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Re: Together Retro: FMV Frenzy

Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:14 pm
by ElkinFencer10
Wow! I'm thrilled to see the activity here! Now that I'm finally back at my computer, a few things I wanted to mention:

The reason that FMV was one of the theme choices I picked was because it's not something I have a lot of experience in, and I'm hoping to learn more about games with FMV through reading yall's posts this month. To that end, I want to state that not only do Ex's picks meet the criteria as I defined them, but they also meet the intended spirit of the theme - discovering games featuring full motion video that were previously unknown to me. Do games like Double Dragon on Neo Geo skirt the criteria? Sure, but they do meet the requirements. As a personal note, I'm fascinated by cartridge games that contain features that most folks think cartridge based consoles simply can't do - like FMV and high quality audio recordings - so I'm all about those odd-ball games that might only barely meet the requirements.

As for my personal participation, I don't have a lot of FMV games, sadly, but I do plan to play through my PS4 release of Night Trap (since that's the only version of it I own, sadly) as well as Corpse Killer and Fahrenheit on CD32X and Super Wing Commander on 3DO. Might fire up Sewer Shark on Sega CD if I have the time and motivation this month, too.

Re: Together Retro: FMV Frenzy

Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:37 pm
by J T

Re: Together Retro: FMV Frenzy

Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:07 pm
by J T
ElkinFencer10 wrote: As a personal note, I'm fascinated by cartridge games that contain features that most folks think cartridge based consoles simply can't do - like FMV and high quality audio recordings - so I'm all about those odd-ball games that might only barely meet the requirements.

Carrying on with this tangent because I am an audio nerd, here are a few of my favorite examples of systems getting better audio than they should have been capable of:

Tales of Phantasia for Super Famicom has an impressive full vocal track in Japanese.

Cannon Fodder for GameBoy Color has vocals too and animated FMV, and it's only 8-bit. Pretty much all the memory went to this intro though. haha.

Skate or Die 2 for the NES has 'singing', but really I'm including this just because composer Rob Hubbard is a boss.

Chronos for the ZX Spectrum where Tim Follin manages to rock out in 1-bit (i.e. just sending on/off messages to the beeper)

Re: Together Retro: FMV Frenzy

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:45 am
by crazythink4
BogusMeatFactory wrote:Hey! Thanks for participating in this month's together retro!

Thanks! :D

BogusMeatFactory wrote:I for one love reading the journals in the game. There is something about reading journals in an abandoned world that engages me a lot. Maybe it was my upbringing in text adventure games and playing games that had a very large focus on reading. I don't really know.

That makes sense. I obviously didn't mind it either back when I played it in the mid-90s. It could also be because Myst was such a new experience to me that I was willing to roll with it. It's only playing it now that I felt that it hurt the pacing.

That said, I may have approached it wrong too. I tried to read all of the volumes at once and it may have bogged the whole thing down for me. (I'm a fairly slow reader.) Instead, perhaps I should have read one and then gone off to the corresponding age, thus spacing it out more evenly.

BogusMeatFactory wrote:As for the acting.... Yeah. The brothers Robyn and rand Miller are not the best of actors, but I did thoroughly enjoy Rand's portrayal of Atrus. When they recast the brothers in Myst IV though.... oof. I want the Miller brothers back.

Reading my original comment again, I probably came off a little harder on the Millers than I meant to. I mean, obviously they're not actors by trade, but they didn't embarrass themselves (especially by the standards of other FMV games of the era). And, like I mentioned, it actually worked in most cases.

BogusMeatFactory wrote:Now, about the free roam. A lot of people found that as a negative, but I absolutely loved it. I no longer was disoriented about where I was. Ages like Channelwood become so much more coherent following pipes and navigating the high walkways. Your sense of direction is so much more solidified.

Yes, it does make Myst Island seem smaller, but I didn't mind it so much. Plus, the added age that ties the game into URU is fascinating and has that more modern cyan charm.

Real Myst was more about testing out their engine that was later uses for Uru and Myst V than anything, but I still loved it.

After your comment, I went back and tried realMyst again, this time with more tempered expectations (and now that I knew the solution to the final puzzle, I could check out the added Rime age).

In my original comment, I will admit that I only played on the main island without going to the other ages. I will concur that it's easy to get disoriented with the old interface, especially in the Channelwood age, where slightly misclicking would send you down a path you didn't expect. Also some of the jumps in the environment are a little too large and disconnected. Working in 3D would absolutely help with that.

