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My little feedback...

posted by taumel on - last edited - Viewed by 4.7K users
Hi,

i just have some minutes so i would like to give a small feedback regarding Sam&Max.

I've really enjoyed playing Sam&Max Culture Shock. It was the best adventure game i've played since quite some time. The last one i've enjoyed to a certain degree was Broken Sword 3.

Although Sam&Max Hit the Road wasn't the best adventure game from LucasArts in my opinion (i did enjoy much more Monkey Island 1, The Dig, Zak McKracken) it was featuring a great humour like the new Sam&Max too.

The puzzles are logical and fun to play. I found them quite easy beside of some parts of the psychological tests due to that i'm not a native english speaking person.

The riddles were quite good but i was missing a/some puzzle(s) which made me shiver out of joy like for instance the brilliant time riddle in the swamps in Monkey Island 4. Something which makes you sit back and say wow!

I don't know if there will be a deeper storyline beside of maybe a case in each episode but what i also like is a deeper storyline/puzzles/items which make no sense in the beginning but get clearer after some time till the exposition.

As i already said in another posting the point and click is done very well. There are only two things which maybe could be optimzed:

a) A more intelligent way to deal with moving to areas outside the current cameraview. If you want to walk to an area which is not on the screen yet you will have to click, click, click, click to go there.

b) I dunno if this this has been implemented already as i've played the game only with a old two button mouse but sometimes i would have wished that i just could zoom in/out with the mousewheel a bit. I don't want to rotate the scene or stuff like that, just a little bit zooming in order to faster navigate on the streets outside for instance or maybe a little swing of the camera would do the same.

One thing i think i disliked where the 2d gfx of your inventory items. I guess i would have prefered 3d objects instead of just some planes.

And as we're talking about inventory icons already, i'm not sure if i miss the ability to combine objects but i guess so...were are those evil sentences which burn into your mind like "...I can't use these two things together..." :O)

I liked the graphics and the style in Sam&Max. Some areas like the office were done very well. Others were missing a little bit the polishing and details, like outside the office. I remember some polygon/normal issues on top of the entrance to Sybil's place - in the red area.

The sound all in all was okay. There were points were it was a bit crackled.

I've heard from others that some of them had problems with crashes entering new rooms but i've experienced this only once when i wanted to enter Bosco's shop - i had to reboot then.

What i also liked were the options. Fast accessible, working and nicely done with cute sounds.

I'm really looking forward to the rest of the season! :O)


Regards,

taumel
14 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • The option interface looks great indeed, but I did miss Jake's coffee mug stain trademark ;)

    --Erwin
  • Yep but they are really okay as they are in my opinion - leave them untouched, great work!

    And the music in the outro was cool too! :O)


    I've missed two further topics which i wanted to cover in my first posting but due to a lack of time...


    Episode structure:

    Whilst i see the benefits for the developer/publisher (less financial risks, possibility to react to customers feedback,...) i dislike the episode structure and contrary to what has been written on the telltale faq pages ( http://www.telltalegames.com/samandmax/faq ) i don't see a lot of benefits from a players point of view.

    *snip*
    Episodes mean you get more Sam & Max with less waiting. More fun with shorter dry stretches in between. We all know what it's like to wait three or four (or five) years for a game to come out — no fun. Telltale's sending that model out of style.
    *snap*

    It takes you a certain amount of time to do the game engine and all the technical stuff. But this also has to be done for a episodic game first. Without this there is no episode 1 too. Then we have the production of the content which to a certain degree can go parallel with the technical side.
    Now if telltale is able to produce the further content within the release dates they've written on their site i don't see how that spares me a lot of time compared to a full release. Half a year for updating the content is a fraction out of the four or five years, isn't it?!

    Now it could save you time on the content side where a longer and more complex story just simply needs more time for creation/debugging/balancing but that's also the side where normally a full adventure wins as you mostly transport a deeper and well thought out story/puzzles blabla with it if it's done well.

    I play episodes if there is no alterntive but if i had a chance to choose between an good episodic adventure and an good full adventure with all the benefits there is no doubt i would go with the second option.

    Maybe the good side of the episodes is that it enabled telltale games to start it and without the episodes we wouldn't have seen an adventure at all. Well, i hope they sell enough in order to start a full adventure at some point.

    Another point for tweaking in order to get more the feeling an full adventure could be the size of an episode. If it would be larger maybe it would be better for some people. After all you also could see full adventures series as long episodes...yep i'm voting for season length episodes! ;O)


    Final verdict:

    My final score would be a 8 out of 10 for Sam&Max. It is a good adventure and mostly due to the humour, great word joke and the working point&click by far better than the rest but it lacks what differs a good from a fantastic adventure (wow puzzles, more depth in story and charcaters, a little bit more polishment here and there) at least in the first episode.


    One last thing:

    Oh and i also am wondering if telltale has any plans/dreams on inventing an own adventure game beside of the old and beloved series we all know?! Not that i wouldn't be fond of The Dig II but something new could also be exciting and great.


