Contrast Review - Stuck Between Worlds

Contrast Review - Stuck Between Worlds

While not the most challenging, Contrast is a worthwhile puzzler with an engaging story.

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I've been on the fence about this game for a while. Whilst the first trailer left me feeling a bit pessimistic, the release trailer looks a lot more promising. I'm happy a review has been made here, though it's still not made my decision on buying it any clearer.

It's a funny one, as on the surface it has everything I would normally pounce on. 1920's atmosphere, Noir styling and a Jazz musical score, yet I feel something is missing and I can't put my finger on it.

The story strikes me as a Pan's Labyrinth clone too.

It's on my Wishlist, but I think I'll wait for a price drop before picking it up.

It will do me for a start. Could do better, but it will do.

Well I'm disappointed it has a lack of decent challenging puzzles but it was the concept and style that drew me to it in the first place and I like a good story so I'll still pick this up at some point.

Portal was hard? Huh, I wasn't aware.

OT: I really like like the visual look of this game, and it seems pretty interesting, but I'm still on the fence unsure about it. I'll have to read more reviews.

trty00:
Portal was hard? Huh, I wasn't aware.

OT: I really like like the visual look of this game, and it seems pretty interesting, but I'm still on the fence unsure about it. I'll have to read more reviews.

There were definitely puzzles in Portal that had you stop and think about how to solve them. Opposite experience in Contrast. Never had to stop and think about a thing, and the solutions were immediately apparent.

There's no better way to guarantee your game fails in the game market than requiring the player to think in it. I say requiring, not just allowing, meaning not just higher "difficulty levels" in the form of low HP, more and harder enemies or fewer checkpoints, but an actual intellectual difficulty inherent to the gameplay. Portal was somewhat of an exception, although that was not much more than mildly challenging.

It now seems a LONG time ago when games like Lemmings, Settlers, Lost Vikings, Myst and King's Quest were popular.

Any puzzle game like Portal or Contrast has to walk a fine line between making the puzzles to easy vs to hard. I've only made it through the first act and Contrast definitely leans toward easy with it's puzzles. Some of the hidden areas can be a bit tricky to get into, but not frustratingly hard.

But the story is good, and the game looks great.

JonB:

trty00:
Portal was hard? Huh, I wasn't aware.

OT: I really like like the visual look of this game, and it seems pretty interesting, but I'm still on the fence unsure about it. I'll have to read more reviews.

There were definitely puzzles in Portal that had you stop and think about how to solve them. Opposite experience in Contrast. Never had to stop and think about a thing, and the solutions were immediately apparent.

Alright, fair enough. I just never found Portal particularly difficult, that's all. Maybe my need for cake was too great.

I'll second trty00 on this one. It did make me think, but it didn't leave me brain burning hard enough. I guess YMMV though.

Also, I'm sad yet happy to see how the game panned out. Sad that the puzzles aren't a bit more ingenious but happy that the story is quite good, which seems to me is the main thing of this game.

However, buying it... Skullgirls might be a game I'd buy, since it plays very solidly, yet I know I won't get much out of a competitive game. Maybe Games like LoL, DotA and smite turned me off of it... Note that I have played SFIV.

kept an eye on it for some time now but still was holding my self back since i dint want to pre order it due the soundtrack i wasnt to eager to get.
good to hear its not a total loss but might wait until it drops in price. xmas in not far away.

Blood Brain Barrier:
There's no better way to guarantee your game fails in the game market than requiring the player to think in it. I say requiring, not just allowing, meaning not just higher "difficulty levels" in the form of low HP, more and harder enemies or fewer checkpoints, but an actual intellectual difficulty inherent to the gameplay. Portal was somewhat of an exception, although that was not much more than mildly challenging.

It now seems a LONG time ago when games like Lemmings, Settlers, Lost Vikings, Myst and King's Quest were popular.

