Avast ye "terrible pirate voice" who bought this then?
The official Monkey Island 2 thread(19 posts)
I was surprised to see that the XBLA title was a little short of 1Gb, whys it so big :?
I bought Tales on PSN a few weeks back, i thought it was a complete steal at 13.99. I'm at the end of chapter 2 (of 5) its good, bit rough around the edges, but its very...um, inventive. As in, you'd never guess what'll happen in the story next.
I think i'll pick this up when it goes on sale, i'm in no rush to play it right now. I don't think i've played through it....but i can't be sure. I did buy the Lucusarts puzzle adventure pack for PC once, so i must've done :?
Anyways, the 3rd game is my favorite anyway, and i don't even care.
Well the downside to putting out old adventure games is that they tend to show exactly what was wrong with the genre. Most of those oldies were pretty anti-intuitive with puzzles that only the programmers knew how to solve.
I'm having a slightly frustrating time with Monkey Island 2, and I've had to cave and use a walkthrough about two times just to get off Scabb. I think it's a lot worse than the first one. You don't really see that in newer adventure games like Dan and Ben or the Wadjet Eye games.
Not for me, on current gaming trends now I got easily disgusted coz they have common denominator which is violence. It’s good thing that they back the old games that really give real entertainment, IMHO. I got fun buy wow gold for some gadgets and foods, even my son getting used with this game.
I agree with DeSpiritusBellum, some of the logic to the way items and puzzles work dosnt really make much sense, you really do feel like only the guy who made the game could guess the stuff. I also hate the 'pixel hunt' aspect of these games, though Monkey Island 2 actually has the option to highlight all clickable objects so that helps.
I have to disagree somewhat. The first three Monkey Island games were sensational when it came to puzzle solving, item foraging, logic exaggerating techniques. The latter of which i agree was stretched in some examples but only to comical effect.
The key to understanding how to solve puzzles in the old Lucasarts point-and-click adventure games is by paying very close attention to what NPC's have to say, the options you have in the dialogue you have with them and lastly heeding all the situations that surround you (even so far in writing specific things down on paper to remind you later). They simply don't throw in things that are integral to the progression of the game without having some mention of acquiring or using it.
For example, if you walk into the Hotel Boat in MI2 where there is a little lizard pet attached to a post, you have to think to yourself, "okay, I'll remember that". It's tethered to the post, the Hotel manager said he is very fond of it, I need to get to Largo Legrande's room in the back and you have a knife...
Solution = Use the knife on the tether to set the lizard free and consequently the manager will run after it screaming it's name in the desperate hope that it will come lovingly back, all the while giving you the perfunctorily excellent opportunity to rummage through LeGrande's rented room and find some choice ingredients to make the Voodoo doll every single NPC is crying about needing to get rid of the dwarfed ruffian.
I may be a little way off on select details there because I'd usually reference such material but that was all divulged from my memory of the original game i played years ago. It was such a great title, so much so that i still remember how to solve the puzzles because they were so memorable and hilarious when i sussed them so long ago.
Now, if you think your having a hard time with Monkey Island 1 and 2 and consequently the 3rd instalment (which i really really hope will be released for you all to experience it) then wait till you play 'Escape from Monkey Island'. The 4th game really has no sense in it at all when it comes to puzzle solving, you literally are standing there at an object cycling through your inventory using every object with it hoping beyond hope that one will magically and nonsensically work. It is a ridiculous game, do not play it, savour the magic of the first three games and stop there.
Still my favourite game ever. The finger puzzle and the spitting contest are just brilliant bits of puzzle ingenuity. Also, great use of animals.
@Gundam - To be fair, the knife/tether puzzle was by far one of the easiest in the game.
The logic that you have to fill a bucket with mud from a swamp, seek Largos cabin, close his door, put the filled bucket on top, wait until he walks in, follow him to the cleaner, then go back to Largos cabin, close his door AGAIN and collect the laundry voucher now nailed to it is quite simply braindead, and there are quite a few of those puzzles.
