Zero Punctuation: Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure

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Immediately when the Snickers Guy was mentioned, I thought of my younger self who would have used a Snickers wrapper as a jock strap if you told him he could...

Anyway, who's up for looking up old Star Wars FMV cutscenes on YouTube? I feel like doing just that after watching this video for some reason...

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)?

CGI was expensive, so expensive that it was cheaper to pay amateur actors to do the cutscenes. Keep in mind that talking with audio was also heavily limited.

it was either that, or do a cartoon.

You only get a text box. When Fallout put actual talking heads that gave audio, that shit was mind blowing for the time. Even halo had trouble with how mouths moved so master chief got a full helmet so they wouldn't have to do the mouth part.

Then Valve came out with their speech system where the mouths of the NPCs would always match what they were saying, even in foreign languages, without all the work.

In 2004, Half Life 2 changed the game and that filtered out into what you see now. Modern FPS is built on the stuff Half Life 2 did.

Here is what it was like to see Half Life 2 demoed back then:
http://www.sharkyextreme.com/features/article.php/2210031/E3-Report-Half-Life-2.htm

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.

I think Yahtzee likes game droughts cause he gets to possibly do a retro review. From my understanding he doesn't seem to mind.

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)?

Mostly because ingame graphics were incapable of rendering somewhat believable human interactions back then. It also gave gave the possibility for so much great cheese. May I introduce you to Holt? *slap* COMMISSAR Holt!

The only thing is, that cheese was the main draw of these things, because most of the acting wasn't all that great.

Cid SilverWing:

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.

How can you mention that without posting some C&C goodness?

Kane is just legendary. Although he is kinda mean

Red Alert also had great FMV Cutscenes. Especially Stalin was just wonderful.

Why not combine FMV and the Kinect, so you can REALLY feel like you're INSIDE THE GAME...

And yeah, literally no interest in the game whatsoever. Never been a fan of adventure games anyways, and a game that's basically about gushing over one of them, eeeh no thanks.

You're the one to talk about fedoras Yahtzee, you started it.

I know one of the people who was a project manager at Beam Software/Melbourne House in 90s, will ask him about it.

"Multimedia" was the big thing back in the mid 90s. I did a 10 minute presentation on it in the "communications" class. I remember not even getting a sound card for six months and then a CD drive for another year after that.

themilo504:
Didn't know that you could die in this game, is it also possible for the game to become unwinnable like old sierra games?

Nope. The days of adventure games that badly designed is in the past. Thankfully.

And yes, you can die, but like a lot of games these days it just restores you to right before you made your mistake.

KDR_11k:
Sooooooo... Will the next Yahtzee game use FMV?

Oh gawd, please don't tempt him :P Tnata would just kill.

Speaking as a Tex Murphy fan (so take this with a grain of salt), I think the new game worked quite well. Deaths are maybe a bit too abrupt (the dog one mentioned in the video perhaps being an example, although how you don't notice the big angry dog growling at you...) but there's always a reason for it and quite a bit of advance warning. And you don't lose any progress from dying, so sometimes it's fun to do something silly just to see what the Big PI in the Sky has to say about it.

It's probably not the best game to start with if you haven't played any of the prior games -- there's definitely a bit of homage/tribute feel to it, and it assumes you're at least vaguely familiar with the characters -- although there are reminders within the game either when you first meet them or if you explore nearby a little. So it *is* playable as a first-time game, it's just better to experience the earlier ones first if you can. (Start with Under a Killing Moon, if you can. Pandora Directive is still the best game in the series, but UAKM is chronologically earlier; while there are some even older games they're not in the same style.)

Miral:
Speaking as a Tex Murphy fan (so take this with a grain of salt), I think the new game worked quite well. Deaths are maybe a bit too abrupt (the dog one mentioned in the video perhaps being an example, although how you don't notice the big angry dog growling at you...) but there's always a reason for it and quite a bit of advance warning. And you don't lose any progress from dying, so sometimes it's fun to do something silly just to see what the Big PI in the Sky has to say about it.

It's probably not the best game to start with if you haven't played any of the prior games -- there's definitely a bit of homage/tribute feel to it, and it assumes you're at least vaguely familiar with the characters -- although there are reminders within the game either when you first meet them or if you explore nearby a little. So it *is* playable as a first-time game, it's just better to experience the earlier ones first if you can. (Start with Under a Killing Moon, if you can. Pandora Directive is still the best game in the series, but UAKM is chronologically earlier; while there are some even older games they're not in the same style.)

I agree, I enjoyed the game but it's mainly made for long time fans.

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)?

The live action videos in the Command and Conquer games were often great.

I'm sad, but understanding, to see so much dislike for FMV games/adventure games from the 90s. I just hope nobody is dismissing Tesla Effect out of hand and have/will actually sit down and take the time to make sure that you don't like it. There are a ton of Let's Plays for Tesla Effect and the other games in the Tex Murphy series and I suggest seeking them out. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. The Tex Murphy series has always had things that were lacking in other games that made it stand out against them all the more. It is just sad that the market was so flooded with games made by people with no idea how to properly mix filmmaking with game making.

I've never heard of most of the games he reviews but I watch anyways for the humorous metaphors, and I end up learning a little about them in the end, though I have a negative predisposition towards any of the games I hadn't already played before watching... it's better than browsing youtube looking for signs of intelligence, for sure.

I found myself really distracted by Yahtzee's pronunciation for this review. Was it "Tezlar" or "Tesler?" "Grandmar?" Did you move to Manchester in between reviews, Yahtzee?

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