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mystmonkey

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  1. This happens in the JRPG (Japanese Role Playing Game) genre all the time. Some people value the game mechanics and battle systems higher while others value the attention to story and characters higher. Then people on both sides get angry at each other when a game comes out that doesn't fit their own vision of what a JRPG is. Meanwhile, "Japanese role playing game" is about as vague as "graphic adventure" or "old school" adventure game. I think genre labels can be helpful in conveying some general information But I think we'd all be better off if we stopped clinging so tightly to vague and broad genre-defining terms and holding companies to our specific definitions of them. That's not to say that companies are in the right about everything (as a long time fan of JRPG's, I can't even say the word "Square" now without feeling disappointed), but I think some genres have enough complexity to have wiggle room as to what categories or strengths games fall into it and how they do. Everyone has a right to prefer any ratio of elements (story, mechanics, humor, etc) that they do, and express that. But i don't think we have unanimously reached a definitional "golden ratio" as to what defines this genre. And, until we do, (spoiler alert: we probably won't) we should accept that any game will fall somewhere on the continuum of game element priorities. A game with a limited budget and time frame will have to try to maximize what it does with each element or max out on one or two while ignoring the others. How it does so isn't always going to be agreed upon. And crowd-sourcing a game's creation will lead to "too many cooks" who all want to have their own ratio/recipe of ingredients in it. This isn't to say that critique is wrong, just that we should realize that critiquing a game in an undefined genre in a novel Kickstarter project is not going to lead to everyone experiencing their own personal perfection. I believe that was one of the stated risks of the project. And it's a risk of any project made by more than one person for more than one person. If I had the ability and resources to make a game that reflected what I want out of this genre, I feel reasonably certain that the result would appeal heavily to me. But once i give it to anyone else to play, even if they funded it, there are no guarantees. At least not without a dialogue more specifically laying out what was intended. Genre labels are crutches and crutches don't work in every situation. Games are art, art isn't received the same way by everyone. And it's exceedingly difficult to make something with vague terms for everyone when many look at the vague terms differently. Double Fine succeeded with some and failed with others. It looks like they are trying to take as many criticisms into account (which I respect) but I personally hope they don't change the tone too much for Part 2. But if they do, I'm not going to necessarily say they did the genre wrong, just that they decided to cater to those who had specific issue with the first half. I get that. I also think a ton of constructive and interesting criticism has been given for this game. I just think we need to be more clear about what elements this genre values and what ratio of it before we get angry at them (or any company) for failing to live up to our specific visions of it. Once again I apologize if I am missing key information about what Double Fine had promised during the build to this game. I can only react to what I felt in playing it and seeing the initial stream of criticism (here and on the Steam forums). I do not believe my ignorance of some of the details necessarily invalidates my general views on genres. In fact, I feel incredibly strongly that "Graphic adventures" are not JUST about puzzles or even mostly about them. But I do realize that Double Fine could have made more specific promises about this game (in terms of specifically saying there would be hard puzzles) that did lead to people being as disappointed as they are. If that is the case, I honestly feel sorry that happened. I've been let down by companies promising things before. It kind of really sucks, especially when it involves games or products I feel strongly about and have nostalgic connection to. I have a list of companies that have absolutely decimated their own product lines for various reasons and I've written my share of long internet rants on them. And in this case, with the Kickstarter investment and the excitement, I can understand the anger and frustration some others feel. However, if Double Fine generally kept to the "old school graphic adventure" label, than I think this game definitely fell somewhere in between the continuum of elements that past games in the genre has set. Whether or not everyone loves the specific ratio of those elements or the specific execution of those elements (I loved the narrative and themes, didn't love the art design) is really up to us individually. I don't think it reflects the game failing the genre but we're allowed to dislike and like individual parts of games from that genre. And have a conversation about it. I've said my peace. Feel free to agree/disagree/ignore. Or load/restart/quit. P.S. I hope I pledged enough to the project to cover the bandwidth costs of this post
