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#87402 - 05/29/01 08:07 PM Ring
flotsam Offline
Staff Reviewer
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 04/24/00
Posts: 4138
Loc: Canberra, Australia
I have never played a game that made so little sense but which was so enjoyable.

It is a Cryo/Arxel Tribe game, and made me a fan of their stuff forever. It was one of my earliest game experiences, and the first thing that struck me was the vivid colours. The next thing was the music. Ring is based on the Wagner opera of the same-ish name, and though I am not an opera fan, the music was stunning.

There are four chapters to the game, and four central characters. You can play the chapters in any order, and can jump between them. Apparently the story makes more sense if you play in a suggested order, but its intricacies were still beyond me.

The look is a mix of futuristic and Tolkein (more Rings - a theme here perhaps). It plays in the first person, but not infrequently after you have chosen an action, you will see yourself carry out that action in the third person. It was a nice mix.

The settings are varied to say the least. There is an asteroid, a tree house, an underground mine and a wasteland, amongst others. I thought they all looked excellent. You also get to surf the Rhine, ride a mine cart (with a very different method of propulsion), deep water dive, and catch fish.

Its point and click, with 360 degree panning and a curser to indicate what you can do, similar to many other Cryo games. You have an inventory, and some intriguing puzzles - building a golem was a highlight. Some are quite hard. There is a music puzzle, and a slider.

Some of the dialogue is bizarre to say the least, topped only by some of the voice acting. One character in the mine scene wins the prize in that regard. When you get to his pompous and lengthy oration, I suggest you turn the subtitles on and click your way through it.

It seems to have been the subject of bad press, so maybe has been unplayed by some boomers. I suggest you overlook the non-sensical nature of the plot (if you know the opera you might be able to piece it all together), and some of its other flaws. Fathoming it out is not necessary in order to have fun playing (and listening) to this game.

Quantity has a quality all of its own

#87403 - 05/29/01 09:40 PM Re: Ring
syd Offline
Adept Boomer

Registered: 11/12/99
Posts: 12307
Loc: Body in California/Heart in Ha...
Ah flotsam I am so glad to hear someone else admit the game didn't make much sense. I played it a year or so ago and while I really enjoyed it, I didn't understand most of what was happening - good thing the manual gave some background to the story or I would have been totally lost. The graphics and music were superb and this was my first Arxel Tribe game also.

And I would really like to know if the French have ever heard of gravity lol

[This message has been edited by syd (edited 05-29-2001).]
Dark Side : Risen
Light Side:

I can only please one person a day. Today isn't your day. Tomorrow's not looking good either.

#87404 - 05/30/01 09:26 AM Re: Ring
Clovis Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 03/12/00
Posts: 423
Loc: Greece
well,I have to disagree about the enjoyment this game offers.I played it when it first came out,and if I wasn't the completist I am,I would have given up halfway through,exactly because it makes so little sense.For me,the plot of an adventure is 90% of the game,and I am willing to put up with any flaw if the story is good.Similarly,if the story is bad or,as is the case here,is presented in a completely incomprehensible way,then I can't enjoy it regardless of its redeeming values (graphics,sound).Not to mention that ,as a HUGE fantasy fan,I was less than pleased to see that the classic mediaval setting was transformed into a space opera.Of course,all the above is subjective,and if you are not as demanding of a game's plot as I am,you will probably like this one,as there is lots of eye candy and great music.

#87405 - 05/30/01 03:35 PM Re: Ring
gatorlaw Offline
Adept Boomer

Registered: 11/01/99
Posts: 10323
Not only did I feel lost after the opening cut scene, I couldn't get it to run without severe sound and video glitches. Since it didn't grab me anyway - I tossed it on the shelf.

I may pull it out - just to get it played - but from what I've heard - maybe not. Too many other games out that I really want to get into.


#87406 - 06/01/01 12:15 PM Re: Ring
lasanidine Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 05/06/01
Posts: 3424
Loc: WA. USA
Being an opera fan I had no trouble to understand what the game was about. After applying the patch I had no trouble with the sound or the graphics. The graphics and the sound are beautiful and the game is definitely and eye-candy. I think it is definitely worth playing. I have done it several times and found something new to look at each time.
"I am not young enough to know everything."

Oscar Wilde

#87407 - 06/03/01 01:07 AM Re: Ring
Jude Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 07/01/00
Posts: 1082
Loc: E Sussex UK
I know exactly what you mean, the story did not make sense to me either. What kept me playing was the absorbing atmosphere, the little touches of humour and some incredible graphics. I loved the scenes on and above the lake.
The Haley Horse experience.

For doglovers

#87408 - 06/16/01 11:56 AM Re: Ring
Becky Offline
The Medieval Lady
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 02/16/00
Posts: 26917
Loc: Stony Brook, New York, USA
I didn't feel confused by the storylines in Ring until the very end, which is probably the weirdest ending I've encountered. I replayed parts of this game recently, and it captivated me again, just as it did the first time. The 360 degree panning views are a bit pixelated, but (as others have noted above) the game is gorgeous, and in a much different way than say, Riven is gorgeous. It's like watching Shakespearean actors putting on a mythic morality play on a stage where the scenery encompasses entire worlds.

I think the game can be confusing because, when it came to communicating the story, if there was a choice between saying something in a straightforward, understandable way -- or saying it in a poetic way -- the designers always opted for the poetic. This is fine if the player doesn't mind listening to the story fragments two or three times so as to be able to interpret and understand them. On the other hand, most gamers don't expect to be analyzing poetry as part of the gaming experience.

That said, the story of the Ring in this game is easier to understand if you play Alberich first and Brunnhilde last. The backstory of ISH is easier to understand if you read the first two and a half pages of the manual. The poetic bits are easier to understand if you go into the Preferences menu and enable subtitles.

IMHO, if you are the type of player who enjoys something a little bit off the beaten path, Ring is definitely worth playing. It reminds me of The Neverhood and Grim Fandango in its all-out embrace of a fascinatingly peculiar and engrossing vision. I've seen it in local software stores for as little as $9.99.


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