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#367070 - 07/27/08 05:58 PM The Lost Crown review.
Tomer Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 06/12/07
Posts: 793
Loc: Tel Aviv, Israel.
Hello smile.
Finished the lost crown a few hours ago, and decided to sit down and try to summerize my impressions of the game.

Overall - I (*drums*).... didn't like the game.
I won't say there weren't enjoyable parts - of course there were. But there were also so many parts which were somewhat exhausting, tiresom. There were some features to the game I have never encountered before - and here I mean some horrible features.
I'll start with the good.
- The atmosphere. Splendid. Totally spooky, a very haunting atmosphere. The graphics are good (though the animations are definitely not, but that does not belong to the good), and the way the scenes are coloured is very original (and beautiful) for a computer game, at least.
- The story. Complex, Heavy, interwined, like any good adventure. It's rich with characters, and much of it feels authentic. It does lose, in my eyes, some of it's build up potential towards the ending, but genrally - it's good.
- Sounds/Music (not including voice acting!!!) - Gorgeous. If the graphics weren't enough to get you spooked up - the sound effects will cause just that; From mysterious whispers through the back of your neck, to horrible sounds of knocking doors and creeking windows - this game could be enjoyable just by wondering a bit in some scenes, and listening in to the ambience created.
puzzles: Well, that really depends how you like them. Most are inventory based, some are logic-based but tend to be rather easy. I personally like brain-breakers, but I know many here don't, so I stick puzzles in the good zone.

Now, it seems I've touched all the important things, and gave them good remarks. If I would have heard of a game which has a good plot, good graphics, nice puzzles and a wonderful atmosphere - I would've jumped on the offer.
Surprisingly, the few bad features I'm about to describe were enough to get me totally dissapointed with this game. They just made the adventure feel tiresom, exahusting, and mostly, it made you get out of the bubble Jonathan Bokes worked so hard on creating, the bubble of immersion, rolling your eyes.

So, without further delay: The bad.
- The characters.
With perhaps a few exceptions, the characters are plain, dumb and boring. The merely serve as a tool to reveal the plot, while Nigel (the heroine) serves as the marker for the player. They act very plainly, much like a child would act, only without the passion and the charm a child might have. Nigel is terrible, in my opinion. The questions he decides to ask, and the way he asked them, always made me feel how I would act so differently. Sometimes, obvious things would happen, and he would relate to them as "mysteries", saying remarks like "What Is That" or "Has someone been here" (yes, these repeat a million times, but I'll talk about this phenomenon later in detail).
I find it pathetic when the player understands something that's drawn out obvious in the game, and the character "doesn't get it". Worse then that, you can't, as a player, make your character "understand", which makes it even more irritating.
Lucy, Nigel's sidekick, is nicer in a way, yet she still lack realy character.
The only figures I found somewhat intruiging are Nanny Noah, and perhaps prof. oogle as well.

- One cannot skip text or scenes if one desperately wants to.
Don't get me wrong - I'm the last person to skip on anything without seeing/hearing it once, maybe even twice. But this game forces you to endure some of the most tiring dialougs, if you dare to try and exauhst a conversation line you're not sure you've used so far, or maybe wanting to check if something had changed. Also, there are places where Nigel keeps saying those annoying remarks (they might sound nice, at first, but when you hear it for the 1000'th time, it starts to get annoying), and since it is impossible to skip these, and since for some reason the game didn't trigger these remarks off after the first time the player hears them - you just need to take a deep breath, boil some coffee, and return to, hopefully, a game. A good example, although it might sound negligible, is the remark you hear every time you enter to harbour cottage. Nigel, from day 1 to day 5, keeps saying "Home Sweet Home, for the time being", EVERY time you enter. I bet I entered this house at least 40 times throughout the game. that's 40 times hearing "Home Sweet Home, for the time being". If it's not the waste of time that bothered me - it's the fact that it made the game look so bad, suddenly, tasteless, and unreal.

