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KQ6: Overrated?

posted by Anakin Skywalker on - last edited - Viewed by 10.1K users
I know I'm committing blasphemy in the eyes of many KQ die hards by saying this, but am I alone in feeling that KQ6 is overrated? KQ6 kind of reminds me of TSL--It's a little too dark, it's dialogue is a little too formal and clinical (it's a bit too wordy and not to the point as the previous games), it strives--and goes overboard--in trying to get a mature, "epic" feel. It loses that fun, bright, mindless, lighthearted fairy tale feel which characterized the previous games, especially KQV (which is IMO the pinnacle of the series in many ways).

It's kind of like KQ meets GK (a series I've personally never cared for) in some ways with it's story of political intrigue, a dark murderous plot, and a secret society. It takes things into an adult sort of direction--As in, more catered to adults rather than the whole family as the previous games were.

That's not to say it doesn't have it's light moments--of course it does. But the lighthearted moments don't feel nearly as innocent or as natural as in KQV or KQVII--They feel almost kind of forced.

I actually find KQVII to be a better KQ sequel than VI. KQ7 to me is like Roberta meets Don Bluth--which IMO is a good mix.

I'll put it this way: KQVI opened the door to TSL. That makes it bad enough:p
268 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • @Lamb and @Anakin

    Why does a King's Quest game have to be a shallow series of lighthearted fetch quests? Why can't it be serious? What's wrong with serious?

    Mordack was not interesting at all. Graham has very little interaction with Mordack except for the very very end of the game, and not much is known about him from KQ5 itself except that he is Manannan's brother.

    Cedric is annoying and unhelpful. The ants and bees (and various other animals) voice acting is childish sounding. The plot is uninterestingly simple. I care little or nothing for the other minor characters in the story. Yes, KQ5's and 6's interfaces are extremely similar, but that doesn't make up for KQ5's other flaws.

    IMO, KQ7 is very good. It tells a good story, it has interesting characters, and it finally allows a playable Valanice with her own believable motivations. However KQ7's primary problem is its interface, which reduces the player's ability to freely examine/interact with the environment in the same way that KQ6 (and 5) allows. People do also complain about the way death is handled, but I think this is only a very minor issue if the player is in the habit of saving early and often otherwise anyway.

    In KQ6, Alexander takes the time to build relationships with other people on the islands. You come to care about them. It evokes some level of feeling to watch the shopkeeper panic as he watches Alexander give up and die. It's somehow comforting to know that there is someone (in the person of Jollo) that is in the castle who can help Alexander. I could go on with more specific examples, but my point is that the player comes to know and have an interest in the lives of other people on the islands. The same applies in KQ7.

    I don't give a rat's fart about the Ice Queen, Crispin or anyone from the town in KQ5. They're all just a means to an end; an end which is laid out plain and simple right from the very beginning, without any significant variation along the way.
  • I haven't played EcoQuest, so I don't know how dark it's themes are.
    I've played both EcoQuest games, and I never thought of them as being dark. They were mostly about environmental issues like polluting the ocean and saving the rainforest. I don't want to spoil the games for those who haven't played them so here are the trailers instead. This is the trailer for EcoQuest: Search for Cetus. And here is the trailer for Lost Secrets of the Rainforest.
  • Blackthorne519;460264 said:
    I'm afraid if he went into detail about the drawbacks of Jane Jensen's writing, I would die of dysentery.

    Jane Jensen is highly over-rated. Her "dark" and "mature" themes are cliched at best, and self-indulgent at worst.

    Still she handled adult themes better than most of the Sierra writers. What I always liked in Gabriel Knight games was the fact that she managed to include huge amounts of real historical stuff into those game and also the puzzles offered a good challenge. However it might affect to my judgement, that I like the stuff to which she based her stories, like Wagner, mystery surrounding king Ludwig II of Bavaria and his death, Grail myths, Templars etc. While I like GK series, I don't see her as goddess and I think that for example PQ3's story would have worked without all that cult stuff, which felt IMO bit out of place.

    I understand if some people find her stories boring because in GK games you have to explore the myths and stuff in great detail, but compared to other Sierra's dark mature games she triumphed. For example Roberta added rape scene to Phantasmagoria, but five minutes later protagonist is like nothing happened and there is no further references to that event in the game. So I think it was added for shock value, which isn't very good way to explore mature themes. Also I don't understand why the character didn't react in any way when she saw ectoplasm in the nursery, normal people would have moved out from the house at that point. Despite it's flaws, story was somewhat amusing, but the game lacked puzzles.

    And Shannon's Puzzle of Flesh was just ridicilous in the way it handled it's horror and sexual themes, often it felt more like cheap fetish film than horror game.
  • Thank you for removing the post I was referring to, Lambonius. :p

    As for the rest, I already shared my views on the actual topic and am happy to leave it at that.
  • Lambonius;460292 said:
    Also, the "dark" in Quest for Glory, even Quest for Glory 4, is not the angsty, emo, cliche psychological thriller "dark" of Jane Jensen games, it's more specifically related to a kind of classic horror genre concept (vampires, werewolves, mad-scientists, frankenstein monsters, etc.) Those are two VERY different things.
    Uh, Lambo, have you actually played the second or third GK game?
  • Brainiac;460453 said:
    Uh, Lambo, have you actually played the second or third GK game?
    Heh...yeah I know that they have vampires and werewolves. But there is a difference between the camp of the 1930s horror movies (which is more the direction that QFG4 goes, in my opinion) than the way Jensen treats those subjects.
  • I don't really see how KQ6 was any darker than KQ 4 or 5. Sure, you go to the underworld, but is Lolotte's Castle or the Crypt and Haunted House or even the entire night cycle of KQ4 any lighter? Or the three witches? What about Mordack's castle? Cassima is a slave (dressed for the part) he's planning on forcibly marrying... really, how is that not dark? I mean, even KQ2 was pretty dark in it's own limited way. You pound a stake into Dracula's heart, for goodness sake. In KQ6, you've also got a lot of lighter moments, like the Beauty & the Beast plot, the Lewis Carroll-esque puzzles, the whole Disney-style love story...

    I don't know how someone can seriously say that KQ6 was darker than the rest of the series. Personally, I felt the darkest game in the series was KQ4... though I'm not saying that's a bad thing.
  • Lambonius;460523 said:
    Heh...yeah I know that they have vampires and werewolves. But there is a difference between the camp of the 1930s horror movies (which is more the direction that QFG4 goes, in my opinion) than the way Jensen treats those subjects.
    But have you played them? As it sounds you judge them just because of what you've read, not what you've experienced.
  • KQ6 was not particularly dark, honestly. It just drew from a different kind of mythology as compared to the previous KQ games -- Greek mythology + Arabian Knights-esque lore vs. kiddied up versions of fairy tales. If you argue that it is overrated because of writing or design, then I have to disagree with you completely.

    As far as Jane Jensen's writing goes, I can understand liking or disliking it. Personally, I like it for the interesting historical and mythological undertones that are present in both KQ6 and the first two GK games. I don't really care one way or another about "dark and gritty" which many people seem to get their panties in a bunch over.

    And Lamb, I know you are a cool guy from participating in the IA forums, but please lay off the ad hominem attacks. They're uncalled for and paint you in a bad light.
  • I enjoyed King's Quest VI. Nice variety across the board.
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