I've heard good things from one person whose opinion I respect about Anachronox.
Is it true? Could it be? Another game from Ion Storm that, inexplicably, beyond all chance.. does not suck?
Anyone got any opinions on the game?
By Mike Latinovich (Mike) on Friday, July 6, 2001 - 01:44 am:
not a chance. it came from ion-dallas, where all things created are destined to suck.
seriously, _i_ haven't seen the game, but really.. a Q2 engined game in this day and age? are they targetting machines from that era as well? :)
- mike - being held hostage in east-central illinois -
By Mark Asher on Friday, July 6, 2001 - 04:28 am:
The people in the game are blockheads. It's really weird looking.
By Aszurom on Friday, July 6, 2001 - 06:53 am:
Well, I'm about 5 hours into it... and I like it. It's rather like Final Fantasy 7 married to a Douglas Adams rewrite of Blade Runner. Not really, but something like that.
"We'd like to... uh... would you give us... err... lend us... your... um... SOCK?"
By chris369 on Friday, July 6, 2001 - 01:00 pm:
I'm a little past where Aszurom is. It does look very Quake 2ish, with particle lighting effects. For an adventure/RPG game though, that's pretty good.
If you liked Final Fantasy 7, you'll like this game. Same combat system, including power up moves, same dialog system, same mysterious magical element system. It's more linear, though.
I liked FF7, so I've enjoyed it so far.
By Jason Lutes on Sunday, July 8, 2001 - 12:05 am:
It's proving way too linear for me, alas. Running from one end of a level to another over and over again to complete a series of set tasks in order ot advance to the next series of set tasks does not a game make. There is nary an interesting decision to be made in Anachronox, and interesting decisions are what I want in a game.
It's really too bad, too, because the story ("Douglas Adams rewrite of Blade Runner" hits it dead on) is creative, engaging, and fun; the art direction is top-notch; and I could really go for a good sci-fi RPG...
But there's just no game there. It's more of a mildly interactive movie than a game. Despite my hope for things to look up, it just became more and more of a chore to play.
Unless it gets more interesting after Democratus, which is where I stopped playing. Anyone? Does it get more interesting...?
By chris369 on Monday, July 9, 2001 - 10:28 am:
Sure it's like an interactive movie, but that's what an adventure game is, right? Solving puzzles to get from level A to level B. The Longest Journey, my pick for game of the year last year, at no point allowed you multiple choices to solve a particular puzzle. Still made it a great game, though.
It's a matter of expectations. If you expect, and want to play, an adventure game like Monkey Island, you'll be pleased. If you want a hard core RPG like Baldur's Gate, you'll be disappointed.
I've really enjoyed Anachronox. Very good graphics, and a lot of good design decisions went into it (no wandering monsters, anyone?)
The next two sections after Democratus are much like Democratus. There is a tough arcade sequence you have to get through. The combat becomes slightly more difficult, as you have to start using MysTech in conjunction with regular weapons to defeat certain enemies. And, a couple levels later you'll get to play Phoenix on an arcade machine! (There's a Pac Man machine too, but I couldn't figure out how to play it.)
By Jason Lutes on Monday, July 9, 2001 - 12:34 pm:
Thanks Chris. Yeah, I guess it just isn't my cup of tea. I read some previews of the game, but I guess I didn't clue in to the fact that it adheres to adventure-game conventions as much as it does.
I don't mind a completely linear *story*, I just want to be able to make some interesting decisions within that framework (i.e., Vandal Hearts, a completely linear console RPG wherein combat involves lots of tough choices). I guess I was looking for something else, so back to EB A-nox goes.
By Rob Funk (Xaroc) on Monday, July 9, 2001 - 02:12 pm:
As I recall though, wasn't FF7 pretty damn linear aside from a ton of wandering monsters? You could wander around some but to advance the story there was only one route through it right?