- The voice acting of Nigel voice acting, in my opinion, is terrible. For some reason, this guy uses commas and periods in the most unrelavent cases. His voice acting is very unrealistic, very slow. The creators must have thought it adds to the "nightmarish-slowish" feel of the game. But what it really does, is making the game lose it's realism, and tiring the player, waiting for Nigel to finish a line that he shoul've finished eons ago.
Others are ok, mostly - nothing exceptional or vice versa.

- The most terrible feature of the game: The repetetive use and recycling of voice clips.
"What is that"
"Am I alone in this place"
"Is that a crown? Yes, definitely a crown!"
Actually, at a certain point, it feels like all the text you hear has been said at a certain point, throughout one part of the game, or another.
I'm not talking here about a few examples. Here, I'm talking about the whole game. It's redicoulous - it looks as if they recorded a bunch of sentences, say a hundered, and then, in every scene, they mix the sentences so it would sound somewhat relavent to the theme. It terrible. I could not stand that. It looked so unrealistic. It absorbed every bit of immersion I had towards the game.
I don't know if anybody else experienced that feeling, but it totally, most definitely, ruined my experience. I have never encountered such a problem. Yes, I guess some games do contain the same "wording" in two different parts, but firstly, there are always, at the most, a few examples, and secondly, they are usually placed "far" from eachother. Here - every scene is just a repeat of the last scene, with different background.

So - that's my impression. I was dissapointed, cause I saw really good remarks on the game.
Well, it might be better than the average game nowadays, but I'm sorry, it just doesn't cut it for me.

I would recommend it if you like chilly games, and if you find the "bad's" I've listed above insignificant. A warning, however: I'm not sure I have been able to describe the feeling I had from these flaws, especially the last one. So watch it smile

Hope you enjoyed the review. Would like to hear impression, or get smashed with eggs thrown at me. smile

Tomer.


Edited by Tomer (07/27/08 06:04 PM)
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#367074 - 07/27/08 06:11 PM Re: The Lost Crown review. [Re: Tomer]
looney4labs Offline
GB Reviewer Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 42069
Loc: Alabama
Tomer, I can see you gave this a good deal of thought. Sounds like it has a great story but that the dialogue repetition ruined it for you????
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#367153 - 07/27/08 09:14 PM Re: The Lost Crown review. [Re: looney4labs]
Becky Offline
The Medieval Lady
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 02/16/00
Posts: 26893
Loc: Stony Brook, New York, USA
Hi Tomer -- an interesting response, which has made me wonder about my own reaction. I hear repeated responses to clicking on things so often in adventure games, that I seldom think twice about it, (or thrice, etc. etc.) even though it is rather annoying.

The game I remember that had a multitude of responses was Tony Tough and the Night of Roasted Moths. As soon as I realized that there were different responses to clicking on items, I cycled through all of them, snickering the whole way, by clicking on the same item about 30 times. Then, of course, I'd ruined any surprise by hearing the responses later when clicking on items. lol

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#367342 - 07/28/08 10:40 AM Re: The Lost Crown review. [Re: Becky]
Tomer Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 06/12/07
Posts: 793
Loc: Tel Aviv, Israel.
Looney, as I've said, it sounds funny I know, but it did actually harm my experience.

A contra to this would be the gabriel knight seiries- especially 1 and 3, in which you can examine sooo many things, the screens are rich with things - and every tiny pixle makes gabe/grace say a different thing! It's amazing!
For example: In the church in Gabriel knight 3, gabriel/grace has a comment (and usually a funny/interesting one!) to say about every tiny thing you as a player notice.
In the lost crown, at the caves on Saxton's shore, there are lots of Graffities. I think Nigel has about 2 sentences to say about every graffity he sees in the game. Either "Symbolic images or ancient Graffity?", or "Some sea monster", lol. Seriously. I just don't understand why they enabled you as a player to click on 20 of these, in the caves alone (and there are lots outside too!), just to hear the same response over and over.
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There's definitely definitely definitely no logic to human behaviour.

