Author Topic: Feedback on the fight  (Read 39833 times)

Offline Thaumaturge

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Re: Feedback on the fight
« Reply #60 on: November 17, 2011, 04:00:39 PM »
Evolution does not equal transformation into another genre ...
Hmm, if you mean another pre-existing genre, then I might agree.  That said, I'd like to see new genres taking shoot from the adventure genre, and more outright hybridisations.  While a sudden genre swerve mayh well not be a good idea, a good melding of genres might be...

... which is what these sequences in Episode 4 really are.
I'm not sure that I agree.  While the combat sequence may have had the timing and appearance of combat, it seems to me that it was at heart about identifying a state by sight and picking the appropriate response.  Lacking the quick-thinking adaptation or button mashing / frantic clicking of an action game or the complexity of a tactical game, I don't think that I'm inclined to call it either, really.  It seems to me to be simply a puzzle with unusual trappings.  As to puzzles, one or two outright puzzles in an adventure game doesn't make a puzzle game, it seems to me.  Even the relevance of timing is not unknown in adventure games, I think.

Offline Cez

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Re: Feedback on the fight
« Reply #61 on: November 17, 2011, 05:29:30 PM »
Did you play Ep4, Lamb?

Obviously he hasn't, and obviously he's just talking out of spite for TSL, because one of his favorite games of all time, Quest For Glory, is one of the greatest example of a game that lacks that identity he's referring to.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2011, 05:32:01 PM by Cez »


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Offline Damar

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Re: Feedback on the fight
« Reply #62 on: November 17, 2011, 07:01:58 PM »
If the fact that Lamb hasn't played episode 4 disqualifies him from asking those questions, then let me ask the same questions and make the same points.  How should I phrase this...

All these statements about "evolving the adventure genre" are complete bullshit. 

Evolution does not equal transformation into another genre, which is what these sequences in Episode 4 really are.  Sure, adventure games should evolve, but at what cost?  At what point in this "evolution" does the game cease being an adventure game and become and action game?  Or an RPG?  Or a puzzle game (NOT the same as an adventure game, by the way.)

If you want to "evolve" the adventure genre, try coming up with something original, not just "borrowing" game mechanics from another genre.

I think that works.  This really is how I see it.  And I'm not talking from spite for TSL.  Heck, when I first joined up I jumped into a topic defending why I thought the narrator not only wasn't annoying but also wasn't that much of a departure from past King's Quests.  His points here are valid.  You talk of evolving the genre, but is this evolution?  It's just taking aspects of other genres and saying, "This is really fun, so do this now."  And I would also argue, once again, that the genre can't really be evolved right now because it's pretty much dead, outside of fan games.  If you want to do an adventure game, do an adventure game.  Worry about evolving the genre when it's reestablished.  And as for Quest for Glory being one of Lamb's favorite games, the difference is that Quest for Glory was always an adventure/RPG hybrid.  King's Quest has not been.  That's why it seems so out of place here.

Look, I've already beaten my points into the ground, which is why I haven't been posting in this topic recently.  I don't think the fight sequence fits, and I simply don't believe that these are adventure puzzles.  These are less "figure it out" adventure puzzles and more stimulus/response puzzles.  You can talk about Shadrack's tells, but the tells are repeated over an over again, so it devolves into stimulus/response and repetitive button pushing.  And that's just the defense.  The offense is just spamming the earth attack every single time until the final fire attack.  So the so-called "adventure puzzle" is really only half the sequence anyway.  So I won't belabor my points anymore.  I don't like the sequence.  I think it drags the game to a grinding halt.  But clearly you want to continue with them, so whatever.  It's you're game and I'm enjoying other aspects of it, so I can suck up the fights and deal.  But Lamb's points here are valid whether he played the game or not, and I know I've seen him be far more sarcastic in other topics than in that post.  But whatever.

Offline Lambonius

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Re: Feedback on the fight
« Reply #63 on: November 17, 2011, 08:22:49 PM »
Did you play Ep4, Lamb?

Eh...no.  :)  You've got me there.  

