Zero Punctuation: The Witness & Bombshell

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The Witness & Bombshell

This week, Zero Punctuation reviews The Witness & Bombshell.

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A hot pink bazooka that fires Sex And The City DVDs actually sounds an element of a genuinely hilarious game, now that you say it.

Huh, I know that the visuals of "The Witness" are pretty bitching, but I thought there was more to it then puzzles to unlock more puzzles...

I know Braid had some pretty neat gameplay involving time mechanics but I never was one of those "Walking Simulators", especially if the main gameplay is those weird as puzzles.

this review managed to very efficiently point out the thing that i have been wondering about in regards of the witness, namely why people think it's GOTY material and has sold 100000 copies when it's basically just a hub for the kind of puzzles you would find at the back of a newspaper. i don't play many puzzle games but i know that if i had to pick one it would be something like Portal where you actually interact with the world around you than a very expensive digital sudoku book

Oh, Yahtzee, you're a gift. These two exact games were on my mind for the last week, when I was wondering why one sucks this much and if the other has more to it than it seems. And now I have no more questions about either of them.

I was hoping this week for a review of more interesting game(s). Either interestingly bad or good. These two are just meh.

HEY Hey... She's also a cyborg. So there's something for the transhuman demographic too.

Hehehehehehe Junior Jumble...

Yahtzee's been waiting almost 8 years to use that Jonathan blow/sucks line, hopefully it was worth the wait :P

so there's no mystery to The Witness? I thought it was a Lost type of mystery that you slowly uncovered as you progressed through the island... kinda shit if all it is, is a puzzlepalooza... Braid was shit too so I guess I shouldn't be surprised

So basically Blow brought visual design but forgot the interesting gameplay in the taxi. Not a good way to follow up Braid, which had interesting level design and platforming as the driving force.

I'm surprised that this indie double bill (as classified back in 2008 or so) doesn't have a game Yahtzee recommends, especially since this one has an indie game I never heard of previously. In the past 2 years, every ZP about 1 or 2 indie game(s) had a recommendation.

Jonluw:
Hehehehehehe Junior Jumble...

More like "NYEH HEH HEH Junior Jumble", am I right?

The rocket launcher is called the PMS? That is hilarious.

I'm really surprised, I thought The Witness would be Yahtzee's kind of game. I also find it a bit odd that he suggests the puzzles and the environment never have any interaction with each other, yeah it's not like Portal and Myst (with the possible exception of the last bit which he admitted to not playing) but the two do still rely on each other to quite a large extent. I guess the game is just really divisive that way.

Well, it looks like we just witness a bombshell of a terrible game... or two depending on your level of puzzle immersion...

Other than that, I honestly forgot about the latter game... Does that make me a bad person?

The Witness sucks? Damn, now I want a more in depth review.

Xman490:

Jonluw:
Hehehehehehe Junior Jumble...

More like "NYEH HEH HEH Junior Jumble", am I right?

Please don't.

They're not phantoms, Yahtzee, reach out and touch them. See for yourself. Or...feel for yourself i guess i should say type.
It sounds like bombshell is a conscious attempt at a gender swapped Duke Nukem, so i guess the comedic maturity should work on the same level playing field then? Maybe with the wrong audience in mind though. Highlights the difference between how people react to it quite interestingly.

RJ Dalton:
A hot pink bazooka that fires Sex And The City DVDs actually sounds an element of a genuinely hilarious game, now that you say it.

Yeah, but only a Saints Row game could get away with having such a weapon. :P

Yeah that brand of female protagonist where having a vagina is her sole personality trait I can really do without. You didn't see Shepard or Tali walking around thrusting their womanhood at everything. Jack did, certainly, but it was considered a fault and a coping mechanism. And you help her mature and come to terms with her life.

Hell, even male protagonists don't by and large do that. Booker doesn't. Shepard didn't. Dante did a bunch of thrusting, sure, but that was only because he was in the Lust Circle and sex daemons respond well to scythes up the giggy(which rhymes with puppy. But not very well).

It almost sounds like Bombshell is the female equivalent to Duke Nukem or Leisure Suit Larry. All joke and innuendo, but in Bombshells case it sounds like someone forgot to tell her she's in a comedy game. Or when Pamela Anderson made Barbed Wire and legitimately thought people saw it for her acting abilities.

I don't get what people see in The Witness when Talos Principle did basically the same thing but with more variety and writing that was woven throughout the experience rather than dumped on you at the end.

Adam Locking:
I'm really surprised, I thought The Witness would be Yahtzee's kind of game. I also find it a bit odd that he suggests the puzzles and the environment never have any interaction with each other, yeah it's not like Portal and Myst (with the possible exception of the last bit which he admitted to not playing) but the two do still rely on each other to quite a large extent. I guess the game is just really divisive that way.