    Regards,

    taumel
  • taumel;14132 said:
    the brilliant time riddle in the swamps in Monkey Island 4.
    Yeah, that was a good 'un. Although I'm not a fan of puzzles wot you must write stuff down for that one was short enough to get through by memory, and how can you not love a puzzle with a time paradox vortex in it:D

    A lot of people seem to want to combine items but I think you have to look at it from Telltales point of view. They're trying to attract a load of new folks and the ability to combine items isn't that intuitive to a first timer. They would be nice to see but Telltale would probably need to find a way of telling the player it was possible and when the only way to guarantee everyone will see it is to put it in game that might seem a bit weird.

    Bosco: Hey I happened to notice that you have a box with with random junk in, just thought I'd tell you that you can put some of them together, but not all of them. Only if they help you solve a puzz... Ahh, forget I said that bit.
  • DoubtedEdwardo;14215 said:
    A lot of people seem to want to combine items but I think you have to look at it from Telltales point of view. They're trying to attract a load of new folks and the ability to combine items isn't that intuitive to a first timer. They would be nice to see but Telltale would probably need to find a way of telling the player it was possible and when the only way to guarantee everyone will see it is to put it in game that might seem a bit weird.
    I think it comes down to how well it's introduced rather than it wouldn't be intuitive for those who are playing such a game for the first time. Secondly as combining inventory items is a game element in most of the adventures it's widely known too. I think there are a lot of games outside which are much more complicate than just combining a few inventory elements.

    To me somehow it's part of the puzzle and i miss something if everything is done for me automatically. But don't misunderstand me i don't just want it to be more clicking, obviously it also should make sense. Maybe you also could take the puzzle combination away from the inventory and make it more part of the story inside the game but than this has to be done. I don't know if this would be more, less or just the same fun, would have to be tested i guess...

    As for trying to attaract new folks: I have no idea which percentage of the buyers of Sam&Max are hardcore adventurers or casual easy beasy players. I also don't know which group is more in telltale's focus but i also do know that a customer you already have is a customer you already have and which you don't need to attract anymore. Be gentle to this customer...
  • Well, arguably the first cheese puzzle is an item combination puzzle taken outside of the inventory. Instead of picking up the cheese and then using it with the gun, you use the gun with the cheese before it's in the inventory.

    If I recall correctly, the puzzles in Grim Fandango were similar--if you ever had to combine items, it was done outside of the inventory.
  • Grim Fandango was actually the game that got me thinking about item combining . There wasn't any in that and I can't remember missing it then. It also has four 'episodes' almost in the form of years. Each with their own locations (except the last one) and items. When the whole season comes out I imagine it will seem quite similar to Grim Fandango in these respects.
  • Yep that's true. Although it was simple the cheese is an good example for this. Hmmm, i guess it really depends on the puzzle and/or how it's alternatively designed/visualised outside the inventory.

    As long as there is nothing like a portable workbench outside the inventory, the combinations inside gave you somekind of freedom and complexity to try out stuff regardless were you are and without the need to interact with your environment. At the same time this can be confusing as it opens a lot of possibilites.
  • I don't even remember that there weren't any item-combi puzzles in Grim. Time to replay that jewel, I think.

    --Erwin
  • Sam and Max: LOVED it! Can't wait for the next season... and the price is fair. I am still sceptical of episodic gaming though... VERY sceptical. I will withhold judgement though until all of the episodes have been released.

    Criticisms:
    The Puzzles - Way too easy.
    The Voice-overs - Mildly disapointing.
    The game hickups on saves - rather disconcerting.

    Praises:
    -Funniest damn thing I have seen in a long time in so far as computer games are concerned
    -Commical animations to match the clever dialouge and enviroments
    -Complete storyline (I was hoping you folks wouldn't leave me hanging in suspense for the next episode... and you didn't... good job!) See... my thought is, if people really love the first episode, then they will go on buying the rest of them (or simply buy the whole bunch like I did). There is no need to torture us while you are working on the next release while we sit in suspense wanting to know what happens. A well rounded storyline with logical cut-off points adds to the value of the series.

    Hopes:
    -I want to see another Dig... another Grim Fandango, and heck... I wouldn't mind a rebirth of Monkey Island either (but then again, I am not really entirely sure about who owns the rights to those games at the present moment anyway.)

    Thanks guys, for providing me with some genuinely good adventure game entertainment for the night. It was a real pleasure and I look forward to the next season release.
  • ALPSMAC;14281 said:
    -I want to see another Dig... another Grim Fandango, and heck... I wouldn't mind a rebirth of Monkey Island either (but then again, I am not really entirely sure about who owns the rights to those games at the present moment anyway.)
    Well, i suspect they all belong to LucasArts...

    As obviously a Ron Gilbert Monkey Island would be great i'm definately voting for The Dig! :O) Grim Fandango had a cool scenario, weird ideas and fantastic music but as a game it wasn't as good as the others. The steering wasn't good and i also couldn't enjoy the riddles this much (maybe the lack of inventory combinations?).
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