Nearly 30 years later, I FINALLY completed Beneath a Steel Sky for the first time! When initially seeing it on the Amiga in 1994 it was awesome, and thanks to SCUMM VM, it is playable even today, on top of that being able to download and add the enhanced soundtrack only added to the experience, the next game in line I am checking out is Flight of the Amazon Queen, for the first time, and talk about contrast but the music in the version I have got from GOG is far inferior to the one in Revolution Software's epic game...wasn't there a better soundtrack released for F.O.A.Q? ***(edit: ignore that query, just found out about the version on Steam!)
Yeah plenty of adventures to get through after the Amazon there is the 2009 released Monkey Island games, not to mention the recent installment of Broken Sword, as well as Simon the Sorcerer!Nice, Beneath a Steel Sky is a really good time and the look of those painted backdrops with the little touches of animation is timeless. My favorite part is the random courthouse scene where all of Foster's dubious puzzle solving actions get pinned on some mechanic.
I think you're going to really like Amazon Queen. It's a very high quality Lucas-esque game from that era. Perfect for a new classic experience when you've tapped out a lot of the better known go-to games.
Yeah there's some kinda blurring/color distorting/something post processing effect in the corners of these shots.I think it looks pretty good, but there's... something I find distracting about those pictures. Maybe a small hint of chromatic abberration? Or maybe I should cut the coffee.
Out today. I think this game looks cool and the face manipulation thing was both humorous and unsettling in the demo I played, as I'm sure is intended. But with games like this, that rely on such a distinct gimmick, I always wonder if they'll remain interesting for an entire game. I may check this one out but I'll probably wait to see what reviews say beforehand.Who's Lila is a point-and-click adventure where, instead of choosing dialogue options, you control the character's face manually.
Life’s never been easy for William, but today is special – a girl named Tanya Kennedy suddenly goes missing and the only thing Will's friends know – he was the one to see her last.
Will you remain secretive and make William act as though nothing happened, or will you let true emotions show through his mask?
In Who's Lila, a specifically trained face-recognizing neural network allows you to make this choice! In dialogue, instead of choosing a text option, input facial expressions by moving parts of the character’s face. The neural network will then analyze the emotion and output the result, thus progressing the plot.
Apart from the struggles provided by your own face, you will be met with a gritty dither-punk world of Who’s Lila. Prepare yourself for dream-like landscapes, surreal architecture, steam-filled factory interiors, and David Lynch-inspired beauty of the industrial and the mundane.
«Sometimes there is fear in the unknown, but we are good detectives and we have to know everything»
Will you make sense of this strange story, or will you lose yourself in the beautiful mystery? Will you try to discover every possible turn of events, or will you stick to a single storyline?
And most importantly, will you be able to answer the ultimate question:
Who is Lila?
- Neural network-powered emotion detection
- 15 endings and choice-driven gameplay
- Steam achievements
- Ditherpunk visual style
- 6+ hours of gameplay
- Unlockable palettes
- 50+ unique soundtrack pieces written specifically for the game
- And more..
Out today. I think this game looks cool and the face manipulation thing was both humorous and unsettling in the demo I played, as I'm sure is intended. But with games like this, that rely on such a distinct gimmick, I always wonder if they'll remain interesting for an entire game. I may check this one out but I'll probably wait to see what reviews say beforehand.
New preview for The World Before from IGN, it's mostly positive aside from the writer's challenge with some puzzles and spots where he felt KB&M controls were better suited than gamepad. The weird thing is throughout the entire video the frame rate is complete shit and the previewer doesn't mention it at all. It's to the point where I'm wondering if it's captured or rendered poorly because the demo runs better than this on my fairly mid-range PC. If the actual performance is this bad even for PCs IGN is using than this game is in trouble.Syberia: The World Before is the fourth entry in the two-decade-old Syberia adventure game series. It spawned from the mind of the late Benoit Sokal, and in Syberia: The World Before, Microids studio is keeping the flame of the narrative adventure game burning bright. With an intriguing world, engaging puzzles, and a fascinating narrative, I am genuinely curious to see how the rest of the story plays out and see how these characters' relationships intertwine after playing the opening three chapters.
