Review of "Still Life 2" by Matt Barton

Matt Barton's picture

Still Life 2Still Life 2If you're into adventures, skip over to Adventure Classic Gaming to read my review of Still Life 2, just published today. Overall, I thought it was a good but not great game, but a clever patch could change that situation. Lots of screens, too!

P.S. Please leave a comment over at ACG if you get the chance.

Comments

Calibrator
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Joined: 10/25/2006
Won't buy it at full price, if at all

I found Post Mortem disappointing - both in writing and on the tech level - and while I though that its inofficial sequel Still Life #1 was a tad better on both counts I found it unbalanced (the Chicago parts were clearly easier than the Prague parts) and I began to hate the characters. Some puzzles were also more work than fun.
Judging by your review - and I trust you there - I won't find the sequel more pleasurable.

As we in Germany have the "luxury" to get older games on magazine cover-CDs/DVDs I will patiently wait the approx. two years for the game to go this way (Still Life #1 just got covered - to promote #2...). I think 6 Euros is OK for this game.

take care,
Calibrator

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Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Yeah, it kinda sucks for me

Yeah, it kinda sucks for me to write a negative review of an adventure game, just because there are few enough titles and you really want a new game to be a winner. Still, I've always held that ultimately you do the genre and the fans a disservice by praising games that just don't deserve it.

I'm playing Overclock: History of Violence off and on now, and it benefits from a much nicer interface (double click to instantly zap to the next room, etc.) However, unfortunately the characters seem rather dull so far. It's like all the life has been sucked out of these characters. It's really only in the comedy and Her Interactive stuff that you get characters with any bounce. I'm kinda fed up with these dry, morbid games with such a plodding pace. Give me some characters I enjoy interacting with and will remember long after the credits. A few recent adventures have really nailed this--in particular I think of Simon 4, Syberia 1 & 2, and the Agatha Christie games. Dreamfall, Grim Fandango, and The Longest Journey were flawed gems, but still demonstrated the potential. I've yet to see a serious science fiction adventure that could really top The Dig in terms of story and pacing. Just plain fun - you can't go wrong with Nancy Drew Dossier and Return to Mysterious Island. If you do break down and get those, you will thank me.

I was kinda surprised that more wasn't done in the wake of the Inspecter Gadget or Get Smart movies. Those would have been easy candidates for someone like Her Interactive to adapt, though I guess they've got their hands full with the Nancy Drew series. You could probably do a good Deus Ex style game with James Bond (assuming it hasn't been done already). It may be kinda old by now, but I'd love to see a re-imagining of Rendezvous with Rama, one of my favorite oldies that would be an ideal story for a newer game. I'm starting to think Jules Verne's stuff has been covered sufficiently. Why not look at H.G. Wells? It'd be a blast adventuring in his futuristic worlds. I also think there's plenty of room for more games similar to Zak McCracken, based on funny tabloids (perhaps even an "official" Weekly World News game starring Bat Boy.) You could also do a fun game based on the old universal studios movies (Frankenstein, Wolf Man, Dracula, etc.) I know it's been done more or less, but I'm not aware of something official. You could have a lot of fun working in old clips. Maybe the gimmick could be that you have to go through the old movies and find clues hidden there, then sort of explore them somehow (perhaps with a gimmicky "new brain technology" that lets you physically enter the films). LOL, that would be hilarious.

My new theory with licensed titles is that they are a good way for lesser-known developers to get onto the scene. People who like the property will want to check out your game, and if you have the talent and ambition, that can really make a difference. Again, I point at the Nancy Drew series--the property brought all that attention from many gamers and non-gamers. The game turned out to be good, so there have been many more. I think the same could be done, but again you need to have the concepts down before worrying about securing a license.

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