Zero Punctuation: Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure

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Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure

This week, Zero Punctuation reviews Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure.

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That flow chart's probably going to invade the next singleplayer game I play. Oh joy...

For some reason I had assumed that there was some big game out last week or the week before, but I forgot about it about a minute into this episode so I guess kickstarter has officially brought me five minutes of enjoyment.

Man, you've gotta feel sorry for a guy whose primary job is taking down big triple A games having no games to take down. So he has to instead just review games instead which is technically his job as well, but you get the feeling he's really got to search hard in these release lulls.

And don't say watch dogs because that only came out yesterday and he's had no time to play it yet.

Sooooooo... Will the next Yahtzee game use FMV?

Let me ask, for my somewhat unstable position as someone who started playing videogames for real only a few years back, why on Earth would you make games with live-action cinematics? Isn't the very point of videogames to GET AWAY from the real world with it's boring story, annoying gameplay and awful NPC's (if you get what I mean)?

Racecarlock:

And don't say watch dogs because that only came out yesterday and he's had no time to play it yet.

But there were Wolfenstein and Tranistor last week. Wolfenstein is kinda AAA and Yahtzee enjoyed Bastion. So I think most people were expecting one of these.

Catasros:
Let me ask, for my somewhat unstable position as someone who started playing videogames for real only a few years back, why on Earth would you make games with live-action cinematics? Isn't the very point of videogames to GET AWAY from the real world with it's boring story, annoying gameplay and awful NPC's (if you get what I mean)?

Well in the 90's it was often an excuse (as Yahtzee said) to turn sex and violence up to eleven, and it was both cheaper and easier to create than pixelated or rendered representations of the same story. You need look no further than some of the worst and most lazy FMV games (Psycho Killer comes to mind) to see this mentality at work.

Catasros:
Let me ask, for my somewhat unstable position as someone who started playing videogames for real only a few years back, why on Earth would you make games with live-action cinematics? Isn't the very point of videogames to GET AWAY from the real world with it's boring story, annoying gameplay and awful NPC's (if you get what I mean)?

Well, it depend on the game. Having an amusing time with a game can take different forms, getting away from the real world or being savagely rubbed in a recreation of its most cold and contaminated mud.

Live action cinematics can work at times, but it's very easy to abuse them. I think the main reason they were as ubiqutous as they were could be because they had the technology to program cutscenes and videos, but it was still easier to use live action actors rather than program and animate 3D characters, for the most part.

Racecarlock:
Man, you've gotta feel sorry for a guy whose primary job is taking down big triple A games having no games to take down. So he has to instead just review games instead which is technically his job as well, but you get the feeling he's really got to search hard in these release lulls.

And don't say watch dogs because that only came out yesterday and he's had no time to play it yet.

Wasn't there some game from two weeks ago people were bitching he didn't review in the usual style? I can't remember what it was, but I remember people being pissed off that he hadn't reviewed that game the day after it came out.

Catasros:
Let me ask, for my somewhat unstable position as someone who started playing videogames for real only a few years back, why on Earth would you make games with live-action cinematics? Isn't the very point of videogames to GET AWAY from the real world with it's boring story, annoying gameplay and awful NPC's (if you get what I mean)?

Games have had a love affair with movies since the technology allowed it.

And then there's the "realism=immersion" crowd.

Growing up I was almost exclusively a console gamer so I have no nostalgia factor when it comes to these kind of games. Despite everyone in the world going on and on about how he monkey Island series were soooo amazing when the remake came out I simply couldn't get into it. That's mainly why I haven't played the Walking Dead series yet because while I am interested in the world the style of gameplay just doesn't appeal to me. Wandering around desperately rubbing everything on everything hoping it will move the story along just isn't fun to me and with no rose colored glassed of my own its a hard pill to swallow.

So yeah while I can appreciate the good things about Tex and games of its ilk I'll stick to watching an LP on youtube.

The 117th Big Scary Dog Airborne division need to be put in a game somehow.

