I’m aware that this forum is full of LucasArts fans and I’m old enough to remember the “rivalry” between Sierra and LucasFilm Games, but are there Sierra games that you like? Did you play them back in the cretaceous, my fellow triceratops?
I never played any of their games back then because I’ve never liked that way of designing adventure games but in recent years I’ve played “Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers” (the anniversary edition) and I really liked it, despite the genre of the story (esoterism and magic) being one that I have never been interested in.
I played some of them, but I never liked them because it took me too much to translate my thoughts to English (even if I played some LA games in English, but it’s way easier to understand written sentences than to produce written sentences) and because I was always dying for no reason.
However, I’m a great fan of Laura Bow: The Colonel’s Bequest. As I always say, once you accept you need multiple iterations to unlock its secrets, it’s quite an interesting game.
I played all the Leisure Suit Larry and the Space Quest series, some Police Quest, and some Gabriel Knight. I like most of them, but I loved the SQ and LSL games.
I also played Roberta William’s Phantasmagoria and was a big fan. Even as I could identify many flaws, I still thought it was a good story and rather intelligently put together – and more than a bit creepy at times! I own it and have played it at least three times in the last couple of decades,
I also tried playing Phantasmagoria 2: Puzzle Of Flesh a few times and gave up rather quickly. The game is clunky, the story weird, and the puzzles uninteresting. I own this one too, but consider it wasted money.
I’m pretty sure there are other games, but these are the ones that stand out in my mind right now. I own the SQ and LSL collections and play them all once in a while. They are very flawed games, and indeed there is much that frustrates and infuriates me in them (apart from the fact that I can never finish them without a walk-through, or having memorize one by now), but they are still a lot of fun.
Here are the ones I’ve played and what I thought of them… a lot of them I played for the very first time pretty recently (a couple of years ago) and they stand up very well…
SQ1 - great game, I played the remake first, but have also played the original
SQ2 - difficult, not that great, I didn’t get very far
SQ3 - excellent game, great locations
SQ4 - brilliant, very funny, excellent concept, best SQ game to me
SQ5 - pretty good, not quite up there with 4, but solid
SQ6 - very good, funny, some good locations
KQ1 - difficult to play nowadays as it’s got some quirks (different ways to solve puzzles, etc.)
KQ2 - best of the KQ games to me, really enjoyable
KQ3 - worst of the KQ games, a horrible timed thing happens for the whole first part of the game
KQ4 - ok, pretty frustrating at a lot of points though
KQ5 - some of it’s great, some of it’s terrible, pretty difficult too
KQ6 - excellent game, 2nd best KQ game to me
PQ1 - great game… I’m not a fan of police stuff normally, but it was good as a one-off for me
PQ4 - not much fun, lots of video type of graphics
LSL1 - excellent and hilarious, not really my kind of game so I didn’t play the others, but a great one-off
GK1 was amazing but the anniversary version looks just terrible, sterile and stiff… ugh. If I’ll ever replay it, I’ll try the original for sure.
As for other games. I loved Larry 1-3, which despite being a comedy game, seemed to have a kind of dark, sleazy, urban vibe to them (urban, except for the parts in the jungle : ). I don’t recall any other games like that. This is pretty much missing in the recent version of 1, so I don’t recommend that. The rest of Larry series was ok, but more slapstic, juvenile, cartoon fun and not as much interesting to me. Something like DOTT was to MM.
Space Quest series I think was brilliant. I could see this as a LA game. The VGA version of 1 is a pretty good start.
I played only one part of Quest for Glory (which is a hybrid game) and didn’t even finish but that was very good as well. Pity I didn’t have these games earlier, when I had more time.
The worst Sierra game I played was Gabriel Knight 3, I want to forget it existed.
I like both versions. The original one has that special warm touch that pixel art infuses into a game, but in my opinion the graphics of the anniversary edition aren’t bad as, for example, the graphics of the special edition of “The Secret of Monkey Island”. I would say that compared to the original style, the anniversary edition feels “colder”, but I don’t think that its quality is low.
That’s interesting. When you say “as a LA game”, in terms of gameplay do you mean something more similar to the pre-MI games or something more similar to MI and later adventure games?
Personally, in terms of story, structure, and irreverent wit, not necessarily puzzles.
What I’d love to see is a Space Quest which has been informed by Gilbert’s Rules of design. In my opinion, the most frustrating part of old Sierra games is the dependency on learn-by-death as a game mechanic, and on illogical and arbitrary puzzles.
I second this. The stories of the Sierra games were very interesting and funny. The developers had very great ideas. I loved for example Larry, Space Quest, King’s Quest, the Laura Bow adventures and Goldrush. But the puzzle chains based on death were/are awful.
I loved SQ2, but that’s probably clouded by nostalgia as it was the first adventure game I played. The ruthless deaths didn’t bother me and seemed fair at the time, though since playing more LA (or similar) style games I realise Sierra games were a little harsh. But I had no comparison at the time.
As I’ve mentioned in other threads, as a kid I loved the text parser format. I was blown away by the fact that I could tell the game exactly what I wanted to do, even if it didn’t work. I’d never played a game like that before - it was so immersive.
I also think the ruthlessness allowed for better (or bitter!) humour. I did find the SQ series really hard though and have only completed them as an adult with a walk through.
If I’d happened to play LA games first instead, my opinion would probably be very different and I probably wouldn’t have liked Sierra games quite so much.
I played King’s Quest I on a plane trip last year but got a bit fed up with the vast openness of it, and being attacked by various things in the middle of trying to solve a puzzle
Actually another thing I hated about the later SQ games were the arcade sequences. As demonstrated by these save games of mine.
"The Sierra remakes that replace the text parser with a point and click interface and add a hilarious narrator, are actually really good.
I played the first three King´s Quest games. The first one was okay (the infinity of the map is a bit confusing) the 3rd one I hardly played because I didn´t like that timer system with the wizard at the beginning, but King´s Quest 2, I´m sorry to say is an amazing game that I thoroughly enjoyed!"
The part where I decided for myself how much I loved part 2 was probably when I reached the tower with the Lions, it just seemed so big for a game from that time. And you traveled between islands almost like a certain other game. And the narrator sounds oddly like the one from The Cave, the humor is even in a similar snarky style.
I have really fond memories of the King’s Quest games. Even though Ron is right about having to fight with the text parser and that it only recognizes a limited amount of verbs, it still seemed amazing to me at the time. It felt like you could do anything you wanted. KQ 1,4 and 5 were the ones I remember liking. The random deaths in KQ1 are pretty obnoxious though.
Yeah. I liked the openness of it, too - that you could walk into a new area and type ‘look around’ and it gave you a little description of the surroundings. While I’ve slowly come to appreciate a verb UI I still like the freedom of a text parser and that you’re not restricted to specific verbs and objects. It makes it more challenging but I liked that.