The beginning of Syberia puts you in the shoes of Dana Roze, a young woman who is trying to build a career as a pianist returning to her home of Vaghen – a town facing tensions leading up to the Second World War. Unfortunately, out of the two hours I got to experience so far, I only played as Dana for a short period of time, and while I didn’t get too much out of her story, it did help establish some world building especially for someone like me who is new to the series.
I found the puzzles to be pretty straightforward early on, with tasks consisting of looking for a simple object to progress through the story like a pen or a key. But later on there were others that turned out a little bit more complex than I expected, which was a pleasant surprise. However, at other times I found myself stuck due to a lack of knowing there was another piece of the puzzle that was available to me, or that it was easier to solve with a mouse and keyboard than a controller, the way I played most.
Benoit Sokal created a setting that is similar to what we know of the real world, but the industrial industry is more advanced where you will see automatons doing human actions such as driving vehicles and playing music. An ongoing organization brought up in this world is known as the Brown Shadow, which from what I learned is comparable to Germany’s Nazi party from World War II. I wouldn’t say they are a threat to the characters at large so far, but they are definitely antagonistic and seem to be a focal point in Syberia’s narrative.
Throughout the first three chapters I didn’t play only as Dana Rose, but also as Kate Walker, the main protagonist of the rest of the Syberia series. Her story began as a prisoner in a salt mine, where she quickly learned about the death of her mother. Thanks to her friend Katyusha, they come across an abandoned train finding a painting of our other playable character Dana and coincidentally enough, they look the same. This puts Kate on a mission to find the origin of this painting, who painted it, and who the mysterious girl actually is. That is the big part of Syberia’s story that has me so interested. We already know it is Dana and we play as her, so seeing how these two plot lines collide truly has me anxious to see where the story goes.
As you explore the world you will interact with a myriad of different objects and locations including a train cart filled to the brim with expensive antiques, shop stalls, gadgets, gizmos, and even an industrial piano.
Seeing how these two plot lines collide truly has me anxious to see where the story goes.
Syberia: The World Before doesn’t seem to be attempting anything groundbreaking for the interactive storytelling genre, but if you are a returning fan to the series or someone who is looking for something to fill that classic adventure-game-sized hole in your heart, then Syberia is something to be excited for. I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of Dana’s and Kate’s adventure plays out when the game is released on March 18.
New preview for The World Before from IGN, it's mostly positive aside from the writer's challenge with some puzzles and spots where he felt KB&M controls were better suited than gamepad. The weird thing is throughout the entire video the frame rate is complete shit and the previewer doesn't mention it at all. It's to the point where I'm wondering if it's captured or rendered poorly because the demo runs better than this on my fairly mid-range PC. If the actual performance is this bad even for PCs IGN is using than this game is in trouble.
But the weird thing is I've already played parts of this game that are also in the video in the prologue/demo and it runs way better than this. It's not a rock solid 60 but the IGN video literally looks like a slideshow, I don't get it.reviewers dont mention eprformance issues unless it suits them or it does not impact their standing with the publishers. Look at cyberpunk, look at horizon, and now look at elden ring. Nobody mentioned a shit about how buggy and shitty they ran but they were all 10/10. Anyway, that being said, I did toild you guys the performance seemed like shit whenever they showed it and not much has changed. Do ppl working from home not test the games properly anymore? Meh.
I guess ull see when it launches or when ure getting it. Ill wait for your thoughts on it.But the weird thing is I've already played parts of this game that are also in the video in the prologue/demo and it runs way better than this. It's not a rock solid 60 but the IGN video literally looks like a slideshow, I don't get it.
A few things that make the interface less cumbersome are: you can click middle mouse to walk no matter what verb you're on (saves a lot of hassle constantly switching back to walk), and you can scroll the mouse wheel up & down to go between next and previous verbs (instead of right clicking to cycle through them all each time). There's not too many actions so once I got used to that I got comfortable with it.I started Perfect Tides and I will play it veeeeeeery slowly in the spare time between Genshin and Lost Ark (stupid FOMO).
Quick first impressions.
I LOVE the art style and the animation. I think that this and Thimbleweed Park are the only games that manage to capture the spirit of '90s adventures while staying new, modern and fresh. Characters and backgrounds look great and the use of color is fantastic. I also quite like the art style used, overall.
