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Author Topic: Dreamfall: The Longest Journey  (Read 4098 times)
Cauton
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« on: April 17, 2006, 10:17:23 AM »

I'm not sure how I've been able to miss it, but apparently today is the (US) release day for Dreamfall - The Longest Journey, sequel to arguably the best adventure game to be released in.. well.. ever. Unfortunently they EU release date is still a few days away (the 20th), so it'll be a while before I'll be able to pick it up.

Anyone else excited about this game? I seem to recall that there are a few other adventure game nuts here.
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Eusis
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« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2006, 11:54:02 AM »

I'll probably pick it up on the XBox after I beat the PC version. Dunno when that'll be, since I can't stand my PC's performance of it.
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CluelessWonder
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« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2006, 08:18:03 PM »

I'm going to pick it up sometime this month.  I loved The Longest Journey so this is a no-brainer.
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Lilim
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« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2006, 11:39:45 AM »

Same here. I was quite surprised to find it coming out this month. I might pick it up after I finish up with Atelier Iris. I can't wait. :)
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Eusis
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« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2006, 04:13:00 PM »

Reviews are mixed. Personally, due to the attempts at gameplay innovation I think it's sounding like it's this year's Killer 7 - crappy game with a great story.
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Cauton
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« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2006, 04:21:44 PM »

Uhu, mixed indeed.

I remain hopeful. Gameplay doesn't sound that atrocious, even if I am saddened to hear that there is a lack of puzzles, and everyone seem to agree that the story and character interactions/development kick ass. And that, really, is good enough for me. Much of what made The Longest Journey such an awesome game was the characters.
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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2006, 09:05:31 PM »

I didn't really like anything about TLJ (save for Miguel). Everyone talks about how great the plot is, but I'm honestly not seeing it. The basic premise is "Girl gets transported to magical realm!" That's not really new. At all. Now, the fact that she usually lives in an equally fantastical sci-fi realm would count for something, if said sci-fi realm wasn't there as a very, very obtuse way to simply... poke fun at every sci-fi cliche ever (while embracing them at the same time). The game never seemed to take itself seriously when it should've been, and the humor was never funny. Especially when a lot of it was... so tacked-on feeling. You can have great humor by simply playing up the characters own strengths and weaknesses, but... did they REALLY need to include so much of it, at the least appropriate moments?

Effectively, this inability to decide between taking itself seriously and being a straight-up comey adventure a la Monkey Island made it impossible for me to ever feel any attachment to the story. It deadened any sort of emotional reaction I could've had, simply because I could never feel that ANY sort of emotional response was appropriate.

I think it's a real shame, too. Parodying a distopic future can work. Beneath a Steel Sky was *damn* near close to getting it right, largely because it realized the single most important aspect: If you're parodying something, you have to get beyond the parody and embrace the themes of WHAT you're parodying, without subcumbing to the cliches you ARE parodying. I don't feel that Stark ever went beyond the parody.

I sometimes think that, to an extent, Fallout 1, and moreso, Fallout 2, had a similar problem. Both tended to slip into self parody. And if the game is going to be taking itself seriously ANYWHERE else, this is a bad thing. Anyway, it was pretty minor in Fallout 1 (Off-hand, I can't really think of any major problem areas, other than the weird 1950's setting prior to WW3) (I still like Wasteland's writing better, though :P). Fallout 2 had a FEW too many sci-fi/pop-culture references (Hint: This pissed me off IMMENSELY in Xenogears, too. XG is a serious game. It does not need the  Elements pretending to be powerrangers, goddammit).

