Author Topic: KQ8 in retrospect  (Read 12530 times)

Offline Rock Knight

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KQ8 in retrospect
« on: November 28, 2015, 09:59:18 PM »
What are your feelings on it in retrospect?

Offline Numbers

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Re: KQ8 in retrospect
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2015, 01:37:27 PM »
Well, I think it's great. The Shakespearean dialogue and voice acting, the excellent combat system and fight choreography, tricky puzzles, groundbreaking graphics and memorable characters make this sequel capture the King's Quest spirit perfectly, it wraps up all loose plot threads from previous games, and it is not to be missed.

*insert laugh track here*

Thank you, thank you. I'm Numbers, and I'll be here all week.

In all seriousness, it's not King's Quest, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy it. A lot of people seem to really hate it, and I can definitely understand why. However, its cheesiness makes it funny for me, and I revel in how dumb a lot of it is. It's not trying to be anything other than what it is: a spinoff of a popular adventure game series that takes place in the same setting, just with a genre shift. This game is credited with killing off the adventure gaming genre, but I think that's a bit unfair when you consider the other worse adventure games out there. QFG5 wasn't too great of a series finale either, and for my money, I'd rather play MoE than SQ6 or KQ7, what with the blatant character assassination present in both of those games. However, all of that pales in comparison to the Leisure Suit Larry franchise, which took a massive dip in quality with Magna Cum Laude and eventually Box Office Bust, which to this day continues to appear on "Worst Video Games of All Time" lists, something MoE has not achieved.
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Offline GrahamRocks!

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Re: KQ8 in retrospect
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2015, 02:19:57 PM »
I admit, though my knowledge of MoE is rather low (I still need to watch Rudy's runthrough), I... kinda like what I've seen of Connor. Questionable dialogue aside, he sounds noble when he's not spouting memes. He sounds like someone who really wants to protect his kingdom.

Also, music ain't too bad either.

No, I'd say that Gabriel Knight 3 is worse than QFG5. I like QFG5 a ton, despite its flaws. I think pretty much anyone can agree with what you said about the later LSL games.

Offline Numbers

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Re: KQ8 in retrospect
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2015, 03:36:10 PM »
I admit, though my knowledge of MoE is rather low (I still need to watch Rudy's runthrough), I... kinda like what I've seen of Connor. Questionable dialogue aside, he sounds noble when he's not spouting memes. He sounds like someone who really wants to protect his kingdom.

Yeah, Connor's a pretty optimistic guy. A little too optimistic, actually.

Half-Petrified Wizard (summarized): Connor, everything is up to you. You are the sole survivor of the apocalypse, and if you don't find a way to save the world, no one can. You are our last hope.

Connor's reaction to this in a nutshell: Cool!

No, I'd say that Gabriel Knight 3 is worse than QFG5. I like QFG5 a ton, despite its flaws. I think pretty much anyone can agree with what you said about the later LSL games.

Have there been any adventure game franchises that went out on a high note? King's Quest's original run ended with MoE, Space Quest 6 was a massive step backward from the previous game, QFG5 was also a step backward from QFG4--although a little bit better than 3, in my opinion--Gabriel Knight 3 looked awful by comparison to the first two games, Phantasmagoria lasted all of one respected game before going down the gutter with its sequel, Darkseed showed promise until Darkseed 2 came out and destroyed the franchise, I honestly don't think LSL was any good even on the best of days, which meant Box Office Bust was that much worse, and so on. It wasn't until the fans came along that some of these regained their lost glory. TSL is definitely a step in the right direction from MoE, and Space Quest Incinerations stands tied with SQ5 as my favorite game in the series.
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Offline GrahamRocks!

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Re: KQ8 in retrospect
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2015, 05:01:55 PM »
Eh, QFG5 is like a half step backwards for me. ;) I'm actually one of the few people who REALLY liked Wages of War, at least from the Paladin and Wizard sides. I like SQ6, but of course, not nearly as much as 5. I agree with what you said on the others though, mostly.

