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Max Wilco

Sierra may be coming back (New KQ Game)

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This is one of those extraordinary (lit.) claims that makes me want to see something from a reputable source.

This is as official a confirmation as we're likely to get for now, since there are probably a bunch of NDAs in place. This is what Andrew Hussie had to say:

 

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Still waiting for some games "journalists" to decide to put their precious Doritos at stake and pick up the story.

 

 

There's also this. Which makes the whole thing even more fishy/plausible.

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I usually don't post my opinions on games until after I complete them, but I made an exception since this one is long (it's said to be around 4 to 6 hours, hence it's price of $10 dollars per episode as opposed to the now standard $5). I played through the intro and the first trial for Graham's knighthood, and I loved it so much so far I had to share my thoughts. I was wondering if they would go the route of modern Telltale games, as that seems to be a market that Activision would want to tap into. The result is a little bit Telltale, a little bit classic Sierra, and a whole lot of fun (the humor in this was said to be inspired by The Princess Bride, and there's definitely a lot of that, as well as other irreverent comedy such as Monty Python).

 

So far, it actually takes the Telltale formula to the perfect level in my opinion, mixing in the right amount of QTEs and action sequences with classic adventure game puzzles and choices and consequences (although we'll have to see how the consequences play out in later episodes to see if it reaches the levels of games like Dreamfall Chapters). There's the choices and consequences (old King Graham, voiced perfectly by Christopher Lloyd, mentions that his younger self had a choice between several options, each of which would have consequences). There are QTE's, and there are ones where you have to push the button repeatedly, but they make sense here as they're presented as things such as chopping a tree or rowing a raft, rather than just arbitrary things like summing up strength, and the amount of button pressing repetition is never excessive. They also have first person shooting sections (with a bow and arrow) that are handled really well (and sometimes even happen in the heat of the action, which adds to the tension in my opinion). But, there is also an inventory and puzzles, and not ones where the solution is right next to the object, either. The areas to explore are rather large, and the solution might be location far away from the problem, which bridges classic Sierra with the modern adventure game formula together excellently.

 

The story is exactly what I was hoping, as it's clearly both a sequel (as well as a prequel in parts) and a re-imagining. The set up of old King Graham telling his granddaughter stories of his life works well for the game, as it gets to tell new stories never told before, and for the stories that it does revisit (such as Graham's quest to get the magic mirror from the dragon), any changes to the story can be chalked up to Graham embellishing a bit to keep his granddaughter excited.

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the humor in this was said to be inspired by The Princess Bride

 

Inspired by? Hell, the entire final sequence (The Test of Wits) is a blatant homage to that movie. A certain voice actor, a certain setup involving wine glasses, drugs, and a shifty opponent...somebody on the design team knew exactly what they were doing. I hope Jeysie gets a chance to play it; she'll be laughing herself silly through the whole ordeal. :lol:

 

But yeah, having had a chance to play the first part in full, I have to say I'm loving it overall. It's *very* similar to Telltale's adventure game series. Specifically, it's similar to their earlier ones (Sam and Max, Back to the Future, Tales of Monkey Island, etc) before they started focusing on more story-driven licenses that moved them away from adventure game mechanics and more towards the cinematic/QTE experiences Fronzel spoke of.

 

While the game does have some QTE and action trappings, they're not the bulk of the experience; most of the game is good old-fashioned adventure game puzzles, either item-driven or environment-driven depending on the circumstances. The QTE stuff that is present is done well, and more importantly, helps to establish Graham as the man-of-occasional-action he is. A Corridor Cubbyhole Run while fleeing from an angry dragon, an impromptu rafting trip requiring you to shoot down barriers with your bow, an obstacle course based more on paying attention than reflexes...these things help sell the image of Graham as an emerging knight-hopeful, and none of them are so difficult as to hamper the arcade-squeamish.

 

The writing is top-notch, if somewhat different from the old-school KQ games. The originals had an overall mood that was *mostly* serious, but with a sense of whimsy and levity that kept them feeling more like fairy tales than dramatic stories (which I'm sure was the original intent when 'Berta came up with the idea). The new one here is much the same, but throws in bits of the Lucasarts school of game design...distinctive characters with stylized designs and memorable personalities, occasional bits of silliness (I agree, Monty Python seems to be an inspiration here), funny dialogue options, and the like. The result is something that feels like a King's Quest with modern sensibilities, which I think is a good thing.

