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Reply 3582 of 4040, by clueless1

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kolderman wrote on 2021-12-04, 08:20:

Finished Gabriel Knight 2 under DOS. Quite an emotional ending. I am starting to become convinced the genre of FMV is criminally underrated.

That was just a really good game with a really good setting, with decent actors. I generally do not like adventure games, but I remember really liking this when it was released. One of the few adventure games I ever played to completion.

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Reply 3583 of 4040, by NovaCN

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FMV games were hit or miss (most of them miss) but the handful of good ones were extremely good. The great part about playing them decades after the fact is you already know going in exactly which ones are going to be good.

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Reply 3584 of 4040, by newtmonkey

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Shard of Spring (Apple II)
I was able to make some good progress in this one over the last few days. One strange thing is that, in order to level up, you need to find a warrior or wizard guild. Well, I explored all over the western side of the map and found three towns, none of which had any guilds... I actually ended up clearing what I assume is the first dungeon with everyone still at level one! I then kept exploring and FINALLY found a town with a warrior guild (in a region with much more difficult encounters); immediately my three warriors jumped up to level 4 🤣. Weird pacing, but it was VERY satisfying for those characters to suddenly become so powerful.

It's a fun little game, and it manages to actually create a decent enough atmosphere between the sparse but fine writing when you find special encounters in dungeons, and the Ultima-esque tile graphics. I have to admit, I've always liked the desolate, gloomy atmosphere you get from these old games where the background tiles are mostly black just with some colors here and there (Ultima I-V, The Magic Candle, Wasteland [Apple II/C64 versions], etc.).

Reply 3585 of 4040, by kolderman

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NovaCN wrote on 2021-12-04, 14:51:

FMV games were hit or miss (most of them miss) but the handful of good ones were extremely good. The great part about playing them decades after the fact is you already know going in exactly which ones are going to be good.

That as well as the fact they haven't been made for over 2 decades. Literally a case where retro gaming isn't just better than modern gaming, but where the modern equivalent simply does not exist and retro gaming is your only option.

Reply 3586 of 4040, by Shreddoc

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I missed the FMV era. Was gaming a long time before then, but took a break.

Back then I was (surprisingly, since you were expecting the opposite, right?) much younger, and somehow game introductions and cut scenes meant hugely a lot to me at that age. I would sit there watching things like the Tie Fighter intro on a regular basis, in awe of little details like stereo panning, digital sound, "voice" (omg! it talks!), graphical motion and effects. Likewise, demoscene content.

Then when CDROM happened and stuff like Rebel Assault started appearing, the (magazine etc) critics were often dissatisfied, citing the sheer amount of game time spent doing nothing while watching "fancy graphics", VS actual time on the controls doing things.

For me at that age it seemed the opposite - I love watching intros etc, so a game with more and better of that seemed like an incredible prospect, an enhanced experience of a lifetime.

But life steered my interests elsewhere temporarily, and I never did get into that era, and somehow (25 years later) that urge to sit and be awed while watching (now rustic) cut scene-ish content is not the same.

And yet, a good story is still a good story, so I do intend to do a bit of dabbling yet.

Reply 3587 of 4040, by BitWrangler

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On 90s hardware, when it was new, it was the dancing bear effect... not that the bear was any good at dancing, but that it danced at all.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 3588 of 4040, by Shreddoc

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And, as always, there is a certain divide between the nostalgia of reliving the things personally experienced, VS the less-deep (certainly emotionally) and less-informed journey of playing retro content which meant nothing to you personally as a kid.

Reply 3589 of 4040, by leileilol

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The arcade FMV era did have a rough start technically when most mainstream media computers were still 386s (in america!!). When I first played Megarace some 1994 ago, I couldn't even understand what Lance was saying as it was so choppy and slow, and the actual racing wasn't so mega either. And yeah there's definitely overhype for them then with shallow gameplay depth being the bane of many of them, and some of the worst of all time came much later (97's A Fork in the Tale comes to mind). In a way, it's kind of a retread of the mid-80s laserdisc arcade era but with way more than just a few buttons and way less cost to produce (allowing more experimentation)

Some of the better games are Novastorm, The Hive, Burn Slash Cycle, and Time Commando.

