SoManyCrimes
Minnow
Minnow
214 Posts

What an unholy mess! [Spoilers]

[Post New]by SoManyCrimes on Nov 11, 11 6:55 AM
I had such a weird experience playing this. I can't be the only one?

My first reaction, as is usual for these games, was cynicism. Who writes a letter if they're in mortal peril? Who sends a hotel key in the post? Hotels don't like that, surely? You just make a reservation? This is the plushest hotel room I've ever seen. Etc. etc. Typical ill-thought out and unrealistic plot.

But by the end of the demo I was enjoying myself more than I have with a game on this site for a long time. I find any plot around Templar hokum hilarious, which helped. But it's actually exciting. There is a plot which the player is involved in, and an actual sense of danger, rather than a long abandoned mystery which I'm expected to tidy up after, or a threat which I know I won't encounter until the very end. The videos were exciting and it's great that the map isn't completely static. Things explode, entrances and exits get cut off. These are just gates and doors like every other game, of course, but they're more interesting and personal than another mechanical lock.

But then there was an almost unbelievable deterioration in quality. Plot points appeared out of nowhere. The mayor (the only one doing a French accent!) was laughable, and his motivations never made clear. The twist (which I didn't realise was meant to be surprising) was actually explained with the sentence "It was the mayor all along." What was? Where did he get the ark? What was his plan? This is not how you tell a story!

No information was ever given about the Templars, except for some stuff in the museum. But by then the level of English had deteriorated so badly that, in the (clever) diorama mini-game, there was actually a sentence which read: "Not only people, it seemed, that even the nature raise against them." How can developers spend so much money on graphics, audio, hiring live actors, etc. and then have basically unintelligible writing, which must cost less than 5% of any of those things to fix? Not that I wanted it to be a history lesson, but it should at least have been mentioned that they were a Christian Holy order, otherwise some people might have been confused when the "Guy with vatican symbols on his car" (I think that's a direct quote!) turned up at the end!

Other things went wrong. The quality of item naming went the way of the prose. The subtitles stopped matching the speech. The game slowed to a crawl. Then it started to crash.

Unacceptably shoddy.

 
SoManyCrimes
Minnow
Minnow
214 Posts

Re:What an unholy mess! [Spoilers]

[Post New]by SoManyCrimes on Nov 11, 11 7:03 AM
Possibly this is going to get locked. But I didn't really mean this to be a review or a comment, where there isn't a lot of back and forth encouraged. It's more of a specific question for discussion:

Am I wrong to think that this is unacceptable? The last 25% of the game was, for me, such a different level of quality from the beginning that I almost felt tempted to ask for a refund on the grounds that the demo doesn't actually represent the quality of the finished product.

But maybe people don't care as much about the story/writing as I do. I just can't understand why a company producing such high budget games would only have one translator and no localisation people listed in the credits. Their translator clearly isn't up to the task of translating into idiomatic English. Why is this such a low priority for developers? Am I just sensitive to this because I'm a writer myself?

 
jkuci
Flounder
Flounder
2,447 Posts

Re:What an unholy mess! [Spoilers]

[Post New]by jkuci on Nov 11, 11 3:45 PM

Thanks, SoManyCrimes, for your comments!

I haven't yet bought this game and since the story is a very important part of my enjoyment, I will wait for the SE of this game, based on your comments.

 
ember89
Flounder
Flounder
2,103 Posts

Re:What an unholy mess! [Spoilers]

[Post New]by ember89 on Nov 11, 11 3:56 PM
seems to me that folks had the same problem with the unsolved mystery club chapter - ancient astronauts...

it started out with vibrant colors and intriguing/complex game play... then went down to near nothing at the end of the game... i recall one gamer stating that it was like two teams worked on the game - one on the first half, one on the second - and then they stuck them together and said >voila< let's sell it!

the same was said of Columbus: Ghost of the Mystery Stone... and several others along the way... it's been argued that developers spend the most time on that first "trial" period to 'hook' would-be buyers, and then they just go and do whatever to finish the game and make it long enough that folks don't complain that it was only two hours and it fell apart...

but then you have really great games that stick to the plan from point A to point B and wrap it up in under three hours and folks still complain because it wasn't long enough... frankly, i would rather have a high quality game that i know i will want to play again than a piece of junk that lasts six hours and i can't wait to uninstall it the minute i'm done with it because i'm just that disgusted with it and myself for buying it...

i guess all i can really say is, as in any market, it's buyer beware

 
SoManyCrimes
Minnow
Minnow
214 Posts

Re:What an unholy mess! [Spoilers]

[Post New]by SoManyCrimes on Nov 11, 11 4:27 PM
ember89 wrote:i guess all i can really say is, as in any market, it's buyer beware


Well you're right of course, but there must be something that can be done about it, to help people out?

