Some thoughts on GK2

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Elindira
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Some thoughts on GK2

Post by Elindira » Wed Oct 24, 2012 11:10 pm

Hello everybody! I am new here at the SHP. I'm a long time Sierra fan, and I used to be kinda active in the old Sierra message boards, and also in Sierra Planet for a while after the Mystery/adventure official forums closed down. I accidentaly found the SHP a little while ago, and I think it's wonderful to find such a thriving community of Sierra fans still here. :) I had no idea there were still so many active fans...

In any event, I was able to recently obtain the GK series from GOG. I've never played them before, so I am enoying them now for the first time. I really liked the GK1 playthrough you guys did months ago; I played along with it, and it really enhanced my experience (though of course, it was too late for me to comment my thoughts).

I am currently playing GK2, for the first time, and as per Tawmis' suggestion, I wanted to write some of my impressions on the game here, in case anybody is interested. So, as per his request, I'll start writing here some of my thoughts.

Overall gameplay:

I have to say that the interface/game-presentation change was a bit hard to get into at first. I had never played a FMV game before, so this kind of presentation felt weird and klunky. After playing for a while, I have to say that there are some downsides but also some very positive aspects. Being able to see how the character react, in their faces and their postures, is way better in terms of getting into the story than the pixelated graphics from GK1. I think I am starting to enjoy this approach now, though I do get tired of the transition movies pretty fast.

The dumbing down of the interface took me a little by surprise, too. I was expecting a simplified interface, but going down from 8 action icons to 1 icon that actually lights up when you move it over a hotspot was a biig change. It does give the game a faster pacing, though there is less space to poke around and discover weird results to different action/object combinations.

I think what I miss the most, by far, is being able to look at everything and get interesting, funny, or witty descriptions of stuff. The world feels much emptier with only a few hotspots here and there, and a couple of comments on the objects from Gabriel and Grace. I feel less excited about investigating the world.

I also had troubles with pixel hunting in the first chapter. I couldn't for the life of me see the walkie-talkie on Dr. Klingman's desk, so I was stuck there for a long while trying to figure out that puzzle. I wasn't able to find the post office either, even though I was looking everywhere for a mailbox, and I actually tried several times to find something useful in the screen where the post office was. I had to resort to walkthroughs to find these things; I wasn't expecting this to be the case when having a cursor that highlights hotspots.

About the story and characters:

It was a bit hard to start Chapter one as there as there was no purpose other than wandering around and looking for clues. And since I couldn't "look" at everything and get funny descriptions, it took me a bit of effort to move along. I think I like how this actor is portraying Gabriel, even though it's somewhat different from his original incarnation. This chapter was mostly about learning the mechanichs of the game, though it started getting interesting by the end of the chapter, during the closing movie.

The second chapter went by much faster for me. I actually enjoyed following the different werewolf trails, and I didn't get stuck at any point. Everything made sense and the puzzles felt natural. The only thing I didn't like so much was how they portrayed Grace. On GK1, Grace was a strong minded but nice girl. Here, she is... hmm, I don't want to use strong language... angry all the time? In her first scene, she lied and was not nice to a customer, due to her conflicting emotions towards Gabriel. Ok, that wasn't so terrible. Then she goes and talks to Gerde, and she is a real pain in the rear with her too. And once you start playing, she just gets worse and worse with Gerde. So the initial impression I got of Grace is that... I really didn't like her. I liked Gracie from GK1, and I wanted to like this one, but I couldn't. Fortunately, she wasn't such a pain to the rest of the people in town, something that by that time actually surprised me. I just finished chapter 2, so I'm really trying to like Grace, but I hope she changes her attitude or it will be really hard for me to do that.