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Reply 3590 of 4040, by clueless1

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Realms of Arkania: Shadows over Riva
I'm making some decent progress on this game. Averaging about 1.5 hours a day so far. You get points for progressing the plot in this game, and there's a dedicated screen with beautiful SVGA art to display your progress in Game Points. So far I'm at 250/1000, or roughly 25% through the game. I have a feeling there will be some big plot sections that are worth a lot of points closer to the end of the game, because I feel like I'm more than 25% through the game, having played it 27 hours so far.

Sometimes it's not clear what to do next in this game, you sort of wander around the city of Riva, talk to NPCs to see if new topics are available, and sometimes you get lucky. Either that, or you're walking down the street and are approached by an NPC that then progresses the plot.

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One thing that so far is gone from this game that the previous two had was overworld travel with random encounters, camping, hunting and herb gathering. I really liked that aspect and miss it in this game. The entire game takes place in the city of Riva, which is very large. There are a couple of other areas I've been able to explore besides the city:
-outside the east side of the city walls is a wooded area with some plot and side quests. There's a college with a magic user student who asks you to help him (cheat) on his final exam; some random combats; an abandoned shack that your party can sleep in if they get stuck outside of city walls after nightfall; a dwarven mine with three levels that has plot items related to the main quest.
-from within the city, you at some point, through questioning NPCs, gain access to a pretty vast sewer network beneath Riva.
-South of Riva (connected to the southern wall) is a cemetery and underground level with main plot points to explore.

Combat is not frequent in this game, and experience points are rare. It's not uncommon to gain only 20 XP after a large battle. You also gain XP for solving plot points (in addition to Game Points). So far, my party (which was imported from Blade of Destiny and Star Trail) has not leveled up yet! Of course, imported characters start at a higher level (my party came in at various levels between 7 and 9), so more XP are required to level up.

This series is quite different than most RPGs and for that reason alone I think is worth a playthrough for retro RPG fans!

The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.
OPL3 FM vs. Roland MT-32 vs. General MIDI DOS Game Comparison
Let's benchmark our systems with cache disabled
DOS PCI Graphics Card Benchmarks

Reply 3591 of 4040, by liqmat

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leileilol wrote on 2021-12-05, 07:31:

Some of the better games are Novastorm, The Hive, Burn Slash Cycle, and Time Commando.

I'll admit. I bought Time Commando on release for the box art and the gfx and not much else. It delivered a satisfying, shallow gameplay experience. Loved every minute of it.

Reply 3592 of 4040, by DracoNihil

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I recently finished streaming Shogo, I made a lot of highlights this time since I decided it was worth the hassle dealing with Twitch's video highlighter.

"I have my orders, Sir! Please be nice to me!

I show off how to gain access to Sanjuro's footlocker here.

And also I don't forget to show off the trees in Shogo, and how they miraculously contain 50x their volume of wood when destroyed.

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Reply 3594 of 4040, by Namrok

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DracoNihil wrote on 2021-12-05, 17:21:
I recently finished streaming Shogo, I made a lot of highlights this time since I decided it was worth the hassle dealing with T […]
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I recently finished streaming Shogo, I made a lot of highlights this time since I decided it was worth the hassle dealing with Twitch's video highlighter.

"I have my orders, Sir! Please be nice to me!

I show off how to gain access to Sanjuro's footlocker here.

And also I don't forget to show off the trees in Shogo, and how they miraculously contain 50x their volume of wood when destroyed.

Fun! I finished Shogo not long back and really enjoyed how much it evoked the rather limited, but enthusiastic, exposure the US had to Anime in the mid 90s. I had a lot of fond memories of the 3 to 5 films Sci-Fi channel would broadcast premier in the states each year. I'm not sure how well it's weaboo-ism aged if you weren't there though.

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Reply 3595 of 4040, by RetroGamer4Ever

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Every so often, the Monolith devs open up their archives and throw out stuff from the Shogo dev days. The game would have been a certified masterpiece, if it hadn't been rushed to market and ended up getting steam-rolled by Half-Life. Had it cooked a bit longer and released with Windows XP's superior gaming experience, it would have done much better, as Gundam was taking hold around that time, due to Cartoon Network airing Gundam Wing and The Golden Age of Anime On DVD had arrived, driving the popularity of Anime through the roof.

Reply 3596 of 4040, by leileilol

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Shogo targeted gen x weebs. They'd have to reboot the game if they wanted to capitalize on the shonen boom that 99/00 Toonami brought (which was long before XP), and it'd still have technical issues for still being LithTech and we likely would've never seen NOLF. Tex Atomic's Big Robot Battles carries some of the old Shogo spirit in there at least...

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