Jimquisition: Beneath A Steel Skyrim

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Beneath A Steel Skyrim

What does a huge, open-world roleplaying game and a linear point-and-click adventure from the 90's have in common? Well, aside from the fact they have the honor of The Jimquisition's attention, they both succeed in delivering the same thing, despite using almost completely opposite methods to do so. Confused? You won't be after you watch this intense, sexy episode!

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Just to say i only recently played "Beneath a steel Sky" and i LOVED it. SCUVV emulation and abandonware for the win.

I agree with this. I have never played a horror game more terrifying than Yahtzee's Chzo Mythos series. If you know what you do you can do amazing things with so little. In fact his games worked because they were in close quarters.

A small, tight space can be just as fun sure. Course what you mentioned can also be attuned to pretty much anything, in that if a developer is good.

Though I also like sprawling areas that give the place your in some more depth. Like Rapture from Bioshock, you couldn't go everywhere sure but it made the place seem all the more fantastic.

Great ep. However! Thre image of Jim Sterling standing by his podium without any pants will haunt my dreams

Good episode, I also think it's worth mentioning that you can download Beneath A Steel Sky for free from GOG

This is why I love the Legend of Zelda, the scenes, races and locales are kept through the series and makes you feel at home most of the time, even if there is always different shit happening in each installment, but I still wish I lived there.

I think point and click adventure games do this the best in Modern times, espicially on the DS, Phoenix Wright, 999, Professor Layton.

I think one great example of this is Prince of Persia: Sands of Time.

Sam and Max, i forgot i how much i really love Sam and Max. more sam and max, but yeah they do have some really great story and still ridiculously funny made me so happy.

I remember being so engaged by the first part of Grand Theft Auto III, when you could not cross the bridge. I became so familiar with the roads that I did not need to look at the map in the bottom corner. I loved driving straight to the sports car dealership and stealing the blue sports car and just driving fast through that small part of the city while knowing every turn and jump.

This is one of the large reasons I scoff at the arguments of "immersion." Because games that are the supposed antithesis of the "immersive" elements of Skyrim are similarly engrossing.

I know its not exactly the same but this is whats wrong with some of my favourite comics/manga at the mo.

Naruto was far more enjoyable when its characters had a few select moves that they had to use differently according to the task at hand. Cheating on a test, freeing their sensei from a water prison, waiting for the right opportunity to strike back against a powerful opponent. Now its all leet moves and hax... which is just lame. Bleach is doing it to... which makes it twice as lame...

Dunno if this counts, but Portal takes place in one environment (Aperture Labs) and was awesome, so I think I take your meaning.

jacobythehedgehog:
I think one great example of this is Prince of Persia[snip]

+1, good sir.

If you are refering to the original from 1989, indeed.

Reminds me of what DA2 tried to do with Kirkwall, though perhaps not successfully.

Personally, I prefer massive, sweeping environments, at least for my RPGs - a sense of journey and discovery, finding a remote village and never knowing what's over the next hill.

maybe that's the same feeling i have with skyrim,it's so big it's empty.don't get me wrong i loved it for 100 hours,but they made a world so big that it's not evolving,doesn't have enough intresting characters and makes me not wanting more.100 hours is certainly impressive and well worth the money but it didn't quite sucked me in like deus ex hr,or even fallout nv.

da2 didn't try that and didn't succed they were just greedy and lazy,or else there would be more than a cave

What was the connection between the two games again? Beyond you enjoying them both of course.

Anyway, a game that's taken that familier location and perverted it into something horrific would be Silent Hill 4: The Room. They did a great job of making you feel trapped and it never got dull because you were always finding new things by checking the same items over and over. There's also a good horror moment in the game that wouldn't work unless you so familier with the room:

Djinn8:
What was the connection between the two games again? Beyond you enjoying them both of course.

The environments.
If they're carefully crafted, a small locale can be as good as or better than a map the size of a small country.

Pretty sure you can watch your own videos if you're that desperate to get the Jim Sterling experience dude.

Sounds like the script got stuck on loop a few times there.

BASS is completely free on gog.com (only registration is needed). Very lovely game. Best robot sidekick too. And the runs on everything with some kind of CPU in it.

Zaul2010:
Sounds like the script got stuck on loop a few times there.

So I wasn't the only one to notice. He repeated himself about half a dozen times in a row.

You might have a valid point if there weren't so many developers creating what amount to very tiny, very short games, especially when it comes to things like the single player modes in various shooter titles.

Large, open world games usually root you to a few specific locations. Most players are going to be just as familiar with places like Whiterun or perhaps even more specifically Breezehome in Skyrim as the familiar elements of adventure games.

To me at least it seems almost like shilling for an industry that wants to produce short games, due to it being cheaper, and of course the faster people are done the quicker they go looking for their next fix. An offhanded way of saying "Skyrim is great, but don't get used to it". A linear game with only four levels/enviroments? That sounds almost exactly like what people are complaining about the industry increasingly churning out accross a variety of generes.

