Author Topic: Opinions on King's Quest VII?  (Read 22884 times)

Sir Perceval of Daventry

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Opinions on King's Quest VII?
« on: September 30, 2011, 06:07:41 PM »
Continuing my series of retrospective reviews and opinions on each KQ game, how do you feel about King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride? Upon release in November 1994, it was released to mixed reviews, with some loving the game, others hating it, and still others feeling mixed feelings about it. It was arguably the most revolutionary KQ game (in terms of changing gameplay elements) since King's Quest V.

Featuring Don Bluth style graphics and an enchanting 2D, Disney-esque world, it too continued the King's Quest tradition of pushing new technology as far as it could be taken, featuring a stunning a Disney style introduction, cel  shaded animation, a hot cursor interface, cinematic cutscenes and a light hearted atmosphere. It was the first KQ game to be developed at Bellevue, Sierra's new Headquarters, the first King's Quest game which could only be released on CD due to it's large size, and the only King's Quest game which was not written by Roberta Williams, though she co-designed and co-directed it. It was also the only King's Quest game which was designed by Roberta while she also designed another game, Phantasmagoria. It was the first King's Quest game to feature two protagonists, the first to not feature any narrator and the first designed on a chapter based system.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2011, 06:19:30 PM by Sir Perceval of Daventry »

Offline Damar

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Re: Opinions on King's Quest VII?
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2011, 07:30:27 PM »
Everything I like about KQ7 is eclipsed by things that bother me.  I liked the different areas and lands that were presented.  Ooga Booga successfully juggled somewhat disturbing imagery and child-friendly lightness that King's Quest was known for.  The desert was very spare and had an appropriately desolate feel.  I just really did like the locations a lot.  Except Falderal.  That was a bit over the top.  Still fairly King's Questy, though.

That said, I thought the cartoony style detracted from the game.  Suddenly these characters we'd grown up with were cartoons without the right number of fingers.  Rosella sounded like a goofy valley girl and was certainly not the same character type that we saw in KQ4.  Valanice also came across as fairly whiny to me.  I also found it weird that I was supposed to be happy that Edger won over Rosella in the end.  The guy kidnapped Rosella twice and has twice worked for evil fairies.  He needs professional help, not a pity date.

The main thing I really disliked about the game, though was the design.  The interface was completely idiot proof, which detracted from the challenge.  I want to explore my surroundings, not wave a wand over hotspots.  I have also never been a fan of chapters or the retry function.  Part of the fun of these games was constantly saving and staying on your toes.  The retry function removes part of the challenge.  And the fact that you can just pick up at any chapter you want is pointless to me.  It only exists for someone to jump to the final chapter and give themselves a pat on the back for "beating" the game.  I guess it also exists as a means of picking up at a particular part of the game because there are no saves either.  Still, it fragments the game in my opinion.

Also, some of the puzzles and story in the game seemed confused and poorly thought out.  A perfect example would be Valanice's inability to reach a foot in front of her and pick up a wheel of cheese.  No, you need a crook.  She barely even reached for the thing!  It also bothered me when Rosella had to disguise herself in Ooga Booga.  A cloak just appears by magic.  No explanation.  Nothing.  The writers created a need for Rosella to disguise herself, but then didn't know how to do it.  They either should have found a more organic way of managing that, or just not made Rosella need to disguise herself.  She was walking around Ooga Booga already.  Why suddenly change things?  And how did Edger get on Tsepish's horse to rescue Valanice?  It didn't make sense, but they needed to get Valanice off that mountain somehow.  Or, rather, they could have had one of the winds take her, but then they wouldn't have had a lame cliffhanger of Valanice being left alone.  Again, the writers wrote themselves into a corner for no reason and didn't even attempt to get out of it.  This all seems petty to me as I write it, but it just gave the game a sloppier feel than past games.

By and large it was still an enjoyable play for  me, but nowhere in the same ballpark of previous games.  Well, except for KQ1, which I've just never enjoyed all that much, but that's a post for the other topic.

Offline jazzguy+87

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Re: Opinions on King's Quest VII?
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2011, 11:09:08 PM »
I always liked king's Quest VII.  While I'll admit some of the puzzle were weak, and the interface was too simple, I thought the art and music were outstanding.

I love the detail in the art.  I know that pixelation is all retro, and 3D environments are somewhat more immersive, but I think the game has the best graphics of any KQ game.

It was also great to have multiple payable characters, and to visit the same lands at different times as different characters.  I cannot think of another game with those elements.

While it isn't my favorite KQ, I remember it fondly.

Offline Lambonius

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Re: Opinions on King's Quest VII?
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2011, 12:26:38 AM »
This about sums it up.

