May 13, 2010

The Longest Journey

I’ve played a good num­ber of adven­ture games.  I’ve played through all of the Myst, Sybe­ria and Schizm series just to name a few.  I man­aged how­ev­er to nev­er play this jemo of a game called “The Longest Jour­ney”.  To give you all a heads up this game is old by all stan­dards.  Released in 2000 the game sports a max res­o­lu­tion of 800 x 600 and that is not change­able.  This isn’t to say the game looks bad because it does­n’t for the most part but you will noticed it on the 3d ren­dered char­ac­ters.  I am cur­rent­ly play­ing on a 28″ mon­i­tor so when I first start­ed the game I about gagged but after play­ing awhile I tend­ed not to notice the bad graph­ics.  I did look around the net for a graph­ics mod for the game and I could not find one.  If I ever do find one I will be sure to post some­thing about it. 
I’ve always said I’m a suck­er for a good sto­ry and from start to fin­ish TLJ does not dis­ap­point.  You could call this game “The Longest Sto­ry” and you would be right on the mark.  That being said if you are one of those peo­ple that does­n’t like long dia­logue scenes then I will tell you up front that this game will bore you to death.  The sto­ry picks up in April Ryans apart­ment.  The game starts off in what seems like a nor­mal world but things quick­ly start devel­op­ing and you’ll find your­self trav­el­ing to many exot­ic loca­tions rang­ing jun­gles to space sta­tions this game lit­er­al­ly takes you every­where.  
The graph­ics in the game looked great, 10 years ago, now not so much.  This being said this should NOT stop you from play­ing the game.  The scenes with­in the game are all pre ren­dered and ani­ma­tions put with­in them to liv­en the world.  Your game char­ac­ter and all NPC’s with­in the game are ren­dered in real-time 3d.  While the pre ren­dered scenes actu­al­ly look pret­ty good for being 10 years old you will notice the pix­e­lat­ed char­ac­ters.  I did find how­ev­er that after play­ing the game for an hour I tend­ed not to notice this.  When play­ing a game as old as this, espe­cial­ly one I’ve nev­er played, I try to keep of the mind­set of “what would I have thought of this had I got it at release”. 
The sound in the game is top notch.  The biggest piece that stood out to me while play­ing this game was the voice act­ing.  It was extreme­ly well done.  With the excep­tion of the Myst titles I’ve nev­er heard such good voice act­ing.  I found the dia­logue very inter­est­ing and enthralling.  There are times when it is very seri­ous and also very light heart­ed.  There were few points with­in the game where I felt the word­ing used dur­ing the scenes was a lit­tle over done or even a lit­tle explic­it com­pared to the rest of the game.  The scenes involv­ing Flip­per were the most obscene.  The game over­all was real­ly well done. 
This title may turn off a lot of gamers because of it’s inher­ant game­play type.  This is NOT an action game.  This is a puz­zle solv­ing and sto­ry game through and through.  If you are into this type of game you will love it how­ev­er if you are expect­ing an explo­sion packed, gun run­ning, twitch based game you are going to be sore­ly dis­ap­point­ed.  TLJ is a very well paced game start­ing you off with some sim­ple puz­zles to get the sto­ry mov­ing and then pro­gress­ing to more com­plex one.  The puz­zles were unfor­tu­nate­ly one of my biggest gripes with this game.  At times dur­ing the game if you don’t do things in a cer­tain order then you can’t progress fur­ther in the game.  This can leave you con­fused and stuck at sev­er­al spots dur­ing the game because you have no idea of what you need to do.   Some of the puz­zles with­in the game are extreme­ly  com­plex and I found myself think­ing “I would nev­er of thought of this” in sev­er­al cas­es.  I am glad to say how­ev­er the major­i­ty of puz­zles with­in the game can be fig­ured out with­out any out­side help. 
Over­all I would have to give this game a 90/100 the intrigu­ing sto­ry, believ­able char­ac­ters and amaz­ing sound real­ly make for a one of a kind expe­ri­ence.  Those of you who have played through games such as Sybe­ria, Schizm, Beyond Atlantis and Myst will love this game.  There is a lot for you here includ­ing a great sto­ry and a ton of puz­zles to solve.  Aside from the small gripes I list­ed above with crazy hard puz­zles, some ques­tion­able dia­logue and some over­ly com­plex puz­zles this game is a blast.  I rec­om­mend every­one get this game for their col­lec­tion.  It can be had at steam with it’s expan­sion for 25 dol­lars.  You can get it here.

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