Writing seems excellent so far. LOTS of it, though, so I sometimes found myself skipping (and then going back and re-read it, because I never skip text in P&Cs)
The soundtrack is mellow and pleasant. The setting of the game seems to be... cozy, welcoming and relaxing.
I hate the interface. I bloody fucking hate it. SCUMM would have been perfect for this game, but no, we got the cycle-action interface, where you waste mouse clicks trying to find the right icon. It's awful. Cherry on top, there's no hotspot highlight key.
Keep in mind those are extremely early feelings, I played like 30 minutes only.
Edit: A little weird side note - examining hotspots gives descriptions that remind me a lot of the first Larry, in in how they are verbous and... descripting. Al Lowe took his time describing stuff and adding little jokes everywhere, and PT does the same thing (minus the jokes). For example, let's say you examine an unimportant house in the background: whereas most games would give you a "this is a ruined house" dialog, PT could go on and say "This house was built at end of the first development cycle of the island, back in the '60s. It hasa been long since abandoned and it now lays ruined, and kids often go inside there to play and test their courage. You've never been inside of it" (I just made that up). This keeps giving me constant Larry EGA vibes.
Sorry this is me being weird, I guess.
Thanks for the middle mouse button tip, that will help a lot. My problem with wheel scrolling is that I constantly go "the other side", which makes it even worse.A few things that make the interface less cumbersome are: you can click middle mouse to walk no matter what verb you're on (saves a lot of hassle constantly switching back to walk), and you can scroll the mouse wheel up & down to go between next and previous verbs (instead of right clicking to cycle through them all each time). There's not too many actions so once I got used to that I got comfortable with it.
Oooh the second person! I couldn't put my finger on it, thanks for pointing that out!where the descriptions feel as though they're read by another person with their own POV, referring to the player character as "You," instead of their direct internal monologue. It's one of the things that made the Sierra games I've played, like GK1 or KQ6, feel like novels made into games whereas LucasArts games felt like Hollywood movies.
March 6, 2022
Our team continues to expand. We now have 15 people working on the game!
There’s a side of me that really didn’t want that. The original vision for the game was that I’d do 100% of everything myself. I wanted it to be a nice, small, simple project that would be something I could work on in my spare time. Unfortunately, or fortunately, things didn’t work out that way.
Roberta has a very high quality standard. She was the one who gave me the idea for what I should code, and when she saw what I was producing it was well below her minimum standard. She jumped into the game with both feet and basically said, “If I’m putting my name on it, it’s going to be something we can be proud of.” Many of the buyers will be buying the game because of our reputation from the old Sierra days and they will expect the same quality that made Sierra so successful. That meant hiring artists, professional voice talent, animators, more engineers, etc. etc.
Anyway, we’ve been secretive about what we’re working on. The biggest reason is that we haven’t wanted anyone to see anything until we had something we’re proud of. On March 21st, just a little over two weeks from now, we’re going to announce the game and show the first scenes from it. The entire team is working tirelessly to make sure that all of you won’t be disappointed with what you see. I’m typing this at 7:39am on a Sunday morning and there are other team members working. Roberta and I were at our computers from 6am until 11pm on Thursday night with the last few hours just agonizing over some sound effects.
The game is really coming together! Both the virtual reality and computer versions are looking amazing. There are some scenes in the VR version that still blow me away.
Our big announcement will be at the Game Developers conference on March 21st in San Francisco. Both Roberta and I will be there to show the game to the conference attendees as well as the press. On that date I’ll send an email to everyone who has registered on this site with details about the game. We’ll also open up a website which is dedicated to the game. I’ve been working with some video guys to put together a “launch video” that shows off the game. I saw the first draft yesterday and the video is a lot of fun.
Anyway, stay tuned, and make sure you register on this site. I can’t say much today, but LOTs of info is coming very soon.
PS All we’ll be doing on March 21st is announcing what we’re working on and showing some of the graphics and animation. The actual game won’t be complete until sometime this summer.
I can't stand the Pixar expressions.
New footage from the upcoming Star Trek game from Dramatic Labs. The interaction we see here is standard Telltale timed choice fare, which makes sense considering Dramatic Labs is comprised of ex-TTG devs. Presentation wise it's decent, the expressions & facial animations are more fluid than I'd come to expect from TTG and Spock's VA is very on point. Seems to be focused on moral quandaries & space diplomacy rather than the action focus of newer Trek stuff, which is cool.