The story is starting to get really interesting, so I hope I'll be able to conotinue with chapter 3 soon enough. :)

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Tawmis
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Re: Some thoughts on GK2

Post by Tawmis » Wed Oct 24, 2012 11:30 pm

Elindira wrote: Hello everybody! I am new here at the SHP. I'm a long time Sierra fan, and I used to be kinda active in the old Sierra message boards, and also in Sierra Planet for a while after the Mystery/adventure official forums closed down. I accidentaly found the SHP a little while ago, and I think it's wonderful to find such a thriving community of Sierra fans still here. :) I had no idea there were still so many active fans...
However it is you stumbled upon us, I am thankful to have another person who is willing to post and be active!
Elindira wrote: In any event, I was able to recently obtain the GK series from GOG. I've never played them before, so I am enoying them now for the first time. I really liked the GK1 playthrough you guys did months ago; I played along with it, and it really enhanced my experience (though of course, it was too late for me to comment my thoughts).
I think everyone's going to be interested in your post, since this is your FIRST time playing the game!
Elindira wrote: I am currently playing GK2, for the first time, and as per Tawmis' suggestion, I wanted to write some of my impressions on the game here, in case anybody is interested. So, as per his request, I'll start writing here some of my thoughts.
That Tawmis guy has great ideas...!

Elindira wrote: Overall gameplay:
I have to say that the interface/game-presentation change was a bit hard to get into at first. I had never played a FMV game before, so this kind of presentation felt weird and klunky. After playing for a while, I have to say that there are some downsides but also some very positive aspects. Being able to see how the character react, in their faces and their postures, is way better in terms of getting into the story than the pixelated graphics from GK1. I think I am starting to enjoy this approach now, though I do get tired of the transition movies pretty fast.
So that's the only thing I didn't like with the FMV games (GK2, Phantasmagoria) - it became too easy. You hoover your mouse over the screen until the cursor changes to something that it can interact with. So it becomes, as you said, a matter of pixel hunting.

I wish they could have incorporated the typing aspect with the FMV - because then it would have been nice. (And rather than have the text window pop up - have an option for text only, text and narrator, or narrator only). Kind of like Locker Gnome Quest. (The narrator of that game is astounding!)

Elindira wrote: The story is starting to get really interesting, so I hope I'll be able to conotinue with chapter 3 soon enough. :)
I look forward to it!

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Re: Some thoughts on GK2

Post by AndreaDraco » Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:17 pm

Keep us posted, Elindira. Gabriel Knight is my favorite adventure series and GK2 in particular is my favorite adventure game of all time. It has a rich, thought-provoking story, an enthralling plot, a superb writing and some really unforgettable characters. I look forward to read your thoughts on the other chapters! :)
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Re: Some thoughts on GK2

Post by BBP » Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:03 pm

AndreaDraco wrote:Keep us posted, Elindira. Gabriel Knight is my favorite adventure series and GK2 in particular is my favorite adventure game of all time. It has a rich, thought-provoking story, an enthralling plot, a superb writing and some really unforgettable characters. I look forward to read your thoughts on the other chapters! :)
Of course, you could also start up the GK2 community playthrough. ;)
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Re: Some thoughts on GK2

Post by dotkel50 » Thu Oct 25, 2012 5:35 pm

I'm still waiting for you to do the playthrough as well Andrea.

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Elindira
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Re: Some thoughts on GK2

Post by Elindira » Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:08 pm

I'll continue posting my thoughts... but it would be great if I could do it along with the community playtrough :).

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Re: Some thoughts on GK2

Post by Jules » Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:53 pm

Welcome, Elindra! It's so exciting seeing someone experience a classic adventure for the first time! :)

And a hello to a fellow Pennsylvanian! I'm currently living in Louisiana but I plan to move back up to the good ole east coast eventually. I miss it so much! :)

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Re: Some thoughts on GK2

Post by Elindira » Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:45 am

Thanks for the welcome Jules! I do have to say that I'm not a native Pennsylvanian... though I like living here a lot (except when the weather goes bonkers, which happens from time to time :) ).

Yeah, I am not sure why it took me so long to play GK... I've played a lot of Sierra games, but for one reason or another I was never able to get a copy of the GK series... till now. And I am enjoying them a lot so far :).

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Re: Some thoughts on GK2

Post by Jules » Fri Oct 26, 2012 10:23 am

Glad to see you love PA! I don't know either, but it took me a while to play GK as well. I was all about the quest series and it wasn't until college when I finally played GK. I think it was because it was more adult themed and I was into more fantasy and fiction back in my kiddie days. ^_^

But I'm glad GK came later on in life because I don't think I would have appreciated the story as a kid. Kinda like when I played Phantasmagoria very young, I had no idea what was going on except for experiencing a total state of anxiety throughout the whole game! :D

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Re: Some thoughts on GK2

Post by Elindira » Fri Oct 26, 2012 10:36 am

I haven't played Phantasmagoria yet, but yeah, I don't think it is too suitable for kids... poor young Jules :). But you're right: I'll probably appreciate GK more by playing it now... I probably would have missed so many things playing it back when I was a kid...