You're supposed to know that you should pick up a huge, heavy looking dog or attempt to pick up a shovel that appears to be painted onto a sign. There are absolutely no clues that that's what you're supposed to do. There is no logical progression from task to task. You're just supposed to pull it out of the hat.
Not to mention the constant running back and forth between frames, the awkward placement of easily missed items, and the pretty grotesque fascination with collecting an endless ammount of items, and then knowing how to put them together.
There's no real path leading you through the game, your objectives are pretty vague, so unless you like practicing trial and error hundreds, maybe even thousands of times during your playthrough, you're just going to end up extremely tired and frustrated.
You just don't get that with games like the Shivah, the Blackwell saga or Ben There, Dan That. They all have clear, progressing objectives, and they don't gratuitously waste your time by making you keep track of 20 different items, or having to comb through 15 different frames for that one little breakthrough.
If you had played the other Monkey Islands or for that matter the other Lucasarts games in general, you would get it in a nutshell. You'd have a field day with 'Day of the tentacle' which deals with the past, present and future, if you're having trouble with MI, then stay well clear.
I have to agree with the example of the shovel on the sign at the start of the game, I remember that one being literally by chance in finding that it was a useable tool.
However, the mud in a bucket and hanging over the door i dont find braindead, maybe i am in that sense since i got the old slapstick joke of putting a bucket of nasty stuff over a door that stayed defiantly slightly ajar whenever you tried to close it (big clue there) then unsuspecting victim opens door and 'splat'. There is a laundry shop/boat service in the game for a reason. When you follow him, you simply follow him for the sake of following him, he does run out with a bucket of mud over his head, once you have exhausted the clues in your current location, you naturally go elsewhere, ergo you run into largo at the laundrette.
I wholey disagree that there is no aim or objective to the game. The objectives are stated very simply and blatantly throughout the story as it was in the 1st and 3rd game. So there is no need for you to randomly delve into a hat to seek potential answers. Thus, the main objectives are;
1. Charter a boat to get off the island (get the voodoo doll to do so)
2. Find map pieces (on the separate islands) (Captain Marley's crew)
3. Find 'big whoop (TM)'
There is of course miniature goals in between all that which will progress you further on to the next set of objectives, you just have to pay attention to what goes on around you and to what npc's are saying at any given time. If you were looking for a First person shooter objective list that opens up on the menu (á la CoD4) then you wont find it here im afraid and thank all that is regarded as deity-like for it.
As for complaining about running back and forth between frames... seriously, would you prefer a systemic progressive 'one scene to another' game? now that would be one of the easiest and ridiculously dull point and click adventure games of all time, in my opinion at least.
I do however sympathise with the "extremely tired and frustrated" point of view with games such as these. There is always points in any of these titles in the genre where you simply dont know what to do next, but you get through by re-tracing steps and thinking of the ojectives placed before you, it's always easy if you get lost to go and talk to the available npcs to catch up, the items in your list aren't some misanthropic doom assortment collating in your breeches. Each one has a purpose, you just have to figure it out along the way.
But the same old adage remains (or a variable of it), if you dont like it and are not willing to put in the effort to overcome the hardships then simply dont play it. They were always niche games and had a cult following from their inception but they were always either loved or hated because of the very genre and creative direction they took. Alot of people admire the games for their mischievous puzzle solving and logic bending rules behind it all but that alone is no cause for damnation of the game, if you dont get it, you dont get it.
As i said, take notes on everything that happens if your having problems, there is method in the madness and don't cave into strategy guides if you run into harship, you will feel very pleased and satisfied with yourself if you figure it out on your own.
However, I would'nt like to be seen as one to abolish all forms of help. If you would like some clues on certain puzzles, feel free to ask, I'll help in any way i can without ruining the puzzle wholesale, a little nod in the right direction never hurt anyone.