But my above argument is more directed at the idea of evolution being about borrowing the mechanics of other genres in general.  Why can't we try an original way to evolve adventure gaming that doesn't borrow core concepts that turn the game into a genre-bender?  Heavy Rain did it more or less successfully--and is now being poorly copied by Telltale, the undisputed KING of poorly executed ideas that don't live up to their original source material.

EDIT:  Hahaha, Damar, I hadn't seen your post yet when I wrote the above.

It's true; I haven't played Episode 4 yet, but I was being serious in my earlier post--and not JUST out of spite for TSL (only partly out of spite, haha.)  I've seen this argument about evolving the genre before on other forums from other people, and I just have to fundamentally disagree that genre-bending as a means of genre-evolving is a good thing.  There should be original ways to do the same thing that don't rely on unoriginal, tired mechanics from other genres.

And the fact that Hero's Quest (QFG is for tools!) is one of my favorite Sierra games in no way should have any bearing on whether or not I think genre-bending as evolution is a good idea.  HQ wasn't about evolving the adventure genre, it was intentionally a genre-bender and always was, right out of the gate.  You wanted to play an HQ game, you knew right away that you weren't playing a "pure" adventure game.  There were no pretenses, no lofty claims of "genre evolution."
« Last Edit: November 17, 2011, 08:32:16 PM by Lambonius »

Offline Demidronik

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Re: Feedback on the fight
« Reply #64 on: November 17, 2011, 10:49:08 PM »
I had no trouble with the fighting sequence
Spoiler (mouse over to reveal):
I did not find it particularly different than the fights at the end of KQ5 or KQ6, which both required you to preform actions with a limited amount of time.
Though I would have preferred if the fight had at least one more puzzle in it, as oppose to solely relying on the rock paper scissors puzzle. Like a dialogue tree puzzle or something, just to balance things out.

I guess you could add an easy mode for people with slow reflexes, maybe give them double the time to preform the actions needed. That is the only solution I can think of the people's quick time event woes.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2011, 10:55:16 PM by Demidronik »

Offline KatieHal

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Re: Feedback on the fight
« Reply #65 on: November 18, 2011, 08:06:43 AM »
It doesn't 'disqualify' Lamb's questions & thoughts about the adventure genre, but it does throw some salt into how one should take his thoughts on the Ep 4 puzzles in particular. If I were to read this thread knowing nothing and not having played the game, I'd have no idea what to think based on this alone--the opinions are across the board.

As for my thoughts on the idea in general: I love classic adventure games. But if they were perfect the way they were, it wouldn't be a struggling genre now. So, yes, something needs to change and evolve in it. Is it this? Maybe not. I think our 'action-y' sequence in Ep 3 was much more successful overall than it seems these two have been. My guess is that one reason is that was an extended section, not one screen you were locked into until you were done, which gave it less of a mini-game feel.

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Offline oberonqa

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Re: Feedback on the fight
« Reply #66 on: November 18, 2011, 08:36:23 AM »
It doesn't 'disqualify' Lamb's questions & thoughts about the adventure genre, but it does throw some salt into how one should take his thoughts on the Ep 4 puzzles in particular. If I were to read this thread knowing nothing and not having played the game, I'd have no idea what to think based on this alone--the opinions are across the board.

As for my thoughts on the idea in general: I love classic adventure games. But if they were perfect the way they were, it wouldn't be a struggling genre now. So, yes, something needs to change and evolve in it. Is it this? Maybe not. I think our 'action-y' sequence in Ep 3 was much more successful overall than it seems these two have been. My guess is that one reason is that was an extended section, not one screen you were locked into until you were done, which gave it less of a mini-game feel.

I agree that the genre does indeed need to evolve... but that is true of all genre's.  Look at RPG elements.  20 years ago, RPG's were considered a niche market and as a result, there weren't very many successful RPG's aside from the holy trinity of M&M/Wizardy/Ultima.  Even the now venerable titan Final Fantasy met with questionable mainstream success outside of Japan in the early 90's.  However, that all changed with Final Fantasy VII.  Final Fantasy VII was a critical success, not just for that particular series, but for the genre as a whole.  Why?  The answer to this will vary depending on who you talk to, but my particular take is Final Fantasy VII raised the bar for storytelling.  No one had seen anything quite like what Final Fantasy VII presented.  RPG's had been telling deep and compelling stories for a decade prior to Final Fantasy VII, but it was the method in which that story was presented that made Final Fantasy VII special.  Pre-rendered FMV cutscenes added new depth to the experience and it's my opinion that this is what made Final Fantasy VII such a success.  And because Final Fantasy VII was such a success, it led to a revitalization of the RPG genre that continues to this day.

