Ben X

Phaedrus' Street Crew
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Everything posted by Ben X

  1. Immediately had to resort to a walkthrough. Currently finding the rules of the spellcasting rather loose and obscure, plus an inventory graphic was actively misleading (I wonder if it didn't exist in the earlier versions and was added in by someone who didn't understand the puzzle). Now I know that I can do stuff like cast the owl spell on some darkness so I get the see-in-dark power of owls, or play spells backwards to get the reverse effect, or do a certain number of successful spellcasts (I assume) to level up, I might do a little better. Also, the sound glitches are pretty irritating, especially as the game still plays in silence most of the time. Shame I couldn't get the Amiga version going. EDIT: got a bit further, though I had to use a WT again because something was unclear, due to a mix of low-fi graphics, unhelpful description and this game's predilection for layouts that are not only unclear but also lead you round the most tortuous path possible. On some screens you have to wait for a good 20 seconds or so for your character to enter, or travel from point to point. I can't help but feel like it's more Last Crusade style padding. This suspicion was compounded when I got to a fucking maze. Much like in LC, you can only see a small radius around your character - here, this combines with the shitty layouts to make the maze even more infuriating. I'm not sure how much longer I'll last with this game, between the audio bugs (and irritating voice-acting) and the abrasive design...
  2. Due to a few issues with the voice-acting, I had a quick search and discovered that the CD version is generally considered to be the poorest. The Amiga version seems to be the one most recommend, as it has nice graphics but no dialogue or close-ups removed. I'd be sacrificing the voice-acting but I think that's reasonable, considering I'll be going back to non-VO games after this anyway. Seems to be tricky to find the files needed to run it on SCUMMVM, though... I've had a bit of a play, anyway. The audio drama was endearingly ambitious yet creaky, and I've figured out a couple of puzzles. It's pretty satisfying and atmospheric figuring out how to use a magic spell in interesting ways, even though at the moment it seems to be in practice just a long-winded way of clicking on verbs...
  3. Well, first thing that stands out is that I've got the CD version so I have voice acting! It's in 256 colours, which I think the Steam version of Last Crusade was too, but it looks a bit nicer somehow. It feels very Monkey Island-ish as well, thanks to the font and the visual style, as well as the opening where I have to descend from a high hill down to a small village. I got as far as finding the staff before realising that I really needed to read the manual. Having done so, it turns out I should really listen to the 30-minute audio drama that was originally bundled with the game on a cassette tape! I can't quite tell at this point whether this game is going to be refreshingly easy or punishingly abstruse...
  4. So, this maze also has a bunch of pointless empty rooms, making the way that the overhead layout doesn't tally with the side-on layouts even more frustrating, and a bunch of soldiers that you pretty much have to fight unless you're very lucky with your dialogue choices, in the shitty unforgiving combat system. Using online maps and guides doesn't make this process particularly easier or more fun, so fuck this game. I'd be tempted to find a savegame online to skip ahead, but a) that's a dangerous precedent, and sunglasses) I don't feel like the game has earned my ongoing attention. I don't think I ever got past the catacombs when I played this back in the early 90s, so I'm pretty disappointed that this is what was waiting for me on the other side! Really hoping Loom and Fate Of Atlantis are less frustrating than these first two games. Speaking of which: Onto Loom! (but first, the special features!) Mix n Mojo's retrospective: Post-mortem vid with Noah Falstein:
  5. Finally got through that damn maze, by which point I was quite angry at the designers. Some nicely presented business and I'm at the castle, which turns out to be another maze. FUUUUUUU I'm getting a map off the internet for this one, no way am I drawing out another one. This will be my policy with all mazes going forward (and left and right and back lololol).
  6. Well, I'm enjoying this a lot more. It is, like MM, a little aimless - after some wandering you eventually get given the task of finding your father by vaguely following in his footsteps - but thanks to the 256-colour version it looks a lot nicer, there's incidental music, and there's Look At and Talk To (even if they are a little restricted)! And it's certainly more satisfying to navigate than a grid of mansion rooms. However, I've just got to a maze (all the crappy tropes of the genre are flooding back to me!) and while it's not too difficult to navigate now I've mapped it out with my electronic pen and paper, it does make it irritating once you're stuck and having to wander back and forth, which I am. It really is just valueless padding. I feel a little guilty, but I think I'm going to have to check a walkthrough - I feel like I need something to pick the water up in (the wine bottle?) to use on the dry mud to get the torch to use with the hook to reach the rusty lock and get to the casket room, but I can't figure it out, even with relatively few variables. The shame! EDIT: geez, you have to look at the wine, which makes Indy shame the guy by saying it's a bad year, then he'll let you take it. Not particularly intuitive. I might have got it just by being thorough, but Look At is still a pain in this game because you have to use it in conjunction with What Is. They're this close to the perfect Lucasarts formula..! EDIT 2: ooh, those bastards! The torch was a lever for a trapdoor that sent me to a lower layer of maze!
  7. Gave up on Maniac Mansion, after finding out I had fallen foul of a dead end by using some paint remover on some paint. There are a few cruel dead-ends like that, apparently. Even apart from that, the game is just not entertaining enough to push on with - it's incredibly aimless and you're just wandering around looking for stuff that might work together without any way of knowing why you might want them to, juggling loads of keys around and shifting kids back and forth. In theory, the idea of kids with different abilities that lead to different puzzles and endings is cool, but in effect it's just a bunch of tedious character and inventory management, and a lot of time wasted doing stuff you don't need to. Still, at least I got to explode a hamster in the microwave and destroy everything within a 5-mile radius by pushing the big red Do Not Push button on a nuclear device before I gave up, which was fun. I think a fan remake of this with just a few tweaks could improve it tenfold. - there's one effort along those lines with DOTT-style graphics called Night Of The Meteor which as of last year was still going, but I'm not holding my breath on that one. Mix-n-Mojo's article: (Interesting to read that, compared to its contemporaries, Maniac Mansion was fair and logical!) Post-mortem talk by Ron Gilbert: Onto Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade!
  8. Okay, have played it for an hour or so, and the fun has drained away! I'm getting flashbacks to playing Wolfenstein 3D at the start of my FPS playthrough, where you can see the beginnings of the genre trappings, and some good moments, but overall it's a real slog with a dull layout and seemingly endless rooms and no nice music or pretty graphics to distract. I've already had to resort to a walkthrough because to escape the dungeon you have to find the tiny 'loose brick' hotspot with no hint that it exists. An early example of the dreaded pixel-hunt! I think I may have created a dead-end for myself already, but I've got a couple more ideas to try before going to the walkthrough again and seeing if I can be bothered to carry on...
  9. Well, as I vaguely remembered, this is a pretty rough experience for a modern adventure gamer, even someone who started getting into them around four years after this. No music, no Look At or Talk To, tons of small fiddly inventory items, unpredictable NPCs. And I believe there are a fair few dead-ends in here too. First things first, I need to choose some appropriate music to listen to, in much the same way that I'd put Nine Inch Nails on loop when playing Quake back in the day. Something era-accurate, but also befitting a teen-slasher parody. John Carpenter and Sisters Of Mercy are what immediately jump to mind... On the positive side, it really pulls you in as much as it can, with the fun, cinematic (for its time) opening, the easy first puzzle, and the excitement of getting caught randomly by Nurse Edna then slung in the dungeon.
  10. And so it begins... Funnily enough, ScummVM just opened up testing on its new version yesterday! Sounds like it's still far too unstable for me to bother with at this stage, though, so I'll stick with good old 2.2.0.
  11. Plug your shit