Regardless, I don't see this debate going anywhere other than a, "It's good", "No, It's not" inane back and forth. But i hope at least I've enlightened you to the possibility that if given the chance, you can enjoy the games for what they are. Play the 1st, 2nd and 3rd installments, get past the problems you encounter and i guarantee you will be a convert and learn to love all that is Monkey Island. (except the 4th, let's pretend it never existed)
Saying that, I've still to buy this updated special edition of the game...
Actually I have played all of the old LucasArts games from Loom to Grim Fandango, and that still doesn't change the fact that MI 2 is plagued by bad game design. The Secret of Monkey Island just did a far better job of it.
You can't create a huge sprawling world, populate it with hundreds of items, and then only lead the player to use either, by presenting a grand prophecy of the end result, which people are somehow expected to bring about on their own. It's lazy, it's unintuitive and it's going to turn people off.
You're not supposed to do away with items, you're not supposed to only stick to one frame, but you CAN limit it. You can manage the tasks that you put forward. That's what good design is all about, crafting a comprehensive, focused narrative that rewards the player for exploring, rather than punishing him.
This whole argument has been analyzed by far keener minds than I, but there's a very clear reason why adventure games got left to die, as soon as people had other options.
The notion that "If you can't deal with it, don't play it" has been the cry of many a lousy game designer. Just look at Realtime Worlds and APB right now. They didn't do anything wrong, it's just the public that doesn't "get" their game. It's just a lousy cop-out.
I'm not saying you shouldn't be required to think, but there were quite obviously a lot of people who got fed up with adventure games. That should tell you something.
Again, I don't think that had to happen, because you can actually craft far better and more complete narratives. As I've said since the start of this thread, just look at the newer generation of adventure games. They're brilliant.
Here's one of those keener minds - Quite a good read:
I agree with you despirit the puzzles are just way too hard, seriously im using the hint button every time.
To be honest, by today's standards they are quite hard puzzles. Back in the day though this stuff was standard. We all managed just fine. And we didn't have the
interweb or hint buttons or anything else neither.
Granted, puzzle design is much, much better these days, but it has to be, because kids are stoopid now, innit.
I agree with Scratchy69 there in the above post, probably by todays standards, these puzzles are extremely hard, whilst back in the day they were relatively normal for the genre as a whole. Although in my opinion they were exceptionally imaginative and well thought out.
Alot of dumbing down has happened in the industry where such things as puzzle solving and logical deducing has taken a back seat over the last 15 years with much more action-oriented braindead shoot-a-thons taking the helm and driving the industry forward. Which can be seen as both a bad thing and a good thing for these types of titles have principally driven the technology side of the market light years ahead of what a typical point and click game could ever hope to achieve.
But with recent efforts along the lines of 'A Vampyre Story', telltale games episodic titles; 'Tales of Monkey Island', 'Sam and max' and 'Wallace and Gromit' and not to mention the indie developers best offering 'Machinarium', there is alot of life left in the point-and-click adventure genre yet. This is all helped along with the exuberant and imaginative art styles employed in each of the titles which both endear them to the consumer and offer the developers a way around costly development or licensing of technology engines to power them.
I agree that this area of the market had pretty much all but died 10 years ago, but with the industry as it is with 'triple A' title games taking the major attention and the rest of the games of the current generation striving and for the most part failing to compete, there has been quite a big opportunity for indie developers to come-a-cropper and sneak in with smaller games with smaller price tags on services such as Steam, Xbox Live, PSN and WiiWare (along with D2D and the realised potential of internet marketing from sole developers where gamers can directly buy these types of games without having the publisher take a cut of the profits), so the genre is living and breathing well at the moment and will continue to expand. I assume you witnessed how well the Professor Layton games performed over the last couple of years on the Nintendo DS.
I have to comment however on your statement;
"You can't create a huge sprawling world, populate it with hundreds of items, and then only lead the player to use either, by presenting a grand prophecy of the end result, which people are somehow expected to bring about on their own. It's lazy, it's unintuitive and it's going to turn people off."