Catasros:
Let me ask, for my somewhat unstable position as someone who started playing videogames for real only a few years back, why on Earth would you make games with live-action cinematics? Isn't the very point of videogames to GET AWAY from the real world with it's boring story, annoying gameplay and awful NPC's (if you get what I mean)?

While some people do indeed play games to get away from the real world, some people desire games to be as realistic as possible. FMV would be a good way of doing so if they could actually manage to do somewhat decently.

maximalist566:

Racecarlock:

And don't say watch dogs because that only came out yesterday and he's had no time to play it yet.

But there were Wolfenstein and Tranistor last week. Wolfenstein is kinda AAA and Yahtzee enjoyed Bastion. So I think most people were expecting one of these.

I think Yahtzee once said that it takes him one week to fully consume the game and one week to actually make an episode. Wolfenstein will probably be next week.

Zachary Amaranth:

Racecarlock:
Man, you've gotta feel sorry for a guy whose primary job is taking down big triple A games having no games to take down. So he has to instead just review games instead which is technically his job as well, but you get the feeling he's really got to search hard in these release lulls.

And don't say watch dogs because that only came out yesterday and he's had no time to play it yet.

Wasn't there some game from two weeks ago people were bitching he didn't review in the usual style? I can't remember what it was, but I remember people being pissed off that he hadn't reviewed that game the day after it came out.

Somebody complained that Yahtzee hadn't reviewed Wolfenstein last week when it had only just came out. Now that I remember that game, Wolfenstein was the game I was expecting this week (as were the Facebook commentators).

Didn't know that you could die in this game, is it also possible for the game to become unwinnable like old sierra games?

Catasros:
Let me ask, for my somewhat unstable position as someone who started playing videogames for real only a few years back, why on Earth would you make games with live-action cinematics? Isn't the very point of videogames to GET AWAY from the real world with it's boring story, annoying gameplay and awful NPC's (if you get what I mean)?

Tell me about it. Makes me wonder why Madden sells year after year like it's the cure for old age.

Catasros:
Let me ask, for my somewhat unstable position as someone who started playing videogames for real only a few years back, why on Earth would you make games with live-action cinematics? Isn't the very point of videogames to GET AWAY from the real world with it's boring story, annoying gameplay and awful NPC's (if you get what I mean)?

They are even before my gaming time but, FMV adventure games constituted of live action scenes because realistic graphics are hard/impossible.

For a quite long time games used live-action cut-scenes instead of prerendered CGI or in game graphics because i guess it was less effort to grab some B grade actor rather than do expensive animation. And if you think all FMV are bad you certainly didn't pay Command & Conquer games. Well it was still 'bad' but so hammy it's awesome. For Red Alert 3, i think only modern game that gets away with it because of it's legacy they even got actual actors to ham it up, it's so awesome.

Wait, wait, wait...is THAT how you pronounce "err"?

Seriously, this threw me for a complete loop, I've spent my entire life pronouncing it "air" and now I don't know what's real anymore.

I'd hoped for another limerick episode for wolfenstein.

My dog lost his leg in the 117th Big Scary Dog Airborne Division, Yatzhee!
Other than that I've never heard of this game and this was one of those strange nebulous reviews where I can't tell if he liked it or not...

That Kickstarter joke was wrong and offensive, implying the people at Kickstarter could finish something as big as a statue. I think an apology is in order.

The Last Melon:
Wait, wait, wait...is THAT how you pronounce "err"?

Seriously, this threw me for a complete loop, I've spent my entire life pronouncing it "air" and now I don't know what's real anymore.

It could be a regional/accent thing.

Hereabouts in the northeast US, most people tend to say it like 'error'.

gamegod25:
Growing up I was almost exclusively a console gamer so I have no nostalgia factor when it comes to these kind of games. Despite everyone in the world going on and on about how he monkey Island series were soooo amazing when the remake came out I simply couldn't get into it. That's mainly why I haven't played the Walking Dead series yet because while I am interested in the world the style of gameplay just doesn't appeal to me. Wandering around desperately rubbing everything on everything hoping it will move the story along just isn't fun to me and with no rose colored glassed of my own its a hard pill to swallow.