 

I did notice a couple of design choices that I thought I should point out. Firstly, unlike a lot of modern adventure games, NewKQ eschews the Law of Conservation of Detail. Do you remember how the early KQ games tended to have a lot of rooms to explore, but only a fraction of them actually held anything important to the game's plot and puzzles? Most of them were there just for the sake of giving the player something to find and explore. This was a holdover from the days of interactive fiction (where the games were often basically mazes of rooms the player was *expected* to be mapping out) and also of the fact that KQ was the first graphical adventure game, which meant lots of extra rooms of advanced EGA graphics for players to see and marvel at. Modern adventure games tend to do the opposite...puzzles, NPCs, and such are condensed into a tighter, more coherent layout. Each room has a purpose, with generally no 'empty' rooms to be found.

 

New KQ bucks this trend, intentionally creating a number of rooms who exist solely to A) connect important locations together, B) contain random puzzle-related items to be used elsewhere, and C) look gorgeous while doing these things. A more cynical player might see this as padding, but as I said, such things are as much a part of KQ as anything else. I'm fairly certain the devs did this deliberately, attempting to invoke those classic-KQ feelings of exploring not only the characters and puzzles of Daventry, but of the realm itself. The creator of the Legend of Zelda once said he made the NES original with the same philosophy in mind, and anyone who's ever gone on a nature hike will understand the appeal of walking through a fairy-tale forest just for the sake of seeing what there is to see. Granted, this does result in longer trips when backtracking between certain areas, but frankly, I think it's a worthy trade-off. There's one particularly stunning view on Graham's initial hike towards town that instantly reminded me of Alexander's scenic climb over the mountains in KQ3, and I was sold on this new series right then and there. :)

 

The second major design choice is, as the devs have mentioned, is the idea of multiple-choice puzzle solutions, each with thematic differences. Graham is a hero, so he's always going to do the right thing, but at least in this first episode, there's a strong emphasis on *how* the right thing gets done. Thematically speaking, Graham typically has three ways to approach obstacles - the direct approach (valor), the clever approach (intelligence), and the heartfelt approach (compassion). Each of these gets the job done in their own way, and none of them are presented as being objectively better than the others (although certain NPCs have their own preferences, and will comment on your actions based on how well theirs align with yours). These come into play both for past Graham and for Gwendolyn, whose actions in the present directly reflect the 'moral of the story' that Graham's tales just finished imparting to her. It's a cute way of highlighting the interactions between Graham and his granddaughter.

 

 

 

...anywho, I think this post has meandered on long enough. TL;DR version: I like NewKQ a lot and will be very happy if future episodes are anything like this one.

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Hmm... I don't fully disagree with either of the two excellent posts above, but I do have a very different perspective.

 

All I'll say for now is that I wish they hadn't made Graham such an anti-hero. I felt this was completely unnecessary and a repulsive "Guybrushing" of a solid license. Does every adventure game hero really need to be a funny-looking bumbler with a heart of gold?

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Hmm... I don't fully disagree with either of the two excellent posts above, but I do have a very different perspective.

 

All I'll say for now is that I wish they hadn't made Graham such an anti-hero. I felt this was completely unnecessary and a repulsive "Guybrushing" of a solid license. Does every adventure game hero really need to be a funny-looking bumbler with a heart of gold?

Could not agree more. I know that there are probably MI fans around here, but that style was never KQ's schtick. While KQ always had humorous elements, it was never primarily comedy.

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I think we've yet to see some character development in Graham. Right now, he's just a teenager aspiring to be a knight. He's certainly got little in common with his older counterpart who narrates the game. I can't imagine that he bumbles his way through all the chapters.

 

That said, this is arguably one of the first times Graham has been given a disctinct personality in an official game, and I appreciate that. In the old ones, you could usually sum his personality up with one single word. "Brave", "cunning", or "buff", the latter of which was the only direction Josh Mandel was given for his voice work in KQ5.

 

If you read too much into what is probably caused by technical limitations, he even comes off as a bit of a douche in the earliest games. Like when he literally pries the crown from King Edward's cold, dead hands and sits down on the throne without bothering to have the body removed. I knew they had an agreement, but jeez!

