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"Broken Age". Hoo boy, if the depth and complexity of "Phantasmagoria" completely overwhelmed you, this might be the right game for you...

 

Good production value, though. You'll get the most joy out of it if you see "Broken Age" as a nice animated feature in which you can occasionally click on stuff.

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I'm currently playing Moebius: Empire Rising. I like what I'm seeing so far, even if the 3D models exhibit some ugly flaws that harken back to The Silver Lining. Some of the acting is a little bit wooden as well. The story is very intriguing, though, and the puzzles are never too challenging because they just fit the narrative very well, so the minor gripes I've had with the game so far never become too detrimental to the experience. And most of them (i.e, Malachi's walking speed) are of the kind that could be resolved with a patch later on, which I hope happens - the game deserves as much.

 

In any case, those dismissive of Phoenix Online can rest assured that Moebius is substantially better than The Silver Lining, which I wasn't a huge fan of either. I haven't played Cognition, so that comparison is not for me to make.

 

Also, seeing as this game was brought up in the thread about feminism and political correctness in gaming, let me add that I've yet to get an offensive vibe out of that game. True, Malachi Rector is often such an asshole that you wonder whether his last name is spelled correctly. But he's an asshole to everyone he comes across, and the player is never asked to condone his behaviour. I presume the latter is vital to keep in mind for some of the more controversial puzzles that have been singled out in reviews. I personally dig the guy. It feels like I'm playing as Benedict Cumberbatch's interpretation of Sherlock Holmes, which I find to be a huge compliment. Gabriel Knight he ain't, but he's a good lead. Pete Toleman would love him. He should do a Let's Play.

 

So let the above serve as my recommendation. I must say that I'm still not sure if I would've paid the full price for the game, had I not been fortunate enough to win it in a giveaway, but now that I've tried it, I can say that I would definitely pay for a sequel. Now bring on Tesla Effect and don't delay it further, dammit!

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Hah! Brilliant  :D 

 

Ironically, I did think some of his dialogue regarding Bianca's death was a bit out of character, i.e. how he can't think straight in her bedroom because it's all so terribly tragic. No, Malachi, just pop another Xanax and you'll be perfectly fine.

 

I'm glad they didn't tone down his line about funerals and weddings being "equally tragic". He may not be a completely original character - much like the sleazy, drawling Gabriel Knight - but he's incredibly entertaining once you warm up to his unadulterated, as you say, dickishness.

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It's very much out of character and that's only there because people on the backer forums complained about how unlikeable Malachi is. Some of more harebrained gameplay elements of Moebius - such as not being able to pick up objects until you trigger certain events, forcing you then to backtrack - were apparently put in at the behest of some backers (who either seemed eager to play their version of a Jane Jensen game, rather than an actual Jane Jensen game, or disliked Moebius because it wasn't a carbon copy of Gabriel Knight, or were simply butthurt over the fact that the Pinkertons went with Phoenix as their dev team). The amount of negativity, if not outright hostility, towards Moebius on that forum was staggering.

 

In any case, I'm glad I held onto all the beta builds. Comparing these to the finished version makes for a brilliant case study in how a game gets changed during development in order to appeal to a wider audience.

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I'm hopping back and forth between "Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds" and "Tiny Death Star". I recommend the former; it's fun, has lot of great puzzles, and occasionally asks me if I want to take a break. The other just slowly devours my life while expecting me to pay real money to make it go faster.

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The Silver Lining

 

Since PurpleTentacle developed a deep hatred towards Phoenix over this game, I was curious to see how it compares to Moebius on a purely cosmetic level. I'm still recovering from the shock of finding out that both the protagonist's walking animation and the facial animations in The Silver Lining are somehow far superior to the ones in Moebius. If this is what constitutes "atrocious, amateurish dreck", I dread to see PurpleTentacle's verdict on Moebius.

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I've been playing through some of the games I never got a chance to play when they came out...
 
Sam & Max (the original one)...
I didn't think I'd like this, but I enjoyed it a lot, liked the humor, nice locations, good plot, etc. It was pretty short though, finished it in a few days. 
 
