Forever Worlds

 

Genre:   Adventure

Developer:   Hexagon

Publisher:    The Adventure Company

Released:  2004

PC Requirements:   Windows 98/ME/2000/XP, Pentium III 700, 128MB RAM, 16X CDROM, 64MB DirectX 8.0 compatible video card, DirectSound compatible sound card, Keyboard, Mouse

 

 

 

by Jenny100

The following "review" began life as part of an email I sent to someone who asked me what I thought of it. When someone in the GameBoomers forum asked about a review, I copy/pasted the relevant part of my email into the thread. After that, I was asked to make it into a review.

SPOILER WARNING: Since it was not originally intended as a review, I made no effort to avoid spoilers. Specific situations in the game are discussed, and possibly a hint to a puzzle.

So here it is: a quick and dirty review of Forever Worlds...



Would you recommend this game based on your experience with it?

Not to everyone certainly. Its colorful graphics are about the only thing it has going for it. Sometimes I wonder if the game should be called "The Scroll 2004." Does it have a scroll in it?

How would you rate the script,

It has a script? I don't know what I'm doing half the time. There's no logic to what you do besides the fact that you can do something, and you can't do anything else, so you do it. Sometimes I feel like the game left out parts, or like my game isn't working right. When I first got in the tree and took a step, all of a sudden there was that video of the golden-looking guy doing something or other to the other guy. It was so abrupt it felt like the first part of the video had been cut off. And then there's the part where you put the chocolates down and all of a sudden you see your character falling down an abyss. The game has a lot of "huh" moments.

the voice work,

That %$#@ lizard is so annoying I want to throttle him. I suppose the voices match the "humor" in the game. But the humor makes me cringe more often than not. The main character isn't bad though. Mostly the voices are too corny. I suspect the game is funnier after drinking a few cans of beer.

the graphics,

The only thing I sort of like about it. They're colorful. Sometimes they're very detailed - like in that closeup of the lizard when you first find him. But often the graphics look sort of sloppy and disconnected. Rocks and some other things often seem to "stand out" from the background as if they are potential inventory items. But they're not. Some parts of an image may be really sharp and detailed and others hazy or blurred. The quality can be very different from one frame to the next.

I don't know if it was because of using DirectX 8a or to do with my computer speed (750 MHz) or what, but whenever a movie started to play, the screen would turn half black for a second, then fully black, then the movie would show. Not exactly the smoothest integration.

That woman who is supposed to be the lady love really has a sour expression on her face. Looking in the inventory and seeing THAT looking at me was the best laugh I got in the game.

the control scheme,

Bad. Or mostly bad. Searching for things is very inconvenient. Having to hold down the mouse button to scan is not only inconvenient, but you can't watch for cursor changes while you're panning around looking for exits.

You have to click on an inventory object twice to pick it up in inventory, then click it on the corner. It's sort of minor, but got annoying when I was experimenting with things. An extra click that didn't have to be there.

the puzzles?

Some of them were very difficult to manipulate. There was one that was "outdoors" on the top of a circular staircase. You were supposed to click out a tune. But I had trouble getting the sounds to work. It didn't seem to be tone-matching so much as figuring which thing would make a sound if you clicked it next. I got disgusted and checked the walkthrough and when I clicked exactly in the proper order, every tone sounded.

Sometimes I don't realize there's a triangle to click on and can't figure out why I can't interact with anything. This happened at the beginning of the Butterfly Penitentiary level, where you have to click on the triangle in order to click on what's on the hotel desk. The triangle does not always appear directly over where it is supposed to either. It appears on the side of the object instead.

I would not have thought the person who made Jewels of the Oracle had anything to do with this game. The puzzles are nowhere near the same quality.

Game Rating:   D

I feel kind of bad about panning it like this. The game had potential. If the rough edges were smoothed over and a few more transitions added to maintain continuity, it might have been a good game.


Special thanks go to Mr. Lipid, without whom I would never even have gotten the game running in Windows 98SE. He went above and beyond the call of duty to contact one of the head developers and wrote the following instructions:


Here is what actually needs to be done to run Forever Worlds on 98SE and ME. (For all those still running Win98 First Edition, you can stop reading now. Windows Media Player 9 will not run on 98 and without Windows Media Player 9, Forever Worlds won't run. Sorry.)

The secret is to install (or reinstall), in a specific order, a specific group of support programs. Speaking as someone who has tried everything else, nothing else works like this.

EXISTING INSTALLATIONS

If you have already installed Forever Worlds, do the following. It is not necessary to reinstall Forever Worlds itself.

STEP ONE: Install the latest version of DirectX directly from Microsoft. (You'll find it HERE.) This is version 9.0b. Even if you have already installed 9.0b, do it again. A reinstall never hurt and this is as much about getting all the dependencies right as it is about getting all the apps in place. So, install (or reinstall) DirectX 9.0b. (If you have philosophical issues with DirectX 9, fine. Don't install it. Just don't expect Forever Worlds to run because DirectX 9.0b is essential for the functioning of the next item you are going to install.)

STEP TWO: Install Windows Media Player 9 direct from Microsoft. (You'll find it HERE.) Let WMP9 associate itself with all the files it wants to...especially the video files.

STEP THREE: Find the right video driver for your card and download it directly from the manufacturer. If, like I do, you have an nVidia card, version 53.04 seems a bit more stable than version 56.64. I've also heard from some folks that the older Radeon drivers work better. Your mileage may vary.

STEP FOUR: Install the DivX 5.1.1 Codec, either from the Forever Worlds CD or the DivX website. DO NOT INSTALL THE DIVX PLAYER.

You are now ready to play Forever Worlds. If you click on the desktop icon and still get the logo-logo-lockup problem, it can be cured by running a video in WMP9 before asking Forever Worlds to load.

NEW INSTALLATIONS

STEP ONE: The installation routine will ask to check for DirectX 9 and, if it is not present, to install it. You don't have a choice here so, if it is not present, say "Yes."

STEP TWO: You will be asked to install the DivX Codec. Install the Codec but not the DivX Player.

STEP THREE: Install the game.

STEP FOUR: Once the Forever Worlds is installed, follow the steps listed above for an Existing Installation.

That's it. That's the Secret Sauce that's necessary to put Forever Worlds on its feet in 98SE and ME. Enjoy!

design copyright 2004 GameBoomers Group

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