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About CanarDuck

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    Grumpy Quacker
  1. Gabriel Knight

    I'll go with the majority and tout GK2 as the best in the series. The first one has a nice general ambience, but ends up indeed by "throwing idiotic crap at the player" (to quote BigJKO) towards the end -- actually simultaneously idiotic, grandiloquent and distasteful crap, which really was a big letdown for me at the time. (So if you haven't played the last day yet, you are going to get even more disappointed. Or, you and I have really different tastes.) The third one follows unfortunately the same kind of pattern with a ludicrous boo!-big-monster-in-your-face ending, except the rest of the game is not so hot either. The investigation on the "group of people with unknown motives" mainly consists in "figuring out where everyone is at any given time" (to quote lobotomy42) which turns out to be incredibly boring (especially since it's blatantly clear that most of them have absolutely no useful information about the mystery whatsoever). Also, here the obligatory link to the famous article of Psychonauts co-writer Eric Volpaw explaining that GK3 is single-handedly reponsible for the death of adventure [spoilers]: As for GK2... I have really fond memories of GK2. By today's standards the FMV is probably extremely dated and the main character's acting is really poor (I missed Tim Curry). Although the supporting characters are played more competently (in particular the bad guy has a lot of presence). But the story arc in GK2 is really what stands out. What stroke me at the time is that it avoided a common flaw of mystery games where everything appears obvious to the player while the in-game character keeps saying "Jeez! I wonder what all of this means." In GK2, the player and character are on an equal foot: you suspect quite early who the evil person is, but you have to find proof and understand how different partial pieces of explanation all fit together by digging out the past. All in all, this makes up a relatively subtle progression. And the ending, exceptionally in the series, is satisfying.
  2. Cursing in Oblivion

    You... accusing me of posting off-topic? I'm deeply hurt. Seriously, though. What is it these days with people crapping themselves all the time?
  3. Cursing in Oblivion

    Allow me elevate the discussion to a new intellectual level by contributing a piece of totally pedantic and baffling trivia. Did you know that in one of the most famous french theater plays of the 18th century, Beaumarchais' Le mariage de Figaro (yes, that one which Mozart's opera Le Nozze is based upon), there is in one scene an entire (and famous) diatribe by the main character Figaro about the use of the word Goddam in English? Basically, Figaro is going to be sent by his master, the count, to London for some business. The count then objects that Figaro does not speak english. Figaro explains at this point that he knows the word Goddam, and that it is more than enough to get oneself understood in England, whereby he gives a variety of examples and concludes by saying "Englishmen, to say the truth, add here and there a few other words when they converse, but one easily sees that Goddam is the foundation of their language" (poor hack translation by your humble servant) Check it for yourselves: So, my point is that, from a frenchie point of view, (which I am, you guessed it) this whole conversation is hilarious. How can "goddam" not be in character in a fantasy setting, when it is part of the most classical literature from 230 years ago? In other news, Beaumarchais is known to be one of the most famous representants of the long "french smart-ass" tradition. He also had a major contribution in convincing the king of France of supporting the american revolution against these goddamn Englishmen.
  4. Rebelstar: Tactical Command

    Games made by Id are different from each other? Can you perhaps elaborate? If you mean technical and incremental improvements, then maybe I see what you mean, but apart from that the gameplay has stayed pretty much the same, hasn't it? And on the other hand I could rave for hours on how many improvements and new ideas there were between Rebelstar and Laser Squad, then Laser Squad and XCOM, then XCOM and XCOM:Apocalypse (the last title in the series actually written by the Gollops). Anyway, this is a moot point. These games, all of them, remain as fond memories for some of us, while for some others it's rather the Doom-Quake-Wolfenstein series. Why not. And they did, actually, produce something (slightly) different: Lords of Chaos, which I even preferred to Laser Squad on my late Amstrad CPC. A brilliant mix of strategy à la Rebelstar and of fantasy RPG, sort of. I've actually always been sad that they didn't expand the idea in sequels and on more advanced platforms like they did for Rebelstar. I could easily stand having more of that instead of FPSs as far as I'm concerned. Finally, their last piece of brillance: Laser Squad Nemesis ( It's more of the same, and yet completely different. The gameplay has been totally streamlined (no objects, inventory and actions, more focus on just strategy), and is order-based, which to an outsider may seem a minor change but actually makes everything different. Give orders and feel the surge of adrenaline as you press the send button and see how they play out on the field. And it's also multi-player, except I don't have time for that now that I'm a grown-up. Too bad, really.
  5. Psychonauts PC Demo out

    Right. Reading back what I wrote and the rest of the thread, I admit I had unrealistic, fantasized expectations about the game while the rest of the crowd was prudently poised in cautious optimism.
  6. Psychonauts PC Demo out

    Heh. I wasn't trying to piss anyone seriously off, just to play some mild provocation in the middle of this Psychonauts/Schafer mania. Don't get me wrong, I'm as much of a Schafer fan as anyone here, and I'm sure I will thoroughly enjoy Psychonauts. It's just that, playing the demo, I got just a tiny little bit disappointed because I was expecting something a little more innovative in the gameplay. Actually, the part about the story resembling Harry Potter's in my original post was really provocation, I honestly don't care and I'm actually avidly curious to see how Schafer can bend and pervert this kind of initially cliché trame to make it his. The visuals look great and imaginative too. But, seriously, as far as gameplay is concerned, it really, really felt like I was playing Harry Potter (yes, I played it. I admit it. There.). And it's not just about being a 3D platformer with random stuff to catch. At the time I played the Beyond Good and Evil demo, I felt it was Zelda-like and yet there was something additional, new, different which gave me the urge to play the rest of the game. As far as Psychonauts is concerned, I certainly want to buy the game to see the character delvelopment, the story arc, the probably superb and imaginative visual design. But I feel like I will only moderately enjoy *playing* it. Again, it was only the demo, and I may change my mind with the full game. And, seriously, do the following experiment: fire up your little sis' Harry Potter game when she's not here, play around a bit, and take a look at the map screen and the various inventory screens. Compare it to Psychonauts and then tell me honestly if you don't find not only a vague conceptual and remote similarity, but rather an actual déjà vu feeling. -- Oh, and while you're at it, play and lose a few Quidditch matches in your sis' savegame. She was such an ass last week with your DS, you deserve some relief.
  7. Psychonauts PC Demo out

    The Psychonauts demo is great and all but... I am the only one to see a pattern here? Let's see: - Story is about a bunch of kids who have 'special' powers and are brought to a 'special' school to develop said powers. - The storyline involves both local kiddy quarreling between 'good' and 'bad' kids; and some probably more ominous overall plot. - Gameplay is a platformer; you look for various collectibles which are kept track of in a nifty inventory display. Completing dungeons allows you to gain more special powers necessary to progress and unlock hidden stuff. - Tim Schafer spontaneously admits in a Gamespot interview having read J.K. Rowley's books : To wrap up: it all seems like "Psychonauts" is "Harry Potter" -- on acid.