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Old 02-27-2005, 10:07 AM   #1
Bob Russell
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Myst May Be Coming To PPC

There are rumors of a Pocket PC version of the game Myst. For those of you not familiar with it, it's one of the modern versions of the old "adventure" games. You move from location to location doing things like reading a book or using a key to get in somewhere, etc.

In my mind, the best thing about such games is that it's fun to move around and look at all the cool pictures, and sometimes it's fun to think about the puzzles you have to solve to continue.

What I don't like about these games is that I inevitably find myself wandering around in the same areas I've already covered. A hard-core gamer probably can't relate to this sort of situation. They know what sort of tricks to look for. Like I used to know how to do with games like Defender or Joust that were popular when I was in high school and you couldn't play those sorts of games at home yet!

Fancy new action games are uninteresting to me because of the steep learning curve and time required, and the adventure games get boring because I can't figure out what to do next. Yes, I know there are web sites with walk-thrus and hints, but I guess that requires a little more preparation than I'm ready to do.

It's a shame because games like the Myst series look nice, as well as PocketScumm , which is out for PPC and looks like it would be awesome to play if I wasn't always stuck!

So as someone looking in from the outside of the gaming world, I gotta wonder why nobody creates one of these kinds of games with built-in hint systems. I tried Myst on PS1 once, and gave up. I would probably have loved it if I could have hit a help button and had the computer do the next important thing for me, either in the current location, or moving me to a new location.

Isn't player assistance functionality the key to making a lot of money on these games from a wider audience? If someone would make existing games user-friendly for the average person on the street, I bet sales would explode. Just add a simple cheat button that moves you through pretty scenery (either instantly or scene by scene depending on preferences) to the next important location. Then choose a button again to show you what you have to do at that location. It could also have a walkthrough mode that allows you to interact whenever it looks interesting to you.

Surely someone has noticed this is needed? Is it that hard to code? Is that a market no one cares about? Even better, isn't there someone with an open source mentality will could create something like that for the good of all?! Heck, I'd even love some PPC versions of walkthrough guides that's aren't tied directly into the software. I could use those guides while playing on my PS1. I might even upgrade to a PS2!

And if this kind of gaming gets more popular and easier, it will be one more of the many reasons that portable devices sell.
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Old 02-27-2005, 09:47 PM   #2
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Bob, my friend, I think our time has passed. I remember having to walk down to some pizza place and wait forever for the tabletop Pac-Man to get available just so I could lose my quarter too quickly. Or having to walk to some seedy liquor store to play Pitfall. Those games were absolutely the best compared to Pong or that Airplane game.

Defender and Astroids and Frogger and all of that were what our brains could process then, us having been previously exposed to D&D and reading books and playing outside (and such). Today's kids are being exposed to faster, more complex games at earlier ages and they can see and comprehend what they need to at this alarming (to us) pace.

I, too, struggle with today's games and am roundly punished whenever I try to play against today's kids. As nice as these games look, I have to honestly say that they are beyond me. I'm happy with my excellent console emulators on my Zodiac2 and my 1.1 billion ROM's. I think that these game programmers and hardware makers know that they have plenty of kids clamoring for newer, faster, bigger games and their resources are geared towards them and, sadly, not towards trying to make these games palatable and comprehendable to our era's video game pioneers.

They way G4 bought out TechTV and is thriving in providing gamer television content really shows me that the video game market doesn't need our money, Bob. Unless it's in the form of the allowance we give our kids. Then they want it all.
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Last edited by Pride Of Lions; 03-01-2005 at 01:46 PM.
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Old 02-28-2005, 12:01 AM   #3
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Hey, everything comes back into style if you wait long enough!

And don't give up hope completely. For example, even the president of Nintendo is concerned the new games are too complex... http://videogames.weblogsinc.com/ent...6914256957770/
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Old 03-01-2005, 01:51 PM   #4
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I think the "Nostalgia Cycle" is about 20 years (even if VH-1 is trying to jump the gun and make us nostalgic for the 90's because they've run through the other decades already.) The current trend towards joysticks-with-old-time-ROM's-built-in is keeping that true.

I think that the President of Nintendo is really saying that he's tired of trying to one-up his competitors every few years and that he wants to concentrate his resources on being perfect in this hardware climate. He better be right about this or he'll easily become the Former President of Nintendo.

But I agree. I mean, just exactly how many frames/sec do we need?
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Old 03-03-2005, 10:43 AM   #5
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Mean Hampster Software has just released Myst for PPC. It is available for $24.95, and I don't see a download link to a trial.
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