That makes me think I should probably replay Shivers 1 and 2 now... I wasn't that young last time I played them, but still, I may have missed some things back then...

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Re: Some thoughts on GK2

Post by AndreaDraco » Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:17 pm

BBP wrote: Of course, you could also start up the GK2 community playthrough. ;)
dotkel50 wrote:I'm still waiting for you to do the playthrough as well Andrea.
Unfortunately, I don't have the time right now, with the internship and all. But maybe during the holiday season! ;)
Talk to coffee? Even Gabriel isn't that addicted!

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Re: Some thoughts on GK2

Post by Elindira » Sat Oct 27, 2012 4:06 pm

Hehe, not sure if I'll be able to wait till then :).

Anyway, I just finished chapter 3, and I have to say I am... intrigued. The gameplay for this chapter was again, nothing outstanding to me. But the story is getting better and better... this whole idea how the werewolves are related to the hunting club is getting more interesting. I don't know the rest of the story yet (and I would appreciate no one telling me about it :) ), but the obvious impression that one gets by the end of the chapter is that Von Glower is the Black Wolf, the son of the original Black Wolf that died in Rittersberg, and that Von Zell is another werewolf that was bitten by Von Glower. Von Glower's "phillosophy" sounds pretty interesting too, and it would seem to imply that there may be werewolves that are not that bad, or at least more controlled than others. Von Zell, aparently, is not really able to control himself, be it because of physical or philosophical reasons, and he would be the one responsible for the mutilation murders. But it is still not clear to me what's the deal with the rest of the club members. And of course, I could still be wrong with my assumptions. And even if I'm not, I am sure there are still more things to learn about them.

So I have to say that, history-wise, I am enjoying this game more and more. Many of the members of the hunter club do give me the creeps, and Von Glower is at the same time scary and fascinating. I think the actor that plays him conveys very well the impression that the author wanted him to give. So I'm looking forward to moving forward to the following chapters :).

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Re: Some thoughts on GK2

Post by Rath Darkblade » Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:43 am

I never finished this game, despite all my efforts. :( However, I did write a mini-biography about one of the game's characters... Ludwig II of Bavaria... ;) I found out quite a few things about him and he turned out to be a fascinating character - strange, but fascinating.

Here's a link to the website where the biography is hosted... hopefully at least Andrea will enjoy it! :) Just go to the "Fiction vs. Reality" menu - Ludwig is there, under "Real People". Enjoy :)

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Re: Some thoughts on GK2

Post by Maxor127 » Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:16 am

Beast Within is one of the best FMV games. Personally, I think it's the best Gabriel Knight game. I'd say the story is the best of the GK games. The acting was good. And I prefer Dean Erickson over Tim Curry as Gabriel Knight. I think old games in general are hard to get into if you didn't play them when they came out. My biggest complaint about GK2 is how there was no option to deinterlace videos back then that I knew of, especially not for Macs.

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Re: Some thoughts on GK2

Post by BBP » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:52 am

I'm not a fan of the game at all. GK2 was my third GK, and after both Gabriel and Grace had established themselves as funny, snarky but heart of gold, it was hard to see GK2 devoid of any humour that worked for me, and worse, to see the characters I'd come to love becoming plain horrible. And I think Dean Erickson did a very poor job, except for some chapter 6 sections. Worst offender is in Ch 3 at the crime scene, but after I re-played it, it became even more embarrassing, especially the last bit. Also there was a plot hole I could never get over, the dreadful Ch4 search Was that a bug, with Neuschwanstein? I never got rid of the red border on the map, and the final puzzle the section in Wolf Vision really got me seasick. It was the best FMV I had played at the time I first played it, but since then I found Cluedo?, the Tex Murphy series, Muppets Treasure Island and Toonstruck, so now GK2 is out the top 3.
This is exactly why I want to do the playthrough: I don't want to dislike the game as much as I do now.
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