Full Throttle...
I'm not really into bikes, etc. but this was also very enjoyable, good characters, some nice humor, good locations.
This was also pretty short and I finished it in a few days. I thought the puzzles in some places were a little bit too straightforward as well,
i.e. if you pick up an object and then use it immediately in the very next location I feel like it's a bit of a non-puzzle.
 
Grim Fandango...
I had heard great things about this for years and I remember as a teenager seeing it in the store and feeling kinda "meh" about it...
the cover art work didn't really give me an idea of what it was about and the characters didn't really even have "faces" to know what
sort of characters they would be, and I wasn't sure if it would be humorous, so I didn't buy it at the time
(I think I bought the Curse of Monkey Island instead at the time).
 
So I started playing this and at first I'm going, ehhh, I'm not really feeling the blockly 3D graphics and how you have to use the
arrow keys and how he has to be next to something to look at it, but as it went on it grew on me...
 
By the time I got to Rubacava I was sold, excellent games, one of my favorites now. It's a shame it's a game you have to play before
you realize how good it is or is going to be, as I think that's probably why it didn't do as well as it should have.
Good length of game as well, felt maybe three times long as Sam & Max or Full Throttle.
 

"Broken Age". Hoo boy, if the depth and complexity of "Phantasmagoria" completely overwhelmed you, this might be the right game for you...

 

Good production value, though. You'll get the most joy out of it if you see "Broken Age" as a nice animated feature in which you can occasionally click on stuff.

 

I've heard that a lot so far about Broken Age, that the puzzles aren't really like proper puzzles. 

 

I've been put off getting it so far because it seems very kiddy and a bit Disneyfied almost like, "kids finding themselves"

sort of thing, and I'm not hugely keen on the look of the animation, and I prefer puzzles that are at least a bit more complicated...

 

Having said that, I didn't think I'd like Grim Fandango, so I'm definitely willing to give Broken Age a shot...

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The Silver Lining

 

Since PurpleTentacle developed a deep hatred towards Phoenix over this game, I was curious to see how it compares to Moebius on a purely cosmetic level. I'm still recovering from the shock of finding out that both the protagonist's walking animation and the facial animations in The Silver Lining are somehow far superior to the ones in Moebius. If this is what constitutes "atrocious, amateurish dreck", I dread to see PurpleTentacle's verdict on Moebius.

I definitely wouldn't give Moebius and its developer Phoenix Online Studios a high rating. But out of respect for the Two Guys and the fact that they probably wish only the best for Jensen and other Sierra veterans, I wouldn't feel right taking apart Moebius too much on this forum, though I agree with Fronzel. Anyway, do I see myself donating more money for Phoenix Online Studios projects in the future? Doesn't look likely.

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The Silver Lining

 

Since PurpleTentacle developed a deep hatred towards Phoenix over this game, I was curious to see how it compares to Moebius on a purely cosmetic level. I'm still recovering from the shock of finding out that both the protagonist's walking animation and the facial animations in The Silver Lining are somehow far superior to the ones in Moebius. If this is what constitutes "atrocious, amateurish dreck", I dread to see PurpleTentacle's verdict on Moebius.

That's probably because the guy two posts above yours designed a lot of the animations in TSL but had nothing to do with Moebius ;)

 

I personally wouldn't give Moebius a high rating. Out of respect for the Two Guys and the fact that they probably wish only the best for other Sierra veterans, I don't want to dump too much on Moebius on this forum, but I agree with Fronzel. Do I see myself donating more money for Phoenix Online Studios projects in the future? Very doubtful.

I helped kickstart Moebius, largely to help the adventure game revival along. I haven't played Moebius yet but didn't really get a good impression of POS's stuff when I played TSL, so I will probably give Moebius a pass as well.

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Again, I like Moebius, but its cosmetic flaws are kinda disheartening to behold at times. I do hope Phoenix are looking with respectful eyes at all the feedback they're getting. It'd be a damn shame to see all those problems repeated in the Gabriel Knight remake.

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I also have to stress that I did enjoy Moebius a great deal. The same goes for Phoenix‘ previous effort Cognition (even though I haven't finished that one yet). They both have their flaws - and those are severe enough to prevent these games from attaining widespread appeal - but to me they felt like the gaming equivalent to a fun B-movie. One of the things that work really well about Moebius is how Jane Jensen clearly relishes in doing all those things you‘d never get away with once the big studios are involved (naming your main character Malachi Rectum, having him be a condescending bastard to everyone, the sexual tension between the two male leads). All that doesn‘t matter with Moebius, it doesn‘t need mass-market appeal. That‘s what‘s great about it. Moebius was also one of the more pleasant backer experiences I had and I‘d be inclined to support them again, were it not for the fact that I basically swore off Kickstarter altogether.