Well, better optimistic than "Oh, why me? Why do I have to do it?! You shouldn't put much faith in me, because there's not much I can do, really!" because to be honest, in a darker an edgier KQ style game by any other company, you'd know that's what they'd do. Make it so bleak and sorrowful, that you wonder why you're playing. That's what's popular after all in the gaming industry is darkness. Things are never just allowed to be happy, they must be depressing, deconstructed and crushingly bittersweet at most, because it's not realistic. Because that's how stories are meant to be told. Because you learn something valuable from it, and that is that the world wants to kill you dead more than you believe so you better either make people cry or scream in agony and fear, just in the hopes that they'll come out changed and saying "I'll be good, I swear!"
 
f***... maybe that's why I gravitate towards the new KQ, or at least episode one. It's lighthearted and fun. Yes, there's conflict and drama, and yes, things will inevitably get darker, but... I always feel like I'm going to get out okay and smiling at the end. It's not trying to teach us a lesson about the hardship of the world, it just wants to have fun with itself. And the fun it gives me is likable characters, good puns, amusing deaths, and a good heartwarming premise that will help change that world for the better in the end, no matter what I do.

What's that? There's no tension? Screw tension, I still care regardless because the designers made me like them! Even if I know that Graham is going to inevitably get the Crown of Daventry, that doesn't stop me from enjoying the game, just to see how it all potentially panned out. I know he will succeed, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't not like to see how he succeeded, lest it remain a mystery. I think that it's a great idea that TOG has here, "How about a tale you've never heard before?" if this were just another KQ remake, sure I would have been excited, but the fact that these tales are new, stuff from Graham's past that we've never seen before... that draws me in. Graham's my favorite KQ character for a reason, and I love that, for better or worse, we're getting to know him better all throughout his life from a lowly squire to an elderly adventurer on his final quest. Yes, I expect Graham to become more mature as he grows up, and yes, I expect for things to get darker in terms of atmosphere and plot as the episodes go on, but I love the tone that they had in this first episode. Lighthearted, not taking things too seriously mixed in with some great humor. I believe that reflects Graham's mindset at the time, that he had fun times as a kid, but once he became King, he knew things would get tougher because he has weight on his shoulders and responsibilities and people to protect, and for someone who's barely in his twenties and not raised as a Prince? That's gonna be hard. But even though we know he's going to inevitably succeed, we still get to see how he does it, which gives us something to hold on to, because as dark as things can be, we always try our best to get the best results for everyone, even if it takes us several tries, reloads, new save files and resets, if there's a way out of the darkness, dammit, we're going to find it and bring as many people as we can into the light with us so we can all bask in the morning sun with no regrets.

Sue me, I'm a sucker for happy endings, okay? I'm a sucker for games that aren't "so dark you can't the sun", okay? I like playing a good guy. I like playing a Paladin, a Hero, a lowly janitor who steps up to save the world every time even when nobody appreciates him, a police officer who wants to do the right thing despite all the stigma against his profession, a determined child who saves both his world and a world of monsters simply by being kind to them even when they want him dead. I like showing the world that there's actually hope in life and people. To quote Grahampa himself, "It just made me feel good inside."

Is that wrong?

Don't worry, Numbers, I'm not saying this because I disagree with what you said up there. I just wanted to say it somewhere.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2015, 05:17:22 PM by GrahamRocks! »

Offline Numbers

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Re: KQ8 in retrospect
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2015, 05:49:10 PM »
Well, better optimistic than "Oh, why me? Why do I have to do it?! You shouldn't put much faith in me, because there's not much I can do, really!" because to be honest, in a darker an edgier KQ style game by any other company, you'd know that's what they'd do. Make it so bleak and sorrowful, that you wonder why you're playing. That's what's popular after all in the gaming industry is darkness. Things are never just allowed to be happy, they must be depressing, deconstructed and crushingly bittersweet at most, because it's not realistic. Because that's how stories are meant to be told. Because you learn something valuable from it, and that is that the world wants to kill you dead more than you believe so you better either make people cry or scream in agony and fear, just in the hopes that they'll come out changed and saying "I'll be good, I swear!"