The adventure game genre needs to evolve just like the RPG genre evolved... but it has to evolve naturally.  Final Fantasy VII was an evolution in storytelling and presentation that gave the genre the breath of fresh air that it so desperately needed.  The adventure game genre needs something similar in my opinion.  Your average gamer these days is a lot savvier than the gamers of 20 years ago, which makes it harder to grab and keep the gamer's attention.  I'm not sure what the adventure genre needs in order to successfully evolve, but I would strongly recommend looking at the successful adventure games of the last decade and see what made them successful.  The Longest Journey was a great success for the genre... why?  Indigo Prophecy / Heavy Rain are great success for the genre... again... why?  Answering that question about those games will enable adventure game designers to begin narrowing in on what is needed to successfully evolve the genre.  You can't simply copy what came before you call it evolution... but you also cannot play it safe.  Evolution is all about maintaining balance between the familiar AND the new.  Too little evolution and you fail.  Too much evolution and you fail. 

It's a fine line to walk... which is why I say continue doing what you do.  Make the game that you would like to play.  Worry about things like evolution and innovation later.  :)
 
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Offline Fender178

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Re: Feedback on the fight
« Reply #67 on: November 18, 2011, 06:49:19 PM »
I liked the fight at the end kind reminded me of the fight against Mordack at the end of KQ5 but it was  harder and more commands were involved in the end fight at the end of Ep4 of TSL than KQ5.

Offline DawsonJ

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Re: Feedback on the fight
« Reply #68 on: November 19, 2011, 01:29:52 AM »
I've got to ask.... What makes Valanice the only one who can do the puzzle, when Rosella is of the same blood lines? To me, there's nothing truly Valanice-centric about that part. And, really, 4 mouse clicks (aside from the puzzle itself) don't mean a character is uniquely "playable". No more than the two clicks performed as Boogle really made him a "playable" character in the final level of Torin's Passage.

I liked the concept, but a mere puzzle as Valanice left me longing to actually play as her, in any world - even if just walking out into Rosella's dream world for a couple of minutes, with Amy telling of Valanice's maternal or autohistorical thoughts, like how she was remembering things long forgotten.

(Yes, those are puzzle-related comments. So I put them here, not in general feedback.)

And, the Amulet, just like the "Dodge" comments, tends to leave little time to actually click them, even if you're ready, in Ep3 and Ep4. Maybe adding a 1- or 2-second delay would be a good idea.

Since the Amulet will be in Ep5, how about some opportunities to play with it outside of battle? As much as I enjoy RPGs, they rarely let you use the characters' abilities freely. Really, I can only think of the Mario & Luigi series which allows you to do that - like randomly throwing fireballs and electricity, without the strict Pokémon Hidden Machine type of rules (Whirlpool can only stop whirlpools, not randomly start them in calm seas.)

(Still a battle/extra-battle question and explanation.)

Offline KatieHal

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Re: Feedback on the fight
« Reply #69 on: November 19, 2011, 08:44:17 AM »
Dawson--you think we'd leave you hanging with only a few minutes and one puzzle as Valanice? :) Not likely, my friend! (Also, did you watch until the end of the credits?)

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Offline Thaumaturge

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Re: Feedback on the fight
« Reply #70 on: November 19, 2011, 10:31:54 AM »
But my above argument is more directed at the idea of evolution being about borrowing the mechanics of other genres in general.  Why can't we try an original way to evolve adventure gaming that doesn't borrow core concepts that turn the game into a genre-bender?
I think that I partially agree with you here: specifically, I think that the inclusion of elements from other genres is not the only way to bring change to the genre.  However, I do think that elements from other genres - perhaps changed appropriately - might yet have a place in adventure games.   As I see it, why should a mechanic having been used elsewhere already disqualify it for application in another?  Is there a problem with taking inspiration from another genre?