However, in other areas, the 3D feels superfluous. I imagine myself being frustrated in the railroad maze in the Selenitic age, where you'd be sitting around and hitting buttons. (I will also admit to abusing the Escape key to skip some of the FMV transitions to speed myself along. I should definitely not do this when playing Riven to get the full experience.)

I can see what you mean with the 3D engine being a tech demo. The Rime Age seems to really be a showcase for the engine rather than a fully-formed Age. The electric towers didn't really do much except look pretty and there were a grand total of two puzzles: opening the door to the elevator and solving the crystal to get a peek at the land of Riven. Once I reached that point, I wasn't sure what to do since it wasn't clear to me that this was the end. (I had to look at a FAQ to confirm.) It felt tacked on and incomplete.

I guess this is why if a rerelease adds more content to integrate it better with sequels, I try to avoid playing them out of release order (i.e. in this case, I would have played it after Riven, but before Myst III: Exile). Catching a glimpse of Riven didn't mean much to me, but clearly there's some significance to this event that I don't understand yet. Also, on the main island there's a gravestone that's probably significant, but there are no other references to it in the game and so it's a bit meaningless to me.

One other point that may have turned me off of realMyst unfairly: there was definitely a phenomenon in early FPSes where you would click a switch and hear an audio cue that something changed, but then it would be difficult to tell where it was or what changed. (I'm looking at you, Doom 2.) Later in the 90s, I believe that game developers started creating conventions to help avoid this confusion, but obviously none of this existed when the original Myst was made. Of course, it's almost a hallmark of Myst that flipping a trigger will have some distant effect that you have to go find, but realMyst gave me flashbacks to those frustrating days of "find where the elevator descended in time before it goes back up" in mid-90s FPSes. (That said, except for a couple of puzzles, nothing in Myst is on a timer, so this is a little moot.)

BogusMeatFactory wrote:I remember when I was a kid and my rich aunt came to visit us from out of state and brought us Myst with a giant stack of papers they printed from the early days of the internet. It was a guide.

They showed us how to play and they were so excited.... something I never saw from adults about a videogame. We open sirrus and achenar's books and even as a kid I was like, "Oh they evil!!!!" I didn't touch it again until the 2000s when I decided to play through the entire series and fell in love. Not a single guide was used and everything clicked for me. It stands as some of the best lore-filled games that sit on a Tolkien level of detail and care. When you tackle riven, let me know how it works out for you. That is a very very special game to me. Even if it doesn't click for you, I would recommend using something like the universal hint system to guide you. Good luck!

Heh, I love reading accounts like this. Thanks!

This conversation highlighted some of the shortcomings in the way that I approached Myst. I'm glad I had it, because now I can approach Riven with the more proper mindset and almost certainly have a better experience.

I previously mentioned that I try to avoid playing remakes that add content to better integrate them into sequels. I lament that The Journeyman Project: Pegasus Prime does this, but it doesn't seem like the very original is available on digital distribution platforms. (Plus, based on some of the videos I saw of the original, I'm not sure it'd qualify for this TR.) Oh well, you work with what you got! :lol:

Re: Together Retro: FMV Frenzy

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:10 am
by BogusMeatFactory

Oh man! Journeyman project is a fun romp! The remake of the first is necessary because the original did not have fmv. I don't mind the tie in so much, because the second and third are so much better.

Those developers went on to make Myst 3 and 4, which, while I don't enjoy as a story feel they are very well designed.

Tips for riven! Take it slow... very very slow. Take notes and refer to areas. The major issue with riven is that, given its more free roaming nature, it is easy to see a puzzle you can solve, but think you can't and move on. So really try and figure it out. The only time when it isn't solvable is if you get no feedback with your interactions or if it uses symbols you don't understand, (Like the d'ni number system).

This is why I recommend the universal hint system because they will let you know if it is something that will be solved with help from other factors before spoiling things for you.

Good luck in your fmv adventures and keep us informed with how it goes!!!!

Re: Together Retro: FMV Frenzy

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:58 am
by ElkinFencer10
Played through Night Trap last night. I always assumed that was a shitty FMV game, but I actually had a LOT of fun with it. Campy as hell, but I found the gameplay to be super addictive (even if the acting was...not great).

