Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Culpa Innata - new adventure by Momentum / Strategy fist

Discussion in 'Adventure Gaming' started by Nedrah, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. Nedrah Arbiter

    Nedrah
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    I figure some of you guys propably, like me, like to play a well done adventure from time to time. So here's a new one, and if we are to believe the review, we are in for a treat.
    Just Adventures rated it A+ - let me quote a few select parts of the <A HREF="http://www.justadventure.com/reviews/CulpaInnata/CulpaInnata.shtm">review</a>


    However, let me start with a quote that could so well be coming from a codex rant, it isn't even funny
    No you go and tell me we are alone in our suffering - who's up for Adventurecodex.net?!

    No, seriously, a subforum for adventures would be nice.

    So, on to the review

    Said story is described quite well in the review without being too spoilerish.

    Damn, now I seriously wish this was a RPG review.


    sigh



    Now, someone go read that full review, get the game and tell me if it's even half as good as this guy makes it sound.
  2. Cassidy Arcane

    Cassidy
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    Finally something for this genre! And if the hype isn't just bullshit, even better than The Longest Journey. Plus my obsolete PC can handle it. Thanks for pointing this game, again... all I hope is that it lives to the expectations.
  3. Nedrah Arbiter

    Nedrah
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    Too bad that this won't even show up on the frontpage, though. I shall really have to see into bribing someone into doing an adventure sub-forum.

    Edit: actually, I settled for begging.
  4. Cassidy Arcane

    Cassidy
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  5. Cthulhugoat Arbiter

    Cthulhugoat
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    Yay! My crusade for recent games that won't fuck up with my integrated graphics card expands further.

    Too bad there's no demo. And fuck me, what's this "score" they talk about? I don't like the sound of it.
  6. Ismaul Augur Patron

    Ismaul
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    Oh man. I need this game. I just hope the approach is a bit more mature than The Longest Journey, which was quite the happy family-friendly fantasy. But it looks like it, with its false utopia setting, exagerated consumerism, immigration control and murder crime. Also, lots of dialogue? great.

    There's a second review on JA that speaks highly of it too.
  7. Nedrah Arbiter

    Nedrah
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    Yeah, no demo sucks. All it leads to is people "demoing" it via their torrent client of choice. Assuming the game is as good as it sounds, everyone warezing it is a shame.

    Don't bother about that score thing. It's something that was being done with a lot of oldschool adventures - ever played Leisure Suit Larry? You can entirely ignore it, but it's there if you're into trying to max out scores. Pretty much like the review said - don't even think about it.
  8. Nedrah Arbiter

    Nedrah
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    THIS GAME DESERVES ITS FIVE MINUTES OF FAME ON OUR FRONTPAGE!!!

    (bump)
  9. Longshanks Augur

    Longshanks
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    Haven't played an adventure game since The Longest Journey, though am certainly a fan of the genre, enjoyed TLJ somewhat despite it shittiness. The reviewer certainly makes it sound good, though after reading the review I'm still not convinced, the "world" seems cliched, concerned about the main character being female (probably just residual prejudice from TLJ), the "Sims-like" activities sound great :? . Hard to say how much of the "massive dialogues", woah! non-linearity (second reviewer does not play this up as much, does seem more like, able to do some things in a different order), masses of detailed information, is about the reviewers being adventure game players, have to wonder whether someone who's more used to RPGs would be impressed. It does have the smell of TLJ teenage girl level of storytelling, most people praised TLJ as a great game with great story and dialogue, hope this is much better.

    I really have neglected this genre, haven't got around to trying Fahrenheit, Still Life, Sam and Max. Anyone got any recommendations for a "serious" adventure game that they think's as good as Sanitarium?

    Thanks Nedrah, for bringing it to my attention, probably wouldn't have discovered it myself, haven't been looking out for adventure games in a while. I'm somewhat sceptical about it, but it does show promise.


    Edit: Sure you could find these for yourselves, but trailers here: http://www.gametrailers.com/player/24063.html
  10. Alex Arcane

    Alex
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    Thanks, Nedrah. I love adventure games and it is good to know some people are still doing them. The last one I played was that phoenix wright for the DS, which is quite good but isn't really very much like the good old Lucas Arts classics.

    The game is looking good. If anyone here gets it, please post your first impression.
  11. Longshanks Augur

    Longshanks
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    Played the first four days, so far it's neither brilliant or terrible.

    The protagonist so far is not as annoying as April Ryan from The Longest Journey, but far from my favourite adventure game main character.

    Gameplay is standard for the investigation type play, talk to people (dialogue is fairly long, and not very interactive, gets a little tedious), pick up useful items and evidence (haven't been a lot of these) and use the computer for various functions.