You have pretty much described 80% of the games that have been released by the video games industry. It is not lazy, it makes you work for the end result as any good game should do. That way, you feel a sense of achievement from completing it. I cannot agree with you on that matter whatsoever. And if this title "is plagued by bad game design", how on earth could it or would it be re-released in a special edition more than 10 years later?
And i am surprised, if you have played the other old lucasarts point-and-click adventure games, then you would realise that Monkey Island 2: Lé Chuck's Revenge is rated by the vast majority of the genres fans as one of the best game they have ever produced along with 'Day of the Tentacle' and 'Same and Max: Hit the Road'. Also there have been many reviewing online and printed publications that agree with this statement, most notably the journalists over at IGN;
Not to mention the yearly praise of the printed publications by the journalists that work at the multi-award winning magazines of 'Edge' and 'Games TM' where the games regularly feature in the 'Top 100 videogames of all time' lists.
These are the keener minds that have analysed the games in this series and i fully agree with their praisings of this title. I also would'nt adopt a game like 'APB' for basing an example on when comparing to the point-and-click adventure series. The MMO market is very very new and is still treading the water when it comes to game/gameplay ideas, therefore some things will work and some things won't work. As i said, this genre has always been a niche one (unlike what the MMO market aspires to) and through its fervent fanbase has become very notable in the games industry but there is and always will be people that do not like and will not get it.
I don't want this interesting debate to fall to an ill-based argument therefore I would recommend a game more suited to your tastes from what i have read in your posts above. I mentioned it before and it's called 'Machinarium', a very direct, well thought out, wildly imaginative and logically progressing based point and click adventure puzzler with an amazing art style to bolster it's charms. If you haven't played it, I'd buy it from Steam pronto, you will not regret it.
In conclusion to all of the above, I feel that I do not need to say more on why Monkey Island 2: Lé Chuck's Revenge is a great game. Simply put, if you dont agree with what countless professional journalists have to say, then don't purchase the game because you will not like it.
I think you're starting to babble a bit Gundam.
I never compared APB (as in, the game) to any adventure game. I said that developers who claim that the public doesn't meet the standards of their games, are just trying to hide the fact that they failed.
Games are about entertainment. Rewarding the player, and making their product worth their time and money. Ultimately, as a result, that's also what good game design is about.
It's not a condemnation of the LucasArts trinity that Lechucks Revenge is a mess at times, keep in mind this is a 20 year old game. That's exactly my point. The fact that it's a 20 year old game means those flaws are so much clearer now.
I'm glad that adventure games are coming back, and I've played the Telltale Games, as well as Machinarium. I think they're both ultimately flawed, but I'm still glad to see people trying, and doing some very interesting things along the way.
You'll note that the overriding theme of the reviews you posted is unadulterated nostalgia and reverence, just as it should be. Those games advanced gaming and storytelling in a way that no other genre at the time could. Does that mean that they're still ultimate monoliths of game design? Of course it doesn't. They might have been the 9's and 10's of their time, but if you tried to pull that off today, it simply wouldn't work. That's my point.
At the end of the day, I think Ron Gilbert himself probably makes my point better than anyone:
Well, from what i read of the post you linked from Ron Gilbert, he agrees with what we have been talking about all along. After all, he is talking about games he has experienced and the 'rule of thumb' he employs when designing adventure games and more importantly what to avoid doing when designing such games,
"What makes most games tough to play is that the puzzles are arbitrary and unconnected. Most are solved by chance or repetitive sessions of typing ?light candle with match,? ?light paper with match,? ?light rug with match,? until something happens. This is not tough game play, this is masturbation. I played one game that required the player to drop a bubble gum wrapper in a room in order to get a trap door to open (object names have been changed to protect the guilty). What is the reasoning? There is none. It?s an advanced puzzle, I was told."
After a segment of detailing his 'rule of thumb', he concludes that;
"The first thing I?d do is get rid of save games. If there have to be save games, I would use them only when it was time to quit playing until the next day."
