LB: The Best/Worse Part Of This Game Was...

Feeling like this game could be murder... literally? Well, come on in here for some extra detective work (and clues/hints/etc!) for the Laura Bow games (The Colonel's Bequest and The Dagger of Amon Ra).
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LB: The Best/Worse Part Of This Game Was...

Post by Tawmis » Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:55 pm

The Best/Worse Part Of This Game Was...

Well - the idea here is - every game (or series, where there was more than one) had some GREAT moments, but there were some, no matter how great the rest of the game was - that had some stinkers. (For example, GK3 over all was an amazing game; but ask anyone about the mustache puzzle of the game, and they will probably all groan).

So I want to see what everyone's Best/Worse moments were for a game... and if there's a series - name Best and Worse for each one, if you're so inclined.

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Re: LB: The Best/Worse Part Of This Game Was...

Post by Semi-Happy Partygoer » Wed Jul 04, 2018 11:40 am

The Colonel's Bequest

Best: The sense of isolation and the unfolding of the mystery. I love how you're not in control of the plot, you just have to play the role of keen-eyed observer. It's all about exploration and questioning. Plus the plantation is so spooky and well crafted. I enjoy the character types on display and I adore the light-hearted touches that keep it from getting overly serious.

Worst: Some of the characters were perhaps a bit too archetypal, but I know that was the point. The pun names were fun (Clarence Sparrow, Gloria Swansong, etc.) but did the butler really have to be a Jeeves? And the maid Fifi? I also think the dialogue could've been a bit stronger in places. A lot of it has an artificial flow and seems a bit obvious at times. Also, playing "guess the word the developers were thinking of" can get a bit tedious. Is it a lever? A crank? A handle? Do I wind it, turn it, pull it, or what? Additionally, Laura's hairstyle changed from that shown in the demo, but not all of her sprites were modified to reflect this. These are minor quibbles, though - it's still a great game.

The Dagger of Amon Ra

Best: The concept building at play. Take the same basic outline of the first game (gumshoe protagonist, shady characters, killer, isolated location) and make it stronger than before. A more original story; greater variety of characters; a more high-stakes and trickier mystery to solve; improved graphics; and the same protagonist with more development and depth. To me, this is a sequel done right. Heck, it can be played as a standalone and still be just as effective.

Worst: Perhaps predictably with a game this complexly plotted, not all the pieces add up exactly right with each playthrough. I still don't think I've completed Act III without missing at least one trigger event each time. Also, the sight of the museum staff and patrons walking past dead bodies without the slightest reaction can come across a bit silly. Artwise, the game is beautiful overall, but some of the blackout effects (removing the blank areas and replacing them with a single value of black) makes it look a bit amateurish at times. Leaving in the textured feel of the black paint, like the pic resources in the demo had, would've been more effective, IMO. Laura's sprites could've used some more consistency as well. Her walking animations often don't line up with the views of her performing various actions, some of which appear to be motion-captured. I've seen the unused walking sprites in the resource files based on this design, and clearly many of her supplementary animations were created with this concept. Unfortunately, the walking sprites changed, the actions didn't.
"It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers" - James Thurber

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Re: LB: The Best/Worse Part Of This Game Was...

Post by Spikey » Mon Oct 01, 2018 2:24 pm

Colonel's Bequest

Worst; The way time passes. Playing this game, you probably feel like you're missing out on a billion things. Probably because you are. That is not the kind of replayability I like. This hindsight criticism isn't all that useful of course, since the game was really top notch when it was released. There was simply nothing like it.

Best; Atmosphere. The setting is awesome, and the graphics for that time were just about as perfect as it *could* get. Add to that the Roland MT-32 music, and bingo, this is tons better than watching a movie.

Dagger of Amon Ra

Worst; Dying by crossing the street if you forget to look. Seriously? Also, it took me FOREVER to find out I needed to hide behind that silly curtain at some points in the game to make for the correct time triggers. Who makes up that stuff? Way to ruin an almost perfect game.

Best; Characters and body count. These characters really come to live through the portraits and voice acting, only to be killed off one by one. The tension keeps building with the only question in your mind being "who will be next?" Until that zany Act 5, where you suddenly need all your survival instincts to make it through the night - such a thrill.

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