  2. (Some minor thematic spoilers exist here. This post is mainly meant for those who finished the game) This is intended for a topic of discussion as well as my own thoughts on the "larger questions" about the type of game this is. I realize emotions are running high but I'd like to see this discussion remain as civil as possible. Nothing actually gets accomplished when people are just flaming each other on the internet. I don't expect agreement, I'm not even looking for it because I know this topic is largely about point of view as well as my own ignorance to some extent. I am new to this place, discussion wise. Although I signed up early on in the project, I have not visited here in a long time until I played Part 1 this week. I have not followed the discussion in this project until now. That was partially out of genre burnout and partially out of not wanting to be spoiled by anything until I played the game. (Honestly, probably a smart move even though I do regret not being move involved given how much I like the game). I realize some of these topics likely came up and I do not intend to come across as if this is the first time anyone has asked these questions. If this thread has already been done a hundred times, feel free to move this post or delete it or ignore it. I don't mind getting to say my peace and being ignored. I say the above because I honestly do not know everything that was promised to us by Double Fine about Broken Age beyond the initial promotional Kickstarter drive. Yes, I am attempting to start a discussion and giving my view on something by initially pleading ignorance of something. A rare tactic on the internet and debate in 2014, but I don't mind doing that. I don't have an agenda, but I do have some views. At the very least, I can be further informed by this discussion. And that's a win for me, whether others share my view or come to share it. But what i can say is that the game did not break its initial promise to me just based on the general (and vague) "let's make a classic adventure game" pitch by the team. I've already given my thoughts in another thread (I have like 6 posts here so it shouldn't be hard finding it and I'm not looking to advertise my other thread by making this one). But I'll once again say that I really enjoyed Part 1 based on what I look for out of games like this. I realize not everyone did enjoy it. Or there were some more mixed feelings. That's fine. I just think that some of the expectations that people had may not have been realistic AND that too many people are dismissing this game as a whole because of some aspects that they feel were not geared to them. So what I'm looking to mainly discuss in this thread is who this game was targeted to and what this genre really consists of. WHO IS THIS GAME FOR: People. Green tentacles. Maybe a three-headed monkey or two. When I first started the game, I was a bit taken back. The slow pace and the art direction made me think that this was definitely for kids. Not just kids, but very young kids who wouldn't even pay attention to it. This confused me. But after only thirty minutes of the game's humor, I knew that it couldn't have been marketed JUST towards the younger crowd nor was it likely even mainly targeted to them. And by the time I reached the end of the game, I realized that there is no way that Double Fine could have reasonably expected (and likely did not) that the main ideas/morale behind the story could be easily received by the same type of audience that I graphics may have been targeting. There is some HEAVY stuff there, and layers of it. In addition to not thinking that this game was just for kids, I also don't think it is primarily or even mostly a game for "all ages" in the way that some Disney/Pixar stuff is. (and there's nothing wrong with making games for that broad audience). Instead, I think Broken Age is a game meant for adults and adults who could also play with children and explain some of it to them, but not expect them to pick up on everything. Just giving this to a kid (especially a kid the age that would be in the primary market of TV shows or movies with similar style graphics to Broken Age) and expecting them to hash it all out and get full enjoyment seems way too ambitious. The themes of responsibility, impatience, manipulation, etc are way too deep, nuanced, and presented in a mysterious way that I can not believe this game was meant for a very young. crowd. And the humor has way too many older references and layered wit for that as well. There's just too much going on here (in a good way). The graphics and whimsy of the game probably can attract a younger audience and maybe the puzzles aren't up to the harder or more comprehensive standard for some older gamers and long time fans of the genre. I can accept if most people feel that way. But I do not believe for a second that a game with this type of intricate humor and mature themes was solely or mostly meant for the generation of kids who would be drawn in by the look but then lose attention and move onto an iPad game without telling their parents they are buying $1000 of IAP. This isn't "Angry Birds: Mash the Screen" edition even though the art direction initially suggested that to me. This game is likely not the most challenging adventure game ever. But that