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Finally played it. I sold enough Steam trading cards to buy the first chapter. It's quite good. Quite easy and short. But good. My previous concerns and qualms still apply (not enough interactions or things to interact with) except for the humour. I had said that it should be more serious and less whimsical. However, after playing it I actually laughed out loud on multiple occassions. I wasn't expecting it to be as funny as it was. It wasn't all humour, but the humour that was there was genuinely funny. I never found even Telltale's games as amusing. So I'll let it pass because it was done so well. The puns weren't what was funny, either, but I didn't mind them regardless. It does prove that it CAN be serious as well, though, which is a relief (even though that one serious part seemed to come out of left field quite abruptly) and gives me hope for future chapters, especially as Graham gets older.

The graphics are fantastic, the voice acting superb (not a dry delivery among the actors, except where it was amusingly fitting), the music score and cues are incredible and timed perfectly and intricately to the action on screen in a way I haven't seen done since Monkey Island 2, and the pacing is great. It was longer than I expected, but still short and I didn't ever really get stuck. I beat it in 5 hours or so. I took one break after wandering for a bit because I was tired and took a nap. But I was never really stuck. Each solution seemed easy enough. That said, I didn't solve EVERY puzzle immediately either. So it wasn't all flash boom bang done.

Feedback. Probably won't happen, but please allow us to do more things with more objects. Look at, try to use, talk, etc with everything. Also don't be afraid to extend puzzle chains a bit. Please. Amp up the difficulty for each chapter as it goes. Good easy start so far. Reels both new players and old ones out of practice in. Now show them what a real adventure is. Also, PLEASE allow skipping of dialog and cutscenes we've already heard/seen!!

 

I don't need fast travel like everyone's saying in reviews. I enjoyed getting around just fine. I would like to see more large and beautiful grand scenes, though, even bigger than we've seen so far. I'm thinking something from the perspective of the town in KQ5 where characters are very small but with more to do and more areas to see than just the three shops in that town in KQ5. Just less roads. I think that's the biggest issue people might have. Wandering and exploring is fun but all the roads connecting them are uninteresting and make the world seem small.

 

Also, did anyone notice that the blacksmith character looks a lot like Roberta or is that just me?

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I also finished it today, coincidentially. And I really, really enjoyed it. In my opinion, this is the best "modern" adventure game yet. I do agree with Brandon that more interactions would have made it more interesting, but even though it's highly streamlined (or "dumbed down" if you're a curmudgeon), it plays better than most Telltale games. It still feels like a "real" adventure - partly because of the lack of fast travel.

 

It also has multiple paths. It's been a while since I've seen an adventure game with that, not counting "The Walking Dead" and games like "Quest for Infamy" that features decision-making as more of an RPG element. I wonder if this is going to be a "Mass Effect"-type thing where choices you made in early chapters will be able to affect the later ones?

 

It is also hilarious and wonderfully self-ironic, both of which I find very welcoming. It's one of the funniest adventure games I have played in a while, even if the humour is often rather in-your-face. However, the serious scene Brandon mentioned actually rather moved me. Assuming Graham's life story is gonna contain some darker chapters (the ending of this one does, in fact, hint that the next episode will be off to a more sombre start), I have no doubt The Odd Gentlemen are able to handle those two contrasts very well.

 

I also agree with Brandon that it looks and sounds beautiful. I can't think of other adventure games that have done full 3D this well. And the narration is a stroke of genius - this is where the game actually adds something rather revolutionary to the genre, in my opinion. 

 

Overall, this game is well worth the time of any adventure game fan. Trust me.

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I liked it, I really did - but it absolutely felt like a King's Quest in Monkey Island Clothing.  Doesn't mean it's a bad game, in fact - it's quite good.  But it feels weird as a KQ game to me.  That, however, doesn't matter to the modern gaming public, so I'll just go drink my ensure, eat my prunes and pray for a bowel movement, like usual.

 

 

Bt

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I started a Let's Play on the new game. Kinda stuck at what to do after buying the bush cutter. I'm pretty sure I wasn't supposed to buy that, but I can't restore. Could someone give me a hint on what to do next? Not tell me, I just want a hint.

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