    Puzzles so far have not been great, or many, standard lock puzzles and puzzle puzzle :wink:.

    The worst part of the game so far, is the "gossip chats" with the PC's friend at the end of most days, long and boring, as the PC discusses the day's events, it does provide some useful background information on the world and the place of certain people in it, but I've only sat through three of them, and clicking through the rest (don't think they're even necessary for gameplay, but you do have to turn up for them). Another annoyance (though common to the genre), is the amount of locations and functions that are locked away until triggered, there's not a lot of "trial and error" gameplay, as yet.

    Overall the dialogue's of a fairly good standard, probably better than TLJ, but it is rather dulll. There are different "lines" of dialogue to pursue, but given you can only talk to a person once per day, you'll have to come back later to discuss different topics. You can occasionally select a dialogue tone, eg. insistent, sympathetic, not sure how much of an affect it has.

    A sample of the game's writing from the PC's diary:
    [​IMG]

    The game's instant travel, and so far small number of puzzles and inventory use, does make it feel a lot like an interactive movie. Instant travel to one interview subject, talk for 5 minutes, instant travel to the next and repeat, then go out and gossip with your friend for another 5 minutes.

    The world is well realised and detailed, if a little cliched. The PC lives in a utopia where all societies problems have been solved, no crime, unemployment, disease etc, apparently by embracing the self (selfishness is seen as good). This New World Order encompasses most of the globe, those which still cling to the idea of "nation states" are labelled as Rogue nations, and are continually at war with each other. However, it seems obvious that all is not well in utopia, and I'm expecting a twist along those lines.

    Selfish is good:
    [​IMG]


    Feel I've been too harsh on the game in this post, it's definitely solid, and has the potential to build from here, as this investigation is just the start of the game (and most annoyances could be due to it), there's some more weird shit down the line, I believe. Definitely think that TLJ fans will like it, even if the rest is not an improvement. If you like the dialogue, main character and are drawn into the world and story, even the early game will be great for you.

    The manual claims that the game even contains some choice and consequence, though I'm sure it will be limited:

    [​IMG]
  12. Uz0rnaem Scholar

    Uz0rnaem
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    Not really, but I always associated Bad Mojo and Phantasmagoria 2 with it, simply because they had kind of a similar feel.

    Bad Mojo features a top-down perspective, direct WASD controls and rather simplistic puzzles. It's more about exploring your surroundings, your character and his situation than puzzle solving anyway. There's also no dialog at all, since you're a cockroach.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    To enjoy Phantasmagoria 2, it helps if you can overlook a few "trigger puzzles" and don't loathe FMV adventures in general. It's basically classic point&click stuff, with likable characters, straightforward puzzles, loads of dialog and an interesting story. The actors are surprisingly good and the humor rather subtle. All in all, probably one of the best FMV adventures out there.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  13. Starwars Scholar

    Starwars
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    I've played a bit of this (like 4 ingame days I think), and so far I agree with almost everything Longshanks said. The game most definetely does not feel non-linear so far, nor is it explorative enough for my tastes. The unlocking of new areas (when taken to extremes) is always annoying to me.

    I do appreciate the instant travel however. But so far there have not been a whole lot to do each day (the game has an ingame clock), so you start your day at the office, go out and interview subjects. And when you finish there, the ingame time is like 1PM with you seemingly having nothing left to do for the day. So you "fastforward" to night time (where you meet your friend) and then that's that. It doesn't exactly give the sense of a workday. I hoped when I read about the ingame clock, that you would have to choose priorities (since you couldn't fit them all in in one workday), and choose which particular plot thread to pursue. Maybe that will come later.

    Dialogue is all-right in terms of the writing, though I find the voiceacting to be pretty wooden for the most part. I do not like the main character very much so far, though she does not annoy me.

    Best thing so far is that the gameworld seems to be pretty fleshed out. I just hope it will "open up" more soon.

    It's OK so far, though it has the potential to be a lot more. Hopefully those reviews are correct.
  14. Nedrah Arbiter

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    Hrm... Well, would you say it lacks non-linearity compared to other games of its own gerne or are you comparing it to RPG standards? Also, how does it compare to the longest journey, if you played that? As opposed to other people on this board, I loved that game long time ;)
  15. aries202 Erudite

    aries202
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    I think the adventure gaming community are all in agreement that Culpa Innata is a very good game. I've seen it mentioned on Just Adventure as well. Adventuregamers and Gameboomers have mentioned it as well. On the Gameboomers forum boards we've had a nice discussion about whether or not Culpa Innata was a rip off (eh, I mean, inspired by) TLJ. I think someone mentioned that Culpa Innata was game in which you investigated a crime...not a sort of coming of age story like TLJ's.