doesn't mean it's not for those people who have enjoyed past adventure games. This game doesn't have the biggest budget ever (and hey, let's look in the mirror on that one...we COULD have pledged more). But that doesn't mean the game wasn't lovingly crafted out of the funds and time concerns available. This game will probably not put out forest fires or prevent tea shortages, but that doesn't mean there aren't a lot of elements in it that actually were designed for a more mature and long-time audience of the genre. But wait... WHAT EVEN IS THIS GENRE? What defines this genre? What is a "classic adventure" or a "graphic adventure" game? I can feel confident giving examples of what the majority of us would consider games in this genre (ex: Monkey Island, King's Quest). But can we actually agree on how we would define it? Some people keep saying Broken Age doesn't count (or barely counts) as a game in this genre but have we really universally defined the term? Is it about puzzles, or story, or character, or humor, or some ratio of all of them? But what ratio? What passes the test and what doesn't? Is it a strict test or a looser continuum? If a game may not have as difficult puzzles as some of the other games that are similar to it, but scores well in the other categories, is it not a classic adventure game? What if a game isn't funny? Sierra games relied a bit less on humor (Except Space Quest and Leisure Suit Larry) than the other games they made but King's Quest was still considered by many to be a graphic adventure. Loom was a serious toned game in comparison to Lucasarts' other games but most consider it to be a graphic adventure (and a phenomenal game, at that). What if people played the same adventure games as others but got different things out of it? What if my enjoyment of Monkey Island 1, easily one of my favorite games of all time, did not come from the exact same aspects of it as your enjoyment did? Does that mean I didn't play a classic adventure game or somehow didn't understand it? Am I "wrong" for enjoying the humor and story more than I enjoyed the puzzle? Did I somehow play the game incorrectly? Obviously if I took the game box and hit my head until I reached a woozy contentment that wouldn't quite be a correct playthrough (luckily Lucasarts games didn't allow you to die...) but once that game is booted up and I'm playing it through, is the value i take from it somehow wrong or not genre-defining? How many people would have to play differently for their definition of fun in that genre to be right? The more complex the type of game, the more votes are needed. We know the rules and intentions of Tetris so it's easier to say if someone understands what makes up that game (and that's not saying it's an easy to play game, just an easy to understand game). But a game like Broken Age or Monkey Island has so many different aspects mixed together that I think it's basically impossible to set out one universal ratio to define its genre. And so, how can we expect others to have our own exact ratio in mind, and than say the game isn't in the genre when they fail to hit on our exact ratio? I just don't think it's possible. I think those with expectations for this game that were not met have a right to not like it and even feel disappointed as to what they were personally hoping for. I'm just not sure that they can be truly disappointed at Double Fine for not delivering a one size-fits all classic graphic adventure game due to the vagueness of the genre. They certainly have a right to like what they like and not like what they don't like, and express it in a reasonable way. But I also think that none of us can solely rely on such a VAGUE term as "classic adventure" game. Once again, my ignorance kind of peeks out here. I really don't know what further things Double Fine said about this game in terms of how many puzzles, how difficult they were going to be, what kind of specific interface etc. But if they didn't say much, I think more specifics were needed before we allowed expectations to run wild. It's very risky to hold Double Fine to expectations for this game based on vague terms of what makes this complex genre up. (Sorry this is so long it had to be split into two posts)
  3. Thanks for your reactions and for taking the time to read my novel LOL I probably should read it all at some point too Adventure games never did die despite many people attempting to write their eulogy to discredit their value and popularity. They weren't quite as popular in the late 90's and early 00's but most of the people who loved them still played them. Unfortunately there are way too many "this genre is dead" sentiments in the video game world driven largely by business and jealousy. (Ex: Sony declared 2D games dead at the start of the Playstation era to try to get more people to buy 3D ones). Sometimes a company or publisher will not want to take a risk with a game/genre that costs money so they'll essentially declare it dead....and ignore the fans who want it or just use the magic dismissive words "vocal minority" to discredit the game's potential popularity and quality. It's even worse when the reason the game/genre may have lost popularity (and been held back from actually being a huge hit) is because of the actual success of the campaign to discredit the genre to the public or the company's