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ROSS'S GAME DUNGEON: REALMS OF THE HAUNTING

Ross gets haunted in Realms of the Haunting. Halloween episode!

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Welcome to another 11th hour Halloween episode! The irony is thick on this one for me, since I intentionally tried to scale down things so I could be done early for once, so naturally a mildew infection hit my apartment which took a big bite out of my time, hence this barely making it in time for Halloween!

 

This was an interesting game to cover. I never tried the game prior to this month, nor did I know much about it, I just suspected it would be a good pick for the game dungeon, and it certainly qualified. Regardless of what else I say in the video, this game definitely has some heart to it, which can be refreshing to see. This also puts Clive Barker's Undying in a new light for me, since some of the influences are really apparent from this game. Anyway, have a good just-barely Halloween for those farther west of me!

 

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*watches up until the end*

*sees the stinger*

You have officially became even more awesome than ever before, Ross :D

 

A pretty good episode, I enjoyed your reactions in some parts (your reaction to control scheme comes to mind)

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"This also puts Clive Barker’s Undying in a new light for me, since some of the influences are really apparent from this game."

 

If we're being fair at least CBU made good use of them, and was overall a really good game with transitions that mostly made sense...except a certain someone's realm towards the end. That one threw me for a loop. The others were good though. It was also a horror game too come to think of it, and actually....wait CBU seems more like a decent re-imagining of this game you were talking about.

 

Weird because I would hate this game, but CBU is easily one of my favorites. The history behind how it got made is really interesting too.

 

At any rate thanks for a great end to Halloween!

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This game looks infuriating just by looking at it, I honestly can't say anything else other than "this game just straight up fucking sucks". I will never understand what adventure designers had in their mind when they made games like these, how did anyone who worked there not complain about how fucking awful the controls are? I really don't get it, at least one person had to complain about it right? There's no way everyone went "yup, this is good enough, I don't see ANY PROBLEMS HERE", I just can't wrap my head around it.

 

Maybe I'm just boring, but I honestly would prefer to not have any puzzles at all if you just can't come up with anything satisfying to solve which doesn't take a decade to figure out without me having to straight up bruteforce it because you couldn't honestly come up with a better idea, or if it gets to the point where its so easy that the developers decide to use that same exact puzzle through the whole game, where it just becomes a chore at that point, in the end it mostly just slows down the game for no reason at all, shitty puzzles or any tedious gameplay moments pretty much kill any replayability the game might've had or any good memories, "I mean, those later parts of the game were good, I think? But I can't be bothered to deal with these shitty parts, the whole game was probably garbage anyway".

 

This crap really minds me of those forced "tutorial" like areas, where you need to do four races before you get to the real thing (Need for Speed Most Wanted, JUST LET ME PLAY THE GAME), where you need to play for five hours before the story actually even bothers going anywhere or before you get to play as someone who you care about (Kingdom Hearths 2 and Sora) or just straight up hand holding in a game where your objective is to literally "blow shit up" and just "destroy fucking everything" but the game instead feels the need to explain to you what each building does in detail (pizza shops make pizzas), how to use the mouse in five different ways on how to shoot stuff up more efficiently (when it's literally left mouse button pew pew, right mouse button is boom boom) and that you should let the old ladies cross the street for extra points and... in the end it doesn't matter, you have a giant mech, you blow shit up and that's about it, I really don't like it when games treat the player like an idiot, but if there's something ultra important you need to tell me then just tell me for crying out loud.

 

I also hate it when developers fill the game with fluff text and hide all the remaining 1% which is actually interesting in some obscure spots you might never check or ever find on your own.

 

Honestly I'm baffled by how much a lot of game developers underestimate something as basic as good controls, you can have the most mind blowing story, but if I had to look around by pushing the F1 - F4 keys, and in order to shoot I have to push the up and down arrow, then to go left and right I have to switch between left and right by pushing the space bar, and then I can use either the left or right key to strafe only in one set direction, before I have to push the space bar again, then you lost me.

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"This also puts Clive Barker’s Undying in a new light for me, since some of the influences are really apparent from this game."

 

If we're being fair at least CBU made good use of them, and was overall a really good game with transitions that mostly made sense...except a certain someone's realm towards the end. That one threw me for a loop. The others were good though. It was also a horror game too come to think of it, and actually....wait CBU seems more like a decent re-imagining of this game you were talking about.

 

Weird because I would hate this game, but CBU is easily one of my favorites. The history behind how it got made is really interesting too.

 

At any rate thanks for a great end to Halloween!

Yeah, I think CBU did a really fantastic job in a lot of areas, but it was mostly the ending and narrative that could have been reworked some more. After seeing ROTH, I think I have more of an appreciation for how many things that got right.

 

This game looks infuriating just by looking at it, I honestly can't say anything else other than "this game just straight up fucking sucks". I will never understand what adventure designers had in their mind when they made games like these, how did anyone who worked there not complain about how fucking awful the controls are? I really don't get it, at least one person had to complain about it right? There's no way everyone went "yup, this is good enough, I don't see ANY PROBLEMS HERE", I just can't wrap my head around it.
Well in their defense, I think the developers were high.

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Well in their defense, I think the developers were high.

The doctor guy could've made for a great villain, what a wasted opportunity though, I was finally starting to get into the story (not really, but I was way more intrigued at least) and it's a shame to see someone like him end up not mattering too much as a whole.

