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nullPointer
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Re: Together Retro: FMV Frenzy

by nullPointer Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:58 pm

I finally had the opportunity to post up some final thoughts regarding A Fork in the Tale over in the Games Beaten thread. Due to some heavily competing time constraints I have going on currently, this may well wind up being the only FMV game I finish this month, but I'm glad I persevered and saw it through to the end. It was a fun and different experience. If the TR mission statement is to encourage us to get out of our gaming comfort zones, well ... mission accomplished! :)
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J T
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Re: Together Retro: FMV Frenzy

by J T Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:06 pm

Double Switch keeps kicking my butt. It's starting to piss me off because I keep having to replay so many segments. The game is split into three Acts. You have to play on the hardest difficulty setting to play all three Acts. If you mess up, you can restart at the beginning of the Act, but you can only do that twice, then you have to start at the beginning of the game, which has a long unskippable opening. It's infuriating. I'm so sick of that intro.

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Double Switch is an interactive movie with gameplay very similar to NIght Trap, which isn't particularly surprising since it was developed by the same company. It stars Corey Haim and Deborah Harry and has music by Thomas Dolby. The performances are good and the game has a madcap fun atmosphere. The premise is that you live in this giant mansion where different rooms are rented out to different tenants. There is a wacky cast of characters. There is a guy named Brutus who appears to be wrapped up with the mafia. There's a disinterested landlady who dresses like Cleopatra. There is a young journalist played by Deborah Harry who is trying to write a story on the house and the mysteries inside. And there is a musical group trying to score a big recording contract. Corey Haim has inherited the place and he has installed booby traps throughout the house to protect it from intruders, and there are A LOT of intruders. There is some ancient artifact in the place that they are all after, and it's being passed around through the tenants. You are given remote access to the control room, so your job in the game is to monitor the various cameras throughout the mansion and to trip booby traps to restrain the intruders. There are lots of fun traps and you get to see a bit of stunt work whenever you spring one on a bad guy.

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Basically what this means for gameplay, is that there are 6 or 7 movies being run at the same time, and you can cycle through them and trigger quick-time-events when enemies step on your booby trap switches. It takes three taps to load a trap, and a 4th one to set it off, but this must be timed with the enemy tripping the switch, or nothing will happen. You also have to witness certain events to progress, so if you're on camera 1 when the important event is happening on camera 4, then you will miss something that you will need to progress in the game later, though you might not realize that you needed this right away. The problem with this is that you will be forced to miss certain plot points, so if you want to understand the story of the game, you will have to lose a round to watch a video clip in its entirety. Sometimes this gameplay is fun when you really feel like you are juggling things well and bouncing between cameras, picking up bits of information and trapping intruders. Other times, however, it's just frustrating because you absolutely cannot miss certain events, even though you might be interested in following others. And with very limited continues, it means you'll be playing the whole damn thing over from the start many more times than you would like to before you finally get to the end of the story. The story does have some fun little plot twists and it really does feel like you are a character in the movie, so it succeeds on that account, but without being able to continue, you'll probably get bored with rewatching it all so much that you won't want to finish (which is where I am at while typing this).

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There are a lot of ways to lose in this game. You have to observe certain things happening, or else later parts of the story won't unfold. You can accidentally capture one of the tenants, which the game tries to trick you into doing. You can accidentally let one of the tenants get captured by the intruders. You can let too many intruders get past your defenses (a few are ok, and at times, necessary). Also, someone else controlling your traps can capture the intruders, and you have to quickly disarm their traps if you see this happening. Some intruders can get by, but others cannot without ending the game, and it's not totally made clear which ones will be a problem, so you have to memorize everything. Much of this game is about memorization.

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I haven't given up on the game just yet, but I'm giving up enough to give you my impressions now rather than when (if) I beat it. There were moments when I was really having fun with this game and getting a sense for their vision of an interactive movie. It is really close to something cool. Unfortunately, it simply becomes too frustrating by forcing you to memorize things, juggle through screens quickly or lose, and do this all with only two continues. Ultimately, I want to like this game more than I actually do.

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stickem
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Re: Together Retro: FMV Frenzy

by stickem Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:57 pm

^ I just picked this up on the bay because it's cheap and I guess halfway decent from what I read. Your infuriating comment now makes me want to leave it on the shelf when I get it lol.
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Re: Together Retro: FMV Frenzy

by Exhuminator Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:10 am

I tried a few more FMV games out tonight.

First it was Fahrenheit (1995) for SEGA CD/32X. I liked the concept (cinematic firefighter action), but the execution simply wasn't fun. If I had to see that stupid flashlight shine in my face one more time! AGGHH anyway. I next tried Prize Fighter (1993) for SEGA CD, and yeah... not good. I'd rather watch Raging Bull while playing Punch-Out!!. At this point I've tried at least nine SEGA CD games and none of them have been what I would consider good, or even decent for that matter. So that's enough SEGA CD FMV for me thanks.

