Wednesday, March 23, 2011

They beep, they beep again..they`ll be here...

An old friend is just about to knock on your door..and he is furious because you`ve forgotten all about him...long ago.

Until the new post, play with this:

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tales from Bavaria with Mr. Gabriel Knight

When people ask me how I learned English, I proudly point out computer games, adventures mainly, as the single source of my achievement. Because Mr. Potter, our English teacher in middle school, probably was a garbage collector in his country, and definitely not a professor. He was mumbling about last days soccer game at his table usually. I remember the color on his face the day Galatasaray won over Man United, poor bastard. He always looked like he had suicidal tendencies, probably dead by now.

Anyway, here is one of those games that helped me achieve what Mr. Potter couldn`t: GABRIEL KNIGHT : THE BEAST WITHIN 

The game was released for PC and Mac in 1995 from Sierra, a once-triumphing developer and publisher. And guess what, it was produced entirely in full motion video. So imagine a low-res video that your old webcam used to shoot, it looked like that. 

Except the fact that the guy looked like he was floating on a still picture instead of stepping to the ground, it was marvelous for the time. Phantasmagoria looked somewhat better than this, but it was mainly because that game was shot in darker places, where you could not see the details. This guy tried harder, shooting things in Schwarzwald of Germany, where everything looks green. And because of all the videos, the game came in 5 CD-ROMs, or 3456 floppy disks.

The storyline weaved together a werewolf story and some Bavarian history with some sexual intrigue. Our guy, Gabriel, inherits a German castle in Bavaria, Germany and the legendary title of Schattenjaeger (means shadow hunter, unlike English, I learned proper German at school) comes together with the castle. 

A small girl gets killed in the village and the villagers give the task of investigating this to the Schattenjaeger, well to us. The catch is, they believe that the killer is a werewolf. We are not alone though, we got our Asian helper Grace Nakimura all along our quest. Along six chapters Gabriel and Nakimura conduct their investigations separately until the very end, where they join forces together and kill the bastard.

I remember the ending of the game being very difficult and was timing based, chasing a werewolf in a Wagner opera. It felt creepy at the time, may look ridiculous now - time is a bitch when it comes to technology. 

pics and additional info from retro-roms.blogspot and wikipedia

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Start wearing purple for me now

This is not an old game. It`s a very new game, the one I`m still playing. The name is Kaptain Brawe: A Brawe New World. However the genre is old.

Old but gold. Hail to the one of the best genres of all gaming world: point`n click adventure. Kaptain Brawe`s similarity to Monkey Island series cannot go unnoticed; it`s so obvious that it`s almost disturbing. Nevertheless, there are some aspects making it somewhat different than the Lucasarts blockbusters.

First of all, the developer is a Croatian guy named Petar Ivancek, who actually has some weird accents and letters on his name that I wasn`t able to type with my keyboard. I like weird last names though, adds character. ehm.

Anyway, instead of the islands of Monkey Island, there are planets in Kaptain Brawe. It`s a fine, mildly funny, very well illustrated adventure, which has a fine pace and leveling system that goes from veeery easy to a what-the-hell-should-I-do-now type of difficulty. Nothing to pop your veins out though - there are hints for sissies that pick casual over hardcore gameplay in the beginning of the game.

One of the fine aspects of the game is the balanced length of the dialogues. No dialogue or monologue gives you an headache. Long dialogues are usually used as a bad trick to make short adventures longer. If it`s short, it`s short - there`s no need to turn it to a nightmare full of "eerr..what about Cortez? When did you meet him?" kind of lines. It`s short but to the point.

One drawback (or a plus for people like me) is the lack of voice acting. Everything you need is on your screen and all you hear is some effects and Eastern European tunes in the back. I say it adds character, but hey, I think weird names are cool too.

I`m not going to talk about the plot; it`s fun, the characters are funny, everything is in line with what you expect from a game like this.

I have nothing more to add - just go and play this one now; nicely done Petar (dude, his name is not even Peter, it`s Petar. ooh, he`s goood).

The game is available on Steam; pics from