Offline KatieHal

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Re: Opinions on King's Quest VII?
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2011, 07:51:07 AM »
Use your words, Lamb.

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Offline Lambonius

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Re: Opinions on King's Quest VII?
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2011, 08:25:10 AM »
Use your words, Lamb.

Hahaha...but every time I use my words, I get into trouble!

Offline MusicallyInspired

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Re: Opinions on King's Quest VII?
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2011, 09:31:10 AM »
Never liked it. It was far too silly for me and the animation was horrible. Backgrounds didn't look too bad in some areas, though. But it's all just too silly. So silly it's not even funny. Cringe-worthy. Hated the game. I still must finish it one of these days, though.

Sir Perceval of Daventry

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Re: Opinions on King's Quest VII?
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2011, 12:03:42 PM »
Never liked it. It was far too silly for me and the animation was horrible. Backgrounds didn't look too bad in some areas, though. But it's all just too silly. So silly it's not even funny. Cringe-worthy. Hated the game. I still must finish it one of these days, though.

For some reason I imagine you saying that in Graham Chapman's voice.

Offline MusicallyInspired

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Re: Opinions on King's Quest VII?
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2011, 12:09:31 PM »
Lol! It actually works quite well! I promise it wasn't intended, though.

Offline Bludshot

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Re: Opinions on King's Quest VII?
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2011, 04:46:10 PM »
It's a little astounding that after the huge success of KQVI Roberta Williams took almost none of the positives over to VII.  I realize she felt the series needed to evolve but it just I find it uncanny she removed all the pluses of KQ (points system, 5 senses replaced by a single cursor, and in the case of V and VI, beautiful setting) and added...3D inventory?

I'm glad Jane Jensen went on to make the GK series because it is so depressing that the series couldn't even meet the bar KQVI raised for the genre.
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Sir Perceval of Daventry

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Re: Opinions on King's Quest VII?
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2011, 05:03:53 PM »
It's a little astounding that after the huge success of KQVI Roberta Williams took almost none of the positives over to VII.  I realize she felt the series needed to evolve but it just I find it uncanny she removed all the pluses of KQ (points system, 5 senses replaced by a single cursor, and in the case of V and VI, beautiful setting) and added...3D inventory?

I'm glad Jane Jensen went on to make the GK series because it is so depressing that the series couldn't even meet the bar KQVI raised for the genre.

She replaced the icon interface because Sierra was getting complaints that it was "clunky." Also, KQ6, while critically acclaimed didn't outsell KQ5. KQ5 still was the highest selling computer game of all time until 1995, when Myst overtook it. She basically undertook a fact finding mission in 1991-1992, looking at the interfaces of all the most popular and high selling adventure games out there, and KQ7's interface came from that.

Also, I tend to think locations like this are beautiful:






Offline Lambonius

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Re: Opinions on King's Quest VII?
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2011, 11:25:58 PM »
It's a little astounding that after the huge success of KQVI Roberta Williams took almost none of the positives over to VII.  I realize she felt the series needed to evolve but it just I find it uncanny she removed all the pluses of KQ (points system, 5 senses replaced by a single cursor, and in the case of V and VI, beautiful setting) and added...3D inventory?

I'm glad Jane Jensen went on to make the GK series because it is so depressing that the series couldn't even meet the bar KQVI raised for the genre.

Neither could the GK series, though.  GK2 and 3 suck dirty nuts.

Good points about KQ7 though.  Agreed in full.

As for those posted screenshots--do I have to repost my dogshit image?

Sir Perceval of Daventry

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Re: Opinions on King's Quest VII?
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2011, 01:06:17 AM »
It's a little astounding that after the huge success of KQVI Roberta Williams took almost none of the positives over to VII.  I realize she felt the series needed to evolve but it just I find it uncanny she removed all the pluses of KQ (points system, 5 senses replaced by a single cursor, and in the case of V and VI, beautiful setting) and added...3D inventory?

I'm glad Jane Jensen went on to make the GK series because it is so depressing that the series couldn't even meet the bar KQVI raised for the genre.

Neither could the GK series, though.  GK2 and 3 suck dirty nuts.

Good points about KQ7 though.  Agreed in full.

As for those posted screenshots--do I have to repost my dogshit image?

Don't really see the problem with the backgrounds. I think the backgrounds are some of the most beautiful KQ areas this side of KQ5. I also like that it was a return to simpler times after the Jane Jensen-ness of KQ6.

Offline Lambonius

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Re: Opinions on King's Quest VII?
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2011, 09:20:33 AM »
It's a little astounding that after the huge success of KQVI Roberta Williams took almost none of the positives over to VII.  I realize she felt the series needed to evolve but it just I find it uncanny she removed all the pluses of KQ (points system, 5 senses replaced by a single cursor, and in the case of V and VI, beautiful setting) and added...3D inventory?

