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#120179 - 02/13/06 11:37 PM What's in a name?
BWiegele Offline
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Registered: 06/27/05
Posts: 214
Loc: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Putting games like Syberia and Tomb Raider into the same genre, Adventure, seems a bit silly to me. Tomb Raider is clearly an action oriented adventure game full of exploration and shooting. Syberia is an adventure but a story driven one with clues building up to solve an ongoing mystery.

If I go to a store to purchase an adventure movie I don't go to the Mystery/Suspense section, I go to the Action/Adventure section.

In my opinion almost all adventure games fall into Mystery/Suspense more than Adventure. Shouldn't games currently being called Adventure games actually be called Mystery?

Am I the only one?

-Bryan
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#120180 - 02/14/06 01:43 AM Re: What's in a name?
gatorlaw Offline
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Registered: 11/01/99
Posts: 10312
To use your analogy,

I may go look in action for a fast paced adventure,

But I wouldn't look for comedy, science-fiction, drama, family or romance in mystery-suspense.

Any book regardless of topic (if it is fictional) involves reading through to the end to discover what the whole story means and how it ends. The fact that that ending IS a mystery to the reader at the beginning of the book, doesn't mean the story is in that category.

If a game is truly story and/or character driven. The ending will almost always be at least somewhat obscure until you work your way though the game and possibly up to the very end. I wouldn't categorize the Monkey Island games, DOTT, Sam n Max or Ankh as mystery/suspense games. Nor would I categorize the Legend of Lotus Spring or Pilgrim as mystery/suspence either. And though Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis is mysterious in parts - no would think of anything with Indie in it -- as anything less than pure adventure. laugh
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#120181 - 02/14/06 03:16 AM Re: What's in a name?
nickie Offline
Grand wizard of high mucky muck
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Registered: 01/08/02
Posts: 13453
Loc: Texas
That's an interesting thought, Bryan. Especially when I think about a lot of the newer games : Black Mirror, Nibiru, The Moment of Silence, Still Life, Indigo Prophecy, the Delawares laugh , Hope Springs Eternal, Last Half of Darkness...
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#120182 - 02/14/06 04:12 AM Re: What's in a name?
Melanie1 Offline
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Registered: 01/11/04
Posts: 5041
Loc: Bay Area, CA
I agree with Gatorlaw. Mystery/Suspense is too specific a category to put most adventure games in. A lot of them are mystery/suspense but a lot of them aren't and would have to be classified as adventure, imo.

It would be nice to be able to find the specific category mystery/suspense though. Tha games Nickie mentioned would all fit nicely.

I definitely agree that the term 'adventure games' is really applied to a wide variety of games though, some totally different than others, Bryan. Subcategories would be nice.

Melanie
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#120183 - 02/14/06 06:13 AM Re: What's in a name?
gatorlaw Offline
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Registered: 11/01/99
Posts: 10312
Quote:
Subcategories would be nice.
Good point. Reminded me of this online store that does have that available. smile

CD Access

What does make sense is a qualifier after the term adventure... like Puzzle, Mystery/Murder, sci-fi, Fantasy, Comedy
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#120184 - 02/14/06 06:48 AM Re: What's in a name?
joanieS Offline
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Registered: 11/06/00
Posts: 1515
Loc: Piney Woods of East Texas
How about one of those gauge bars (don't know what they are called) like a thermometer that has a spectrum with a Myst-type on the left to a shooter on the right with maybe 3 points between.
Games today DO have a great variety of action to adventure levels compared to 10 years ago and, like Melanie says, we could use subcategories to help with our selections.
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#120185 - 02/14/06 07:24 AM Re: What's in a name?
BillyBob Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 7858
Loc: North Florida
Right now, the whole subject's a mystery to me. laugh