By Michael Murphy (Murph) on Monday, July 9, 2001 - 02:21 pm:
If I recall correctly, FF7 was pretty linear, like you said, but it didn't feel like it was. At least, not too much, in my opinion.
By Rob Funk (Xaroc) on Monday, July 9, 2001 - 02:59 pm:
Yeah, I guess thinking about it more all RPGs have to be fairly linear eventually. I remember wandering around in Ultima 7 doing side quests for hours before picking up the main plotline and moving ahead. BG and BG2 have a lot to do on the side as well. I guess Anachronox must just not have any kind of side activities/areas at all?
In any event Anachronox seems like at least a pretty good game from what I have seen of the demo and feedback.
By Dave Long on Monday, July 9, 2001 - 03:37 pm:
Since they've said from the beginning that Anachronox was a game created in the style of Square's Chrono Trigger, expecting it to be branching in a number of different directions is unreasonable. Console RPGs are almost always much more linear than PC RPGs, almost to a fault, and this game was designed to emulate that style.
That said, I haven't played it so I'm just spouting company line in their defense. =)
By Robert Mayer on Monday, July 9, 2001 - 04:07 pm:
I've only tried the demo, which locked up on me when I tried to talk to a table.
By Jason Lutes on Monday, July 9, 2001 - 07:48 pm:
Like I said, I don't need the story to branch in different directions -- I just want to be able to make some interesting decisions along the way. In a really linear RPG, this decision-making usually occurs in a combination of what to equip and how to direct the characters in combat.
While Anachronox ostensibly has both of these features, it seems only an illusion of choice, because the best equipment or combat move is always obvious.
Anyway, I didn't like the game, and I guess it's my own fault for not heeding the "console-style RPG" description; but I've played a lot of linear console RPGs that engaged me much more than Anachronox. The bummer is that few to none have engaged me as much story-wise, which is why the lack of gameplay is a let-down.
Yadda yadda yadda...
By Aszurom on Tuesday, July 10, 2001 - 12:45 am:
Check THIS out...
Reference my statement above, and then...
From Steve Hildrew's review on Games Domain:
"The scriptwriter has done a sterling job, with the text being generally amusing, intelligent and well written, resembling more than anything a cross between Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy and Blade Runner."
Ooooh... Does Steve read the board or is there a psychic connection here?
By Brian Rucker on Tuesday, July 10, 2001 - 11:39 am:
RPGs don't need to be linear. Face-to-face games and online text roleplaying games (MUSHes) tend to have plots instigated from both above (administrators or gamemasters) as well as below (player character initiatives or plots emerging from character backgrounds). The concept of a 'main plot' is almost irrelevant if there are a dozen major plots and several score subplots concurrently running - each of which intersects with the others in interesting and unpredictable ways.
The closest CRPG simulation of a real roleplaying experience was Bethesda's Daggerfall where the main plot was entirely optional and the 'interesting choices' a player made as far as character concept (stats, skills and background) and factional allegience and encounters could shape the entire experience in a unique way.
By Jason Lutes on Tuesday, July 10, 2001 - 02:23 pm:
I would include Darklands with Daggerfall as one of the most open-ended crpgs, and even Pirates qualifies. I can appreciate a linear crpg that's fun to play, but I love those open-ended games as well, for that feeling of carving out your own destiny.
I've always wanted to see a crpg set entirely in a randomly generated world as in MoM or Civilization. The program would generate the land masses, resource distribution, settlements, and adventure sites, and then simulate the world dynamically while you adventure through it. Of course it would be more generic than a focused, well-crafted rpg, but I love the feeling of starting fresh in a new world.
The MoM world generator was quite rich, with logical race distribution, neutral settlements that would grow and spread, and wandering monsters sent out from adventure sites. Have the AI run the interactions between the world's various kingdoms, and move through it all seeking fame and fortune with your party of adventurers... *sigh*
Until that happens, I'm looking forward to DungeonSiege. With the Siege Editor, users should be able create relatively open-ended game worlds (albeit not randomly-generated ones).