Welcome to the first of several Raptor Chats we had this holiday season. What are Raptor Chats? Well we had topics here we wanted to discuss that didn't fit the way we wanted to do the awards this year. So for these, people signed up to discuss the topic they wanted via email. Over a period of two weeks we discussed the topics in email chains - some of them came together, some of them didn't.
Today's Raptor Chat is on the Adventure Games of 2014. If a game was not mentioned - it isn't because it was bad, just these people didn't think of it or haven't played it. These are the authors opinions on their own, and on some things they may very well disagree.
Marc Flink I'll definitely have to get around to that one. I'm a fan of the original, and I actually had no idea they were even remaking it.
Don Parsons On Gabriel Knight – it’s on my backlist as well. It looks excellent, and I wonder sometimes if I shouldn't just move it to the top of the list more or less as it appears to be a great remake. Also worth bringing up its spiritual successor that was released earlier this year by Jane Jensen in Moebius, though that had more mixed reviews.
Don Parsons I haven't played Broken Age myself, but I heard the first half was good. On the other hand, its still unfinished because Double Fine is ... well Double Fine. They have a unique skill at mismanaging money.
Don Parsons I think Telltale games are really closer almost to a Western Visual Novel in a lot of ways with their interactive fiction/adventure story telling and different paths. While they are obviously more mobile and less text heavy then a Visual Novel the same type of focus on story telling style, choices and characters remain. I found The Wolf Among Us to be really fun and have liked playing as Bigby Wolf in a different type of setting - but I like most Telltale games in general.
… Later …
On Wolf Among Us as I said I finished it and I have to say that I think it’s the best of the Telltale games I've played so far. There are several rich characters in it who's interactions matter. Bigby is a good but flawed protagonist and one that you care for as he's trying. The situations you are in aren't always simple good or evil and also rely in a smart manner on mystery to create tension. What is the Farm exactly and why does everyone fear it so much - is it really right to send them there never having been there yourself or do you risk having unglamoured people around Fabletown and the rumor getting out?
I loved the ending court scene stuff which I won't talk about too much in need to be relatively spoiler free. They however manage to capture the mob mentality and the individuals both at once in it as well as the situation and the challenges that the primary players throughout the story have faced. It serves as a wonderful capstone to it and its fitting that in a Telltale game the final challenge isn't the fight with the second in command but instead a war of words and wills to convince people. Playing Wolf Among Us has given me even higher hopes for the Game of Thrones one despite its relatively uninspiring start because more than Walking Dead Season 1 and others it showed Telltale could write and manage a rich cast of interacting characters. Going to Walking Dead Season 2 with its single protagonist more or less at the start with little supporting cast has been a change.
Marc Flink I'd give the "Best Adventure" title to Wolf Among Us. I really enjoyed it and I also think it's Telltale's best game. The whole thing was just really well done. I'll be waiting to pick up Game of Thrones until after the next season is over. By then, I'll be in the mood and all the episodes should be out. I guess a discount might be too much to ask for, but we'll see! :D
Don Parsons I've only just began it (I recently finished Wolf Among Us). So not too much to say other than the opening really caught me somewhat off guard by removing any and all support from the first game that came over. It opens up and it does a brilliant job of setting the tone that Clementine is alone here and there's no one else she can rely on. I appreciated a touch I ran into part way through episode one where the dog you meet and who is somewhat friendly actually goes rabid when you offer him some of the food - it makes perfect sense. It’s a nice animal for the most part but giving it food and withholding the rest is just too much for it.
… Later …
I finished Walking Dead Season 2 now, and I stick with my choice of Wolf Among Us as better. I never really liked Kenny in Season 1, so trying to make a lot of the second half emotional punches be about him going off the rocker again just felt like playing the same tired thing, and I was wondering when can I leave this bugger. On the other hand, Walking Dead Season 2 was much more cutthroat than Wolf Among Us as a single mistake or taking an instant too long and you're reloading. Clementine I felt was well written and presented as a tough likable survivor who has agency in the story both as herself and for the player.
Perry Ruhland I don't have much to say about Season 2 other than Kenny 4 life. Stuck with him Season 1, continued sticking with him Season 2.
Don Parsons Well I have to say (Spoilers)... I killed Kenny. Kenny is an annoying hot head who is constantly going off the deep end any time things go bad. He gets into fights with anyone who's competent other then him that dares to speak up. It doesn't matter what the issue, or who the person is, Kenny finds a fight with them. He goes crazy obsessive over a lot of things in the game and bringing him back in Season 2 didn't really do anything. Its the same character arc he went through in Season 1 more or less - and this time I found it more wearing down.
Perry Ruhland You're a monster.
Marc Flink You killed Kenny :O YOU BASTARD! (I didn't like him either..)