For example (and I'll note here that the following would likely be more a gimmick than something to be taken up broadly, although I may be wrong), what about side-quests, inspired by RPGs?

A game might then have, as per usual, its main story-line, while at times presenting the opportunity to go off on a brief tangent, a short story within the setting of the main story, perhaps.  Playing through this might then affect the main story or other side-quests in relatively minor ways.  For example:

  • If the main quest has a pawn-shop such as in King's Quest VI (I think that it was), an item found in the side-quest might allow one to keep two pawned items instead of one, making the main quest a little easier.
  • An item found in the side-quest might allow for an alternate solution to a later puzzle in either the main quest or another side-quest.
  • An action performed in the side-quest might have an effect on the setting, providing either an alternate solution or a new path in either the main quest or another side-quest.

Heavy Rain did it more or less successfully ...
I'm afraid that I haven't gotten to play Heavy Rain (although I think that I'd be interested in doing so) - could you please elaborate?

... There were no pretenses, no lofty claims of "genre evolution."
Hmm...  You do prompt a thought: while I do think that allowing the genre to evolve may well be a positive thing for it, should we be actively trying to do so, or should it arise naturally from our making games as we want them to be?

And I would also argue, once again, that the genre can't really be evolved right now because it's pretty much dead, outside of fan games.  If you want to do an adventure game, do an adventure game.  Worry about evolving the genre when it's reestablished.
Why should a no-longer popular genre (and I'll note that there have been at least some professionally-made adventure games of recent, such as Gray Matter) be precluded from change?  Indeed, perhaps changes to the genre might actually be the source of renewed popularity.  It seems plausible to me that the lack of change in the genre might well be the reason that it is has not recovered more popularity - consider oberonqa's point about RPGs, for example.

Offline DawsonJ

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Re: Feedback on the fight
« Reply #71 on: November 19, 2011, 02:46:24 PM »
If you think about it, adventure games are currently evolving - into the Casual Game and Puzzle Game garbage that Telltale and Big Fish Games continue to defecate. So, in that way, I agree with Cez's idea to make the genre more user-involved. But, these are too long for a gradual change.

Adventure game designers seem to think the modern-day players have the thinking ability and attention span of a Spongebob-obsessed child. The difficult part is strengthening a game, without causing literal Flying Toasters and laptops.

Katie, I saw the whole episode, including the post-credits clip. According to what I've seen, there has been no explanation why Rosella, with Valanice's very blood lines, couldn't do what Valanice did. It just seems like it's just an excuse to explain why Valanice has been worthless throughout the game.

Offline Thaumaturge

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Re: Feedback on the fight
« Reply #72 on: November 19, 2011, 03:12:40 PM »
If I may speculate (and I'm afraid that I don't recall whether I've seen whatever comes at the end of the credits, and the computer on which I played recently suffered a failure), a few potential reasons come to mind:

  • Valanice was not only a Black Cloak in blood, but actually inducted into their order, then mind-wiped.
  • It was simply easier to find an appropriate inducement for her (unlikely, given that Rosella had family and a beloved).
  • The plan was laid before Rosella was conceived, and thus made for Valanice; sticking with the plan may have simply seemed wise.

If you think about it, adventure games are currently evolving - into the Casual Game and Puzzle Game garbage that Telltale and Big Fish Games continue to defecate.
A good point - although I don't really see a problem with casual- and puzzle- games.  There seem to be people who like them, so why should they not be made for such people?  I doubt that the adventure genre is losing anything much by their creation, and a greater multiplicity of genres, and thus of opportunities and game mechanics, and a wider audience in gaming all seem largely positive to me.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2011, 04:27:01 PM by Thaumaturge »

Offline DawsonJ

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Re: Feedback on the fight
« Reply #73 on: November 19, 2011, 03:26:46 PM »
True, some people love the puzzle games, but many of the oldtimers want real adventure games, not watered-down games, such as Telltale's Back to the Future. It's more of an interactive movie under the guise of an adventure game.