So yeah while I can appreciate the good things about Tex and games of its ilk I'll stick to watching an LP on youtube.

In fairness, The Walking Dead in particular and Telltale in general go a long way toward removing that tedious "rub X on YZQGHJIK to proceed" puzzle structuring which tends to be so common in adventure games. Speaking as someone who didn't grow up with them either, I quite enjoyed The Walking Dead, and I never felt confused or frustrated by any of the inventory stuff the game did have.

OT: Yeah, as someone who only had a vague inclination as to what Tex Murphy even was before Tesla Effect suddenly popped up, I could tell pretty quickly that it probably wasn't a game for me. Still, it's nice that the fans got what they wanted, I suppose?

I found those FMV games already totally dumb in the 90s and I haven't missed them one bit.

gamegod25:
Growing up I was almost exclusively a console gamer so I have no nostalgia factor when it comes to these kind of games. Despite everyone in the world going on and on about how he monkey Island series were soooo amazing when the remake came out I simply couldn't get into it. That's mainly why I haven't played the Walking Dead series yet because while I am interested in the world the style of gameplay just doesn't appeal to me. Wandering around desperately rubbing everything on everything hoping it will move the story along just isn't fun to me and with no rose colored glassed of my own its a hard pill to swallow.

So yeah while I can appreciate the good things about Tex and games of its ilk I'll stick to watching an LP on youtube.

I honestly think that PC gamers developed Stockholm syndrome for the sort of games they supposedly loved back in the 90s. Then games with actual gameplay started appearing on PC and killed them off. Good. Let them rest in peace rather than trying to resurrect them every few years.

Racecarlock:
Man, you've gotta feel sorry for a guy whose primary job is taking down big triple A games having no games to take down. So he has to instead just review games instead which is technically his job as well, but you get the feeling he's really got to search hard in these release lulls.

And don't say watch dogs because that only came out yesterday and he's had no time to play it yet.

This is why i'm still pissed off he still hasn't reviewed a Nintendo game yet, he really has no reason to avoid them.

And before you say "butthurt fanboy" again, I mean this as in he literally HAS no reason. There are lots of decent games he could review that are on the 3DS, like Fire Emblem: Awakening or the more recent Kirby: Triple Deluxe or Mario Golf: World Tour on the 3DS, and if he's waiting for another big game to tear down, Mario Kart 8. Or he could look at Donkey Kong Country Returns: Tropical Freeze, which was actually pretty fun but he just tossed to the side. Which is understandable, but he's gotta learn that you at least can't judge a book by its' cover. Or if he doesn't wanna waste time reviewing the decent games, he could just get Yoshi's New Island, say it's shit and call it a day, because it stuck the nostalgia stick too far up its' butt to make itself fun, and Nintendo fans and him alike can all say it sucked and world peace can be achieved.

I'm especially sad he hasn't looked at FE:A yet too, because with the game being made by Intelligent Systems you'd think he'd take a look at it since they also made the Paper Mario series, but no, A Link Between Worlds and its' nostalgia-jerking-but-still-decent gameplay is where he draws the line. Great job, Yahtzee.

Though I still worry for Yahtzee around now and Winter, 'cuz I dunno how he's gonna get past the new Super Smash Bros. and their release dates.

kailus13:
I think Yahtzee once said that it takes him one week to fully consume the game and one week to actually make an episode. Wolfenstein will probably be next week.

He's probably still busy downloading it. So, maybe in a month?

The Last Melon:
Wait, wait, wait...is THAT how you pronounce "err"?

Seriously, this threw me for a complete loop, I've spent my entire life pronouncing it "air" and now I don't know what's real anymore.

I think it'd be "ehh" to be pronounced like that.

I kinda recall excess FMV being a panic at what to use all the space on CDs for, when transitioning from floppies.

I remember the old Dune RTS games had live action cut scenes and they were actually pretty good. Dune 2000 had John Rhys-Davies in it and if there was any game that could get away with live action cutscenes it was the one that got John Rhys-Davies to be in it.