    As for other adventure games, I think you guys would really like Post Mortem and Still Life, athough Still Life sort od end in a strange, yet open way. (funds ran out for the sequel apparently...)

    Fahrenheit is very highy praised in the adventure gaming community as well, irrc. It tries to do something new with the adventure game genre and while not all agree it with, it is refreshingly to see that someone has the guts to challenge how adventure games are supposed to be made. Mind you, it is a console port to PC, so the controls are really really horrendous, and very very hard and weird to figure out as Iøve found out after playing about 5-10 minutes of the demo.

    The new Sam&Max games are, as I understand, just as great as the old ones. (at least that what I've heard --- not trough the grape vine --- but through the word on the adventure gaming sites I frequent). There should be demos out for episodes 1-6, and I think the 4th episode *abe lincoln must die' is free for downloading...

    I agree, however, with much what have been said about the adventure game genre. I would like to see an adventure game where you could go anywhere, pick up everything or nearly everything and where you look at everything too. The most annoying thing to me are also that in most adventure games, you need to wait for certain flag? to be triggered so that you can go on the the next screen or the next subjects.

    The score thing is something old school adventure games likes the King's Quest and Space Quest games use to have. If you finished the game and had one all the things in the game you would get like 500/500 score. If you missed a few things you would only get like 490/500 score. I think Jane Jensen is thinking about using this system as well for her new game 'Grey Matter'.
  16. Longshanks Augur

    Longshanks
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    I'm 10 days into the game now, and still finding it rather dull, as I said previously there's just too much dialogue (mostly non-interactive, not all that interesting and also quite repetitive) and little gameplay in between (not many puzzles so far, instant travel means little exploration, locked off areas mean exploration isn't that useful anyway).

    About TLJ, I liked that early, but I eventually came to strongly dislike April, and disliked much of the writing. However, I was never bored with TLJ as I am with this game, the ratio of dialogue/puzzles/exploration was better (as far as I can remember) and characters more interesting. I think one reason for this is that Culpa Innata's plot is moving slowly, whereas in TLJ you get to the parallel universe quite quickly. So overall, I'd say I had more fun with TLJ (I did mostly enjoy it), though it's not due to a strong dislike of Culpa Innata, it's well put together, but so far it is tedious.

    Maybe my tastes have changed, but I'm finding the dialogue in this game very dull (especially the gossip chats at the end of the day, clicking through those now), can't say if others will feel the same.

    To give you an idea of what it's like, here's how the average day plays out: start at your office, select a location to instant travel to, complete one puzzle (if it's your first time there), interview person for 5 minutes (possibly opens new areas), instant travel to next area (complete one puzzle if first time their), interview person for 5 minutes, probably have time to interview one more person, interview the for 5 minutes, then head home, get changed (optional), head out to gossip with friend for 5 minutes.

    That's pretty much the gameplay, I've not left out any exploration, as after the first couple of days exploration is pretty much superfluous (so far), as you can't enter any stores/houses etc until they're shown on your map, and then you'll insta-travel instead. You will have to interview people more than once as well, usually 3-4 times, as you can only talk to them once per day, though these extra conversations will usually be more like 2-3 minutes.

    In terms of non-linearity, I've not noticed anything out of the ordinary for an adventure game. Areas become available when they're triggered (usually when someone tells you about another person of interest), you can then choose which area to go to first out of those that are available, as well as revisiting old areas (so far non-linearity is mostly choosing the order you interview people). When your done with these areas, they are locked off again. Even the functions on your computer are locked off until your supposed to use them, so you can't originally just try things out (though once they're unlocked you can).

    I am enjoying the security briefings (interrogating potential new citizens), reminds me of Blade Runner, though I'm not sure if the player's input has an affect, or whether the result is always the same.

    Will say again, that it's not a bad game, and I still have hope of it improving. Would like to hear from others who are playing the game, especially want to know if they find the "gossip chats" bearable.
  17. Elwro RPG Codex Staff Patron

    Elwro
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    I just couldn't play Bad Mojo. I think I quit after the rat, when I was supposed to do something with a cigarette to avoid a spider. I could never manouver the cig properly so I always ended having to go past the rat again.
    The main idea of the game was awesome, I hope I'll play it again sometime and actually finish it.
  18. sqeecoo Arbiter

    sqeecoo
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    TLJ rules! Perhaps my second favorite game (after PST). Dreamfall sucked though. Might try this one.
  19. Longshanks Augur

    Longshanks
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    Finished the game, overall it had a decent story, tedious and repetitive investigation, a poor ratio of dialogue/puzzles/exploration, much too heavily weighted towards mostly uninteresting dialogue, puzzles were quite simple and too few in number.