I next spent two hours playing Star Trek: Starfleet Academy (1997) for PC. I'm a fan of Star Trek, so of course I appreciated the legitimate appearances of Kirk, McCoy, and Sulu in this game's FMVs. Unfortunately the actual gameplay was like a boring Wing Commander wannabe, but with a terrible control interface. I really liked the concept of this game. Unfortunately it was about as much fun as slowly scanning a 30' x 50' chalk board, while erasing centimeter sized chalk marks with a 1" x 1" eraser. Except a drunken octopus is holding the eraser, who you can only barely telepathically communicate with. After two hours I'd had enough of this janky mess. Starfleet Academy was the opposite of fun. Ya blew it Interplay.

At this point in time, I've beaten six FMV games, and sampled at least a dozen more. After all of that, the highest I've rated any has been a 7/10. Not exactly an aggregate experience that has changed my mind about '90s FMV games yet. That said, there are two '90s FMV adventure games that are supposed to be the pinnacle of the '90s FMV genre. One is The Beast Within: A Gabriel Knight Mystery. The other is Under a Killing Moon, the third Tex Murphy game. And so tonight I decided to give one of these FMV apogees a try. I went with Under a Killing Moon, because I like noir and sass mouth detectives.

After spending a hour with Under a Killing Moon, I'll say I'm impressed with it so far. I'm hoping it proves to be a winner. Certainly for the year it was released, Under a Killing Moon is phenomenal from a technical standpoint. I can safely say that much already. I'll also say that good or not good, Under a Killing Moon will be my final game for this particular TR. Here's hoping my participation ends on a high note.
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Re: Together Retro: FMV Frenzy

by Ack Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:16 am

Ack's Riven Journal, Entry #2:

I last left off sitting in a submersible on a track, reading a journal to discover more about my mission in Riven. Upon return, I put the journal away and use the submersible to move around to a school, where I take some time to learn how the Rivenese people's numerics work via a strange toy that lowers men to be eaten by a fish. With the numerals inscribed on a notepad, I turn back and again stop at a place previously inaccessible, a large metal cage. The cage has a lever which lowers a pair of metal cuffs over the water. I think I understand the purpose of the game now, as both a teaching tool and a warning. With this, I decide instead to return to the various eyes and look over the symbols on the backs.

One by one, I retrace my steps and make note of the numbers that appear on them. One of the eyes sits on a rock by the beach where two strange creatures lie sunning themselves. If I approach too swiftly, they swim off in fear, but as I slowly sneak down, they make noises before finally fleeing when I come too close. The sound one makes is something I recognize, and I realize why when I return to the forest for its eye: the eyes have numerals but also make animal sounds, with the jungle eye making the sound of whatever those creatures were. I return, looking for evidence of animals, and when I reach the top of the ladder gazing down at the eye in the pool, I realize the water must form the shape of the scarab beetles I've seen. Another eye is near a cave entrance that holds the silhouette of what appears to be a frog. Unfortunately, I find myself unable to find any signs of what animal the fourth eye represents, nor do I recognize the sound. Instead, I go back to the deforested section and decide to take the mine cart.

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The mine cart deposits me on a new island after traveling through an empty tube underwater that was held open by what appeared to be heated coils. I make landfall over what appears to be a wood chipper, but it is not powered. Now I am at some kind of crater lake, with several structures built into the cliffs above. A pipe system dominates the center of the lake, and when I redirect the flow of what is likely steam power, I learn to activate the wood chipper. Another pipe controls some kind of boiler, so I redirect power to it and manipulate the controls on the side to cool the water and drain it. This allows access inside, which takes me to a large pipe. I crawl through blackness to a cliff and walk around to a balcony with a trap door that leads down to the beach. Since another pipe leads here, I decide to return below and redirect the flow of power to this location. Once inside, I find a fan in the ceiling and some kind of trap that I can lower into the darkness below.

It takes me some minutes before I figure out how the fully manipulate the trap and bait it with some small food pellets, so I set the trap and lower it into the darkness. None of this has any effect on the fan, so I note that what appears to be a power cable connects to it and runs off into the darkness beyond. I then turn back. What follows is twenty minutes of returning to the lake, searching for new areas to explore, and backtracking over my progress. I can see a walkway that somehow connects to the building with the trap when I'm in the crater, so I return to it and explore more. Finally, I decide to shut the door and close myself in. Aha! This reveals hidden passages on either side, one of which leads to the walkway I could see outside, the other to a flight of stairs.

I decide on the stairs first to see if it will take me down to the trap, but instead it leads me through a door to a spinning gold dome. I see something in the wall looking at the dome and notice one of the symbols is a gold color while the rest are silver. Returning to the door, I decide to try my luck again, and once again discover a hidden passage behind it. This takes me to a small room where a device examines the symbols in the spinning globe in a sort of slideshow. I press the button on top when the gold symbol appears, and the spinning globe comes to a halt. Returning to it, I discover a set of tabs I can slide, but for now, I do not believe I know how to solve this puzzle. I return up the stairs to the walkway.

The walkway leads to another building that is locked, but I spot what appears to be a ventilation shaft running into the side. That means that I probably shut off the fan to gain access. I also note that I can follow the path further, and this takes me to the long walkway back to the power plant on the original island. I decide instead to turn back and finish my investigation of the current island before heading that way. As I make my way along the catwalk back to the trap room, I notice a cable that looks identical to the one connected to the fan. I follow it to a lever beside the catwalk, and when I shut it off, I return to the fan to find it has powered down. Just my luck! I climb into the ventilation shaft and move through into a workshop.