"The second thing I?d change would be the price. For between forty and fifty dollars a game, people expect a lot of play for their money."
"If any type of game is going to bridge the gap between games and storytelling, it is most likely going to be adventure games. They will become less puzzle solving and more story telling, it is the blueprint the future will be made from."
And in the comments section he details what we have been talking about and what i stated before;
"What happened at the end of the adventure game reign was that designers just started throwing in any old puzzle to trip up the player. It stopped being about solving problems to advance the story. It became a battle with the game designer to try and figure out what they were thinking. The puzzles became completely disconnected from the narrative."
At no point in his essay did he describe how the Monkey island series was desgined in a poor way, in fact the only game he mentioned that was poorly designed by himself or his staff was his first venture, 'Maniac Mansion'. Which I've played, didn't care much for it.
"In my designs, I hope that if these rules cannot be followed, it is for artistic reasons and not because I am too lazy to do it right. In Maniac Mansion, in one place or another, I violated all but one of these rules. Some of them were violated by design, others by sloppiness. If I could redesign Maniac Mansion, all the violations would be removed and I?d have a much better game."
He does state that he admits to some puzzle additions in his later games that he ended up regretting and pulling himself away from to make better games in the long run, but does not specifically mention the game we have been debating about.
The article itself is his method of good design, critiquing adventure games as a whole and how and why they should develop them in the specific way he states because in his opinion that is the best way to develop said games of this genre.
Also, nowhere has Lucasarts ever made a claim that, "the public doesn't meet the standards of their games". I don't know how many times i have to say it, but I'll say it again, The point-and-click genre is a niche one and always has been. That is why it died during the late nineties and into the early noughties and it has come back through niche marketing channels.
I agree with you, there is many examples of bad design in adventure games, i have said it many times in this thread alone, and Ron Gilbert himself corroborates my analogies but Monkey Island 2: Lé Chuck's revenge, is not one of them. Neither is the 1st or 3rd for that matter.
If this game has held up this well for so many years, so much so that it merrited this re-release then it is undeniably a well-accomplished and well designed game. Of course every game has its faults and as you say, 20 years later the problems may show glaringly more than previously and i mentioned a couple of examples in MI2 already in my previous posts but can you tell me what game is perfect? because I'd love to hear about it and don't say Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time because that's as close to perfection as we can get and every half educated game player knows it.
I have to add something else about what you mentioned;
"They might have been the 9's and 10's of their time, but if you tried to pull that off today, it simply wouldn't work. That's my point."
Why wouldn't they work today? We've just been talking about new adventure games being released and you think that if the Monkey Island series never happened and were just released now that they would'nt be rated as good games? I think you need to look at whats been said so far in the vein of 'new' adventure games. If they can make a success out of 'Sam and Max' and 'Machinarium' then Monkey Island too with it's humour, charm and puzzles would undoubtedly be a sure-fire hit. You underestimate the potential of the niche market today.
And that's just Steam sales. To be honest, don't be surprised if they announce the development of a solid non-episodic 5th Monkey Island game after they have finished with the re-releases. Of course, In my opinion that would completely hinge on the involvement of Gilbert, Tiller, Schafer and Grossman.
As you say, Games are about entertainment, they reward the player, and designers have to make it worth our time and money. And ultimately thats what good game design is about. I was entertained, thoroughly, i was rewarded with a great story, the 20 quid i paid for the game back in the day was defintely worth it (especially compared to the price that publishers and retailers charge for the large percentage of trash that they try to sell us) and the 4-5 hours of joy i spent on my first run through was definetly worth the time. In that respect, it is a good game well desgined and I'm sure alot of other people agree.
I hope now you see that I am not 'Babbling' as you put it, and am purely interested in the Monkey Island series of games and the quality that they display. I agree with you on many points about the adventure genre as a whole after all i have experienced a hell of alot of them and there is numerous examples that display poor design and story with just a general lack of quality all over.