lack of full effort in making the latest iteration of it. I absolutely love that Kickstarter has helped disprove the "graphic adventures are dead" meme as well as the "side scrollers are dead" meme one (Mighty No. 9 looks awesome). That all being said, some "eras" have just contained specific graphic adventures that I happen to prefer over others. But quality games from this genre have come out at just about every junction over the last 25 years. (Monkey Island 3 came a little after the initial "boom period" but remains one of my favorite games of the genre.) And quality games can continue to be made at any time as proven by Broken Age. As long as the dedication to craftsmanship is still there, these games will always have a bright future as they are excellent story-telling devices. I think the art direction and relatively simple interface/inventory (compared to older games) may have colored some people's perception from the start about the entire game. I approached each element individually as well as the sum of its parts. Yes, the art direction seemed like it may have been geared towards a younger audience but there's no way the narrative and themes were. Stuff like sacrifice and manipulation for "the greater good" could not really be fully understood or appreciated by a much younger crowd. And the humor was at least multi-leveled. Yeah there was some "low-hanging fruit" (literally, lol) and funny sight gags. But there was also a ton of referential and intelligent humor, the type someone with your avatar is certainly used to enjoying (just got into Community recently...blown away!). This game was not designed to fully exclude any audience. And that is awesome to me Obviously anytime a game is made for a large enough audience AND on a budget/time constraint schedule, concessions have to be made. But what we were left with here rings very true to the spirit of the old games that I enjoy and have fond memories of. Could more of that "internet money" been given by us and more time have been spent making this (without people wanting it so soon) so that more puzzles or a higher IPS (items per screen) ratio been included? Definitely. But i don't think what this game may be lacking in number takes away from its essential quality. Of course, that raises the question of just exactly what defines the quality of these types of games. I wrote up something about this for another thread that I'll be posting in the near future.
  4. SPOILERS AHOY: PROCEED AT YE OWN RISK INTERFACE: I was overall happy with the control interface in this game. For a game that was 90% point and click/roaming adventure, the action sequences were very well done. I had very little problem with the "robot arm" in Shay's story and the final action scene in Vella's. I liked the double click for run (and when it didn't work for story reasons). I liked the concept of the drag and drop item, and the drag and drop item onto other item. But there were some issues with the execution that I had. A few times I had issues dragging an item out of the window (like it wouldn't recognize it) but that wasn't too often to really affect my enjoyment. Sometimes dragging an item onto Shay or Vella was complicated by detection confusion. Like the background would somehow interfere and would be the target of the drag and drop rather than Shay or Vella. Or they wouldn't "light up" enough for me to distinguish if I was dropping an item on them or something else close by (like the snake). Probably budgetary, but there were a lot of items in the game that just screamed to be picked up and played with but were inanimate. Red herrings can be fun, as can inventory jokes. Not a huge deal but I felt empty walking out of so many filled rooms with very little in pocket. I suppose you can't really program the need for more inventory items without more or deeper puzzles though. But having a few "will we ever use those" comedy items do add some appeal. MISCELLANEOUS More save slots please. I like having a lot of slots so that I can revisit some of my favorite cut-scenes and I wasn't really able to do that since I had more than the save allotted amount of favorite scenes (...that's a good thing more than a criticism). I don't really know the logistics of making save slots and the money in the budget though. Perhaps there were originally 20 save slots but "Taco Tuesdays" proved too popular with the crew to resist blowing through some more of the budget (therefore not passing the save slot savings onto us). The game ran really nicely in terms of core performance. No crashes, no slow-down. Steam and Humble Bundle interaction was fine for me. I know there's been some reports of problems and I certainly am not discrediting them, I'm just giving my own input. I liked that I was able to "window" the game at variable sizes rather than just have it EITHER as a small window or full screen. Broken Age occupied my window to the soul. And so that's it. If you're still reading this, congratulations. You are a scholar and a gentleperson and are blessed with free time. I look very much forward to Part 2 and would like to, again, thank everyone involved in this project. Fun is being had - MystMonkey