The workshop must be the work of the man I have been sent to imprison. I find evidence of burned linking books inside a furnace. I also find what appears to be a collection of eggs, including what appears to be one of the pellets I put on the trap. However, my most important discovery is my enemy's journal. Reading it provides insight into many of my suspicions, such as that I am correct about the power plant and the steampunk nature of technology in Riven. I also learn how to identify the symbol of the rebels, such as the one who must have saved me from my jail in the very beginning. I scribble down whatever in the book seems valuable, be it the diagram of the circles on the side of the spinning dome I had stopped earlier, the record of what I believe to be the "99th" book, and a symbol involving blocks that I first saw in the power plant. I put the journal away and notice the star symbol that my quarry had mentioned with a Rivenese '1' inscribed in the center. Nearby, I find another of the wooden eyes that he had apparently pulled away to examine and make note of the number. Other things I find in the workshop include a symbol carved in wood with a magnifying lens that shows stars when I don't look at it directly as well as a series of strings in an arrangement that reminds me of the spinning dome that I stopped but don't quite reveal their spacing, so I am unsure if this is the solution. Instead, I unlock the doors to the workshop and head out.

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Out the back of the workshop is another tram, but instead of taking it, I return to the walkway that leads to the power plant. Since I had redirected the steam lines earlier, I am able to lower the walkway fully and return to the first island. This walkway provides me access to another part of the power plant that I saw earlier, but I am able to connect the walkway to a part I had previously explored. I decide it might be smart to now raise the first bridge I had found to the power plant, because now I can go back to access the higher level as necessary. I also find another section of the catwalk heading out, but it is missing a piece. As I turn around, I noticed a switch which elevates the missing section from below, so I can continue my explorations.

This catwalk leads me to the locked door into the gold room, so instead of having to talk the long way back, I am able to spin the room around to give myself access to the now raised section. This leads me to the top of the gold dome, where some kind of device presses down on a grate which contains colored circles and the block designs I had seen earlier on the power plant diagram. I doubt I have the knowledge to solve this, since I haven't noticed anything involving colors quite like that, so I instead turn around and head back to the previous island with the workshop. Once there, I take the tram to the next island.

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Once on the new island, I exit the tram and follow a path that leads to an overlook. Up above, I am able to look down and spot large designs reminiscent of the shapes in the power plant. Each shape is worn on the edges, like a topographical map of some sort, and when I press on the control switch, a strange liquid pours out over them. I cannot see any evidence if these things are color coded, and while some of the shapes seem to have liquid come out of specific points, I'm unable to identify all of the locations. One of the shapes has a large hole in it, and as I stare at it, I realize it's a map of the islands of Riven. Not only that, but coming to this understanding, I now realize that the power plant diagram I have been looking over tells me exactly which pipe powers which island. Another piece of the bigger picture now falls into place.

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So ends Ack's Riven Journal, Entry #2.
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Re: Together Retro: FMV Frenzy

by BogusMeatFactory Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:45 am

Ack, your journals are making me the happiest man alive! I hope that you are enjoying riven and appreciating the insane level of world building they are doing and while Myst 3 and 4 are steps back (because they are not made by cyan) Myst 5 and Uru retain that insane attention to detail (Because they were made by Cyan.)

Don't stop.. this is too good!
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-I am the idiot that likes to have fun and be happy.
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Re: Together Retro: FMV Frenzy

by Key-Glyph Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:29 am

Hey guys! I've uploaded one of my favorite save files of Silent Steel in its movie form, just for you. It does spoil the existence of certain things, but nothing actually gets solved here, so all it should do is peak your curiosity about what's truly going on.

Every time the screen goes black and you hear the captain's voice, that's a decision point when I had to choose among three dialog options. You won't get to see the other possibilities, alas.

I played a cranky authoritarian captain in this one. We also get to experience the "full enchilada" line and my favorite storyline conclusion. Enjoy.

Part One
Part Two

Some disclaimers: The colors and quality of the video are off from how they actually appear; hopefully it's not too distracting. In addition, the intermittent stuttering you hear in the audio was indeed something I dealt with, but I'm not sure if that was an emulator issue or was accurate to the original Win95 experience.
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Betagam7
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Re: Together Retro: FMV Frenzy

by Betagam7 Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:48 am

Does Cannon Fodder on the Gameboy Color count?
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Re: Together Retro: FMV Frenzy

by sevin0seven Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:11 am

Street Fighter II: The Interactive Movie (Saturn/PS1)

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Re: Together Retro: FMV Frenzy

by Exhuminator Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:20 am

One of Elkin's rules for this TR theme is that the FMV must have live actors (as in actual real humans) in it. In that regard I don't think Cannon Fodder or Street Fighter II: The Interactive Movie match the criteria. However 1995's Street Fighter: The Movie features live actor FMV during its intro, as well as digitized live actors as the combative sprites.
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