The MI series however is not a part of that pack. It is exceptional and will always be, like any great games they stand the test of time. I for one am glad that they have been given the HD treatment for a whole new generation to enjoy its imaginatively well thought out puzzles, the heralding of its sensational humour and engaging, immersive storyline.
As I've said before, the succes of adventure games was primarily down to the fact that they were the best possible way of presenting a great story within an interactive world. If you remember those days, you'll recall how hysterical the gaming community would get whenever there was something new and more advanced out, and the meteoric rise of adventure games was very much down to that initial excitement.
I can't take the niche comment seriously. In no way were adventure games a niche genre in the early 90's. Everybody and their moms played them. Ultimately they MADE themselves a niche genre, by taking a stand for bad design, which is very much the point of Gilberts article.
You can choose to read Gilberts words however you want to, but he and other game designers of that era would never claim that their game design stood the test of time. The humor did, as well as the nostalgia tied to the experience, but it's worth noting that none of those designers did anything like their old games, ever again. Even Grossman at Telltale Games has resorted to making ultra-simplified "lite" adventure games. I'd say Schafer ultimately did the best job with Grim Fandango, correcting a lot of the bad design elements I've pointed out - most importantly adding focus by lowering the framecount and the items.
If you look over Gilberts formula objectively, you'll note that Lechucks Revenge is in pretty grave violation of several of them. The most easily verifiable being backwards puzzles. The game is littered with them, and there's only one reason for that ever happening - Lack of focus. Ultimately you're left to fend for yourself, able to choose the most random path you like around a huge world, and as a result, the game becomes a mess of confused, crisscrossing sequences. It's simply not good game design, and Gilbert clearly doesn't think it is, either.
There's no such thing as a game with no mistakes - it's always going to be a question of how fundamental those mistakes are. To me an adventure game is always going to be about the story, and to weave a great story you have to connect the dots as carefully and fluidly as possible. That's insanely hard when you rely on puzzles to advance that story. Too easy and people get bored, too hard and people get frustrated.
However, the perfect balance simply isn't to present a player with 20-something frames on 3 different islands, with dozens of items, many of those arranged in backwards puzzles, with some pretty meager rewards to keep you going (ie all you get for finding a map piece is Lechuck cursing you out - No joke, no drama). The Secret of Monkey Island did that a lot better.
If you want an example of how to apply better game design to adventure games, I'd recommend you check out one of these modern "retro" games:
The Blackwell Legacy
The Blackwell Convergence
Ben There, Dan That
Time Gentlemen, Please!
I never touched a walkthrough going through any of those. The Shivah might be the most interesting one, since it's the most oldschool, and actually pays some tribute to Monkey Island.
I don't think we're getting anywhere here, we're going over similar territory and regurgitating the same spiel.
Though i still do have disagreements with what your stating in your posts...
As for game design standing the test of time, no game design has ever stood the test of time, the game does not the design method. That is why Monkey Island series is among the greats. I went back and played 'System Shock 2' again a couple of months back after getting the hankering for good sci-fi horror again. Now that game has alot of gameplay issues, many troublesome UI controls and Hud display irritations not to mention the sticky movements of the Thief engine on which it was developed. But that game is still amazing, through the initial problems, you learn to live with it and adapt to what the game gives you and you love then end result of the overall game experience.
If you want to nitpick amongst invdividual puzzles that you yourself can't solve and claim it to be a poor game as a result whereas the mass amount of players that did complete this game didn't use a guide for it because let's face it, back when it was released there was no interenet in the form that we know it today. Along with the fact that there was barely any printed guides for games as the games industry was barely big enough to support publishers of printed press to make a decent amount of cash from (a guide for Mario Bros.?), so people got on with it and figured it out for themselves.