Environment art is lacking detail in a way that clashes with the character models, I'd say. Also the lighting is kinda flat. All that is subject to change, of course. It's hard to be super excited about this since how much I enjoy the game will depend on how tense the decisions are/robust the branching is. In a post Detroit world the standards are pretty high, and although I'm not expecting that much, I'm hoping the choice matter more than your standard Telltale game of old.
Mm, yeah, some of them are overdone. The guy beside Spock makes a regretful expression when he says "I didn't mean to suggest you were stuck in the past" that stood out to me in particular, clashes with the realistic style of the character models.I can't stand the Pixar expressions.
Finished playing Sherlock Chapter One. It's got some good twists and turns and the end of the game hits an emotional high note. The game's central thematic quandary is something like "how much will you sacrifice for the truth?" Frogwares uses Sherlock Holmes' POV to test principled dedication to the truth in various circumstances leading to a satisfying final choice. At least I can say I was stratified with my ending. It's not without issues, some cases lack a satisfying/definitive moment where the culprit confesses their crimes. Each time this happened it felt kind of hollow. I think the interface could use some fine tuning, in regards to when & how it gives you information vs letting you discover things on your own. Of course the combat is awful (entirely optional, however). Despite any issues I have, though, Frogwares has put together an impressive game. Plus I've got more side-cases to go back and complete eventually and some of the games best cases are optional.
I'd say it's worth a shot for Sherlock Holmes fans definitely, and anyone who wants a good mystery adventure game will enjoy it as well. Looking at some responses online, those cases I mentioned where the true culprit can be left to interpretation aren't well liked. If anything, that'll be the sticking point for people who dislike the game but I think there's enough good content despite those cases that it shouldn't be a deal breaker.
Gonna jump into Perfect Tides next, then play Dexter Stardust after that. Neither one of them seem exceptionally long so I figure I'll finish them just in time for Syberia on the 18th, or maybe a few days later.Watcha playing next? I bought that Dexter game but dunno if I'll get the chance to play it right now. Still, they deserve the money so no biggie but curious to see some thoughts on it.
Still going very slow. I just reconnected my internet and the way Mara went from love to doubt, thinking Staggle might be a loser and not wanting him anymore is pretty great and kinda shifts the perspective on her. Still think that how everyone around is a piece of shit to her, even her friends is overdone a bit, though. Side thought: there are a few characters that are really shitty, although in a subtle way: Simon's old boyfriend and that MTV pedophile, wonder it there's more to come.Mara is an absolute neurotic mess, the real deal. In truth, she’s so anxiety ridden that playing as her could almost be too dour, were it not for the fact that the writing in Perfect Tides is as capable at drawing comedy from its scenario as drama.
Man, you're fast.
Still going very slow. I just reconnected my internet and the way Mara went from love to doubt, thinking Staggle might be a loser and not wanting him anymore is pretty great. Still think that how everyone around is a piece of shit to her, even her friends is overdone a bit, though. Side thought: there are a few characters that are really shitty, although in a subtle way: Simon's old boyfriend and that MTV pedophile, wonder it there's more to come.
Yeah, the game's biggest drawback is how sometimes is unfocused and you don't really know what you're supposed to do. I think it just want you to wander Perfect Tides and see what's going on around.
Kind of fun and depressing at the same time, so far. It's great.
--This game is a remake of the 2D exploration-adventure title Ib, set in a creepy, mysterious art gallery and originally released in February 2012. Virtually all of the graphics have been updated, with many upgraded and additional effects as well.
- Significantly improved screen resolution and graphics allow players to experience a
classic in a whole new light.
- Brand new graphics for maps, characters, and stills.
- Addition of all-new and redesigned pieces of artwork.
- Further improvements upon the original concept of making the game enjoyable for
Players of all level through optimizations to the many puzzles in-game.
- Brand new puzzles, effects, and tricks that were not present in the original.
- Addition of “Smooth Mode” for improved visibility, allowing players to spot small items more easily and view the many pieces of artwork in greater detail.
- New “conversation system” allows companions to offer hints and engage in conversation.
- Brand new BGM composed specifically for the remake.
