. HORRIFIC PC controls. This was expected...it's basically a console port, and it's rare to see a good one. Squee lukcily has a game controler to use, and that help significantly. Even then, though, Squee fought with the camera constantly. In addition, a number of fairly useless. The Look/Focus mode thing...Yeah, so, I can examine from a distance. Way better ways to interface that I think. And don't get me started on having no croutch toggle mode. I didn't have as many control problems as Tin did though, I think.

2. Fight sequences. Now, I'm a huge lover of action-adventure games. Zelda, Prince of Persia...Heck, I'm even starting on Okami now for the Wii Smile But fighting in Dreamfall sucked. Horribly so. What was wrong? Well, for one, it was obviously a last minute additiona as the animations are clumsy, mule-headed actions that wouldn't do a whole lot to anoyone. Combine that with a really nasty response to user input (you couldn't run around in combat, only slide in directiosn). It was also comical that you only ever fought one guy at a time, while there were more piling up behind him, waiting their time.

They could have removed the whole fighint system. I mean, it wasn't ever really useful in anyway. Maybe one or two fights if you don't sneak well or something. Which could've been replaced with other things.

3. Then, there the gameplay itself. I'm not sure if they HAD designers work on the gameplay. The "adventure" portion of the game was a grand serious of fetch and retrieve quests with no real thought to them at all. It was BORING. They're best gameplay elements were the hacking/unlocking puzzles. But a puzzle doesn't make a game.

4. So, braving all of the above problems, we get to the story, and hope that it will be as good or better than the previous. Sadly, it instead suffers form sequel fever. It started out quite promising. But as time was going on, I keep telling myself there were promising things going on here. Then finally, everyone dies, and we end with the need for a third one. Of course! Sequel fever. How we scorn you. I mean, in the end, we're left almost more confused to the state of affairs than when we started, and we're left with almost no sense of closure. Zilch. Don't even get me started on how it turned the original main character into a subcharacter (emo one at that).

I give Dreamfall...a 5/10 for effort. There was a ton of potental, and a ton of good things that you could imagine happening with what they had...and they dropped the ball. The team they had working on it should not be anywhere near the team for a next one, if there is ever to be one (doubtful giveen the state of the sequel).

Dreamfall did get points of having Crow be nearly as good as he was. Oh, and for just not completely screwing the fans of the original (all the old friends have cameos). It also got points for somehow getting me to care about what's happening to Zoe even though she's such a non-empathetic character. They kept her driving the plot, and it worked for the most part. Though, some romantic stuff towards the end was so contrived and unexpected that I laughed. That wasn't handled so well Razz

Anyawy, those were my thoughts.
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Tinalles
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Joined: 22 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 6:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Totally concur. TLJ was absolutely brilliant (you must all go buy it and play it!), and it was brilliant despite the tech and because of the story.

Dreamfall went for tech glitz and totally neglected the story. Not to mention you have to have a game controller to play it even half way sanely on a PC. The result was a total disaster -- a severe case of sequel-itis.

I have hopes for the conclusion of the trilogy, but not a high ones. To draw a cross-genre parallel, look at the Indiana Jones movies. "Raiders of the Lost Ark" was excellent. "Temple of Doom" was a high-budget disaster sequel with a lousy story. And then "The Last Crusade" was excellent. So there is precedent for a good outcome.

But I'm still awfully nervous about it.
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Tomato



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know. I've played both as well, I'm not so harsh on Dreamfall. Of course, I played them in reverse order, and Dreamfall on Xbox. I thought the ending to Dreamfall was ridiculous, but it still wasn't a 'terrible' game for me.

Of course, I also liked Advent Rising... so...


Oh! One game any adventure fan *must* play is Indigo Prophecy!

I lurve that game and it's genre-bending action-style noir adventurism and surreality (is that a word?). I luuuurve. It starts with a psychotropic murder sequence, then you try and cover it up, then you come back later as detectives (different characters) and investigate your own crime scene. Then the story evolves further into a manhunt, then an action movie, and it brings some crazy conspiracy into the mix involving ... even the very weather! AND THEN IT TURNS INTO THE MATRIX! It's like playing a really ridiculous action movie! XD But seriously, plot bizarrities aside, it's a fun adventure game that never loses your attention. Check it out :O
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Tinalles
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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indigo Prophecy is indeed an excellent game. For all you PC people out there, note that Indigo Prophecy is another title which essentially requires a game controller, since their PC controls are miserably bad.
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Squeeself



Joined: 23 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 3:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tomato wrote:
Of course, I also liked Advent Rising... so...


Well, Squee did too...but it certainly had a ton of flaws. It just happened to have pretty fun gameplay, if repetitive. Smile

Squee has been meaning to play Indigo Prophecy for a while now too...
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Tomato



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure how much more I can discuss the Longest Journey or Dreamfall, but I can tell you a few other interesting game related things.

Since most of you seem to be PC gamers, I won't hold over your head how fun mass effect is (you guys get it on May 28th) and how good of an investment that game was for me.

