I realized that the time has come where seeing a screenshot of TWP gives me that same feeling of “tearful nostalgia” that I get when I see a screenshot of Monkey Island 1 or 2 or Indy4.
So, in my mind, it has now become officially a classic, at the same level of Monkey 1 and 2.
Previously, I could only say “I can’t find any objective flaws in TWP, either in the gameplay or in the story or in the humor or in anything else, but in my heart Monkey Island remains on another level”. But now I can honestly say that they are equal to me.
Time passes, memory leaks quickly…
I mean: in 20 years, I could forget about many videogames. For sure I won’t forget Zak McKracken And The Alien Mindbenders, probably not Monkey Island. For TWP it’s too soon to tell.
I couldn´t really tell. Back in the day when I played the old games, I liked basically everything because really everything was new to me. But I´m older now, and now that I´m a cynical asshole who hates everything I really can´t say.
Seriously though, if we distinct between objective quality and nostalgia I don´t think it stands a chance. Nostalgia takes us back to simpler times. These are not simple times, while it´s fun when playing it it´s just to late to have the same effect.
Rick & Morty might be objectivly better than Ninja Turtles, but it would never have the same impact on me. Not even years later.
Yes, what is Thimbleweed Park? Is it real? Is it just a figment of someone’s imagination? Is it an AI driven world, and if so, is it just a bunch of mathematic structures of bits and bytes, with no real understanding of world? Who are we to say? Are we real? Are we just a program in a simulated universe? Do ANY of you others exist? Do “I” exist? I think, therefore I am, sure, but is there an “I”, as an individual? What is individuality anyway?
But “I” digress… Lucas’ games made me feel when I was young. It was part of the hormonal storm of the youth, I guess. TwP is an excellent game, but I don’t have that same emotional setting anymore, so I don’t have big feelings now. Also, there was much less things in life back then, so computer games was a much bigger deal. And computing in general was more exciting. So all this made an imprint in my brain that I remember fondly (EDIT: this sentence makes no sense, but you get the point…). I’m sure in 20 years from now I will remember TwP and this community, but I doubt it will have that kind of a special place in my heart that the Lucas’ games have.
A few rare games did manage to break that cynical armor that some of us build as we grow older and to create a special bond with the adult me. So I know that it’s possible. I just find it unlikely that it will happen with Thimbleweed Park.
For me, it has already happened. It might be because I always wanted to become a game developer and write an adventure game, and it was due to monkey island, and then a new adventure game by Ron Gilbert was going to come out at the same time I was writing my own engine, and I could follow the development blog, and then chat with people about it in the blog/forums, and even end up in a crazy project about redubbing the game in Italian.
Maybe it’s not TWP per se, but still, this is a game I feel strongly connected to.
I agree that computing was generally more fascinating back then.
But, I think that it would be unfair to compare my today’s feelings with memories from my childhood.
Also, there even have been some games from Lucasfilm/LucasArts which I don’t like, for example Loom, The Dig and Full Throttle. It’s a matter of opinion. Well, the MI games were awesome, MM and Zak have been milestones as well, DOTT was a great game, too, and, TWP may not be as amazing as MI, but the team did nonetheless a great job. They really threw themselves into it! Personally, I think that TWP is the best point & click adventure game I have played since the Lucasfilm/LucasArts adventure games. I would even say that TWP is better than most of the famous Lucasfilm/LucasArts adventure games.
If you asked me what could have been done better in TWP, I would answer that I think that the connection between the playable characters in TWP could have been established more coherently.
Also, it was a very brave decision by the developers to completely break the fourth wall at the ending, which was never done in the Lucasfilm/LucasArts games. Though I admit that this has been a nice idea for such an homage to the entire SCUMM era.
I’m sad to hear that some of you can’t feel the same emotion toward new games as you did back then. I have the opposite tendency. I tend to think “wow, this game is the best ever”, only to realize later that it’s not remotely comparable to Monkey Island. Because I tend to be fooled by the atmosphere and not realize that the game does not have depth in gameplay. Lately this happened to me with Freddy Pharkas and Kathy Rain, for example.
It’s true, but it’s true on every aspect of life. I’m particularly sensitive to such topics these days, now that I’m approaching the age my parents had in my earliest memories - you can’t ever revive the old days, you just have to accept that there are new, different ways of enjoying the present.
And in a couple of years I’ll even understand how fascinating it is to spend the afternoons watching construction workers at construction sites