I'm glad Jane Jensen went on to make the GK series because it is so depressing that the series couldn't even meet the bar KQVI raised for the genre.

Neither could the GK series, though.  GK2 and 3 suck dirty nuts.

Good points about KQ7 though.  Agreed in full.

As for those posted screenshots--do I have to repost my dogshit image?

Don't really see the problem with the backgrounds. I think the backgrounds are some of the most beautiful KQ areas this side of KQ5. I also like that it was a return to simpler times after the Jane Jensen-ness of KQ6.

Okay, I'll concede that the background art is probably the single LEAST objectionable thing about KQ7.  ;)

Offline jazzguy+87

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Re: Opinions on King's Quest VII?
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2011, 10:04:05 AM »
I think my image of this game is also tainted by the fact that we never see King Graham.

Sir Perceval of Daventry

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Re: Opinions on King's Quest VII?
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2011, 11:52:12 AM »
I think my image of this game is also tainted by the fact that we never see King Graham.

It's for the better. He was going to appear but his appearance was cut. He wasn't going to be voiced by Josh Mandel as Josh had quit Sierra around the time of KQ4's development. And the actor they got for him is terrible. His voice is still in the game's files and if I'm not mistaken he's still in the end credits.

Offline Bludshot

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Re: Opinions on King's Quest VII?
« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2011, 12:01:41 PM »
She replaced the icon interface because Sierra was getting complaints that it was "clunky." Also, KQ6, while critically acclaimed didn't outsell KQ5. KQ5 still was the highest selling computer game of all time until 1995, when Myst overtook it. She basically undertook a fact finding mission in 1991-1992, looking at the interfaces of all the most popular and high selling adventure games out there, and KQ7's interface came from that.

The single cursor can be done properly, but it definitely was not in KQ7.  All of the puzzles were either solved by clicking on everything you can, or in the case of the moon logic puzzles, just using each inventory on something until it works. 

So I guess I can see the resemblance to Myst.
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Offline Numbers

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Re: Opinions on King's Quest VII?
« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2011, 01:20:56 PM »
I think that most of the King's Quest games have their areas of "kid-friendly" silliness.  KQV obviously had Cedric (and I still believe that most of the characters in the game are silly in an unintentional way).  KQVI had the Isle of Wonder, which I found more strange than humorous.  As for Mask of Eternity, well...Swamp Wisps collecting secrets...need I say more?

KQVII was...silly just about everywhere.  Falderal was the centerpiece of it, but Ooga Booga was campy as well.  I personally never found the Boogeyman remotely scary.  He's crazy, obviously, but not in the eerie way that the Joker in The Dark Knight is.  He's crazy in a campy way, just like everything else about Ooga Booga.  Overall, I think the game was an overload of silliness, and I wholeheartedly agree with Paw Dugan's retrospective of it: http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/teamt/paw/kingsquest/30490-kings-quest-retrospective-the-princeless-bride
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Re: Opinions on King's Quest VII?
« Reply #18 on: October 02, 2011, 02:52:59 PM »
I think that most of the King's Quest games have their areas of "kid-friendly" silliness.  KQV obviously had Cedric (and I still believe that most of the characters in the game are silly in an unintentional way).  KQVI had the Isle of Wonder, which I found more strange than humorous.  As for Mask of Eternity, well...Swamp Wisps collecting secrets...need I say more?

KQVII was...silly just about everywhere.  Falderal was the centerpiece of it, but Ooga Booga was campy as well.  I personally never found the Boogeyman remotely scary.  He's crazy, obviously, but not in the eerie way that the Joker in The Dark Knight is.  He's crazy in a campy way, just like everything else about Ooga Booga.  Overall, I think the game was an overload of silliness, and I wholeheartedly agree with Paw Dugan's retrospective of it: http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/teamt/paw/kingsquest/30490-kings-quest-retrospective-the-princeless-bride


Yeah but why does a bad guy have to be creepy in the eerie way the Joker is? Why the need for hyperrealism? Remember, Disney-esque was the model and Disney doesn't normally feature realistic psychopaths as the villains. Some of their villains are even LIKEABLE--Jafar anyone?

Offline MusicallyInspired

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Re: Opinions on King's Quest VII?
« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2011, 03:32:34 PM »
He has to be because that's our preference. If our taste is not in campy non-scary bad guys meant to portray a campy scariness then we're not going to like it. And seeing as the rest of King's Quest wasn't campy in it's scary parts it's not too far-fetched to think that maybe that's where our tastes lie When we think about King's Quest. If that's your thing than awesome. It's definitely not mine.
 

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