I like adventure games, but even back then in the 90's I was pretty selective. If any game did FMV right, it was Gabriel Knight: The Beast Within. It still had some hammy acting here and there, but overall it was (and is) awesome. I was kind of disappointed that Jane Jensen's latest outing was kind of "meh", because usually she has pretty good writing. From the Kickstarter video I was completely put off by the Tex Murphy game. It just overcomes by tolerance for bad acting implicit in the with self-deprecation by orders of magnitude.

MattTHM:

The Last Melon:
Wait, wait, wait...is THAT how you pronounce "err"?

Seriously, this threw me for a complete loop, I've spent my entire life pronouncing it "air" and now I don't know what's real anymore.

I think it'd be "ehh" to be pronounced like that.

I kinda recall excess FMV being a panic at what to use all the space on CDs for, when transitioning from floppies.

Tex Murphy: Martian Memorandum sure tried its damndest to bridge that gap by being sold on something like 16 floppy disks and featured little video clips of characters as you talked to them. A foreshadowing nod to the FMV insanity that was to come, if you will.

Is anyone else slightly bothered that Yahtzee seems to try and flaunt himself as this huge supporter of the Adventure Game genre, yet he really only likes a small handful of LucasArts games and thinks the rest are total shit? Enjoying Monkey Island or Day of the Tentacle and only bringing those up when discussing the genre doesn't really make you a fan.

I like the MegaTen franchise, but I'd never claim to be a JRPG fan.

Or maybe I'm just being overly sensitive because I actually really liked a lot of the Sierra games and would happily play King's Quest 5 over Zack McKracken or The Last Crusade.

LobsterFeng:
I remember the old Dune RTS games had live action cut scenes and they were actually pretty good. Dune 2000 had John Rhys-Davies in it and if there was any game that could get away with live action cutscenes it was the one that got John Rhys-Davies to be in it.

Dune, that one was by Westwood studios, right? The same fine folks who brought us the Command & Conquer games and their live-action cutscenes. Until they were bought by EA and C&C: Generals didn't have those.

Floppertje:
I'd hoped for another limerick episode for wolfenstein.

There's always next week, or the week after that.

I found it hard to follow this review which probably means I won't like this game.

Catasros:
Let me ask, for my somewhat unstable position as someone who started playing videogames for real only a few years back, why on Earth would you make games with live-action cinematics? Isn't the very point of videogames to GET AWAY from the real world with it's boring story, annoying gameplay and awful NPC's (if you get what I mean)?

because back then you had the choice to either painstakingly draw all your characters which would have taken forever or use 3d graphics which looked like utter shite back in 1994. But with FMVs you get real people acting stuff out with full animation and voice over at a fraction of the cost.

Ahhh FMVs... How shotty thou were-t. Still, I always did enjoy the FMV sequences from Jedi Knight. Sure, the acting was poor, the lip syncing was way off, the backgrounds were cheap, crappy, late-90s era CGI but they still had so much charm to them. The one were Kyle kills Maw actually has a fair bit of emotion to it.

BloodRed Pixel:
I found those FMV games already totally dumb in the 90s and I haven't missed them one bit.

I agree. A lot of my friends were all over these flying turds (how they ever sprouted wings and got off the ground amazes me) back then and I've no damn clue as to how or why they were popular. I believe one friend even got mad enough at me for not liking Phantasmagoria to quit speaking to me for almost a year. And in all fairness I wasn't abrasive about it, never said a word out of the way to him over it, just expressed my dislike for it by way of "I don't enjoy them".
The exception for me was Wing Commander 3, only because Mark Hamill, Malcom McDowell, and Thomas F. Wilson were in it and also because the game itself rocked hardcore.

Catasros:
Let me ask, for my somewhat unstable position as someone who started playing videogames for real only a few years back, why on Earth would you make games with live-action cinematics? Isn't the very point of videogames to GET AWAY from the real world with it's boring story, annoying gameplay and awful NPC's (if you get what I mean)?

You're gonna have to go back to the games that did this right, like Command & Conquer.

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