  5. SPOILERS AHOY: PROCEED AT YE OWN RISK PLOT: I finished the game about 24 hours ago (from the time of writing this) and am still really blown away by the plot presented and the implications and nuances left in. I'm hoping that not all of the loose ends are entirely cleaned up by part 2 so that I can still have this feeling of trying to put together in my head everything that happened from my own perspective. (Sometimes too much detail robs one of that mental construction phase of art that can be so rewarding.) But obviously, there are some very interesting factual questions that Part 1 raised that I'd like resolution to. What's amazing is how many different ways those answers can go, and if I'm even asking the right questions. The actual narrative comes together really nicely between the two characters, and I really liked the twist at the end. Since I played Shay first, I'm not sure what the "cut-off" point would be if I played Vella first (as obviously you have to finish with her part) but I definitely want to try that out on my next play through. I do kind of think that part of Vella's story would spoil Shay's story in a way that doesn't work the other way around but I have to try Vella first to know for sure. Now that I know the story to this extent, it's kind of hard pretending that I don't know the story enough to say if I would have guessed it playing as Shay after Vella. Science has limits! I really love the narrative as much as the moral/ethical implications to the story. Themes of self-sacrifice, manipulated sacrifice of others for "the greater good", responsibility, perils of impatience, and other serious concepts run through this game in a way that I can't remember too many previous graphic adventures doing. (Interesting that both the Cave and Broken Age explore some themes of ethics and morality more than some of the older games). Older games had some mature themes too (Grim Fandango wasn't a walk in the happy-go-lucky park!) but they seemed fewer and more obvious. The themes in Broken Age are not all on the surface. Making it even more interesting is that some of those themes are not quite clear since we do not yet know all of the facts of the narrative. What of space wolf? And Shay's "mom"? What of that town elder who convinced Vella to join the sacrifice? Or the other town elders? Why are they so willing to appease Mog Chopra? What are they getting out of it? How are they contributing to this system continuing? Who is fighting them that we don't yet realize? What is space wolf getting out of it? There's enough facts for us to know a lot of nasty things are going on, but maybe certain characters are better or worse than we already know. Wanting to dive into the moral implications of that knowledge is almost as much of a cliffhanger as finding out the narrative itself in Part 2. The way the story and the morale of the story connect here is brilliant so far. Totally has me wanting more! I feel like I've already touched on the characters and also that we're going to see a ton of further growth and maturity in each of them in Part 2. I like how each characters has shown vulnerability and strength. Shay has been overly coddled and manipulated and Vella has been almost sacrificed and lied to. As a result, Shay has done some things that perhaps he would not have done if he wasn't so impatient for adventure. Shay sees heroism and adventure as the ends and not the means. Vella actually took a swing at Shay and also collapsed the big cloud that the cloud town leader was on. She goes to great lengths to do things that perhaps could be accomplished in other ways. Neither of these characters have completely clean hands but they are still overall good and are trying to do the right things in difficult circumstances. I like both of them very much and their interactions with others feel genuine. I also really like how the game takes us into their heads: When I first started playing as Shay, I was getting a little impatient. He wasn't able to do anything really that interesting. (Fine...the ice cream avalanche was pretty intriguing). And it started becoming repetitive. Then I got it. It wasn't just Shay experiencing cabin fever, the player was too. Here we are in this really cool spaceship...in space...and yet all were doing was choosing between cereals (that had amusing names but were not leading to different results...as far as we knew) and doing repetitive tasks with no real pay off. As a result, I could identify with what Shay was going through. I thought that was really clever. Rather then just having Shay say "I'm bored" in the first few minutes of a "Stage 1 walkthrough" and then have him whisked off to great adventures immediately afterward like most other games do, Broken Age actually created a meaningful connection between the player and character by putting us in his shoes. Rather then have Vella constantly do what was expected of her OR constantly rebel against it, she was trying to figure out what was the right choice, and that wasn't always easy given the constraints of her surroundings and knowledge (two things the player also has to deal with.). Vella had a right to be angry at a lot of what was going on but she also had to keep it together to figure it all out and eventually face Mog Chothra (and perhaps the other Mogs that were mentioned.) Her frustration was more immediate than Shay's and she had more room to spread out to kind of work some of it off. But her immediate opponent was time and a definite sense of direction. So