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Puzzle Agent 2 Review Thread

posted by puzzlebox Telltale Staff on - last edited - Viewed by 12.3K users
So we finally return to the crazy creepy town of Scoggins for a second helping of nuts!

What did you think of Puzzle Agent 2?
80 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • Yeah, the coins where unfair. I had no chance there.

    And I didn't get the instructions for the rock throwing.

    Finally, I had technical issues with images being replaced with black boxes. The final puzzle became impossible to solve without a restart this way.

    As for the story, there was a lot of threads that was forgotten about. For example, it is never explored what Nelson did when he was mad. It is strongly implied that he beat up his own boss. Yet he was the one that didn't get promoted to Siberia? And the hallucinations in the first game was never explained either. There is also the issue of the other missing people, what happened to them? There is also the ending, how come the agents didn't stop Nelson, they where just standing there!

    And the uncompletable puzzles just didn't have the same effect as in the previous game. While I admit that the sparks puzzle had a nice interruption, the other ones just felt like he was giving up on them.

    And the story felt awfully linear. I don't mind linear stories, but it's the feeling that you got was the issue here. It was pretty much always "go there". And if you talked to someone afterwards it was pretty much "go there".

    The controls in the dragging puzzles didn't work well. And why couldn't I move the potted plants?

    And the maze is clearly not A*. Following walls is lame.

    And the robot puzzles need to have a quicker termination. End the run when the robot gets killed, when the robot meets the girl or when the entered program ends, not always when the input field ends. In addition, it was awkward editing the already input program. There was no way of inserting a new token in the middle of the string.
  • Very disappointing.

    I don't understand how there are four people listed in the credits for puzzle design. There are barely more than 30. And like in the first game, the puzzles are a completely unmemorable mish-mash (often poorly explained) that could easily have been cobbled together (the design, not the implementation) in an afternoon. I get the feeling that the designers might think that because they have no trouble solving puzzles like the ones in the Layton series, it ought to be no sweat making some of their own. But that's not the case. There's a skill to making simple puzzles and brainteasers. Without that skill, they've ended up producing another assortment of cribbed and recycled ideas, which are all back-of-the-cereal box easy. Not fun.

    Full marks for atmosphere and graphics, but I get the impression that that was their main consideration at the expense of everything else. The writing was ho-hum, and the pacing of the story was dreadful: I don't mind surreal stories, but if you're going to have a thriller (style) plot that deliberately makes no sense, the one thing you can't do is navel-gaze. After almost every scene Nelson recaps the scene we just saw into his tape-recorder. This would be fine if he had some new insight to offer, but he just recaps the action, meaning that we basically have to endure each plot point twice in quick succession. This would make sense in a much longer game, when you might expect the players to take breaks, play in many sessions, and require reminders about what they might have forgotten; but I just played through in one sitting of about two and a half hours, so it was tedious. I don't understand how the previous reviewer managed to stretch the experience out to 5 - 7 hours. I didn't skip any dialogue and missed only one puzzle.

    Everything in the gameplay works against enjoying the story. Because it's so linear, and the conclusions Nelson draws are so dubious (because he's going mad, I know, but I'm not, so there's a disconnect there) there's no sense that it feels like we're investigating anything. And a lot of the puzzles were very tenuously linked with the plot. (I don't mind that per se, but if the puzzle isn't integrated with the story then it should be good. I'm happy to accept poor puzzles that are well-integrated, or great puzzles that are shoehorned in, but here we've got the worst of both worlds.) Pretty much all the interactivity feels like a chore to be endured to get to trigger the next cutscene. If you'd rather the game was a video then something's gone drastically wrong. And I don't think this is just an unavoidable feature of the genre: the Professor Layton games are amongst my favourite.

    It's a real shame, because a well-executed version of this would be basically my dream game.
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    puzzlebox Telltale Staff
    I had the same issue others have mentioned with the coin puzzle. One of the coins had "quarter dollar" written on it if you looked close enough, and I knew which were dimes and pennies from the ones already placed in the boxes, but was left to guess that the big yellow coin was a dollar. Tough one to localise, that.
  • Let me break it down:

    Puzzles: Mainly were a bit easier to figure out this time, but some of them were confusing at first. Some were poorly explained, or else very confusing.

    Plot: Very incredible. The Creepy atmosphere complimented the story extremely well, and the characters were well-developed and interesting, although there are still a few loose ends I'm hoping to have tied up soon:
    *Where are all of the other people who disappeared?
    *What happened to Steve and Bjorn?
    Also, can we find out some more about Jim, please?

    Overall: A solid game that is engaging and entertaining from beginning to end.

    Just one more question, though. Will we get a Puzzle Agent 3? And if so, will it be in Scoggins or [Spoiler]Bermuda[/Spoiler]?
  • I am really surprised some ppl are too lazy to just google the coin names.
    Took me 10 seconds to find out.

    My personal review: Great game, still too easy puzzles. Make 'em harder please.
  • Astovidatu;522636 said:
    I am really surprised some ppl are too lazy to just google the coin names.
    Took me 10 seconds to find out.
    I just never use anything else than a pen, a piece of paper, and sometimes a calculator to solve puzzles or any point & click.
    I (personally, no offense intended) call that cheating, and don't feel good haveing to quit a game to play it.
  • I don't think I'd call it cheating, per se. But I agree it's certainly a poor design decision to make you minimise the game to solve something in it. Even if they forgot that not everyone is American for the coin puzzle, the sequence puzzle mentioned above surely requires outside knowledge for most people (I recognised the sequence, but had no idea what came next. I can't imagine I'd be alone in that position.)

    Oh and I feel the same about the formula puzzle, which I think is assuming a level of familiarity with symbols that it's unreasonable to expect of the average player.

    I just got the impression that they spent the absolute minimum time possible thinking up these puzzles.
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