Spec Ops: The Line. Period. That game epitomizes everything you just said about overly dark material with no optimism in sight. That game punishes you for doing what you're told to do. Even Wolfenstein: The New Order was more optimistic than that, and that game is dark as hell. Seriously, f*ck Spec Ops. I can't believe how ham-fisted and pretentious that game was.

It's fair to gravitate towards light-hearted fare like KQ2015 if you're getting sick of the dark material, I suppose. But there's a place for everything, so long as you're not obnoxious about it.

Take the movies and TV shows from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They have everything under their belt. They've got The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy for the kids, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for the teens who are into darker stuff, and Daredevil and Jessica Jones for the adults who can handle extremely dark subject matter presented in a bleak but mostly tasteful way. Jessica Jones in particular is the most grim and dark live-action superhero anything I've ever seen, with a supervillain that far surpasses even the Joker in sheer creepiness, and guess what? It's phenomenal to watch. It's dark, and it's done very, very well.

MoE was not done well. It tried to be darker and edgier than the rest of KQ, but the inherent silliness in the dialogue and the game's overall presentation gave us a very flawed product. It was darker, but only in a few areas. As I stated before, it was not done well. And I guess if you're a fan of more lighthearted KQ material, then KQ2015 is the game for you. I'll still play MoE over KQ2015 any day of the week, so sue me, but I recognize that there's a place for KQ2015 in today's ever-bleaker world.
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Offline GrahamRocks!

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Re: KQ8 in retro
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2015, 06:10:53 PM »
Sorry you had to read all that. Sorry if that was long winded and, indeed, obnoxious and whiny.

Speaking of darker and edgier KQ, you know what I find interesting? I find it so interesting that the new game's first episode gets flack for being too light, because darkness is "in", and yet... when TSL was released and the fans saw that it was darker than canon, they gave it flack for being too dark. Huh. Small world.

And yet despite what I said up there, and I know I'm going to sound hypocritical... I love TSL just as much as I do the new game. It's the exact opposite of AKTR, and yet I love it anyway. I don't know if it's because of how they characterized Graham and actually made me care about and like him as a character, I don't know if it's the lore they've developed in The Four Winds, I don't know if it's just me with the mindset of "the night is darkest just before the dawn" and that gives me hope that the ending of episode five will be a happy one... but for some reason I like them both.

I know, I'm weird.

Oh, I almost forgot! Police Quest 4: Open Season. Oh God... the acting... the bland characters... The fact that the death of a child is a red herring... the abrupt triumphant ending... WHY?!
« Last Edit: November 29, 2015, 10:02:18 PM by GrahamRocks! »

Offline Bludshot

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Re: KQ8 in retrospect
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2015, 10:21:55 AM »
One of the best/worst things about that game was the lava world where one misstep into the lava river meant instant death, and you were subjected to 10 seconds of Connor ablaze screaming in agony before burning to ash.

Naturally the developers thought this was the perfect time to introduce first person platforming.
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Offline Numbers

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Re: KQ8 in retrospect
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2015, 10:39:53 AM »
Yeah, the "burning alive" death throe went on for way too long. It doesn't help that the Dimension of Death had random patches of lava strewn around the place, and the Swamp having that stupid jumping puzzle where you have to jump onto the blocks in the right order lest you get lit up, even as you're getting pelted with unavoidable fiery arrows the whole time. And then of course you get another jumping puzzle in the lava world itself...
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Offline Bludshot

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Re: KQ8 in retrospect
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2015, 11:05:04 AM »
The lava jumping puzzle also had that inexplicably serene music which is an odd backdrop to the ohmygodiamonfire scream.
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Offline GrahamRocks!

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Re: KQ8 in retrospect
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2015, 11:37:02 AM »
Soundtrack Dissonance is fun!

