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    dkirschner's Anachronox (PC)

    [April 28, 2015 01:54:34 PM]
    I grabbed this off Steam thanks to one of PC Gamer’s intriguing lists. I can’t remember if it was the Top 100 PC Games of all time or the Best Old Games You’ve Never Played. Either way, I like RPGs, and they sold me on Anachronox. I booted it up last week and immediately liked the game’s tone. It doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s funny, with an odd mix of sarcasm, self-deprecation, and parody. I’ve been chuckling aloud. The seedy underworld of South Anachronox and the main character—a down-and-out PI who begins the game by being hurled out a window—lend to the film noir style.

    Every NPC is named and has several lines of dialogue to share. These snippets are interesting enough. There seems to be a solid backstory, both on the grand scale and regarding Boots (the main character). Significant characters are voice acted well, and the score is sufficiently sci-fi.

    On the downside, whatever universe there is in the game has been overshadowed 100 times over by the Mass Effects of the past decade. While I was playing, I was just thinking how quaint this notion of a big world to explore was. I read reviews from 2001 praising Anachronox’s “interactivity” and “immersion.” Yeah, not so much in 2015. It looks pretty bad and I disliked the mouse cursor. You can’t move and use the cursor at the same time. The mouse fills dual roles of moving the cursor and swinging the camera. You have to stop to move the cursor. If you want to click on something, you have to mouse over it first to see if it’s clickable. Sometimes this requires you positioning Boots perfectly in front of it to see if the mouse icon spins, signifying interactivity.

    There are many visual bugs, mostly involving Boots moving. He stutters, he clips, he gets stuck in animation loops. There is a guide robot who is supposed to lead you around, but he never moves, even after you pay him. One time, an hour later, I found him in another part of the city. It beckoned me to follow, and I did, having forgotten where I’d asked it to escort me. Since South Anachronox is a giant labyrinth of sprawling multi-level tunnels, not having a robot guide sucked. It was a pain to walk through the drab environment.

    Finally, the animations take for…ever…Combat is especially guilty of this. The combat seems neat, a turn-based JRPG-style system, but most of the time is spent standing there watching your battle gauge fill up. Then when you do attack, or the enemy attacks you, it’s a painfully slow animation. Painfully slow animations also occur when doing routine tasks like riding an elevator, exiting a room, or picking up an item.

    I can’t take it!

    Because the setting, story, and characters interest me, but not the gameplay, I am going to watch the official machinima instead. As far as I understand it, the devs cobbled together all the in-game cut scenes and some gameplay to tell the whole story in an hour. If the story is that good, then the machinima should be enjoyable!

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    dkirschner's Anachronox (PC)

    Current Status: Stopped playing - Got Bored

    GameLog started on: Friday 24 April, 2015

    GameLog closed on: Wednesday 6 May, 2015

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Feels old, some funny writing, sort of silly, battle mechanics seem interesting --------------------- Nope. Too old. I watched some of the machinima, and that was entertaining for half an hour or so. The game's humor is a winner.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstar

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