Published on June 5th, 2006 | by Greg0
Three Games, Three Genres
For the PC, Dreamfall:The Longest Journey and Rise of Legends. On the Xbox 360: Rockstar Presents Table Tennis. One great game, one quite good game, and one game that was almost unplayable!
The PC adventure game Dreamfall:The Longest Journey, isn’t your average sequel. The original game was one of the best-reviewed adventure games in quite some time, and the sequel does it justice. We had no problems with installation, or running the game- most any decent computer will run it without much trouble. The gameplay is pretty standard, but the voice acting and plot are top-notch. The puzzles are less difficult than, say, the Myst series (or even the original Longest Journey), but that isn’t a bad thing- you get to enjoy the environments and characters to their fullest. The game’s science fiction and fantasy setting is pretty remarkable, and the music, visuals, and stories combine to make a game with the main flaw or being too short!
The new RTS Rise of Legends, on the other hand, fails the main test for any game- it must be easily playable! Certainly, you can’t fault a game for having some problems with out-of-date drivers or hardware. But this game was a hassle even for two up-to-date systems- much of the audio was missing and/or the graphics were glitchy. The latest patch didn’t resolve all of the issues (for us, at least). However, the game has a great premise: three very different sides including a DaVinci inspired steampunk group. The campaign sections that we managed to get through showed that there was promise to the game, and the Dominance system is a pretty neat addition. Bottom line: it seems a bit rushed and underpublicized, and the gameplay uninspired (especially compared to Rise of Nations).
Finally, we turn to the Xbox 360 and Rockstar Presents Table Tennis. It’s a far step from the very first video game, Pong, and almost as far from the studio’s other projects (Grand Theft Auto, anyone?). As far as ping-pong simulations go, this one takes the cake- though there aren’t really many out there to speak of. We wish there was a Wii-style controller to really get us involved, but the control scheme does work. Surprisingly deep and addictive, it is ultimately a table tennis game- if you aren’t a fan, this likely won’t change your mind. The graphics, especially the character animations, are quite good, even amazing, and the sound design is easily as good as other sports games. But with a very limited campaign, small set of arenas and characters and few zany extras that would’ve added a nice touch, we hope for Live expansions!