Good points about Rosella, by the way, Thaumaturge. I'm trying to keep the designers on their toes because this game is intended to tie up perceived loose ends in the KQ series. That's also why I brought up the fact that Beast's enchantment is tied to Alexander, which originally caused the Beast Death in KQ6.

Offline Thaumaturge

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Re: Feedback on the fight
« Reply #74 on: November 19, 2011, 04:26:20 PM »
True, some people love the puzzle games, but many of the oldtimers want real adventure games, not watered-down games, such as Telltale's Back to the Future. It's more of an interactive movie under the guise of an adventure game.
And that's fair enough, but it seems to me that casual- and puzzle- games are a separate but related genre to adventure games.  To my mind it's a little like a fan of story-heavy RPGs (think Baldur's Gate or Planescape: Torment) being upset about click-fest RPGs (think Diablo and its kin) - while being both offshoots of the RPG base, and sharing core elements (character -types and -stats, for example), they're by now two separate genres of game.  I'm inclined to argue that the same is more or less true of casual- and puzzle- games.

Of course, having read some of the thread here regarding Jurassic Park, I'll note that I believe that there's a difference between casual gameplay and gameplay that is likely to be annoying (lack of at least save-on-exit in such a game, for example).

Good points about Rosella, by the way, Thaumaturge. I'm trying to keep the designers on their toes because this game is intended to tie up perceived loose ends in the KQ series. That's also why I brought up the fact that Beast's enchantment is tied to Alexander, which originally caused the Beast Death in KQ6.
Aah, fair enough - my apologies for stepping in, then! ^^;

(I've also just noticed that I seem to have suggested that Valanice was in blood a Black Clock, which, while an interesting Epileptic Tree, was not, I think, what I had intended, but too amusing to not leave some record of... XD

(I'm going to go fix that presently, I believe. :P))

Offline KatieHal

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Re: Feedback on the fight
« Reply #75 on: November 19, 2011, 06:34:08 PM »
Going on about Valanice's role here...

Spoiler (mouse over to reveal):

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Offline Damar

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Re: Feedback on the fight
« Reply #76 on: November 20, 2011, 11:52:57 AM »
As for my thoughts on the idea in general: I love classic adventure games. But if they were perfect the way they were, it wouldn't be a struggling genre now. So, yes, something needs to change and evolve in it. Is it this? Maybe not. I think our 'action-y' sequence in Ep 3 was much more successful overall than it seems these two have been. My guess is that one reason is that was an extended section, not one screen you were locked into until you were done, which gave it less of a mini-game feel.

I'd agree that being locked into one screen is part of the issue.  But even if the backgrounds shifted, the issue is that the story itself has ground to a halt.  In episode 3, you were trying to get to the top of the tower.  You were trying to save Valanice and figure out what was going on.  In both the episode 4 sequences, the plot was moving along, then stopped dead for these minigames.  And it happened one right after the other right at the end of the game so it was a very abrupt shift, right when the player is ready to move on to the next plot point, having collected the spell ingredients.  And that was kind of baffling to me because neither of those sequences needed to happen then.  Valanice and the box was a flashback, and Shadrack could have come at you any time.  I understand that there was probably a thought that both these things were big events, and they were a climax, but in reality they stopped the plot dead.  Plus, one could argue that having the Shadrack fight earlier, and before the Valanice sequence, would have added more tension.  Shadrack taunts Graham by saying that Valanice opened the box.  If this had happened earlier in the game it would have added uncertainty in the player's mind, and a growing sense of unease and dread as Valanice's sequence began as they realized that Shadrack wasn't messing with Graham and Valanice actually did open the box.

