Author Topic: My thoughts on TSL so far  (Read 2013 times)

Offline Arix

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My thoughts on TSL so far
« on: February 23, 2011, 01:41:33 AM »
There are a lot of them. This isn't gonig to be a proper review, just a few random thoughts I have floating around in my skull.

Let me begin by clarifying something. Although there are some complaints I have about the game that I'll be listing here, I have a huge amount of respect for what the team have accomplished. And regardless of the complaints I have, I'm loving the game so far, and can't wait for the final episodes to be released.

I'm going to start with one of the most obvious good points - the sheer amount of fanservice packed in the game. I spent a surely unhealthy amount of time just in the pawn shop, randomly looking around, and my god, people. You've certainly done your homework on the series. Everything from chatting with Hakim to just poking around the items on the shelves. And looking at the soup bowls? Marvelous. But it wasn't just the pawn shop, of course. At one point, I stopped adventuring all together just to keep clicking the talk icon on Graham and trying to place all the different tunes he whistled to himself (I got the King's Quest theme, the Space Quest theme, the Monkey Island theme, and a bunch others). The sheer attention to detail and tiny flourishes like that is beautiful.

The other biggest plus is the amount of effort you've all obviously put in in expanding on the KQ world and backstory. Anyone can add a bit of extra depth to an established world and characters, but what you've done seems to go way beyond that, in that it all seems natural and makes sense with the official KQ canon. So much so that I could easily see Roberta Williams having come up with most of it herself. So bravo on that.

The gameplay itself is another plus. You've struck that perfect chord in making the puzzles difficult, but possible to eventually figure out without resorting to a guide or trial and error (for me, anyway). There are a few things I'd change, but those are more due to personal feelings on the genre rather than bad design in itself.

One final good point, and perhaps my personal highlight of the experience so far - the female dog warrior. Most "comedy relief" characters are infamous for being just plain annoying and obnoxious (see also Tingle, Jar-Jar, Brother Gilert). But I think her schtick was just right, and you made the wise choice not to overuse her, giving her just enough time to do her thing and then be off. She's certainly up there with Volatilus from the Temeraire series as one of my favourite comic relief characters, and I do hope we get to see more of this feisty warrior (though hopefully not long enough for her to start to grate).

Okay, the bad.

The first thing that comes immediately to mind is how overwhleming dark the whole thing is. King's Quest was always known for its relatively light-hearted atmosphere, but geez. I get that you were trying to create a mood and establish an emotional connection, but it seemed like every other item I looked at, I was reminded of Graham's heavy heart and struggle to maintain hope that his family will pull through this horrible tragedy. It was all just a bit too much.

There were also a few technical problems I experienced. Mostly minor graphical glitches (for example, when I looked in the pot outside the pawn shop, Graham stayed in the "looking in the pot" frame of animation until I left the screen), but the game also crashed a whole bunch of times. About halfway through the chapter, I got into the habit of saving after every screen, just in case. It got very annoying after a while, but was necessary if I didn't want to keep losing chunks of progress.

One final complaint is about the voicework. For the most part, it's excellent, better than most commercial games. But there's one character in particular that sticks out - the Archdruid. Don't get me wrong, I don't think the guy behind him is a bad voice actor. I think he's actually quite talented. But his voice just seems wrong for the character. The Archdruid's voice in KQ6 was powerful, commanding, and really gave the feeling that this was a strong and noble champion of nature, and the fearsome chieftain of a fearsome tribe. Frankly, I just don't get that feeling with his voice in TSL. Again, this isn't the actor's fault, as I think he does a great job - I just don't think his voice fits the character very well.

I'm going to conclude by again emphasizing the fact that these really are minor niggles. The bottom line is that I would quite happily pay full retail price for this game, and I would not be disappointed at all. The amount of love and effort the team have put in is plain to see, and it's astonishing. You all have a lot to be proud of, and I for one eagerly await not just the final episodes of TSL, but also the future of the team behind it.
Te dea te, te fugiunt venti
Te nubila, nubila caeli
Adventumque, adventum tuum
Tibi nitet, lumina caelum
 

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