Thursday, June 30, 2011

Puzzle Agent 2 is Out Now

Puzzle Agent 2, Telltale's sequel to the Professor Layton inspired puzzle adventure game set in Graham Annable's Grickle universe, is now available on PC, Mac, iPhone/iPod Touch, and iPad.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Back to The Future Finale Out Now For PC and Mac

OUTATIME, the final episode of the episodic Back to the Future: The Game series by Telltale Games, is now available for PC and Mac. This episode features Michael J Fox as the voice of two different characters.

Today is also the day that all five Tales of Monkey Island episodes are available for the iPad from the iTunes store.

Double Visions Review

Double Visions
is the fourth episode of the episodic Back to the Future: The Game by Telltale Games.  After a troubled start, with the first two episodes being criticized for a lack of originality in puzzles and numerous bugs, things started to seem to be getting better with Episode 3: Citizen Brown.  Unfortunately, Double Visions takes many steps backward.

This game takes place in two different time eras, the Citizen Brown alternate 1986, and 1931.  The beginning section in the alternate 1986 is excellent, and the cutscene of the Marty and Citizen Brown escape is choreographed so well that it actually felt like a scene from the film.  However, the rest of the game is spent in 1931, and the game goes downhill fast from here.  I do like 1931.  I enjoy the characters of young Emmet and young Edna a lot.  However, while 1931 seemed fresh and exciting in episode 1, it's gotten really dull by this point.  Telltale did try to liven things up by having new locations.  The new locations are Emmet's new lab and the technology of the future presentation at Hill Valley High School.  The problem is that these are the only two locations for the majority of the game.  The puzzles have Marty going back and forth between the two locations, which becomes very tedious very quickly.

The main problem is that there are some bugs in these two locations that make them very frustrating.  I had to turn on pop-up text because the clickable areas for objects were incorrect.  I'd often find Marty leaving Doc's lab rather than interacting with an object since the clickable area for the door extended too far into the lab.  Turning on the pop-up text revealed where the clickable area was, but that was a bandage rather than a solution since the pop-up text is supposed to be an optional feature.  The most frustrating location was the high school.  Often I'd try to leave the area and I'd bump into Trixie who was pacing at the bottom of the screen.   This would trigger a conversation with Trixie, even though I did not press any button to make this happen.  With her walk path being right where Marty needed to be, this happened to me quite a few times.  Another very annoying bug is that there was an instance where there was no voice and only subtitles.  This was frustrating to me when I played with subtitles turned on, since it broke the story's hold on me.  With the subtitles turned off, it would be even more frustrating, since you would actually miss a part of the dialog.

On the plus side, the puzzles have more variety this time.  I enjoyed the puzzle where Marty had to find a way to leave Hill Valley High School.  The puzzle with Emmet's invention actually stumped me, and I had to end up looking up a hint.  It is nice to see Telltale adding variety and a harder difficulty level to the puzzles.  The art design, voices, and music are all top-notch once again as well.  It's a shame there aren't any new characters in this game, however.  The returning characters are the ones that I enjoyed the most in the previous games, but new characters would have gone a long way to making the return visit to 1931 a lot more enjoyable.

After an excellent third episode, it's a shame this game took such a huge step backward.  The framing sections are fun, at the beginning and end of the game.  However, it really drags in the middle.  There are only two locations for the majority of the game, and those locations are riddled with bugs.  The puzzles are more fun this time, and the music, voices, and art design are top-notch as usual.  However, there are no new characters introduced (nor are there any new alternate versions of characters already seen), and although the characters that are in the game are the most interesting of those seen so far, they are not enough to carry the game on their own.  The ending sets up the final episode excellently, as usual.  But, in the end, that's all that this episode seems to be: a way to set things up for the much more ambitious finale.

Update: December 1, 2015: Since I wrote this review, a remaster called the 30th Anniversary Edition has been released. The improved textures aren't really that noticeable, however, they also managed to get Tom Wilson to reprise his role as Biff. Biff only appears in a silent cameo in this episode, but since the episodes are only available as a package deal, if you want to play it, it's worth getting the remaster if you've never played the game before. If you've already played it, it's not really worth picking up again, unless you're a big Back to the Future fan.

Final Verdict:

3 out of 5

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

iPad Tales of Monkey Island Episode 1 Free Today

Tales of Monkey Island Episode 1 is free for iPad on the iTunes store is free today.

The other four episodes will finally be available for the iPad tomorrow, making Tales of Monkey Island the first full series Telltale has released for the system.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Siege of Spinner Cay is now on the iPad in NZ

The Siege of Spinner Cay, the second episode of Telltale's Tales of Monkey Island, is now available on the iPad from the iTunes store in New Zealand. It should be on the iTunes store in other territories soon.  The remaining three episodes are forthcoming, but no release date has been announced as of yet.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

New Puzzle Agent 2 Trailer + Release Date

Puzzle Agent 2, Telltale's sequel to it's puzzle adventure game set in Graham Annable's Grickle universe, is set to be released on June 30th.

The game is now available for preorder at the Telltale Store. The preorder price is one dollar cheaper than the usual price, at $8.99, and includes the original Puzzle Agent at no extra cost (it can be gifted to a friend too if you already own it).

There's also a contest running where people who preorder get the chance to get the game about two weeks before everyone else.

In other Telltale news, Back to the Future: The Game: Double Visions, the fourth part of the five part series is now available on the PlayStation Network.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Michael J Fox in OUTATIME, Available June 23

Outatime, the final episode of Back to the Future: The Game, will feature Michael J. Fox in two roles. Telltale has given a hint that one of the roles is of a McFly ancestor that Marty has met in the film trilogies.

The game will be released on the PC and Mac on June 23, with the iPad and PlayStation 3 releases following sometime afterward, at an as-of-yet unannounced timeframe.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Mr. Smoozles Goes Nutso is Now Free

Mr Smoozles Goes Nutso, a game that combines the adventure and action genres into an arcade style experience, was made freeware in February.

The game is by Steve Ince, of Revolution fame, and stars the characters from his Mr. Smoozles online webcomic.

Back to the Future Episode 4 on iPad Now

Back to the Future: The Game: Episode 4: Double Visions is now available on the iPad at the iTunes store.

Episode 1: It's About Time is also free for iPad at the iTunes store for a limited time. Episode 1 is also still free for PC and Mac through Telltale's website.

The PlayStation Store is back up now in the United States, and apparently the third episode of Back to the Future the Game: Citizen Brown is now available on US PSN.  The game will apparently be coming to UK PSN later this month.