I don't know. From what I've seen of LP's of King's Quest series, particularly 5, the solutions to a lot of the puzzles in the game seem a bit asinine.

How am I going to defeat this abominable snowman? Why by throwing a pie at him!

Oh look! A weird looking vase, I wonder what this does? Instant game over by genie. And that's pretty much the only way you would know how to get rid of that witch. Realistically, how would Graham know to do that?

I'm all for puzzles in games, but a lot of the puzzles in that game really can't be solved without trial and error and dying a lot.

scorptatious:

Blood Brain Barrier:
There's no better way to guarantee your game fails in the game market than requiring the player to think in it. I say requiring, not just allowing, meaning not just higher "difficulty levels" in the form of low HP, more and harder enemies or fewer checkpoints, but an actual intellectual difficulty inherent to the gameplay. Portal was somewhat of an exception, although that was not much more than mildly challenging.

It now seems a LONG time ago when games like Lemmings, Settlers, Lost Vikings, Myst and King's Quest were popular.

I don't know. From what I've seen of LP's of King's Quest series, particularly 5, the solutions to a lot of the puzzles in the game seem a bit asinine.

How am I going to defeat this abominable snowman? Why by throwing a pie at him!

Oh look! A weird looking vase, I wonder what this does? Instant game over by genie. And that's pretty much the only way you would know how to get rid of that witch. Realistically, how would Graham know to do that?

I'm all for puzzles in games, but a lot of the puzzles in that game really can't be solved without trial and error and dying a lot.

And? Are you going somewhere with all this?

Look I hate Sudoku because all you do is put a bunch of different numbers in squares, but I can't deny it's a more thoughtful game than boxing.

And trial and error is hardly asinine - aside from your mother telling you what to do, it's how you're here right now. Evolved and survived.

Blood Brain Barrier:

scorptatious:

Blood Brain Barrier:
There's no better way to guarantee your game fails in the game market than requiring the player to think in it. I say requiring, not just allowing, meaning not just higher "difficulty levels" in the form of low HP, more and harder enemies or fewer checkpoints, but an actual intellectual difficulty inherent to the gameplay. Portal was somewhat of an exception, although that was not much more than mildly challenging.

It now seems a LONG time ago when games like Lemmings, Settlers, Lost Vikings, Myst and King's Quest were popular.

I don't know. From what I've seen of LP's of King's Quest series, particularly 5, the solutions to a lot of the puzzles in the game seem a bit asinine.

How am I going to defeat this abominable snowman? Why by throwing a pie at him!

Oh look! A weird looking vase, I wonder what this does? Instant game over by genie. And that's pretty much the only way you would know how to get rid of that witch. Realistically, how would Graham know to do that?

I'm all for puzzles in games, but a lot of the puzzles in that game really can't be solved without trial and error and dying a lot.

And? Are you going somewhere with all this?

Look I hate Sudoku because all you do is put a bunch of different numbers in squares, but I can't deny it's a more thoughtful game than boxing.

And trial and error is hardly asinine - aside from your mother telling you what to do, it's how you're here right now. Evolved and survived.

What I'm trying to say is, a lot of the puzzles in King's Quest 5 don't make a whole lot of sense. How would you know to use the genie on the witch if you didn't know ahead of time that he would entrap anyone who opened the vase/bottle without dying? It makes no sense. There would be no way for King Graham to know that ahead of time unless he opened the bottle himself. And if you try to do that, he would get trapped instead. That's pretty much moon logic.

I'm not saying I hate these kinds of games. To me, it just feels like King's Quest 5 went about these kinds of puzzles the wrong way. Yes, it requires thinking, but the solution requires you to DIE and reload in order to know what to do.

EDIT: Basically, the point I'm trying to make is that I don't necessarily agree that the kinds of puzzles found in games like King's Quest 5 really makes a game intellectually difficult. They pretty much require you to raid through your inventory and try every little thing on everything until you find the solution. If the puzzles have some form of logic, then I'm okay with that.