It's mostly the same information that was in the Famitsu article, but mentions an additional feature added to the investigation part. "Virtual Reality" wherein AI-Ball functions like X-Ray or thermal vision are applied to the entire field of view, and presumably used to complete some investigative task. The screenshot shows one objective being "confirm status of body before combustion."Moving between Dreams and Reality to Get to the Truth
In AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative, the two main protagonists Mizuki and Ryuki are members of ABIS, a special investigation team inside the Metropolitan Police Department. Along with their AI-Ball partners Aiba and Tama they are tasked with solving the bizarre Half Body serial killings. The game consists of two parts. The "Investigation" part takes place in the real world. Here players will examine crime scenes and listen to testimonies. In the "Somnium" part, players enter the dream worlds of suspects and key witnesses. Moving back and forth between the two parts, players can obtain the clues that can help them solve the case.
*All screenshots are from a development build and are not final.
Investigation Part: AI-Ball's New Capabilities
During Investigation, the story unfolds as players navigate the real world, examine crime scenes, and conduct interviews with suspects and witnesses. The main protagonists Mizuki and Ryuki each have a prosthesis in their left eye socket. This prosthesis or “AI-Ball” is equipped with advanced artificial intelligence, as well as visual functions such as X-ray and thermal imaging that can help them uncover clues.
For the sequel, AI-Ball’s features will be expanded. New capabilities include “Virtual Reality” in which special visual functions are applied to an entire space, while “Truth Reconstruction” reproduces an incident as if it were a scene from a television drama. The new “Wink Psync'' function will let players easily read the thoughts of others. Recognizing the lies and concerns of other parties will help move the investigation forward.
Somnium Part: Who hasn’t dreamt of flying?
During a Somnium, players can uncover new clues. Agents or “Psyncers” use Psync machine to enter the dreams of suspects and key witnesses. In the dream world, Mizuki’s AI-Ball Aiba or Ryuki’s AI-Ball Tama appear as women and assist their agents by conducting investigations on their behalf. The Psyncer can stay in the subject’s dream for only six minutes. The dream world’s structure is based on the subject’s personality and memories, and each world has its own rules. The object of a Somnium is to enter the deep consciousness of a subject, and unlock “Mental Locks” that hinder the investigation, all within the time limit.
The Somnium parts of this game will introduce new aerial and underwater dream worlds. In the original title, players could only move about on land, but with the introduction of upwards and downwards movement, players will experience a much richer variety of dream worlds.
About AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative
Six years ago, the right half of a corpse was discovered. The left half was never found…until six years later, completely fresh with no signs of decay. Now, Special Agents Mizuki and Ryuki, along with their AI partners Aiba and Tama, are tasked to solve the bizarre Half Body serial killings while unveiling the mysterious plot known only as the Nirvana Initiative…
AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative will be available for Nintendo Switch™, PlayStation®4, Xbox One, Windows 10, and Steam® on June 24, 2022 in North America and Europe.
Pre-order AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative now. See the official site for retailers. Physical versions published in European regions by Numskull Games.
Smattering of adventure news & announcements:
Short (reviews clock it at 2~3 hours) comedy adventure game about finding your pants came out recently. Steam reviews are positive and it looks solidly made to me. Dunno if I'll get around to it with Syberia dropping tomorrow and other releases on the horizon but it could be cool.
Remake of the 2012 freeware adventure "Ib" was announced. For a while I've had a mind to dive into some of this oft overlooked scene of adventure games. There's a lot of these top down adv games with aesthetic similarities to 16 bit JRPGs. Since many of them are horror stories, they've found niche popularity with general horror fans. But the most popular one is probably still To The Moon. It's kinda funny that 2019's fantastic Beautiful Desolation got a lot of flack for having a similar aesthetic to isometric cRPGs like Fallout, while being an adventure game, but these titles don't draw the same ire. Not sure if there's anything to make of that, I'm mostly just salty that Beautiful Desolation didn't get the reception it deserved lol.
In any case, I think the art of this remake still looks pretty amateurish but the freeware title does have a good reputation and the new version boasts a list of improvements:
P&C ADV drama "The Safe Place" is about a man who accidentally kills someone. The act is witnessed by a little girl who agrees to stay silent about the crime in exchange for help with her own problems. This is by Anate Studio, who also did Little Kite. I played some of that game a few years back and it was similarly bleak in tone. Not a bad game, though. Apparently this game is part of a trilogy that's connected to Little Kite as well.