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#369864 - 08/02/08 02:26 PM Re: The Lost Crown review. [Re: Tomer]
chrissie Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 01/15/05
Posts: 4403
Loc: london uk
Thanks Tomer for your impressions of the game. I completely agree with all the good things you said & I don't completely disagree with all the bad you mentioned but for the most part I didn't mind. The real disappointment for me came after playing this very long & immersive game to it's conclusion, to find on reaching it that there was no tie-up of the overall 'plot'. mad

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#369914 - 08/02/08 05:58 PM Re: The Lost Crown review. [Re: chrissie]
Phoebe Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 12/17/07
Posts: 1541
Loc: Brazil
Thanks for the review Tomer

Love Maria hearts
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Yes,though i go through the valley of deep shade,i will have no fear of evil;for you are with me, your rod and your support are my comfort. Salmo23:4

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#370727 - 08/04/08 02:49 PM Re: The Lost Crown review. [Re: Phoebe]
Leeana Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 04/22/01
Posts: 4044
Loc: New York
Thank You Tomer for the very informative summary of the Lost Crown Im debateing whether to buy it or not smile wave Thank You it was an excellent review bravo

I bought the game its not half bad just cant shake the "Nothing Ventured sick ..." thing out of my head lol



Edited by LEEANA (09/01/08 04:52 PM)
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#374271 - 08/12/08 02:04 PM Re: The Lost Crown review. [Re: Tomer]
NMgameguy Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 03/21/06
Posts: 233
Loc: NewMexico, USA, Navajo Reserva...
I rather enjoyed the game. I know the character repeated the same phrases but alot of adventure games do that, the worst would have to be Delaware St. John games. This game, crazy as it sounds was sort of a little vacation, exploring a small village, shops, beach, ect...Also finding little suprises. I think I called the Cat Watch hot line and put the blame on the missing cats on the one Nanny's dog. I have read reviews and alot point out about Nigel sliding as he walked, come on, I think thats taking it a little over the edge. And I loved that the game wasn't a graphics processor hog and I ran it below the reqirements listed. My superfast computer died so I gave it a go on a computer with 32mg video card and running Windows 2000 and it ran with out any problems, except for a patch. It was a great little game, wasnt really a Ghost Hunting, more like treasure hunting but that didnt harm my gaming.
Now the major problem I did have was really one thing. It was when Nigel entered the place he rented. He would hang up his coat and say, "Home Sweet Home....." and you would have to move again just to move into the living room. I just wished that when you entered the house that you would be standing in the living room with out out the whole hanging up the coat and phrase scene. I had trouble with a few of the puzzles and managed to work thru them with glances at the walkthrough.

It was a nice little getaway, sort of a vacation to a little harbour town.

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#374540 - 08/13/08 01:35 AM Re: The Lost Crown review. [Re: NMgameguy]
Benedict Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 06/02/99
Posts: 1053
Loc: Singapore
Somehow I have the strangest feeling that Jonathan made the most artistically eccentric design decision to deliberately publish the game in this unpolished form so that it has the feel of an Independent Developer game. There are so many quirks and eccentricities in the overall design! Tomer says that the characters don't have depth. To me, they all sound psychotic. What "mentally sound" NPC would talk to the main character like the way they do in this game and what "mentally sound" main character would behave/ talk/ "moonwalk" everywhere like Nigel? The game feels like the "circus of fools" segment in Sanitarium where nothing and nobody is normal.

To sum up my overall impression of the game in one word, this game is "weird". It is so "weird" that everybody has to play it to experience just what a "weird" thing it is.


Edited by Benedict (08/13/08 01:43 AM)

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#375150 - 08/14/08 03:09 AM Re: The Lost Crown review. [Re: Benedict]
Tomer Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 06/12/07
Posts: 793
Loc: Tel Aviv, Israel.
Benedict, it's a nice interpetation, but what seemed to you as an artistic voice acting, seemed to me as bad voice acting smile
You may be right, especially regarding the strange way everybody were speaking, slow and monotonious.
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There's definitely definitely definitely no logic to human behaviour.