Of course, similar, but different, there's Omikron: The Nomad Soul. Which  had some bizarre plot points (I still sort of have trouble stomaching the fourth wall breakage, although if you pretend you're playing a character within the game that, himself, is playing the game, it works MUCH better), yeah, but I liked how it handled the future. It also portrayed its distopia with a sort of bizarre humor. However, this was different from The Longest Journey because there was a MUCH stronger undercurrent of disease. In TLJ, I felt the that the characters sucumbed to parodying the future themselves, and as such, I don't think they ever responded properly to it (save for that boy in the slums, and Miguel). In Omikron, the citizens are very aware that everything is wrong, and it becomes apparent that the humor isn't just parody, but a slick, Harrison Bergeron-esque way of glancing over all of the problems.

The thing is, I could take TLJ as a comedy adventure game, except it has way too many serious moments. The main problem is just inconsistent tone. The comedy moments don't bolster the serious moments. The serious moments don't bolster the comedy moments. By creating two distinct and inconsistent voices with so much disparity between them, and by using them with little regard for the others, without any sort of real restraint, and without any sort of control over how scene X furthers the narrative instead of just being another little joke... they DO make it difficult for the player to respond.

TLJ isn't really the sort of adventure game you play for the puzzles, but I will say that I really didn't care for them. Why? I guess it's because I played TLJ right after coming off of Myst. Myst's puzzles actually make sense and use normal, real-world logic. TLJ's puzzles use adventure game logic. It's roughly the same reason why Christminster bugs me so much. Solutions make absolutely no sense in terms of the real world, and logical solutions that you think WOULD make sense are simply not doable at all. I'm quite sure this topic is addressed in an IF article somewhere (Although, IF kiddies constantly cream at the mention of Christminster, so it was PROBABLY in reference to Monkey Island 3).
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Lilim
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« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2006, 05:34:49 PM »

I'm liking the story so far, but I'm only a few hours in and barely scratching the surface so I can't form a full opinion till I'm further in.

I think my biggest complaint so far are the keyboard & mouse controls. No matter which way I configure them, it's a very clunky experience but it's functional enough. I might just break out the ol' gamepad to see how that goes. Since it was released for the Xbox, it probably controls better that way.  I'll keep my fingers crossed.
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Cauton
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« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2006, 05:53:10 PM »

Uhu. I'm playing it with a GamePad (Logitech DualAction) and it works excellently. I haven't tried playing it with the keyboard/mouse interface yet, but judging by how well the pad intergrates with the game it's easy to tell that it was designed with a gamepad in mind.
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Dincrest
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« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2006, 07:42:29 AM »

Damn, I've been so busy with life outside of RPGfan that I didn't know Dreamfall came out.  I just may have to pick that one up to review.
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Leo
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« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2006, 09:41:46 AM »

I would like to look into this game more. I have never heard of it before. The screen shots look breath-taking. The science fiction theme definitely adds an appeal to it, and the modern-day setting. At first, when I saw the characters, I immediately thought "cheesy character models", but then I took a more closer look of the game, and was quite impressed.
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Tsi Aileron
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« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2006, 10:12:40 AM »

I just beat the game a few minutes ago. I did enjoy the story although the actual gameplay was lacking... a lot. And, the battles just seemed awkward and out of place. I hope they improve the gameplay side of it in the next one.
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Lilim
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« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2006, 05:47:31 PM »

I finished it a couple day ago myself. I felt the game ended just as the story truly kicked into gear. I'm not disappointed by the story itself, but the manner that it was left in at the end. I understand a certain amount of mystery needs to be kept till the end, but it's a little more than frustating to be left with so many loose ends and no guarantee that there will be a game to wrap it all up. I've heard that Ragnar Tornquist will wrap it up, either by another game or some other means, but who knows how far off that might be?

I wanted to like Dreamfall a lot, but I can't recommend it at the full price. It's rather short and ends just as the story really starts to move. There are fewer puzzles and those that are in DF are not that challenging. The combat is annoyingly clunky and not at all fun to deal with. The stealth is servicable enough. The new characters you meet in this game hardly get any development, save a few. I could probably go on and on, but it hurts to love TLJ a lot and find it so hard to be able to recommend DF with just as much praise.
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