That being said, I‘m quite apprehensive about GK20 for the exact same reason I was convinced Moebius was going to (and does!) work: GK20 has that whole „It needs to be successful for there to be a GK4“-stigma attached to it. I have absolutely zero confidence that the technical polish Frede hopes for is going to happen. I remember when the first Moebius Alpha was released, they urged backers not to post videos of it on youtube, due to the unfinished nature of the build. Funny thing is, all the stuff that people complained about because it felt unfinished in the Alpha was pretty much identical to how it appears in the final game. Gameplay-wise, there were some debates, but technically, everyone agreed that the animations are garbage. And still, they didn‘t change it. Maybe they could, you know, hire a certain spacequest.net forum user to do the animations for them...


Just as a side note: Phoenix Online Studios ought to change their name: That POS abbreviation is quite unhelpful.

 

 

 

 

edit:
Another concern I forgot to bring up: Mark my words, when GK20 comes out, it‘s going to raise all sorts of hell among the SJWs. I'm willing to bet money that there will be a ton of reviews that will contain words like „racist“ or „stereotype“. And I don‘t think they will have Dr John to suddenly be a white guy and have his sanctuary somehow not be draped with manflesh. So, have your popcorn ready when that shitstorm hits.

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I just finished it and I enjoyed it. Sure, it could use a bit of polish for all the reasons I've previously mentioned, but I've seen worse. And I noticed they've already pushed one patch out on Steam. I hope there'll be another one.

 

As for GK20, I'm gonna give them the benefit of the doubt for now. They've got time to take note of the feedback they're receiving now and that might make a difference.

 

I'm not gonna touch the PC-stuff because, frankly, I'm getting a bit tired of it. No, the world is not perfect. Lots of people feel entitled to be offended about any tiny little thing and yes, that does extend to gaming. But being an alarmist about it isn't going to help much either. If you meet the world with a frown, chances are you'll get frowned at.

 

I've seen 1-2 reviews that criticised "that puzzle" in Moebius and only one of them - again, the one by the oft-polemic John Walker - really went overboard. So I'm not honestly anticipating any of that in relation to GK20. It's not that I've seen anyone pull the "well, it was a different time"-card in regards to the original Gabriel Knight either and thanks to GOG, the game is widely available. For god's sake, it's still widely acclaimed - if Jane Jensen changed Dr. John's skin colour or internal decor, that's when we'd really see a shit storm. Okay, I kinda went ahead and touched the PC-stuff anyway.

 

Having read the book, however, I do hope we're spared the sight of Dr. John's alledgedly humongous genitalia. Not that I'm particularly offended by that, but there's a time and a place, right? Let's just say it's something I can live without. He's imposing enough already.

Edited by Frede

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As for GK20, I'm gonna give them the benefit of the doubt for now. They've got time to take note of the feedback they're receiving now and that might make a difference.

When asked about "lessons learned" from Moebius, the first thing Phoenix tech lead said is that they are using mocap for animations in GK20. Early reports from backers who got a glimpse say that the GK walk animations are already looking normal.

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Finally played "Broken Age"... I feel like Tim Schafer should be making animated films. While the puzzles are easy, they really take a backseat to the presentation and story of the game. I really like the world and its characters (and I definitely want to see what happens in Part 2), but much like Schafer's "Brutal Legend", it's like everything except the gameplay is the star. I just keep walking past things and thinking "there should be a puzzle there! Or an inventory item there! I want to do something with that thing because it looks awesome!" Otherwise, I think Pixar or Dreamworks should scoop up Tim Schafer and give free reigns on something already.

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I wouldn't say games in general. AAA crap and many of the recent adventure games, maybe, but otherwise, it really depends on the game; for instance, I've had great fun with FTL and that game is all about the gameplay. That's also what makes it extremely addictive.

 

So I'm not buying that particular generalisation. Sounds a bit too much like Statler and Waldorf to me  :P

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