And you should take the "Point and click adventure games as niche" statement seriously because in fact, not everyone and their "mothers" were playing these games. Kids back in the early nineties didn't have the cash to splash for PC engine/DOS computers let alone the games. Personal computers were very very expensive and therefore all the kids and their "mothers" were playing gaming consoles like the NES and Master System plus the older 80's home computers that were still prevalent in the home(atari/commadore/Amstrad). In effect, point and click adventure games were very much a niche component of the overall games market, people were too busy playing with Mario and Sonic and the likes rather than Guybrush Threepwood and his colleagues who were pegged in the 'hardcore gamer' catergory.
Lucas TM is a huge company, the lucasarts division was a very small segment of the overall company back in the late 80's and early 90's due to the fact that Lucas' interest in the games medium was an unknown quantity (and alot of the money was invested in Lucas' own film production company and I.L.M.), therefore the team that started out developing the games was small, close knit and very talented. Later as Lucas realised how much cash was being made out of it, he spearheaded the company into capitalising on the Star Wars franchise due to the fact that the 'Point-and-click' games weren't selling anywhere near as well as the existing 'Star Wars' games and the majority of other successful games of the time, ergo they died off and now all Lucasarts pumps out of it's doors is new iterations of the 'Star Wars' franchise.
And In my opinion, 'Grim fandago' was more of a mess of game design with the GrimE engine along with 'Escape from Monkey Island' than the SCUMM engine games ever were. Though 'Grim Fandango' was an amazing game in it's own right and the storyline was exceptionally good with great characters and story development(as always)but, the control mehtod was horrible and the item menus were clunky and because of this, it almost ruined some puzzle elements where it required character reaction to succeed. But I remain positive about it, the puzzles in 'Grim Fandango' were amazing too, as good as, if not better than MI2's. I mention the bad elements to highlight the fact that i agree with your statement but in the end, you love the game for the overall package not because of individual niggly elements, none of these were game breakers or glitches, they were challenging but never unfair which = Good game design.
I've not played 'The Shivah' or 'The blackwell Legacy' but I will now because you have highlighted the method of gameplay design that you seem to prefer much more than the other games we have mentioned. The others (Zombiecow Prod.), i have played and found very simple and direct games, not bad games, just really easy and never felt like i should have paid £3 just to experience them, they were enjoyable and funny but nowhere near the level of Monkey Island's superiority of puzzle design, story development, characters and game design.
This all may purely be down to personal taste at the end of the day because as i said before, we're treading familiar territory in this debate.
I agree, apparently we even grew up in very different worlds.
Computers weren't ubiquitous, but I had lots of friends playing on 486's and 386's, as did my elder brother of seven years, and they were all playing these games, kids as well as parents. If they weren't, floppy disc trading would ensure that they would be, before long. I believe this was also the last to be out on the Amiga, so you had an even bigger audience there.
I think that's reflected in the sales you mentioned, which ultimately goes a long way to dispel the niche-myth. People don't go out and buy any old classic game out of projected reverence. I'm sure there are people who seek to explore gamings hallowed halls, but certainly not enough to generate the sales you put forward. These are clearly people who know what they're buying.
"No game design has ever stood the test of time" - Well, that was my solitary point to begin with. It doesn't make Monkey Island less of a good memory, it's just clear that it has a lot more jagged edges, than it is ultimately remembered for. Personally I think it was a step back from its predecessor.
And mind you that while we might not have had the internet, there were still plenty of publications and probably more than a few hotlines helping people get through these games, as well as the obvious exchange between you and your friends who played them. I can tell you that a lot of the old dogs among the gaming press, feel those years were indeed the golden ones, specifically because you didn't have the internet leeching your readers and subscribers. Printed media was quite arguably at its very strongest.
I'll dote on my favourite games as much as the next guy, but I'll always be the first to cop to their shortcomings. I certainly don't think Grim Fandangos mechanics were anything to be admired, I was solely talking about the narrative and the way it was advanced in a purposeful way, as opposed to leaving people with a hundred pieces to put together at random.
Taste will always be taste, but for my money I think the difference in the refinement of the game design, between the examples I mentioned and Lechucks Revenge speak for themselves, whether you find them easy, hard, or slighty tangy.
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