I haven't seen the whole game but the interaction it has with the hub world didn't seem really in depth to me. Sure you solve puzzles that move boats and platforms but those aren't really puzzles as much as they just slightly more complicated buttons. Then there's the puzzles that require you to walk on specific parts of the world based on the puzzle solution. But that's not a puzzle that's just memorization. You either remember or you don't or you're smart and just take a picture and know where to go. Oh and some puzzles I guess have hints in the environment but that's so abstract it seemed like padding to me. Like, it wasn't solved because you're smart but because you brute forced your way until you solve it and see what the specific solution was. And the puzzles themselves are only hard because you don't know what problem you're solving half of the time. You can complete tutorials without really learning all the rules so you get stuck and that just seems like bad game design to me.

cszs:
I was hoping this week for a review of more interesting game(s). Either interestingly bad or good. These two are just meh.

You'll probably get that wish when Yahtzee decides to review Xcom 2.

thanatos388:

I haven't seen the whole game but the interaction it has with the hub world didn't seem really in depth to me. Sure you solve puzzles that move boats and platforms but those aren't really puzzles as much as they just slightly more complicated buttons. Then there's the puzzles that require you to walk on specific parts of the world based on the puzzle solution. But that's not a puzzle that's just memorization. You either remember or you don't or you're smart and just take a picture and know where to go. Oh and some puzzles I guess have hints in the environment but that's so abstract it seemed like padding to me. Like, it wasn't solved because you're smart but because you brute forced your way until you solve it and see what the specific solution was. And the puzzles themselves are only hard because you don't know what problem you're solving half of the time. You can complete tutorials without really learning all the rules so you get stuck and that just seems like bad game design to me.

Personally I found that most tutorials went over the mechanics very well and usually build in enough different puzzles to force you to actually understand what your doing instead of guessing. And the environmental puzzles were you have to look for clues didn't feel very arbitrary to me. The first puzzle is usually positioned in a way that it gets immediatly apparent what your looking for in the puzzle if you pay a little attention and the puzzles thereafter usually just play with that idea.
The most arbitrary and least apparent environmental puzzle was the sand temple in my opinion. That was kind of bs, since it required you to stand at a certain spot for you to get it.

And of course there are always the extra environmental puzzles were you draw the lines in the environment.

Jonluw:
Hehehehehehe Junior Jumble...

I bet he just fills in crosswords with z s

I have been enjoying the Witness so far... Well, the puzzles at least. I hate searching for them though and I especially hate looking for the tutorial puzzles so I can learn the rules for the puzzles.

Bombshell sounds decent, sounds like 3D Realms don't really know to write female characters though(wouldn't surprise me, considering that most of the story in Duke Nukem Forever, including the infamous Hive level, was done by them and not by Gearbox like some people think).

Witness sounds like a pretentious piece of shit though, I almost fell over laughing when I saw the 40 dollar price tag for it. Honestly i'm surprised people even WANT to pirate that game in the first place, the trailer alone bored me to tears.

Is 3D Realms actually still a company, and not just a brand name someone bought out to slap on someone else's product (like Apogee was)?

Fun Fact, Bombshell was originally a Duke Nukem game (titled Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction), but Gearbox sued them. Instead of going to court, they decided to just change the main character. Probably wouldn't have made it a decent game, but I found the story interesting.

For those that didn't know: Bombshell has an easter egg which is Commander Keen's obituary in the opening cutscene. Yes: 3D Realms killed off their most beloved character as an easter egg (Not their most famous, obviously.) Now when's the gritty reboot of Secret Agent Man?

Steve the Pocket:
Is 3D Realms actually still a company, and not just a brand name someone bought out to slap on someone else's product (like Apogee was)?

Apogee is 3d realms and also is ID soft, probably owned by Activision, but they don't care about the games they make as much money they make, though they're probably the best company at that angle because they don't often demand that games should follow the popular trends.

Yeah I don't see why anybody thought it was a good idea to base an entire game around one puzzle. I was watching a let's play of The Witness (solving the puzzles along with the player) and I was utterly bored of doing line puzzles after about an hour. Not to mention that there is apparently an entire language of symbols you have to learn to actually do the puzzles, so not only do you have to do the same puzzle over and over, but you to essentially do homework and keep notes to play the game.

Professor Layton showed us that catchy music (even repetitive catchy music) during puzzles improves the experience.

Yahtzee's mentioned a few times over the years that (1) there's more to "strong female character" than "angry hardass who makes a big deal out of being an empowered female" (or I guess "I am Woman hear me roar" would be the even shorter description of that??), and (2) a lot of game developers have a hard time breaking out of that stereotype. Sounds like Bombshell is more of that same pattern.

RJ Dalton:
A hot pink bazooka that fires Sex And The City DVDs actually sounds an element of a genuinely hilarious game, now that you say it.

LMAO!! Yeah, that was my thought too.

Silentpony:
It almost sounds like Bombshell is the female equivalent to Duke Nukem or Leisure Suit Larry. All joke and innuendo, but in Bombshells case it sounds like someone forgot to tell her she's in a comedy game. Or when Pamela Anderson made Barbed Wire and legitimately thought people saw it for her acting abilities.

No, no, saying Bombshell is the female equivalent to Duke Nukem or Leisure Suit Larry implies Bombshell anthropomorphosises everything that makes a woman a woman according to stereotypical gender norms - which is what the other two are based off, just for the other gender. No, Bombshell is everything that makes a man a man, but with tits.

So, how many aliens does it take to change a lightbulb?

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