Never did understand all the categories, what with the seeming (as I see it) sometimes overlapping in definitions.
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#120186 - 02/14/06 08:07 AM Re: What's in a name?
JohnBoy Offline
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Registered: 05/04/02
Posts: 7745
Loc: Kentwood, Left my heart in New...
For those confused, its best to hear what your Boomer Buddies have to say about a game. Read all of Becky's links to the various Adventure games. Its pretty easy to determine from screenshots and description of gameplay what sort of game it will be. But anyway, these dealers of games should get the facts right and put an action/adventure label on an adventure game that has action. I ve seen shooters classified as adventure. eek
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#120187 - 02/14/06 11:02 AM Re: What's in a name?
TuesdayNext Offline
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Registered: 11/16/04
Posts: 1122
Loc: NE of Packerland, WI
Quote:
For those confused, its best to hear what your Boomer Buddies have to say about a game.
I agree BillyBob: Unless the game is part of a series (Nancy Drew, Syberia, etc) I usually wait for it to come out before buying it. Then I wait for posts to show up in the other Forums: Reviews, Hints, Adventure Game Discussion, and especially Glitches. Then I know if it has much action in it or players have a lot of problems with the technical aspect of the game.

I also agree that the category for Adventure is often linked with Action. If I go to Best Buy it's not unusual to see a game like ATTWN next to Baldur's Gate. Seems as though we've been complaining about this for a while especially when the Best Of lists come out at the end of the year.

tuesday next
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#120188 - 02/14/06 11:13 AM Re: What's in a name?
wysewomon Offline
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I think part of the reason so many games seem to be part of the mystery sub-genre is that a mystery lends itself very easily to many adventure game elements: picking up clues, uncovering the true story, solving puzzles, etc. A mystery is one of the easiest stories to plot, because you have a very clear idea of where you need to go and of many of the things you need to do to get there. But I certainly agree with gatorlaw: in some respects, all stories could be considered mysteries: the mystery of "what's going on here?" Of course, by that some token all stories could be considered fantasy, because someone made them up.

Many of the games nickie mentioned I wouldn't really consider mystery, but horror. I actually think horror lends itself really, really well to games.

I like joanie's idea of an action/adventure guage bar...but I think you'd have a hard time getting anyone to agree what went where on the spectrum!

WW
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#120189 - 02/14/06 11:30 AM Re: What's in a name?
niteowl07 Online   content
BAAG Specialist

Registered: 11/06/05
Posts: 7452
Loc: the dusty desert
i've never liked the way games are currently listed everywhere - i'd rather see "rpg,action" for those things like Tomb Raider,and "adventure" for the stuff like Syberia - at least then i wouldn't have to sort through a hundred rpg/shooters looking for something like ATTWN , but i don't see how it could be done ?? i agree that combining those two categories seems silly some of the time,tho'.

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#120190 - 02/14/06 01:53 PM Re: What's in a name?
Mad Offline
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Registered: 11/21/00
Posts: 23406
Loc: United Kingdom
Hi smile

I've totally given up as regards definitions of adventue games to be found within ANY advertising blurb woozy

"Modern" games deemed as adventure seem to me often to be vastly different in many ways to "older" games that were called adventure lol I come to Boomers and read comments from actual players.

Cheers.

Mad wave
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#120191 - 02/14/06 05:30 PM Re: What's in a name?
Rushes Offline
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True Blue Boomer

Registered: 07/10/05
Posts: 23753
Loc: UK
I agree that the whole adventure genre is wide enough to entirely confuse and bewilder one who is new to this type of game. Sub-categories are a good idea, I think - particularly if there is insufficient main game info on the back of the box.
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#120192 - 02/14/06 06:37 PM Re: What's in a name?
Melanie1 Offline
BAAG Specialist

Registered: 01/11/04
Posts: 5041
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Quote:
Originally posted by wysewomon:

Many of the games nickie mentioned I wouldn't really consider mystery, but horror. I actually think horror lends itself really, really well to games.
WW
True, WW. One more category. smile

Melanie
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#120193 - 02/14/06 07:13 PM Re: What's in a name?
BWiegele Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 06/27/05
Posts: 214
Loc: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Quote:
Originally posted by Melanie1:
Subcategories would be nice.

Melanie
I agree, so many games, like movies, could be crossover. It would be nice to see a format where primary genre can be complimented with a secondary genre. Adventure, Action or Adventure, Mystery or perhaps Adventure, Action. This would help clarify games' contents outright.