As for evolving the genre, I feel like I kind of sound like a grumpy old man that doesn't want anything different.  Yeah, I realize nothing's perfect.  I do question whether these sequences are evolution or just enjoyable to people who like RPGs already, but I also don't think that this is the right place to try to evolve the genre regardless.  The team is doing this game to wrap up the King's Quest series (as well as gain experience and so on.)  This game comes from a love of an already established series of games and a desire to complete the plot lines and so on.  Because King's Quest is already developed, I don't think it takes forced evolution well.  It would be like me inviting you over for Thanksgiving dinner, then serving deconstructed salads, foams, or other "high concept" culinary items, and cutting out the turkey completely.  I can say that cuisine is evolving, and under normal circumstances I might be right.  But this is Thanksgiving dinner.  There's an expectation of a traditional turkey dinner.  This isn't the place to evolve cuisine.  No one is calling for that in this situation.  King's Quest is established and you're trying to wrap it up.  Work on evolving the genre with Corridor 9 or Cognition.  Is this really the place to try to add RPG elements, then use Quest for Glory (or Hero's Quest.  Whatever) as a precedent?  This is King's Quest.  There's not as much room for evolution.  And that's not be being a stick in the mud.  That's just the reality.  The series has been established for as long as I've been alive.  You want to wrap it up, I think you have to do it by the rules already set by the series.  You wouldn't look at more adult-oriented games (as brilliant as they might be) and then claim that King's Quest would be improved by having Graham physically demonstrate his love for Valanice through a sex scene.  It doesn't fit in what the game is.  The RPG elements are the same.  Do that in Cognition and Corridor 9 and I've got no compliant (outside of personal opinion.)  But it doesn't work in King's Quest.

Offline Cez

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Re: Feedback on the fight
« Reply #77 on: November 20, 2011, 01:46:17 PM »
You are probably taking a bit too far how the sequences "stop" the plot. They advance the game as anything else does. If such is so, getting the evening glory from the Chessboard, for example, does absolutely nothing to the plot, really. Yet these two sequences are crucial in terms of what happens: One shows you who opened the Box, and why, which plays a very centric plot element in episode 5, and the other is essentially the prelude to Episode 5 in every way possible. You don't know where exactly is Episode 5 going, so I'm surprised to hear you saying how important these sequences are to the plot with so much certainty :)


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Offline Damar

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Re: Feedback on the fight
« Reply #78 on: November 20, 2011, 02:17:30 PM »
Yeah, I get that Valanice opening the box is important to the plot.  I get that the Ranger giving you the amulet, Graham embracing the power of the Silver Cloaks, and the brief look at Dreamland is important to the plot.  But the minigames had nothing to do with that.  With the box puzzle, Valanice meets Shadrack, Shadrack threatens Rosella unless Valanice opens the box, Valanice agrees to open the box and all of this is advancing the story.  Then you are expected to stop and solve a puzzle.  The story has been advancing and now it is ground to a halt because I need to match swirling symbols.  There's no longer a question of who opens the box.  Valanice already agreed to and she's actively trying to open the box.  The payoff of seeing the box opened is delayed until you solve the minigame, but that doesn't evoke any emotion.  The emotion already existed but now it's in stasis until you match the symbols.

Likewise, Shadrack stops your boat and talks to Graham like he's the reincarnation of the Silver Cloaks and shows off his new army of smoke snakes (which oddly enough he doesn't use in the fight).  The Ranger appears and gives us a view of what I assume is Dreamland and gives Graham an amulet, telling him to embrace the power of the silver cloaks.  Ok, that's advancing the plot and foreshadowing the final episode.  I get that.  But now all of that stops because it's time to fight and shoot rocks at Shadrack while dodging punches and trying not to fall off the boat.  All those tantalizing plot bits are now on hold.  And when you're done, Shadrack just flies off.  You're not given any more plot information, just a "you won't be so lucky next time."  The plot was advanced prior to both minigames.  The minigames stop further development until the game proper is ready to resume.

I get that there are important plot points around the minigames, but my point is that none of those plot points occur within the minigames therefore they grind the plot development to a halt.  And because they're in a genre that is apart from adventure games in general it ends up feeling that I've been taken out of the game even more.  In episode 3 you're running towards a goal with the promise that some things will be revealed.  You're also exploring somewhat (very briefly as you die if you stay in one place too long, but you're still seeing this new world and trying to piece things together in your head while dodging enemies.) But I feel like I'm repeating myself again and beating this into the ground so I'll stop.

Offline Lambonius

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Re: Feedback on the fight
« Reply #79 on: November 20, 2011, 09:44:38 PM »
Seriously, Damar, you obviously just don't GET the genius of Cesar's narrative.  You clearly need a few more high school literature and art appreciation classes.  If only you had the culture to appreciate the depth of his vision.