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 Any positive highlights of the MultiMedia "game" days?

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Join date : 2011-02-16
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Location : I live in my namesake, of course!.. Okay, in real life - Japan.

PostSubject: Any positive highlights of the MultiMedia "game" days?   Fri Mar 18, 2011 7:27 am

Well, yes actually. But first, I'm still curious if anyone actually remembers some gems in that very rough fad of "MultiMedia" games. For those who don't remember, that was the era where we were trying to bake as many mediums onto compact disc, often resulting in less "game" and more... well, staring at the screen often at something pixelated and annoying. There are plenty of infamous stuff like Night Trap of course or Phantasmagoria (Though I actually sort of like Phantasmagoria, even though it hath not aged well. Surprising since when it comes to adventure games, I rarely ever touch Sierra's stuff. I preferred LucasArts.) but do you guys remember any half-decent efforts from this era?

Once again, I do! Now to tell you what it is:

The Dark Eye. No relation to the bajillion RPGs that popped up when I Googled a box scan.

The Dark Eye is something I will remember from the MultiMedia era as a true gem. It does have the trademarks of barely resembling a "game" per se, but it is a CD that actually delivers a true experience; so to speak. It's both based on and inspired by the works of Edgar Allen Poe; it has both an original story in the Gothic traditions of Poe (and a worthy one) as well as 6 Poe stories within; 3 of which are part of the 'game' and the other 3 are easter-eggs. The ones that makeup the game are Berenice, The Cask of Amontillado and what Poe tribute isn't complete without The Tell-Tale Heart? The stories which work as Easter Eggs are The Premature Burial, The Masque of the Red Death and Annabelle Lee. The easter-eggs are just read by William Rice Burroughs; but they have an interesting visual style attached that is unique to each of the Egg stories.

Speaking of visuals - that's part of what I love about The Dark Eye. The main stories and the original one all share a bizarre, puppets through the eyes of a manic-depressive art style that works at creeping the everlasting fuck out of you. While some of them have eyes or more cheerful dispositions, they have a habit of often having black voids for eyes in shapes that portray sadness or fear and skewered and unhappy expressions. The biggest complaint I have comes from the constraints of the CD-Rom and an old old old version of QuickTime (Which powers it), while some of them have proper animation - when they move, they don't so much as move but rather "teleport" in a hail of jumbled pixels to where they want to be, which is annoying.

(You see what I mean? Also, if you want to see more shots go here: http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/darkeye/darkeye.htm)

One unique hook about playing through the 3 stories is that you play through them twice, once as the killer and once as the victim. This is also about the only thing adding some difficulty curve to the adventuring, because anyone who has read Poe's stories can figure out the narrative role's actions in a heartbeat. Playing the opposite role is trickier, and often more unpleasant. I'm claustrophobic, and playing as poor Fortunato following faint instructions through the catacombs and then being bricked away by a scary puppet was definitely an unpleasant, but welcome, experience.

So yeah.... anyone else have any memories of something good from that era?
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Join date : 2011-01-31
Location : Orlando, FL

PostSubject: Re: Any positive highlights of the MultiMedia "game" days?   Sun Mar 27, 2011 11:09 pm

Wow, I'm sorry I managed to miss that game in particular, it sounds pretty interesting.

The most out-there example I remember was "Monty Python's Complete Waste of Time". It was sort of an adventure / puzzle game, but didn't really have a clear storyline to it. Mostly it was a series of interactive rooms based on different Python sketches and animated in that Terry Gilliam style. You'd find a ton of audio and video clips from Flying Circus everywhere, although from what I recall, you could just as easily watch them off the disc itself. They also had a Quest for the Holy Grail game in the same style, but I never played that one.

I can't remember the name of it, but I also had this one game that came in one of those long "10 CD-ROMs for $25" packs you used to see at the software stores. It was a murder mystery game that was presented more in a multi-media way. You examined clues through crime scene photos, video clips of witness interviews, and very technical autopsy and ballistic reports. I know there have been since other murder mystery games, but they tend to be presented more as a "game". This one I always felt was unique in that it tried to immerse you more by presenting all the evidence as if it came from an actual murder investigation. There wasn't a lot of hand holding, either.

I guess there's also "Penn and Teller's Smoke & Mirrors" for the Sega CD, even though it never officially came out. A leak of it surfaced a few years back. On the surface it looked like a collection of pretty forgettable mini-games mixed with a bunch of video clips of Penn and Teller. But the idea was there were certain ways for the second player to manipulate the games in order to play tricks on the other player. It was basically the multi-media age's equivalent of that old video of Penn and Teller teaching you how to play tricks on friends.
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PostSubject: Re: Any positive highlights of the MultiMedia "game" days?   Sun Mar 27, 2011 11:35 pm

I really wish that "Penn and Teller's Smoke & Mirrors" could have come out, I think it would have been one of the most original games in terms of how to play it that would have came out that year.
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