-Bryan
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#120194 - 02/14/06 07:37 PM Re: What's in a name?
The Haze Offline
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Registered: 02/12/06
Posts: 781
Loc: SE Michigan
I don't want to step on any toes, but I'd like respectfully add to this thread. The reason I play "Adventure Games", no matter how they are subdivided, is that I enjoy the 'adultness' of the games, but I don't want to kill anybody or anything. Adventure games generally fill the bill for me. (Oddly, I don't much care if there are dead people in the game, a'la Still Life. I just don't wish to shoot them.)
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#120195 - 02/14/06 08:11 PM Re: What's in a name?
infernoj13usa Offline
The Radiant Moderator Staff Reviewer
BAAG Specialist

Registered: 06/07/02
Posts: 5766
Loc: FT. Worth ....Where the West b...
I'm thinking that there are truths in bits and pieces of what each of you have said that helps me with what I deem as "The Adventure Genre" ---especially what WW - Laura - and MAD mentioned.
Sort of boils down to symantics really. One person's adventure can be another person's action-shooter.

Case in point: The last time I was in a Gameing Store (I'll call it that so no predjudices can be met here, folks) I was browsing the shop which was packed with mostly kids - teens and a few adults. One of the salespeople came over to me as I was browsing and asked if he could be of some help. I told him that I was just looking for some "Adventure Games" --- He immediately pointed me toward games that I would class as Action Action/Shooters and RPGs. and no matter how I tried to explain what I was after ...he just didn't get it.

"Oh yes," he said. "You mean "horror survival"
"How about Silent Hill 4?"
"uh...no"
"Hmmm Halo?" "World of Warcraft?"
(sigh!)

Since I realized that we just weren't communicating on the same wave lentgh here ... I left. So, on to the next store --- This time I went to one of those MEGA MART Computer stores (who will also remain nameless) But this time -- tired of trying my usual "I'm looking for an adventure game" I tried a new tactic.

I'm interested in "Interactive - Media" for the PC." (and then set back to watch this guy's reaction) Well, imagine my suprise when he stopped and then thought about it for awhile... Then smiled and said.

"Well, I think I can help you --- but there are diferent genres. If you like mystery, I've got these and pointed me to Indigo Prophecy, a few Nancy Drews and ATTWN. Or if you like Scary Games -- There is this series, at which he pulled out Dark Fall: The Journal and Dark Fall II: Lights Out from another shelf. Maybe you care for "Fantasy"?-- He began to tell me all about the beautiful eyecandy in the Myst series..... (I could have almost kissed this kid....)So, I guess it points to what each gamer has in his mind as to what this "stuff" we search for and love to play really is.

inferno
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#120196 - 02/14/06 10:55 PM Re: What's in a name?
Mad Offline
True Blue Boomer

Registered: 11/21/00
Posts: 23406
Loc: United Kingdom
Hi Inferno smile

"Interactive - Media" for the PC."

Wow !!

Would you please parcel up that store assistant you spoke to and send him over - express delivery ?? lol lol

Cheers.

Mad wave
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#120197 - 02/15/06 12:37 AM Re: What's in a name?
infernoj13usa Offline
The Radiant Moderator Staff Reviewer
BAAG Specialist

Registered: 06/07/02
Posts: 5766
Loc: FT. Worth ....Where the West b...
Strange huh? I will tell you the name of the store Fryes Computers. It large nice to see a very large collection for all tastes ...
RPGs were subdivided as well -- so were the action shooters.

inferno
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#120198 - 02/15/06 05:05 AM Re: What's in a name?
joanieS Offline
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Registered: 11/06/00
Posts: 1515
Loc: Piney Woods of East Texas
Well, I have to ask. What does ATTWN stand for?
duh
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#120199 - 02/15/06 05:17 AM Re: What's in a name?
Tyke Offline
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Registered: 09/24/04
Posts: 13800
Loc: West Yorkshire/U.K.
Hi Joanie! wave

ATTWN...Stands for 'And Then There Were None'...the Agatha Christie game...you really made me laugh, because I have trouble sometimes deciphering these 'codes'...I'm not too bad with the newer ones...but, OH my!...when it's an older game, that's when the trouble starts. rolleyes rotfl

Sue lol
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#120200 - 02/15/06 10:23 AM Re: What's in a name?
wysewomon Offline
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Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 3506
Loc: hunched over my computer
I never before considered it a positive thing that the few local stores that carry PC games have such a small selection! Usually only a shelf or two. They don't even bother to section them as to genre. But it doesn't take long to look at every game.