where better to frustrate her than a town she couldn't escape with a "ground" that she could barely walk on to make any progress? This was an inspired "trap" for her. PUZZLES: I never played these games primarily for the puzzles. I can remember some that I enjoyed but most of them had a comedic bend to them (like the rubber chicken on a pulley in MI or some of the more clever but funny time-traveling DoTT puzzles). I don't mind being challenged as long as I'm not expected to contort my brain into a ridiculous position just to find that one solution that is as logical as putting an axe through my computer. Thankfully, to me, Broken Age did not have that frustrating type of puzzles. I also did not have to rely on the last resort "use every item on every other item" device more then two or three times. Admission: I randomly used the fruit to get past the "blind guards" when they wanted the answer to the riddle. Second admission: Before this puzzle, I had a random urge to get another piece of fruit in the case I needed it. -1 for random "item on item romance". +5 for having a fully stocked produce section. The "star map" puzzle was difficult to figure out but more because of the rushed time limit. I eventually got it thanks to a forum post "cheat" but in retrospect it wasn't too bad. I was probably just impatient. A few other puzzles tripped me up as well (the bird who refused to allow you to use the ladder on its cloud also required "item on item" play) but I never felt like I was CONFUSED what to do to overall advance. I didn't have to knock on some NPC's door three times and then do the same to another NPC door after equipping a mug of off-brand grog. I didn't have to say the same line of dialogue 3 times, then change my monitor's RGB value. Yeah, some of the puzzles may have been a bit too telegraphed but I didn't feel like I breezed through it with no challenge whatsoever. Others mileage may, and seem to, vary. Good puzzles to me in games like this are ones that aren't absurd and don't hold up or deviate from nature of the story for too long (Great puzzles are ones that aren't absurd and involve character/story in a big way.) Most of the puzzles in this game ranged from good to great. Like I said, I'm not really in it for the puzzles. I do love me some insult sword fighting though. I wouldn't have terribly minded some insult fish spray battles. I actually kind of expected the lumberjack to train me to fight trees given the similarity of his cabin to the sword master and sword trainer's. Oh Carla, if you could see me now. Well, maybe with goggles.
  6. SPOILERS AHOY: PROCEED AT YE OWN RISK (This is a multi-post reaction cause it's long. Sorry for the internet space taken) Okay, full reaction to Broken Age - Part 1: Disclaimer: I know that there is a metric ton of debate right now about this game. And while I will be touching on some of the elements of that debate, my intent here is only to give my own take on it. If you feel the puzzles of this game are too easy for you, well I can't argue with your mental acuity. If you think the graphics or interface are too immature or underdeveloped for you to enjoy it, how can I disagree with what constitutes your enjoyment? I can't. I shan't. I won't. This post represents my reactions and my thoughts on the game. If they are in opposition to yours, please don't take offense because absolutely none is intended on my part. But I don't mind discussion or even light debate. It's just not my intention here in posting this. I have some other things that I want to say about the more popular criticisms of this game but I will put them a new thread. This thread is meant for expressing to other backers and Double Fine why I really enjoyed this game. When I play/read/watch something that I really like, I consider it a logical and self-fulfilling responsibility to give that positive feedback to those who created it. And sometimes that also involves giving my own positive take on what others think are the negatives of the creation. Anyway, I figure I'll break this reaction up into categories: POULTRY: A+ I wasn't expecting so many feathered creatures and was relieved when they did not attack me. Tetris, eat your heart out. GRAPHICS: The way I see it, there's art direction/style, art design, and animation. - Animation: I guess I'll also say a quick word about the animation first. (and not just because it's alphabetical!) I honestly can't remember having any issue with it. I think it was fine during regular walking and every cut-scene or action sequence was certainly animated well enough that I was able to see and enjoy everything. Only negative that stands out a bit was the cereal pouring looking a bit rushed but I mean...not really a big deal. Mr. Schafer: if you're reading this, and you see that the cereal pouring wasn't quite up to my highest standards, you have my permission and endorsement to continue in this professional field with your head held high! - Art direction/style: All right, this took some getting used to. At first I was a little shocked. It seemed like the character models were out of one of those early morning cartoons for kids that use really cheap flash animation and have absolutely no expression or emotion. I'm sure you've all seen those "creatures" with the dead eyes gallivanting around trying to entertain kids with their