Re: Together Retro: FMV Frenzy

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:01 am
by BogusMeatFactory
ElkinFencer10 wrote:Played through Night Trap last night. I always assumed that was a shitty FMV game, but I actually had a LOT of fun with it. Campy as hell, but I found the gameplay to be super addictive (even if the acting was...not great).

If you dig it, check out double switch on Sega cd, mobile, pc etc. Same kind of style and use of the trap setup. I find that if people want to experience this style of fmv but are intimidated by night trap. I recommend playing them in order of release, doing voyeur, night trap and then double switch. They each use the same kind of concept, using cameras to navigate rooms and get clues, but each adds an extra layer to the format.

Re: Together Retro: FMV Frenzy

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 12:20 pm
by Exhuminator
So I beat another FMV game.

Last time 99% of the experience was not FMV. This time? The opposite. 99% of this game is FMV. Happy now?



The Yakyuu Ken Special: Konya wa 12-kaisen for the SEGA Saturn. Released in 1995. Officially.

I point out "officially" because wow, SEGA signed off on this. This is a rock paper scissors game.

A strip rock paper scissors game that is. :|

Yeah, that's about all that needs to be said. But if you want me to say more, read my review.

I'm afraid The Yakyuu Ken Special: Konya wa 12-kaisen did not convince me of the FMV genre's inherent worth. But, I'll keep on going folks! There's three more FMV games in the box. They may yet change my mind...

Re: Together Retro: FMV Frenzy

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 12:27 pm
by Sarge
I had a feeling something like this would be in your list. :lol: Thanks for taking one for the team. ;)

Re: Together Retro: FMV Frenzy

Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 12:42 pm
by nullPointer
So ... I think I found our official poster for this month ... which also happens to be an advertisement for the game I started last night:

And while the large print may not be wrong in a general sense ... it's definitely not accurate in regards to A Fork in the Tale. This game is just not that good. I had slightly raised expectations due to the fact that it features Rob Schneider as the voice of the main character, but yeah it's very problematic. First the good! The acting isn't half bad. It's not half good either, but it gets the point across. Unfortunately I'd never have known the main voice-over was Rob Schneider. Granted he's a lot younger in this game, but even despite a brief homage to his 'Richmeister the copy room guy' character I don't think I would have recognized his voice at all. Come to think of it, I should challenge my wife to see if she can pick him out. She has an uncanny ability to recognize actors on the basis of their voice alone. The other interesting thing that this game has going for it is the plot which involves traveling between parallel worlds, those being our own modern world (of the 1990's) and one peopled by medieval knights and wizards.

So far so good. Everything is cheesy and fairly low budget, but man ... I'm an old school Doctor Who fan; I can handle cheesy and low budget 8). I even had a pretty good chuckle out of the fact that the main 'castle' I encountered is pretty clearly someone's Southern California estate. But things really start to fall apart when it comes to the gameplay. Everything is quicktime events, and even that's okay, at least on the surface. It's the way they're implemented that becomes incredibly tedious. Many of these events require you to quickly click on a set of choices which sometimes represent directional inputs, sometimes they represent things to do or say. And often these inputs must be entered in series before you can 'progress' to the next scene. The trouble is that you're not given any indication of the 'correct' choices, and if you fail at any given step you need to start the entire sequence over again (meaning you watch the same short clips over and over again until you finally get it 'right').


Imagine playing a game of Simon where it doesn't give you any lighted sequence to follow; you just start pushing buttons and it tells you if you're right or wrong. If you're wrong you repeat the part that you've memorized over (and over) again until you finally get it right. That's A Fork in the Tale.

Even that wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the jarring transitions between clips. Oh God the transitions. THE TRANSITIONS. Which is to say there aren't any. It's just these short clips jammed together, often without much in the way of rhyme or reason. It's very jarring and herky jerky to the point where you sometimes feel like there's not any connection at all between clips, like you're watching some kind of post modern art exhibit, or the video portion of a Skinny Puppy concert (except you know ... with less impaled eyeballs & junk). It just lends a total discombobulated feeling to the game, a pervasive sense of disorientation.

I feel your pain buddy

So yeah, I'm still on disc 1 ... out of 5. I know I've roasted this game fairly thoroughly, but I'm not done with it quite yet (I'm too stubborn for that!). I'm kinda curious to see where the plot leads (spoiler alert: I'm pretty sure it leads to disappointment). But sheesh I tell ya guys ... I'm not sure I'm going to make it through this thing.