I generally don't go into a store without knowing what I'm looking for, either. I'll get an opinion here or from another adventure site and read up a lot before buying. Then I know if there's action, and if it's a level of action I can cope with.

I thought Shady Brook did something interesting: allowing you to choose "Pure Adventure" or "action elements" options for your gameplay.

WW
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#120201 - 02/15/06 02:32 PM Re: What's in a name?
nickie Offline
Grand wizard of high mucky muck
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Registered: 01/08/02
Posts: 13453
Loc: Texas
I don't think of the games I mentioned as being Horror at all. For me Horror would be the Silent Hill games, Obscure, that sort of thing. smile
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#120202 - 02/16/06 02:16 AM Re: What's in a name?
Dookie Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 193
Adventure Games! laugh

Those games where you explore everywhere, collect everything you can to use later (perhaps), talk to everyone you can talk to. You don't carry a weapon of any description, you use your brain to solve puzzles and get out of difficult situations.

Whether the story is set in a mysterious location, a crime scene, a lonely island, an old mansion, in a town or city, on a farm, a space ship or in some other strange (interesting) place, it doesn't matter. An Adventure game is a game where you don't have to be fast on a keyboard to get past the "baddies" and die often, or shoot your way out of difficult situations. wink

I do notice that more and more, Adventure Games are sneaking in the dreaded timed sequences and some action - why? The "old" Adventure Games did have some timed stuff and you did die quite frequently if you weren't careful. However, we were all younger then (before the Internet) and Adventure games were in their infancy. Now gamers want "pure" Adventure - minus the timed/action sequences that make most people call for a "save".

Rant/off. laugh

PS. I probably didn't answer the original question but it feels good to have a rant occasionally. oops

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#120203 - 02/16/06 10:29 AM Re: What's in a name?
wysewomon Offline
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Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 3506
Loc: hunched over my computer
Quote:
Originally posted by nickie:
I don't think of the games I mentioned as being Horror at all. For me Horror would be the Silent Hill games, Obscure, that sort of thing. smile
I think of things like Black Mirror, Still LIfe, Post MOrtem, the Dark Falls etc as horror because they 1) play upon the characters' (or the gamer's) internal fears; 2) often deal with "crimes" that are mysterious as well as brutal 3) contain supernatural elements. Anyway, if I were submitting any of those plots to a book publisher, they'd be considered fantasy/horror.

I haven't played Silent Hill or Obscure, but from what I've read about them, I'd label them "slasher." To me, horror has more to do with atmosphere than blood.

WW
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#120204 - 02/16/06 10:31 AM Re: What's in a name?
nickie Offline
Grand wizard of high mucky muck
Adept Boomer

Registered: 01/08/02
Posts: 13453
Loc: Texas
lol Dookie! Sometimes it just feels good! However, one of the greatest adventures ever, Gabriel Knight 2 did have a timed sequence...

WW, just one more example of why games are so difficult to sub-divide. laugh
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#120205 - 02/16/06 10:35 AM Re: What's in a name?
wysewomon Offline
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Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 3506
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That is so true--all the Gabriel Knights did, and somehow I didn't object! I don't know why, but it wasn't as frustrating. Maybe because the action elements actually were better integrated into the plot, or maybe because some of the ones you get today are...well, they get sprung on you without your having the faintest idea what's coming or what to do and some of them just seem... extravangantly difficult. Lots of people objected to the laser puzzle in Still LIfe, but I didn't so much because at least it made some kind of sense plotwise!

WW
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