various shenanigans. Those creatures have no souls and even if the FCC won't take action, I couldn't stay silent any longer. Anyway... As time went on, I saw some signs of emotion in the main characters models. I started the game with Shay. His bored reactions to things grew on me. I'm a believer that any type of physical art should also represent the emotional/mental aspects behind it. And the art in this game did that. You can see Shay's frustration on his face. It comes across well. You can see Vella's uncertainty. Would a higher polygon count or sprite based graphics improve that? I don't know. I haven't seen the alternative. The lovable Mr. Brush in Monkey Island 1 just looked at you blankly most of the time and you pretty much ascribed to him the emotions of the moment. Shay and Vella did more to showcase how they felt. The designs ultimately worked. Were there still a few times later in the game (or when I went back to the game after a break) when I was still a little uneasy about the design? Yes, but the more I saw them as actual characters, the less the art direction bothered me for them. And my issue with the character models was more masked/aided on the NPC's due to their elaborate outfits. - Art Design: I really liked this. Vella's ceremonial garb was extremely well done and Shay looked like a bored and protected kid wearing pajamas in a space ship. I really really liked the NPC design: All of the cloud town characters wearing ridiculous cloud or bird outfits added to the town. All of the fish town characters wearing ridiculous fish outfits did too. The AWESOME yarn animal things on Shay's spacecraft frequently delighted my eyes. And all of the background/stages were beautiful. This is a wonderful game to just walk around in and admire the scenery and talk to people. Considering that is a HUGE element of the gameplay, one that I got a bit burned out on in the past in this genre, I was delighted to once again enjoy it. SOUND: - Voices: I hear them. And the ones in the game are great!! The actors did a top notch job. I particularly liked Shay's mom who managed that perfect balance between caring and overbearing...while also garnering suspicion. Space Wolf was 90% suspicious but every now and then, he'd do something that seemed almost redeeming. Was he manipulating Shay or was he just concerned that Shay wasn't yet mature enough to be able to execute the correct mission (which apparently is abductions but we'll get to that later.) I loved all the voice acting of the NPC's, especially the ridiculously cartoony yarn animal friends and the cloud folks. The shoemaker was especially well voiced. Unfortunately I missed out on Sir Pendleton Ward's dialogue since I...landed on him first Shay and Vella were both incredibly well done. You could feel Shay's boredom and be invigorated by Vella's energy. Their voices were such a big deal for the development of their characters and when they finally met, it was a BIG moment. - Music: Oh wow, this really blew me away. I regularly listen to video game music and Monkey Island music has always been on regular rotation. I'm so glad I backed for the soundtrack to this game and this will definitely be beamed into my aural units for now on. Of particular mention is the fish town music that sounds very Monkey Island'ish as well as the Lumberjack house and Cloud town. HUMOR: This is the first part of the game that won me over. In more tender moments, when I reminisce on the classic adventure games of our youth, humor is probably the thing I appreciate the most. Some of the Telltale games felt a bit forced in this category and so I was a little worried, before playing this game and the Cave (which was uproariously funny at times) that perhaps I was viewing the past with laugh-colored lenses. (laugh is a light mauve). But no...the old games really MUST have been that funny cause so was Broken Age. Just wow. The yarn pets for Shay had me continuously laughing, even more when "they got real". It's rare that I actually let out a legit el-o-el but this game had me doing it constantly throughout both Shay and Vella's paths. The yarn pets, the cloud people and their sarcastic humor, the "grabber" on the ship which resembled one of those mechanical prize arm games, and the dialogue. Oh the dialogue. Thank you for not playing into the recent trend of showing some dialogue but then having the character speak a variation of it. I like being able to hear them say specifically what choice I picked. And the dialogue options here were great, as were the mechanics of the dialogue tree in general. In many past games I have felt that I missed out on certain options that i couldn't get back (without reloading past games). But I think I was able to hit on every piece of dialogue in this game, super important and just pure humor. Thank you for rewarding us for trying out a ton of things by giving us new dialogue as the game went on!!! The characters wouldn't just ignore you if their mission was fulfilled. They'd still interact with you. The cloud world wasn't really needed any more (well, for Part 1) after the resolution of the "gold egg" puzzle but it was still there and interactive. If i brought new items to the characters, I'd get new responses. This made the game feel very immersive and real. It made me care more about the characters, and the world, as a result.