Whilst the developers being lazy is the root cause, and they obviously must shoulder most of the blame, I'm not sure the setup here at Bigfish helps.

With the demo structure, it's natural that developers would focus on polishing the first hour at the expense of the rest. The fact that the email/survey beta system only lets players play the first hour also contributes - that's where developers are going to get the most feedback, so it will be the area they are most ABLE to polish, as well as being the area they have the most incentive to polish.

The reviews threads don't help the problem either, in my opinion. So many of the glowing reviews are based just on positive demo experiences. Some of them are even based on very first impressions from the first five minutes or so. Whilst these are valuable (especially negative reviews explaining why the player decided not to buy the full game), they can't be as valuable as reviews from people who have played the whole game, especially if there's a tendency for the demo periods to be misrepresentative of the total experience.

Could there be two threads? A "first impressions" one for reviews based on the trial and another one for players who have completed the whole game?

 
Janie42
Clownfish
Clownfish
598 Posts

Re:What an unholy mess! [Spoilers]

[Post New]by Janie42 on Nov 12, 11 4:30 AM
SoManyCrimes wrote:Am I wrong to think that this is unacceptable?
The last 25% of the game was, for me, such a different level of quality from the beginning that I almost felt tempted to ask for a refund on the grounds that the demo doesn't actually represent the quality of the finished product.

But maybe people don't care as much about the story/writing as I do. I just can't understand why a company producing such high budget games would only have one translator and no localisation people listed in the credits. Their translator clearly isn't up to the task of translating into idiomatic English. Why is this such a low priority for developers? Am I just sensitive to this because I'm a writer myself?


IMO, neither wrong nor overly sensitive, in fact, your review saved me springing for the CE & wanting my $ back too. I'm immensely grateful.

I join you in not understanding the lack of care for localization? Agree... this is by far the cheapest part of development budget, so what's up?
Agree also that nowadays demos are front-end heavy on work/quality that declines as game progresses; thus, demos are getting increasingly less reliable, trustworthy, representative.

And it's all unnecessary. Beta testers for whole game can easily be found with dedication & verifiably strong writing skills who'd happily test & proof/correct for FREE.

Sadly, I think this trend will accelerate until/unless players stop buying & start complaining more about decline in quality & lack of respect/care for localization.

Edited on 11/12/2011 at 4:34:12 AM PST


 
laraly
Parrotfish
Parrotfish
428 Posts

What an unholy mess! [Spoilers]

[Post New]by laraly on Nov 12, 11 4:52 AM


[b]I feel the same! I was so thrilled about the story of the templars at first, but now that I am at the last chapter, I am somehow disappointed about this game, but not for the quality, but for the minimizing of the Templars history, and their value!
At times I felt like I was playing an antiChrist plot, instead a of A Knights' order of the Cross: and you are rightr about the translation and the informations about the minigames and puzzles, lousy! But lately these type of devlps, present their game with trials very inviting and hooking, than slowly the game get worst and worst, makes you wonder,, why? Some of us know the answer, but BFG does? I want to keep play ing the game to the end, however, to see if I am wrong, and eventually add more comments of disguising matters of any type!!


My first reaction, as is usual for these games, was cynicism. Who writes a letter if they're in mortal peril? Who sends a hotel key in the post? Hotels don't like that, surely? You just make a reservation? This is the plushest hotel room I've ever seen. Etc. etc. Typical ill-thought out and unrealistic plot.

But by the end of the demo I was enjoying myself more than I have with a game on this site for a long time. I find any plot around Templar hokum hilarious, which helped. But it's actually exciting. There is a plot which the player is involved in, and an actual sense of danger, rather than a long abandoned mystery which I'm expected to tidy up after, or a threat which I know I won't encounter until the very end. The videos were exciting and it's great that the map isn't completely static. Things explode, entrances and exits get cut off. These are just gates and doors like every other game, of course, but they're more interesting and personal than another mechanical lock.

But then there was an almost unbelievable deterioration in quality. Plot points appeared out of nowhere. The mayor (the only one doing a French accent!) was laughable, and his motivations never made clear. The twist (which I didn't realise was meant to be surprising) was actually explained with the sentence "It was the mayor all along." What was? Where did he get the ark? What was his plan? This is not how you tell a story!

No information was ever given about the Templars, except for some stuff in the museum. But by then the level of English had deteriorated

 
tangawarra
Starfish
Starfish
48 Posts

Re:What an unholy mess! [Spoilers]

[Post New]by tangawarra on Nov 14, 11 11:31 AM
I totally agree, I read your post before I bought the game and thought: "I can't be that bad" especially since I don't really care about the plot, but this was ridiculous. It made no sense whatsoever. Gaping plotholes, mistakes with the language (honestly how hard can it be to find a native speaker to go over it) and the hints explained EVERYTHING - in detail. On second thought that was probably necessary, since some of the sequences of actions didn't make any sense. Huge disappointment and not at all what the demo promised.

 
guppy3
Seahorse
Seahorse
37 Posts

Re:What an unholy mess! [Spoilers]

[Post New]by guppy3 on Nov 15, 11 8:16 AM
Don't know if you can post one's comments in two places, but thought I'd like to add my thoughts to this one as well since they are in the same vein....so cut and paste.... and wow, what a disappointment.....