    The shit I am plugging is me! I am the shit! I've just made a new portfolio website for my writing and narrative design services. Please share, and consider me for all your writing and narrative designing needs!
  12. Another top episode! I would love to see your first/early fan trailers, please post them here! The Roobarb & Custard one you link to is unavailable, btw. I think it's this?
  13. Hooray, new episode! I think I've used the Watchmen trailer as an example a couple of times on this board, will be cool to hear your thoughts on it.
  14. Well, as we're bumping the thread (thanks Cordeos!), I may as well link all the sales. The Steam one ends this weekend, and it's really good value! Get on it!
  15. Thanks! Have you played Ben There, Dan That!? That comes before TGP and should be bundled with it. While I'm here, I may as well let everyone know that LOTCG is 70% off on Steam, 65% off on Switch and 45%/55% off on PS right now, and the soundtrack is 75% off on Steam too. Incredibly bargainous prices for a game that just won an Aggie Award for best comedy writing!
  16. Marvel movies

    You should definitely doubt yourself with regards to that Ragnarok rating.
  17. Netflix Originals

    Agreed on Enola Holmes and Eurovision. I didn't think much of The Old Guard, but the other 3 (plus Mank) are on my watchlist!
  18. The threat of Big Dog

    That yellow one is unnervingly nimble.
  19. In what might be the final update for this thread, I'm happy to announce that LOTCG is now available on PS4. According to Greg Rice, it also works on PS5! To justify the thread bump a little more, here's a joke mock-up video I made of a 'CD special edition' version of LOTCG with a couple of animations I made for Artober bunged in:
  20. Thanks! I saw someone tweeting at Dan about this, was that you? If not, please email support at ant-workshop dot com with details and, if possible, reproduction steps! Hopefully in the meantime restarting from your last autosave will fix it...
  21. As threatened: LOTCG will be out on Switch and XBox One on September 4th! Pre-order now and get 15% off! (Not all regions have it up on the webstore yet, so you might have to go via your console.) Nintendo Switch XBox One
  22. Movie Marathons

    I haven't seen Captain Corelli, but isn't he nice in that? And he's a goody in National Treasure, obviously. I wonder whether your girlfriend gets an asshole vibe off him even when he's playing ostensibly nice characters!
  23. Movie Marathons

    Hmmm, what about Peggy Sue Got Married? This is a good opportunity to troll her, though - keep telling her you think you've found the one movie where he plays a non-asshole, then put on Vampire's Kiss or Wicker Man or Bad Lieutenant...
  24. Filmmaking

    Well done for (almost) finishing! Yeah, I guess it's probably smart to deprioritise festivals right now, considering COVID.