    Reckon that TLJ (I'd place its story on par with this game, and its setting above it) fans will enjoy it, especially if you have no problem with the gameplay I outlined earlier. A decent game, that most adventure fans will get something out of, as a fan of the genre, I enjoyed parts of it, but was disappointed it did not reach its obvious potential.
  20. Starwars Scholar

    Starwars
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    I've played this a bit more, and I will say that I'm enjoying it a bit more ever since more people to interview was "unlocked". Still not sure how non-linear it is, there seems to be different paths in the dialogues, but can't say how much they actually affect the game.

    Not a whole lot of gameplay, like Longshanks said. The game sort of thrives on getting the player interested in solving the story (which is good so far, but not great). Puzzles are easy, and for the most part they make sense (which is nice in adventure games, heh). There is an occasional misstep, but nothing to frustrating or annoying.

    Dialogue is all-right to good, but the voiceacting is wooden. I would've liked the main character a lot more if she had a more interesting voice... I don't know, she actually doesn't do all that bad a job of acting, but there is something about her pronouncing certain words in a weird way that rubs me the wrong way.
    I like acting of the friend you meet up with in the evenings. Though her character could seemingly be described as sexy-crazed nazi.

    It does prove an interesting angle though, that your friend (and the main character to a lesser degree) are very proud and supportive of the Union, and view the "rogue states" in a mostly very harsh way.

    A problem so far in the game is that almost nothing happens at all in the game. You go out and interview people, and occasionally discover a new lead to pursue. But nothing actually happens plotwise outside of this (well there is an incident at the start, and "security interviews" that your main character conducts for immigrants). I'm all for dialogue heavy games, but the game doesn't seem very... well, dynamic. Almost nothing happens outside the interviews so far.

    Still, I'm kinda enjoying it and I do want to uncover more of the plot. But I most definetely do not think it's as good as those reviews claim.
  21. aries202 Erudite

    aries202
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    Unfortunately, this is the state of adventure games today. Nothing seems dynamic, it is all about talking to people, solving quests, while very little happen in the outside world or during the interviews at all.

    Plotwise, this is how many of the modern adventure games are structured, even in such new games as the Agatha Christie Poirot games. I'm all for dialogue heavey games, too, but if the dialogue doesn't lead anywhere, unless to more interviews with suspects, I agree that is quickly can become repetitive and tedious.
  22. Elwro RPG Codex Staff Patron

    Elwro
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    But when (in And Then There Were None) after 10 hours of talkin' n'walkin' you finally manage to go underground, the scene with the radio is just fantastic :wink:
  23. Magistrator Novice

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  24. Starwars Scholar

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    I agree with some of the things that guy says, but for the most part (just a gut feeling) I see a reviewer who has taken it up the ass one time to many from the big boys in gaming, and now feel secure to unleash his rage upon a fairly unknown game. Could be just me though.

    From what I've played so far (this game seems to be pretty damn long by the way), I'd rate it around 6 (a strong 6 prolly) on my non-inflated review score-o-meter.
  25. Longshanks Augur

    Longshanks
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    Hah, that review reads as if I wrote it, though with more anger. I agree with all of its points, though the graphics, while not great, were fine for me. Seems I am not the only one who found the gossip dialogues unbearable, agree that the main character does not quite fit and many of her reactions are plain silly, and strongly agree about the lack of gameplay.

    Another difficulty in connecting with the main character (aside from inane musings and ridiculous reactions) is that the game is largely about Phoenix’s inner journey towards questioning the Union’s perfection. The problem is that I was there right from the start, could be natural cynicism or familiarity with false utopias, but I don’t think so, the game seemingly wanted to tell me that all is not well in the Union, whilst forcing me to control a character who was completely unquestioning. So rather than joining in her journey, I’m wanting her to hurry the fuck up and stop being so naive. A dialogue heavy game with little else to do, like this one, needs a very strong story and characterization, unfortunately I found Culpa Innata only decent in both. I’m not a big fan of TLJ, but at least its story actually progressed, in Culpa Innata you’re continually uncovering information about the case and the people you’re interviewing, but the story never really moves forward (general feel remains: don’t know who the killer is, something not quite right about this society though). The investigation is not handled well either, there was little opportunity to think through the facts and come to your own conclusion about who dunnit (there is just not enough info), you are forced to keep questioning until an important clue is found late in the game, meaning you play more of a helpless observer than investigator.

    His score of 4/10 may be a little harsh (especially in relation to the usually inflated scores), I could have gone as high as 5 or 6, but it’s close enough, especially if reviewing the game for a general gaming audience, as those unfamiliar with the genre are unlikely to get much out of it.

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