 

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I also just realized what clothes he's wearing, maybe I should've seen that ending coming.

 

This part also reminded me of the crypts from Diablo 1.

 

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(I can't get the YouTube tags to work, but anyway it's the Dungeon music from Diablo 1).

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I almost want to get this just to see if I can make a control scheme for it with the steam controller...

 

Although I guess I have all the Tex Murphy games if I want to torture myself for a night trying out trackpad settings... Speaking of which I'm surprised you didn't call that one guy Evil Tex Murphy.

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From that opening clip, I knew this was going to be special.

 

The setting of the first part of the game is really well done. There's something timeless and appealing about old, creepy mansions with secrets. Doesn't matter how trite it may be, because when it's done well, it's excellent. The attention to detail in the mansion, as displayed in the video, is clearly very high. When you go deeper into the area with all the crazy statues and stuff, it's still good with a whole lot of detail. But once it goes into different dimensions and stuff, then everything looks wrong. The attention to detail is mostly gone and the environments take a turn for the generic. I guess it's a matter of taste, and I suppose for it's time it was okay and looked great, but we've had so many unique games and other media present alternate dimensions with genuine creativity that I just can't help but be disappointed. The best the game seemed to get was that one area where you climb down the ladder and enter into another dimension. That kind of inexplicit, drastic change in location is something that, when done right, is really cool, and I felt that here.

 

The story is very disappointing, as stated. I didn't expect anything groundbreaking, but I did have hope. Instead it's just a generic good-vs-evil "the world is out of balance" story with all kinds of magic macguffins that exist only to be plot devices, filled with Biblical/theological references that don't really have any significance beyond being references, all capped off with a terrible ending. Though I admit I have higher standards for story than most people, and the presentation was really fun and unique for the time. The characters all came off as absurdly generic, too, and that Belial figure was only made interesting by the actor's remarkable performance. I looked up the actor, David Learner, and apparently he's best known for playing Marvin the Paranoid Android from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which I myself haven't seen, so I can't really compare performances, but I imagine many here have.

 

I love how you managed to set up a control scheme that's reasonable with all kinds of scripts and settings. That's dedication. Though at first I was confused, because I thought the game would be more survival horror, rather than an action shooter with all kinds of magical weapons. I think there's an issue in mood there, where the game maybe should have been one or the other. But I suppose survival horror hadn't yet been established as a genre, while shooters and adventure games were the majority of games at the time.

 

That part in the pitch-black maze with mirrors and a psychedelic floor looks both incredibly interesting but incredibly tortuous. I can't tell if I'd enjoy it just for how absurdly and interestingly designed it is, or if I'd get genuinely frustrated. The thing that would definitely frustrate me is the adventure game puzzles that make no sense, which is why I don't tend to enjoy adventure games at all.

 

I knew where the stinger was going as soon as I heard the name, and you did not disappoint. Absolutely perfect.

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Ross, when are you gonna play/do a game dungeon on Thief 1 and 2? Every time I see a Game Dungeon and hear your criticisms or your tastes I have to think "this guy would love Thief".

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This game looks infuriating just by looking at it, I honestly can't say anything else other than "this game just straight up fucking sucks". I will never understand what adventure designers had in their mind when they made games like these, how did anyone who worked there not complain about how fucking awful the controls are? I really don't get it, at least one person had to complain about it right? There's no way everyone went "yup, this is good enough, I don't see ANY PROBLEMS HERE", I just can't wrap my head around it.

 

There was no standard, and even by 1997 the idea of using a mouse and a keyboard was still foreign to a lot of people. So it actually was usually a case of "yup, this is good enough."

 

The standard WASD control scheme itself wasn't thought up by anyone in the game industry but instead, a pro Quake player named Dennis Fong who won the first big Quake tournament. Even then, most people found that control scheme completely alien. I want to say either Quake 2 or Half-Life was the first FPS I played that had WASD as the standard, though the more I think about it the more I think it was Half-Life.

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From personal experiance Half Life and UT99 were the first two I'd seen that had WSAD as defaults. Tribes Had ESDF which is what I'd gotten hold of first and i end up remapping to esdf because it gives my ring and pinkie more to do. Plus I don't have to shift fingers off where they naturally rest for home row.

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With this episode I'm getting closer and closer to hazily linking your videos together. The end, where you are faced with that left/right decision and choose right to find out you should have chosen left reminds me of an episode of Freeman's mind where Freeman faces the same conundrum and chooses right, finds out he should have chosen left and proceeds to, almost uncannily, discuss how that lost time might have amounted to him sidestepping an assassin's shot. This along with your admittance to owning a time machine in the Battleforge Game Dungeon and the time travel evidence in your Polaris Snocross Game Dungeon make the case against you in time court that much more solid.

 

Expect to find out you've already been taken to trial soon.

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Well, offering tobacco to spirits is totally legitimate in more than a few traditions. Dunno if that was what was going on there.

 

What's the name of the video compression being used? I've never seen that shelf liner/anti skid placemant look before. I was expecting that to show up in the awards. It's incredibly pervasive, but I can't fathom how it would reduce information density. It's almost like a rasterized look, but it's present even on totally black portions of the video.

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ross, you missed a key piece of information about this game in your review.

 

LxWgVQU.png

 

you know, anthony "potty pigeon" crowther?

 

and you wonder why the controls were so bad

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