The witch puzzle pretty much requires use (for lack of a better word) meta-game knowledge in order to solve. That isn't good game design or good writing in my opinion.

scorptatious:

Blood Brain Barrier:

scorptatious:

I don't know. From what I've seen of LP's of King's Quest series, particularly 5, the solutions to a lot of the puzzles in the game seem a bit asinine.

How am I going to defeat this abominable snowman? Why by throwing a pie at him!

Oh look! A weird looking vase, I wonder what this does? Instant game over by genie. And that's pretty much the only way you would know how to get rid of that witch. Realistically, how would Graham know to do that?

I'm all for puzzles in games, but a lot of the puzzles in that game really can't be solved without trial and error and dying a lot.

And? Are you going somewhere with all this?

Look I hate Sudoku because all you do is put a bunch of different numbers in squares, but I can't deny it's a more thoughtful game than boxing.

And trial and error is hardly asinine - aside from your mother telling you what to do, it's how you're here right now. Evolved and survived.

What I'm trying to say is, a lot of the puzzles in King's Quest 5 don't make a whole lot of sense. How would you know to use the genie on the witch if you didn't know ahead of time that he would entrap anyone who opened the vase/bottle without dying? It makes no sense. There would be no way for King Graham to know that ahead of time unless he opened the bottle himself. And if you try to do that, he would get trapped instead. That's pretty much moon logic.

I'm not saying I hate these kinds of games. To me, it just feels like King's Quest 5 went about these kinds of puzzles the wrong way. Yes, it requires thinking, but the solution requires you to DIE and reload in order to know what to do.

EDIT: Basically, the point I'm trying to make is that I don't necessarily agree that the kinds of puzzles found in games like King's Quest 5 really makes a game intellectually difficult. They pretty much require you to raid through your inventory and try every little thing on everything until you find the solution. If the puzzles have some form of logic, then I'm okay with that.

The witch puzzle pretty much requires use (for lack of a better word) meta-game knowledge in order to solve. That isn't good game design or good writing in my opinion.

There IS a logical step from going "hey, this bottle trapped me!" ---> "does that mean it will trap anything I point it towards?" ---> "I need a way to defeat this witch" ---> "what if this bottle...?". You might not like it, but there's intellectual skill required there. Much more intellectual than pressing a button combination as fast as you can like Street Fighter or Double Dragon.

Game logic is still logic. Look at it this way - MOST games around the time of King's Quest V required you to learn stuff from dying, dying again and screwing up in general until you got it right. I know it's not accepted now as "good writing" or design, but that's just a trend and a highly personal opinion. I personally love it and have no problem with saving every 5 minutes and trial-and-error puzzle solving.

Blood Brain Barrier:
snip

That's fine. I have no problem with you liking those kinds of games. I just wanted to share my views on this whole thing.

Speaking of button combinations and Street Fighter, I should probably probably play some Skullgirls soon. :P

I was hugely disappointed with this game when I downloaded it. The 2D platforming is really fun, and I loved the game's visual style. The 3D mechanics and camera, though were so unpolished that I gave up after the first act. Oh, and escort misions with little kids will never be awesome (aside from The Last of Us and Ico).

Blood Brain Barrier:
There's no better way to guarantee your game fails in the game market than requiring the player to think in it. I say requiring, not just allowing, meaning not just higher "difficulty levels" in the form of low HP, more and harder enemies or fewer checkpoints, but an actual intellectual difficulty inherent to the gameplay. Portal was somewhat of an exception, although that was not much more than mildly challenging.

It now seems a LONG time ago when games like Lemmings, Settlers, Lost Vikings, Myst and King's Quest were popular.

OMG Lost Vikings!!! I loved that game so hard back in the day. I probably have it in the shed somewhere, and it's been so long I might not remember all the solutions, I should totally dust it off.

OT: No challenge = not interested. I just wouldn't have fun. Resogun looks killer tho.

 

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