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#375665 - 08/15/08 02:37 AM Re: The Lost Crown review. [Re: Tomer]
Benedict Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 06/02/99
Posts: 1053
Loc: Singapore
Another possible logical explanation for the unpolished nature of this games could be simply, Jonathan ran out of time and had to rush the game out before ironing out all the quirks. The game industry often rush games out to meet a deadline then provide technical support to deal with the bugs. We would never know unless we ask Jonathan himself. Did he talk about this game on any forum or blog? We could even persuade him to fix all the weird and annoying things, such as inability to skip dialogue, in this game with a patch.

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#379117 - 08/22/08 01:35 AM Re: The Lost Crown review. [Re: Benedict]
oldmariner Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 01/29/07
Posts: 1369
Benedict
It had nothing to do with running out of time. The game in spite of critical reviews that claimed "masterpiece" was it's own worst enemy as the voice acting destroyed the immersion into the so called spooky atmosphere. How so? When as Tomer so adequately described, I will quote his astute review, "The atmosphere. Splendid. Totally spooky, a very haunting atmosphere. Sounds/Music (not including voice acting!!!) - Gorgeous. If the graphics weren't enough to get you spooked up - the sound effects will cause just that; From mysterious whispers through the back of your neck, to horrible sounds of knocking doors and creeking windows - this game could be enjoyable just by wondering a bit in some scenes, and listening in to the ambience created."

Tomer missed this by not having added this line. When the voice acting is so bland, so lacking in emotion the listener is led to believe the character is either totally stupid or completely out of touch of his surroundings. In other words he is not smart enough to know this is supposed to be scary. Either that or Nigel is the only one who understands this is a comedy. The tragic non effected voice acting completely destroys the atmosphere. I kept expecting to see Monty Python to pop out from the fen or fly in on the wings of a crow.

I was going to write a review of this sham but that would require finishing it. As I am struggling at the half way point through this trying to ignore the sophomoric voice acting, the badly implemented camcorder, that's another story, there is a strong likelihood the uninstall key will be struck rather soon.

All i could do with a review is hammer the several serious issues Tomer was kind enough to overlook. That's rather pointless. If this game is a masterpiece with it's glaring holes then gaming is in serious trouble.


Edited by oldmariner (08/22/08 01:37 AM)

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#380513 - 08/24/08 09:38 PM Re: The Lost Crown review. [Re: Tomer]
Benedict Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 06/02/99
Posts: 1053
Loc: Singapore
Is it possible to play with the voices switched off? I could read the subtitles and enjoy the ambient sound.

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#384748 - 09/01/08 07:00 PM Re: The Lost Crown review. [Re: Benedict]
Tomer Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 06/12/07
Posts: 793
Loc: Tel Aviv, Israel.
Oldmariner - hi. I could not agree more: "If this game is a masterpiece with it's glaring holes then gaming is in serious trouble. ".
However, what are the serious issues I overlooked? smile The thing is, I don't really get all the points I want to write about listed, and when I develop a certain issue, I tend to forget others. I remember I also didn't want to make the review too long so I decided I bashed the game enough, and that I oughta finish it. smile

Benedict, I don't think that's possible, and I would *certainly* not recommend you play without sound at all. Not only, as I've mentioned, is the soundtrack really good and immersing, but it also serves as entratainment while Nigel slowly crawls from one place to another and repeats the 10 sentences he knows to repeat.

Ugh. I'm desperate for a really, really immersive, rich, real, and deep game. I'm tired of hearing characters speak and thinking "man, that's so unrealistic".
I just finished Dead Reefs today (going to check the review written here now), and while I found this game a bit better than the lost crown, I still found too many gaps in the most basic, important things, an adventure must consist, many of which are similar to gaps found in the lost crown. Mostly surrounding the characters, and their "3-dimentionality" (more accurately, their lack of 3-dimentionality).



Edited by Tomer (09/01/08 07:03 PM)
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There's definitely definitely definitely no logic to human behaviour.

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#387610 - 09/07/08 05:43 AM Re: The Lost Crown review. [Re: Tomer]
Ameno Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 237
Loc: Necropoly
Tomer,
yea you right the animation and character's voices ruins the game.
But how the cats walks it realy is funny.

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