  7. The one place I got truly stuck was the star map part getting to the Doom planet/area. I checked Steam forums for advice there and even that wasn't enough, but it helped. I finally figured it out though and, in hindsight, it wasn't really that bad. I was probably impatient. I also totally forget to go back to the lumberjack to get the painting/art piece. I had already pilfered his stain glass window but I forgot to go back to talk to him for the art piece. So for a while, I was just roaming around the final area looking for what I missed. After enough roaming, I checked a walkthrough and then slapped my forehead. "User error 404", I guess I almost got stuck with the teleporter/head size puzzle but stuck with it. I also almost got stuck with getting the third gold egg (which was the one guarded by the bird who threw my ladder off), But I think I just combined the ladder and feather shoes and was fine at that point. OH...I also kept falling for the "red herring" (at least for Part 1) of the snake. I assume that will be a puzzle for Part 2. Either that or I somehow missed defeating the snake in a way that still allowed me to finish the game. But I'm not that lucky
  8. Hi everyone! So I'm one of those backers who got all excited during the Kickstarter campaign, joined the forums, and proceeded to say nothing for two years. I kind of hate myself for that now given how blown away I am by the first half of this game. So I'd like to try to make up for that lack of input and deafening silence by giving my full impressions now. There are a few BA forums here and I hope this is the right one for this post. If not, I understand if it is moved or deleted or harvested for energy. I want to give a little background just to explain the thread title. I'm a long time graphic adventure fan dating back to when I first played Monkey Island in the early 90's. I played all of the classic Lucasarts games and most of the Sierra ones too. The Monkey Island series (specifically 1 AND 3) and Day of the Tentacle rank as my favorite ones and in my Top 10 favorite games of all time. But around the mid 90's, I got a little burnt out on the genre. I still enjoyed occasionally re-playing the games that I loved but my desire to play new ones wasn't really there. I did get briefly back into the genre in the mid 2000's when Telltale brought back some of my favorite licenses and I enjoyed a lot of what they did. But after playing too many of them and getting burned out again (kinda my fault) I proceeded to ignore the genre again until I heard about this Kickstarter. Hearing that both Mr. Schaefer and Mr. Gilbert were involved, along with the fine folks at Double, made me quite interested. And I still think it's really cool that both Broken Age and the Cave (a fun and very underrated game which I won't get into a further digression about) came out within the same year or so. Both games FULLY delivered based on my expectations. And as a result of that deliverance, I can say that my desire to play this genre has fully returned. That's really the best thing I can say about Broken Age: it made me fall in love with graphic adventures again. I've already said a lot in this post and tonight I am going to type up a more comprehensive "reaction" (I hate the word review, makes it seem so objective and combative) and put it in this post. But as a short bullet point summary for those curious as to why I enjoyed this game so much, I just want to say: - Absolutely love the intricate plot of this game so far and the ending WOWED me. Also really enjoy the good nature of the main characters that allow them to sometimes make tough decisions (that don't always put them in the best light) but still keep me rooting for them. These characters came across strong and complex to me and were not caricatures of people in their unique positions. - The game touches on some very mature themes, ones that I was not expecting to encounter given the art direction that feels more lighthearted. We may be dealing a mostly whimsical universe but there are a lot of bigger moral questions underlying this game that I'm impressed were brought into it. The lighter stuff was fun AND made the heavier stuff more meaningful. - This is as funny a game as I can remember playing in a long time. Legit ROFR's (rolling on the floor rolling) were had - I am sooo incredibly glad that I backed at a tier to receive the soundtrack! The music is INCREDIBLE!!!! - The art direction for the main characters originally gave me pause but I grew to like it more. The specific design itself of the characters, especially the NPC's, is great though. Also, some of the best scenery/stages I can remember in a game of this, or any, genre. - Puzzles...they worked. I play this genre more for the story, characters, and humor. I like puzzles that are logical and don't require too much random item clicking combinations (one reason I burned out on the genre) or things that are absurd that aren't also funny. (Rubber chicken on a pulley will always have my respect). I didn't think the puzzles were too easy here or too hard, they just made sense to me. Personally, I liked that. Also liked that there wasn't too much backtracking/repetition necessary in most cases. - I can't remember the last time I played ANY game straight for 3-4 days (no, it didn't take me the full 3-4 days to finish it. I like small doses for maximum story absorption. I'd give the scientific formula but it's patented). And I can't remember the last time I completed a game and could not stop thinking about it all night and into the next day. I really am looking forward to Part 2! Also looking forward to playing Part 1 again before once again looking forward to Part 2! Thank you to everyone involved for this truly fun experience - Mystmonkey (no relation)
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