"I bought this game after just a few minutes of play. Loved the prequel. This one is really bizarre. Convoluted story line (though I don't really ask that it be a best seller; just some rational thought). But the really frustrating part of the game was the use of inventory items. Truly bordered on the inane. I can't reach the tongs (not with the cane in inventory, nor with half dozen over items. Eventually I acquire bellows to blow up a miniature balloon near by and it takes off and accidentally bumps into my tongs and voila! I have tongs. I can't believe anyone would have thought of that cause and effect. A secret mechanism (without a close up) that will spring a trap door..... won't work unless I tap it with said cane. Cane turns into a lever.... didn't know a lever was needed. I used the strategy guide and hint system in this game more than I have ever ever used it. There was absolutely no rhyme or reason for any next steps. On the good side of this review, well some of the puzzles were different. That's always a plus. They were often without adequate instructions/goals. I think there's a language issue there. I really wanted a game and bought this in two minutes. Reminded me of prequel which I enjoyed. I commend the developers for trying new things. Personally I don't want to use an inventory item inside a hidden object game..... I'd often be in the hidden object game before I'd even been to the place where I'd get the tool I would need in the hidden object game I'm playing. So, I'll give it a few stars but not four or five. It is just too far out of the box thinking for me. I am by nature a logical person. I get a stool and will use it to stand on.... not use it for an axle or whatever in a war machine......

Anyway, I've almost finished game. It'll be a long timebefore I play it again. If ever.

Elephant Games..... you disappointed this time. Back to work and back to your higher standards! I own all (I think) of your **** adventure games and you tried too hard for new twists.... theold twists were just fine!

Thanks.

 
alowan
Guppy
Guppy
143 Posts

Re:What an unholy mess! [Spoilers]

[Post New]by alowan on Nov 17, 11 10:29 AM
Oh, yes.

I don't like games where the logic is so poor that I have to rely on the strategy guide to tell me what to do next. "Oh, look! I opened a secret door! Obviously, the next thing to do is to go back several scenes to find some piece of equipment I would never think I might need!"

The most egregious example is [SPOILER AHEAD, highlight to read] the iron bars on the drain in the storeroom under the statues. Who would ever think that you could bend them out of your way with a pair of hospital forceps? since I found them in a hospital, among syringes, bandages, etc., that's what they were, right?) That's something you couldn't do even with a blacksmith's tongs (which are not called forceps, you silly translators). I also dislike having to find a tool to do something I could easily do with my hands.

And I couldn't believe that anyone could be so stupid as to hand something so valuable and meaningful as the you-know-what over to someone whose face is hidden, and shows no proof that they actually are a secret agent for the Vatican.

Yes, I'm sorry I used two game credits on this.

 
Kamana_29
Marlin
Marlin
9,782 Posts

Re:What an unholy mess! [Spoilers]

[Post New]by Kamana_29 on Nov 17, 11 1:34 PM
First of all, I'd like say thank you SoManyCrimes as you've saved me from using my limited d/l data on this game.

It is a game so I don't expect things to be highly logical. I'm a nurse & if I ever saw a blacksmith's tongs in one of my unit's wound care equipment I'd be looking very hard for the person who'd done the requistions .... But I do expect the plot & overall game to be consistent; from the various reviews & this thread, this game is obviously not fulfilling that consistency so it's a 'no buy' for me which is a pity as it should have been great fun *sigh*

K

 
tatsu1952
Seahorse
Seahorse
32 Posts

Re:What an unholy mess! [Spoilers]

[Post New]by tatsu1952 on Nov 18, 11 5:39 PM
SoManyCrimes wrote:
But maybe people don't care as much about the story/writing as I do. I just can't understand why a company producing such high budget games would only have one translator and no localisation people listed in the credits. Their translator clearly isn't up to the task of translating into idiomatic English. Why is this such a low priority for developers? Am I just sensitive to this because I'm a writer myself?


You must be a mind reader, SoManyCrimes I am sick and tired of poor quality translations and writing in recent games. I too am a writer and a proofreader, and I have often contacted developers, pointing out their mistakes and have not received one reply. One recent example is 'Secrets of the past: Mother's Diary' - I had nearly two pages of mistakes/poor translations noted! This is unacceptable and I now have a policy of not buying games that have this shoddy attitude towards their products - and their prospective buyers.

Come on developers - we're not asking for the world here, just take some time to have someone check your spelling/grammar/translations!

Tatsu

 
 
 
 
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