Another interesting factoid:

I've been playing a new japanese RPG called Eternal Sonata. It's absolutely dazzling. The story is a little slow, and it's a very non-threatening sort of game (the main character is a famous polish composer, Frederick Francois Chopin, and the main plot device to drive the story is that the taxes in this 'dream world' of Chopin's are too high. It's pretty much as dull as it sounds.) ..... but it's got an interesting battle-system that doesn't get boring, level and skill progression that is thought out and paced well, very very pretty graphics, and a musical score that is... oh my goodness. It simply has the best in-game music I've ever heard. It skillfully and tastefully weaves a good number of original and classical orchestral pieces into the narrative so that you always feel it's presence but are never bothered by it. I suppose it "should" be doing this, with a title like "Eternal Sonata"... but yeah. It really does fit the bill here. This is my new favorite "lazy afternoon" game. It's kinda like a warm cappuccino. It's not very potent, but it's tasty and when you have the right frame of mind, it's a very enjoyable title.
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Squeeself



Joined: 23 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pshaw. Squee's had Mass Effect since day 1. It IS a great game but....it's by far the worst Bioware game made. That doesn't say a lot, as Bioware hasn't made a flop yet, but...It's got some issues. One being they really dropped the ball on character development & interaction compared to their previous games. And the reptitive "exploration" element for planets got a little old Razz
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Tinalles
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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I decided not to buy Mass Effect. I'd be getting the PC version if anything - I'm not much of a console gamer, and in fact don't own one. In fact, I don't have a television to hook up a console to. Anyway, I read about its stupid DRM behavior, and decided I wasn't sufficiently interested to go ahead and get it. I don't particularly want my games phoning home to the manufacturer's servers every ten days to check whether I'm still a good enough person to play them.
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Tomato



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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah... the security software some of those higher end games are using on PC's nowadays is absolutely shameful (I'm looking at you Bioshock...)


Anyhow, I just like Mass Effect, and I'll tell you why.

It's not the most clever story, and it doesn't have the deepest characters... but it does have their most well developed platform of a game. It has an intuitive and fun combat system that somehow remains challenging even on replays and on harder difficulties. It also has an excellently designed dialogue tree, and it's animations for it's characters are simply ... well, unparalleled in this sorta game.

And that's all I have to say about Mass Effect.

Why aren't we talking about Eternal Sonata? Oh yeah. Because no one's played it but me ;_;
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Squeeself



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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, Squee thinks they're gonna lose out on a ton of sales due to the DRM on PC ME...It's horrendous. When are publishers gonna realize that more DRM on games just causes less sales (and more software crack usage!) In general, it's not the developer that decides the DRM, so Squee doesn't blame Bioware...but still, Bioware kinda deserves the mass of complaints they're getting now about it.

Squee bought Bioshock via Steam...The Steam DRM is quite livable, as opposed to all these other ones. Any number of installations, offline play, no CD keys, etc. Smile

And Squee definitely agrees on the difficulty part...trying to unlock the Insane difficulty accomplishment is a nightmare to do...but still highly enjoyable.
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Hilaryho



Joined: 22 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Longest Journey rocked. I don't throw that word around either, but seriously it did. April ryan was definitely the perfect heroine; witty, compassionate, incredibly brave and innovative but not without her flaws. I won't lie, The Longest Journey's epic story is much better than Dreamfall's, but Dreamfall's still a good game. Ragnar Tornquist seems to have the knack for creating realistic heroines with April, then Zoe.
I so agree with you squee, April's banana was unsettling. Especially how she abandoned Crow, that upset me. Still, it says something for the game if it can evoke real emotions from me like that!
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Squeeself



Joined: 23 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heh, this prompted Squee to glance back at what Squee said and...Well, there are WAY too many grammar and spelling errors in Squee's first post. Remind Squee not to make posts while medicated again...happens every time.
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Lithrath



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
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Location: Reading over your shoulder. Or Toronto.

PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 1:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't worry, Mato, I'm playing ES right now and love it just as much as you do. I just want to pick Beat up and turn him into a plushie. ^__^
And talk about a mild shock when you first run into Fugue.

As for Mass Effect, the PC version is much cleaner with the glitches all smoothed out. Still repetitive and limited in some ways, but I'm very happy that I borrowed it for 360 rather than purchased it. Though I'm technically borrowing the PC version from my store as well....
Would've made a better film than a game though. -.-0
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Squeeself



Joined: 23 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RISE...RISE from the grave, o ye thread!

*ahem*

Squee saw your comment on Slashdot there Tin. Squee followed it with a reply rather than using Squee's mod points to mod you up though...you already where quite high. Smile

http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/08/20/1954237&from=rss

Hearing this guy talk about Dreamfall...it's no wonder to Squee that it turned out like it did. The guy is definitely trying to hard now after the success of TLJ...either that, or he let TLJ go to his head and can do no wrong Razz
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Tinalles
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That post got a +5. It always makes me happy when I do that. The biggest trick to doing it is catching it early in the Slashdot cycle -- moderators tend to hit the most recent stories. If the story is half-way down the page by the time you post your comment, it has to be seriously impressive to attract enough mod points to hit 5.

Which replier were you? I make a point of reading all the replies to any Slashdot post I make, including revisiting them for a few days afterwards to catch late-comers.

And, in true Slashdot tradition ... I didn't actually read the article. I meant to (and I still will, I've got it bookmarked) but just then I didn't really have the time to plough through that huge interview.
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