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|25 JUN 2004 at 7:04pm|
Posts : 132
Joined: 20 NOV 2003
Status : Online
|You can now add us to the ranks of satisfied “Sphinx”-ters! My wife and I just got done playing the game Riddle of the Sphinx. I am really not sure how this game (and its sequel The Omega Stone) slipped under our radar for so long - the first game was released in late 2000 and the sequel in early 2003. Being such gung-ho first-person, point-and-click adventure game fanatics, you’d think these would have been automatics for us. My only defense might be that these are from The Adventure Company and I’ve had a “checkered” history with their games (and I’m sure I am not alone here).|
Regardless, The Riddle of the Sphinx was such a pleasant surprise for us. It certainly isn’t perfect, but then it definitely isn’t a yank-it-outta-the-drive-and-fling-it-across-the-room game either - like many other TAC games have been. At first, I thought it might be yet another tired “Mystery of Atlantis” type game, ala Atlantis I, II, III, Timelapse, yada, yada. Well…okay…I was right! It IS another “Mystery of Atlantis” type game (and it looks as if The Omega Stone will certainly hammer that point home). Alas, we quickly abandoned that prejudice early on because we were having so much fun roaming around the rooms and passages of The Great Pyramid.
Yeah, the graphics are a little grainy for a game dating to 2000, but I felt that, at times, the graininess actually added to the environment of the game. Heck, the entire Giza Plateau is pretty grainy! I did, however, find the periodic switching between slide-show format and 360 degree “virtual reality” (VR) mode a little irritating at times. It was nice to be able to swing around and get a full picture of the surroundings every once in a while, but there was always a slight pause going in and out of VR mode that just got in the way later on while trying to zip around the passages looking for or delivering inventory items. Plus, it always seemed to put an audible skip in the soundtrack and that got distracting after a while, too.
While I’m on the nit-picky side of things, it felt like there was an overabundance of inventory-based puzzles to the game and a lot of it of the old hide-and-seek (pixel-hunting) genre. My wife and I have become pretty anal when it comes to scouring every scene of a game for completeness (you only need to get burned once or twice before you get to this point, huh?). Unfortunately, in a game like this, an affliction such as this becomes a curse rather than a lifesaver. The reason I say this is because there is a HUGE amount of “clutter” lying about in this game that is of absolutely no significance; pots, relics, tools, you name it. With such a large reliance on inventory-based puzzles, you find yourself clicking on everything, just in case, so you don’t miss something important.
Okay, stepping off the soapbox now, I will say that these things didn’t really distract us all too much from the overall enjoyment of the game. A good judge of a game, to us, is how many times we have to go searching for a hint to get us moving again. In this game, I am happy to say, we only had to find one such hint and it was pretty early on in the game. I am embarrassed to say we had a really hard time figuring out how to get the stupid key out of the pot of stew! (Sorry for the specifics, but I don’t think this is much of a spoiler to the game since it happens right at the beginning.) To our defense, there were several views of the hotplate beneath the pot that showed that the flame was already on when, in fact, it was not. Once we got a hint to that effect, it was pretty obvious what needed to be done. Regardless, that was the one and only hint we need for the rest of the game. Does this mean the puzzles were too easy? Yeah, at times I think they were. But, I think our diligence to details helped out, a lot, on some of them. If you don’t pay attention and take good notes, this game could really be a drag.
I didn’t think that a game that took place entirely in one location, the Giza Plateau, could be so expansive. After all, what can you do to spice up a Sphinx and a Pyramid or two? I stand humbled! The ideas they came up with were truly jaw-dropping. You certainly have to suspend belief and logic, of course, but otherwise, nicely done! Do all those rooms really fit into that one pyramid? I’d love to see a final map and 3D cutout of the whole thing now. I kept thinking while roaming about, “wouldn’t it be cool if there really were a lot more chambers like these in the real pyramid”? Alas, maybe that, too, is a true indication of a good gaming experience.
Well, now its time to journey on with ROTS II: The Omega Stone. Looks very promising so far. If they can at least maintain the quality that went into ROTS, you’ll probably be seeing another review shortly! If you haven’t picked this one up yet, I highly recommend it as a good “filler” game.
|26 JUN 2004 at 1:56am|
|Deleted User||RotS remains my favorite TAC game ever. RotS2: TOS was my second biggest disappointment of last year (after the horrendous Traitor's Gate 2). All the fun and joy and beauty of RotS was sucked out of TOS, leaving a game that just makes you feel tired, grungy and exasperated.|
In other words, don't get your hopes up. :-/
|15 NOV 2005 at 12:42pm|
Posts : 6
Joined: 15 NOV 2005
Status : Online
Originally Posted By thomasbc (25 JUN 2004 7:04pm)
I bet all those rooms WOULD fit inside! The Luxor in Las Vegas is smaller than the Great Pyramid, and it is positively HUGE inside.
I loved the game, once I got into the pyramid. With no distractions and the room lights off, I was in Egypt. I'm a music fan, and the subtle score while wandering around inside set a sad, mystical mood of being in a place where no-one had set foot in eons. It's one of the games that I pull out every so often to replay.
The Omega Stone, OTOH, left a LOT to be desired. On most of the puzzles, I was wondering how they made sense in the scheme of things. Too bad. - Jim
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