Foolish Mortals is a paranormal adventure with a hand drawn cartoon art style reminiscent of Don Bluth's films, and of course Broken Sword. Hopefully it looks as good in motion as it does in stills, unfortunately there's no video of it currently. Which kind of makes the 2022 release window seem a bit improbable. Either way I like the art in this one enough to keep track of it until release.
Also, in very incremental NirvanAI news, SpikeChunsoft have put out their own update detailing the new game mechanics of the upcoming Uchikoshi mind-fuck.
It's mostly the same information that was in the Famitsu article, but mentions an additional feature added to the investigation part. "Virtual Reality" wherein AI-Ball functions like X-Ray or thermal vision are applied to the entire field of view, and presumably used to complete some investigative task. The screenshot shows one objective being "confirm status of body before combustion."
Microids put out a long form sit down interview discussing Syberia The World Before (which releases tomorrow). The English subtitles are a little iffy, but Microids said they're improving them on Steam. So maybe by the time you see this they're already better. The most interesting part for me was at the end where the interviewer asks if the team will be continuing the franchise in the aftermath of Benoit Sokal's unfortunate passing. The question was directed to one person in particular (their name unfortunately escapes me) who had worked closely with Benoit for over 10 years. His answer wasn't direct but it seemed to indicate that they possibly would make more games going forward.
It'll likely depend on the reception of The World Before. Which, speaking of, early reviews are pretty positive. With 10 reviews so far the game has an 81 on metacritic and an 80 on opencritic. That's obviously subject to change with more coverage but it seems, at the very least, that Microids has avoided another Syberia 3 level disaster.
The World Before is out now. Im going to start it up later today. Hopefully it's a good entry into the series and fitting sendoff for the late Benoit Sokal.
Chinatown Detective Agency also announced it's release date with a new trailer. It's slated for release April 7th.
Done with Perfect Tides.
Oh man, am I gonna miss it. It really hit the spot and made me very nostalgic. I wanted to stay there indefinitely. I need some sort of sequel right now.
I fucked up a lot and missed tons of optional puzzles, but they REALLY are obscure - apparently I failed at developing the photo, although I was sure I followed the steps thoroughly. And how the fuck could I have imagined I needed a cart of soil from the forest to grow stuff? Problem is, those puzzles only give you a very small window to solve them, then they're gone. And it's all very unclear: as an example, I let the photo to dry thinking maybe I would have been able to pick it up the day after. How silly of me. The game suffers a bit from being sometimes unfocused and unclear, leaving you alone without any clear objective or guidance... hey, just like Mara!
The writing is stellar, I googled Meredith Gran (never heard of her and her comics) and now I wonder how much of the game is an autobiography - it's just too focused, believable and relatable - too real sometimes. Mara is not a bidimensional character, she's a mess, confused about herself and with complex feelings and thoughts. It's sad, depressing, sweet and fun. I wasn't that impressed with game writing since Disco Elysium.
Also, again, the graphics are really good and there's lots of excellent animations.
Also I kinda ruined the 02.mp3 scene with a really, really silly song. I replayed it.
A game like Perfect Tides is exactly what I was talking about....the genre is host to all sorts of unique stories and worlds that couldn't conform within the mold of other game genres. For this, as well as many other reasons, adventures have sustained a dedicated niche of gamers who play them for those unique experiences and unforgettable worlds.
You for sure don't have to play the 3rd game at all. All you need to know about what happens in Syberia 3 is that Kate wound up in prison.Yeah, that's unexpected. Maybe they're just testing the waters before more projects.
By the way, would the new Syberia be enjoyable for someone who doesn't remember anything at all about the first two and never played the third?
You for sure don't have to play the 3rd game at all. All you need to know about what happens in Syberia 3 is that Kate wound up in prison.
Not remembering anything about the first two games, I'm not so sure on. One of the cooler things about The World Before's story is that it takes the grand adventure that Kate went on and flips it on its head, to tell a more introspective story about Kate as a person. I think the events of the game itself are still interesting and fun to experience but that added layer of emotional connection really works for me.
Maybe that still comes across with the context they give you, but I have a feeling it might not.