Offline Numbers

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Re: KQ8 in retrospect
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2015, 02:41:35 PM »
I think soundtrack dissonance is getting way overused in movie trailers these days. How many trailers are there that you can think of that play a slow, mournful version of an originally upbeat song while showing scenes of death and destruction? Age of Ultron might have helped popularize it. For instance, when you watch the Suicide Squad trailer, could it be any more obvious that they're ripping off Age of Ultron's first trailer?
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Offline GrahamRocks!

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Re: KQ8 in retrospect
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2015, 02:59:52 PM »
How many times have I seen someone using a nursery rhyme or a music box to be purposefully creepy? Nobody ever plays that straight anymore.

Offline Numbers

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Re: KQ8 in retrospect
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2015, 03:35:05 PM »
Exactly. That stuff is way overused. The last non-creepy music box I can think of was Davy Jones' music box in the second and third Pirates of the Caribbean films, and those scenes were still meant to be depressing rather than upbeat.
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Offline GrahamRocks!

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Re: KQ8 in retrospect
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2015, 03:37:13 PM »
Now, pipe organs, those I can understand why they're used in creepy stuff.

Offline Numbers

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Re: KQ8 in retrospect
« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2015, 05:41:40 PM »
Davy Jones did have a pretty rockin' pipe organ, now that you mention it...
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Offline GrahamRocks!

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Re: KQ8 in retrospect
« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2015, 06:08:52 PM »
*nods*

Offline Bludshot

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Re: KQ8 in retrospect
« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2015, 10:03:38 AM »
Safe to say pipe organs enhance everything, from spooky castles to hockey games.
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Offline Numbers

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Re: KQ8 in retrospect
« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2015, 03:52:59 PM »
Not to mention lullabies. There's nothing more soothing than ominous, noisy, blaring pipe organs.
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Offline Rock Knight

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Re: KQ8 in retrospect
« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2015, 07:46:45 PM »
I admit, though my knowledge of MoE is rather low (I still need to watch Rudy's runthrough), I... kinda like what I've seen of Connor. Questionable dialogue aside, he sounds noble when he's not spouting memes. He sounds like someone who really wants to protect his kingdom.

Yeah, Connor's a pretty optimistic guy. A little too optimistic, actually.

Half-Petrified Wizard (summarized): Connor, everything is up to you. You are the sole survivor of the apocalypse, and if you don't find a way to save the world, no one can. You are our last hope.

Connor's reaction to this in a nutshell: Cool!

No, I'd say that Gabriel Knight 3 is worse than QFG5. I like QFG5 a ton, despite its flaws. I think pretty much anyone can agree with what you said about the later LSL games.

Have there been any adventure game franchises that went out on a high note? King's Quest's original run ended with MoE, Space Quest 6 was a massive step backward from the previous game, QFG5 was also a step backward from QFG4--although a little bit better than 3, in my opinion--Gabriel Knight 3 looked awful by comparison to the first two games, Phantasmagoria lasted all of one respected game before going down the gutter with its sequel, Darkseed showed promise until Darkseed 2 came out and destroyed the franchise, I honestly don't think LSL was any good even on the best of days, which meant Box Office Bust was that much worse, and so on. It wasn't until the fans came along that some of these regained their lost glory. TSL is definitely a step in the right direction from MoE, and Space Quest Incinerations stands tied with SQ5 as my favorite game in the series.

Connor is an underrated character. Blast the cheesy dialogue, but cheesy dialogue was part of most of the series.

Explain what you mean by "character assassination" with regard to SQ6.

As far as KQ8: I think it offered too many changes too fast, but that it was a step in the right direction. A darker, Arthurian tone (with only slight humor, no Isle of Wonder type antics); limited combat (limited to bosses; I believe combat can exist in an adventure game if done right), and more ties to the original games would've seen it be the best KQ. As it is, I love the story, and the simple fighting system is great for someone who isn't big into fighting games. The idea behind Mask was an epic one, it just wasn't executed properly due to a lot of crazy stuff going on at Sierra. Still a solid B+, A- game, and a KQ in my book.
 

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