Adventure News
 


October 2004

29

Oct

Al Lowe, the Leisure Suit Larry series original creator, has posted his opinions on the recently released Magna Cum Laude on his website. Magna Cum Laude is the latest addition to the series, and was released earlier this month. The release marks the first Larry game to be produced without Lowe's involvement, despite his willingness to contribute.

Head over to his website to read his first impressions on High Voltage's game. Or if you're lazy, you'll find his final conclusion right here:

Bottom Line:

Those who seek 3D boobs, profanity, and fart jokes will be pleased.

Those who fondly remember the earlier games will be severely disappointed.



29

Oct

After the best part of a year and a half of downtime, Adventure Developers has returned. Not entirely dissimilar to our very own Underground section, the site is geared towards independent adventures, and is packed with a large amount of information on games, engines and the development process.

Run along and take a look. But make sure you come back.



29

Oct

The English demo of the sci-fi thriller The Moment of Silence has been released, and is available for download over at Gamer's Hell and Worthplaying. Additional mirrors can be found at the game's official website.

The Moment of Silence is scheduled for release in the UK, as well as the Scandinavian, Benelux and South African regions on November 5th, and is one of this year's most anticipated adventure games. For more info, check out our recent preview.



28

Oct

Law & Order: Justice Is Served received its final verdict over at Four Fat Chicks:

 

"Improvements are significant with this third iteration of what I hope will be an annual event. Fortunately, Legacy has realized that the writing and storyline are of paramount importance and has brought back Ms. Oshry, the author of Dead on the Money, to create the longest and most involved drama of the three. Indeed, in addition to a 500-page script (versus the 300 pages of Episode II), we also find 30 locations versus 22, 40 speaking characters versus 30, twice as many puzzles, an improved interface, and greatly improved graphics."

 

Meanwhile, Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude was undressed at Worthplaying (8/10):

 

"I will admit that gameplay can get a bit repetitive, but the developers wisely put great dialogue over the games, so there is always something to distract you. Throw in a song parody or two, shake well, and you have a recipe for good, adult entertainment. I must also report that, with the exception of "nude mode" (unlocked when you complete the game), the replay value is on the low side, unless you break the game out at parties just to get everyone laughing their butts off."

 

And Gameshark snapped up WANTED: A Wild Western Adventure but spat it back out with a score of 3/5:

 

"Where the game loses some credibility amongst adventure gamers is in its action and arcade sequences. Some of these exercises may very well be considered a death knell for continuing the adventure; One such sequences involves a first-person shooter shoot-out that is highly arcade in nature; while another, an insult drinking game challenges players to fire off insults while drinking root beer. Some of the game's charm is also lost in its humor and translation. The humor in game ranges from situational humor to conversational humor that doesn't always come off as particularly funny. Whether that is because it was originally designed for a European audience or not remains to be seen. Some will find the humor to be fun, while others might find it to be lame - humor, like a lot of things - is in the eye of the beholder."

 



28

Oct

The New York Times has a double review. First is Myst IV: Revelation:

 

"Revelation demands that you play nothing but Revelation, think about nothing but Revelation, give your life to no other pursuit. The game's complex puzzles require your absolute attention.

 

My biggest complaint about Revelation is its irritatingly cheesy musical score. Previous games relied almost entirely on ambient sound, but Revelation assaults the player with lush music that mixes violins and operatic vocals with vaguely exotic sounds to create something reminiscent of Hollywoodized tribal music from an Abbott and Costello movie. The score is tediously literal."

 

The second title is Nancy Drew: Curse Of Blackmoor Manor:

 

"One of the game's most notable achievements is the complete absence of what is referred to as pixel-hunting, in which you wind up just moving your mouse around the screen clicking on things at random trying to find objects that you need. In Revelation, I spent 10 minutes searching for a lever even after learning its approximate location. But in Blackmoor, you might not notice something the first or second time you see it, but eventually you will find everything."

 

The 2-in-1 review can be had here. Free registration to The New York Times online is required.



26

Oct

DIY Games have released the latest installment of their monthly 'Independent Adventuring' column. Read it here.



26

Oct

LucasFan Games, creators of The New Adventures of Zak McKracken and Maniac Mansion Deluxe are taking votes on which project they should work on next. The poll can be found on their site.



26

Oct

Himalaya Studios, formed by members of AGD Interactive (née Tierra), have confirmed details of their first game-in-production, Al Emmo and the Lost Dutchman's Mine. The game will feature a comic Wild-West theme not unlike Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist. The game centres around Al, a middle-aged, feeble Easterner, on his journey into the heart of the Wild-West in search of a suitable bride. Visit Himalaya Studios' official page for more details.



26

Oct

Have we got a jam-packed review-session for you today, or what?

First off, two Myst IV reviews. The first review is courtesy of PC Gameworld, where they give it a score of 85%. The other review, a lengthy one, from Jolt UK, where it gets a score of 8.4 out of 10:

 

Jolt UKOverall this is definitely a game for the fans and not a game that’s likely to convert non-fans. If you’ve never played a Myst game then it’s easy to see why Myst IV might be frustrating. The puzzles can be pretty strange and often seem to have little practical purpose other than to impede you. Mostly it’ll be because you don’t know the rules: don’t be deceived by the pretty views because you’ll need your brain switched on and ready for keen observation, sharp memory, pattern recognition, logical and lateral thinking and some good old fashioned trial-and-error (assuming you can make sense of the feedback, a puzzle in itself at times). If something looks like it means something then it’s probably worth noting it down, but then again there’s a lot in Myst IV that you can interact with purely for the curiosity factor. The game definitely requires patience and the willpower to avoid reaching for a solution, and if you have those then it’s well worth checking out.