Don't get me wrong, I miss the era of Adventure games too, though for me it would probably be things like "Quest For Glory" (or Hero Quest originally), but at the same time I don't think heading back in that direction is a good idea. Especially seeing as with the advancement of technology the solution to puzzles is a quick rage-gasm and trip to Gamefaqs away. The community and gaming enviroment that made those games great originally doesn't really exist anymore, your not going to spend 10 hours trying to puzzle through how to solve a counter-intuitive puzzle, and say get stuck looking at a hole in the ground and using items on it via a text parsor and finding amusing developer comments from people who knew you were going to try that... when that whole has no real purpose.

This was an extremely redundant episode. You basically said, "a small scale game can endure you as much as Skyrim for different reasons" three times in a row in the first half of the review without giving us any new information. Kinda grated on me.

Anyway, the biggest point of this show is if developers know what they're doing.

Two games:

1) LA Noire. Such a needlessly big city and yet the game is so much restrictive. The whole thing is just shallow.

2) Doom 3. Pretty much one linear claustrophobic, dark tunnel from start to finish. Yet so packed with little details and so well done that if you're in the right mood, it's an excellent experience. (Other examples of such games: Max Payne, Star Trek VEF etc.)

So, point? Yeah - a restrictive, linear experience can be amazing, well granted that it's well done you like that sort of environment; if not, the whole game is meh. However, just putting the player inside a big open world doesn't mean the game is going to be huge and explorable.

Actually Jim, I have seen many excellent modern point and click adventure games. Just not made by companies. They are on the web.

Just like how the web has Angry Birds type games that are FAR better than Angry Birds itself, internet game sites have some of the most interesting, thought provoking Point an Click experiences out there.

Sgt. Sykes:

2) Doom 3. Pretty much one linear claustrophobic, dark tunnel from start to finish. Yet so packed with little details and so well done that if you're in the right mood, it's an excellent experience. (Other examples of such games: Max Payne, Star Trek VEF etc.)

So, point? Yeah - a restrictive, linear experience can be amazing, well granted that it's well done you like that sort of environment; if not, the whole game is meh. However, just putting the player inside a big open world doesn't mean the game is going to be huge and explorable.

Doom 3? Really? I haven't felt your "mood". It's one of the few games that I haven't finished because it was too boring. Then again, everyone has a different experience.

However, Max Payne on the other end....

A lot of what he talked about in this episode reminded me of Vagrant Story and why I enjoyed that game so much.

Djinn8:
What was the connection between the two games again? Beyond you enjoying them both of course.

Maybe I misunderstood the entirety of the video and Jim Sterling is truly beyond me, but I think that's the point he was getting at. Both games are engrossing, but there isn't some super secret forbidden technique that automatically makes int quality = good + 1. There isn't a single other art form where the quality of a work is determined quantitatively, yet that's what both developers and gamers try to do.

Even in a form of art that has the structure of music, all that scales and theory can do is to tell you how not to make mechanical errors. They can't tell you what to write or how to not suck. How often do you sit down and listen to scales? Most people wouldn't, because it's pretty damn boring. In games however, we somehow seem to get the illusion that "if we can just find the right scale, we just have to go up it and we have the perfect game." Bullshit.

Gamers bitch all the time about how our medium isn't taken seriously. Well, if you want to be taken seriously, don't try to sell "the perfect song," and don't try to make a chord that you can put into any song to make it instantly good.

If you want a game that's obsessive about letting you explore a limited space, check out the HL2 mod "Minerva: Metastasis". Almost all of the maps in that game are tiny, but give you different challenges within the same space. The first chapter, for instance, basically takes you in concentric circles around the island, until you end up going down at the middle.

Bastion comes to mind as a recent game that pulled this off, at least in a sense. Sure you traveled around the world but the important aspect was coming back and rebuilding the Bastion. There's also the fact that there were only four characters, and of them only one had any real dialogue. I grew so attached to them that it was what influenced the decisions I made at the end of the game. I don't think I've genuinely liked a video game character that much since GLaDOS.

For anyone interested, you can download Beneath a Steel Sky for free from GOG and ScummVM's site. While you're roaming GOG for a bit, be sure to grab yourself a free copy of Empire Earth before tomorrow.

I've been playing all sorts of genres that aren't my favorites, like point & click adventures and I've been having a blast. Last summer, I grabbed Broken Sword 1 for free when they offered it at GOG and they also offer the original game emulated in ScummVM and I'd say I prefer the pixelated original over the crisper new version. Also, there's Dragonsphere, wich I haven't played much, but looks interesting enough, also because it's made by Microprose. Then there's Ben There, Dan That, wich is quite funny, along with it's sequel, Time Gentlemen, Please!.

So yeah, I'm in a strict diet of point & click adventures at the moment.

Random Argument Man:

Doom 3? Really? I haven't felt your "mood". It's one of the few games that I haven't finished because it was too boring. Then again, everyone has a different experience.

However, Max Payne on the other end....

Really. But as I pointed out: this kind of game works only if you like that sort of environment. One thing though, I've played D3 with a projector (like a 100" TV) and surround sound, so that adds 'quite a bit' to it.

Day Of The Tentacle kind of ran with the intimate design. Sure you had the different time zones but you could see the things that were the same across all parts.

DOTT still remains one of my favourite games of all time, sheer genius.

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