 

And then off to the (insert witty french phrase), no less than three Atlantis Evolution reviews. First up, check out the GameSpot review here, where it's rated poor. Second review can be found on Gamespy over here, with two and a half star out of five. And last but not least Quandary Land gives Atlantis two stars, in their review.

 

Quandary Land: I can only end by repeating that Atlantis Evolution is a highly frustrating game. If looks are all that count then it's very good looking, but as an adventure game it falls short of providing a satisfying experience. It would have been much improved minus the mini games, with a lot less dying, and with more attention paid to the adventuring puzzles.

 

 

GameSpot: Despite its lengthy catalog of flaws, Atlantis Evolution isn't all bad. In one segment, you get caught in a tree snare and suddenly find yourself viewing the world upside down as you helplessly dangle there in a net. It's an unexpected and memorable touch. In a dramatic cutscene, a giant water serpent attacks our hero. The puzzles start to get more interesting and original when you finally encounter the humanoid gods. The game also boasts some decent music, replete with unusual ethnic instrumentation. It helps make up for the many weak voice-overs that badly mar the audio. You'll encounter colorful graphics, too, with lavishly appointed private chambers for the gods and forests of huge alien flora. Then again, a lot of the graphics are blurry or numbingly repetitive. In fact, numbed is how you'll likely feel after subjecting yourself to the tedium and torments of Atlantis Evolution. If you can stick it out until the final third or so, you'll find a few rewards, but unfortunately they're too little, too late.

 



26

Oct

News reaches us that Jane Stroud, one of the colourists who worked for Revolution on the first two Broken Sword games, has joined the team working on freeware adventure Rise of the Hidden Sun.

This, of course, can mean only good things for a project that is already looking rather special, and those whose interests have been piqued can look forward to seeing her work from episode two onwards. More information about the game itself, meanwhile, can be found at the Chapter 11 Studios website, and in the Adventure Architect articles written by the project leader for this very site. Go read the latest one here.



25

Oct

The Adventure Company has launched the website for Return to Mysterious Island, the adventure which ships to North American retailers tomorrow. The website will be updated with the latest reviews, art and downloadable content. Check it out at http://www.mysteriousislandgame.com/.

Return to Mysterious Island is based on Jules Verne's The Mysterious Island, and is due for release later this month. Watch Adventure Gamers for our upcoming review.



24

Oct

GameSpy have got their review up for Wanted! A Wild Western Adventure, awarding it with two and a half star out of five:

Wanted had a lot going for it, including a lot of very clever puzzles, many of which that can be solved in a non-linear fashion, a coherent storyline, and nice graphics. Unfortunately, desktop crashes, the need for money and carrots, some annoying sound effects, and a few frustrating puzzles mar what could have been one of the better adventure games to come out in years.

Read more of it here.



23

Oct

We've got a duo of reviews of Dark Fall: Lights Out today,

And we'll start off with Gaming Nexus'. They give it a 8.1 out of 10:

 

Once you engage your Suspension of Disbelief mechanism and willingly immerse yourself within the atmosphere, Lights Out manages a few chilling moments. The soundtrack, often discreet or altogether absent, adds exponentially to the environment. Violin strings carry along moments of revelation, injecting a strand of otherworldly sentimentalism into your discoveries. Cornwall in the early 1900s probably doesn’t hold any special place in your heart, but an odd sense of nostalgia seeps in from the musical score nonetheless. The jarring sound effects--footsteps, foghorns, door slams, dull groans--all create a startling number of jumpy moments. Although these are ‘cheap’ scares (like the cat-jumping-out-of-a-closet technique moviemakers use during high-tension moments) you’ll embarrassingly realize just how on-edge you’re getting. All in all, these intentional accents in the sound effects receive a top-shelf prize for the random jolts they give. They won’t scare the holy living crap out of you--remember the first time you played Doom?--but they suffice for these understated surroundings.

 

 

 

Read the full review here. Apparently Metroid Prime, GTA and Kingdom Hearts are in the same category as Dark Fall. Interesting..

Next up we have a review over at GameIndustry.com, where they give Lights Out four and a half diamond out of five.

 

the most amazing part of this game was after the endgame movie was over, and just before the run of credits. It is here that the makers of the game actually thank you for your time, and say “A game is nothing without players.” A simple truth, yes, but one that it seems many game makers have forgotten. If the game had been total, irredeemable crap up until that point (which it certainly wasn’t), this display alone might have been enough to save it in my eyes. As it was, when I saw this statement on the screen after a really good game experience, it made me feel like I had somehow had a hand in making that experience happen (which in a way I did), which just made the whole experience better.

 

Read the full review here.



23

Oct

Jules Verne enthusiasts rejoice, for The Adventure Company has released a playable demo of Return To Mysterious Island.

You can get the 213MB download over at Gamer's Hell.



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