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Classic Games (Games) Wii

Can Nintendo Save the Adventure Game Genre? 126

Posted by Zonk
from the start-the-life-support-please dept.
Gamasutra is running an editorial wondering whether the Wii can save the adventure game genre. With the intuitive nature of first-person control and interaction the Wiimote/nunchuck combination provides, it's been an open question since the console's concept was announced whether or not the Nintendo could revive a much-beloved but sadly absent game genre. Scott Nixon writes of the future for point-and-click titles, talking about their hearty success on the DS (with Hotel Dusk and Phoenix Wright) and the requirements of design such games would make of the Wii. With word that a Wii developer for the Sam and Max series is being sought, the question isn't if but when adventure titles begin appearing on the system. Here's hoping they get a warm reception, from an audience ready for their reintroduction. Update: 02/07 01:03 GMT by Z : Fixed the link. Sorry.
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Can Nintendo Save the Adventure Game Genre?

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  • Maniac Mansion. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by headkase (533448) on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @06:42PM (#17912702)
    I played Maniac Mansion [wikipedia.org] when it was brand new (I was a kid) and it kicked off and defined a golden era of adventure games that lasted from the late '80s well into the '90s. Something like Broken Sword: Angel of Death [wikipedia.org] is the spiritual successor in our present day for this genre.
  • No brainer (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) * <<akaimbatman> <at> <gmail.com>> on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @06:42PM (#17912712) Homepage Journal
    Adventure games never really died. They just got lost in the massive push toward All Things 3D(TM). I'm happy to see that companies are starting to understand that these games are still popular, in the same way that RPGs are still popular both in 2D and 3D.

    Translated to Marketeeringese: Good Adventure Games = $$$Ka Ching!$$$

    While you're waiting, consider playing a little Stargate Adventure [bigbluecup.com]. It's short, but it will take you back. :)
  • by caitsith01 (606117) on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @06:45PM (#17912766) Journal

    the question isn't if but when adventure titles begin appearing on the system
    Ummm... Zelda?

    I am starting to wonder if the whole 'adventure gaming is dead' notion comes from a failure to recognise that games like Zelda, Oblivion, Deus Ex and so on are, in effect, adventure games. You freely explore a large environment solving problems, frequently involving puzzles, the need to talk to characters in the world, or the need to acquire specific objects, all within the framework of a larger story. Just because it doesn't involve 2D sprites and some hand-painted backgrounds doesn't mean that what is often called an 'RPG' isn't a traditional adventure game.

    However, it is a reasonable assertion that the Wiimote does offer the possibility that mouse-driven adventure games could finally work well on a console.
    • by frederec (911880) on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @06:58PM (#17913040)

      When people say "adventure gaming is dead," what they're probably talking about is "point-and-click" adventure gaming is dead. The adventure games you're talking about are classified more as "action adventure" games.

      I'm not terribly fond of pigeonholing everything into miniscule subgenres, but here I think it's relevant.

      Action adventure games do involve a fair amount of item collecting and puzzle solving. But they also involve a lot of fighting, frequently repetitive fighting. The point-and-click style of adventure gaming (unless you want to go real old school and talk about text adventures, but it's a similar thing) is more cerebral. There is little to no direct violence. Virtually everything must be done by puzzle solving, and there is a much lower emphasis on things like reaction time. It's part of the reasons people have been referring to the new Phoenix Wright game as being almost a visual novel.

      So the difference is not 3D vs. 2D (many adventure games went for at least pseudo-3D), nor is it sprites vs. rendered graphics. It's all about action with some puzzles vs. all puzzles, all the time. It drastically changes the tone and feel of the game. Zelda, Okami, and the like, while good games, do not have the "feel" of pure adventure games. Hence "action adventure."

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by caitsith01 (606117)
        I take your point, but I would argue that 'action' adventure is a natural evolution. As game worlds become more immersive it is logical that players be given more freedom of action. As such, whereas in an old style point-and-click adventure there might be one single way to solve a given problem (i.e. solving a 'puzzle'), in more modern games it is possible to give the player the freedom to solve the problem as though it were real. One way of solving it might involve violence, but another might involve tr
        • I take your point, but I would argue that 'action' adventure is a natural evolution. As game worlds become more immersive it is logical that players be given more freedom of action. As such, whereas in an old style point-and-click adventure there might be one single way to solve a given problem (i.e. solving a 'puzzle'), in more modern games it is possible to give the player the freedom to solve the problem as though it were real. One way of solving it might involve violence, but another might involve tradi

        • by grumbel (592662)
          ### I take your point, but I would argue that 'action' adventure is a natural evolution.

          Evolution as in one step forward, and two steps back. Adventure games, the good ones, are about telling a story, characters and dialog. You also have to solve puzzles along the way, but those are there to drive the story forward, not the sole purpose of playing the game. That said, in the last years, well decade, the genre has already made a step back, a lot of classic point&click adventure games today feature extre
          • by Kelbear (870538)
            Dreamfall: The Longest Journey a 2006 game got "Best story" from IGN, Gamespy, and Gametrailers I believe.

            It was a 3d adventure game, with a rare combat event sprinkled in here and there(horrible), and the puzzles were incredibly simple.

            The story and voice acting were great though. And so I enjoyed the hell out of the game.

            I used to love final fantasy games, until I realized I HATED RANDOM ENCOUNTERS! It's a dull grind when I'm only playing to get plot and background. So I was delighted to play Dreamfall wh
      • When people say "adventure gaming is dead," what they're probably talking about is "point-and-click" adventure gaming is dead.

        Well, you said it yourself-

        unless you want to go real old school and talk about text adventures, but it's a similar thing

        Text adventures used to be considered the "real" adventures (until the market died out in the late-80s/early-90s), with graphical adventures being considered more lightweight.

        (Disclaimer for following: I haven't played anything like a recent point-and-click adventure; plese correct me if I'm glaringly wrong here).

        There's perhaps a case to be made that even the best point-and-click adventures have (by necessity of interface design) to lead the player somewhat.

        Consider it li

      • by Tet (2721)
        unless you want to go real old school and talk about text adventures

        Apprently I'm "old school", then. To me, the very phrase "adventure game" refers to text adventures -- the sort of thing you'd find in Crash's "Adventure trail" pages, or Personal Computer Games/Zzap!64's "The White Wizard" column. I spent many hours engrossed in them during my formative years, and even rediscovered them recently, when I was able to play Level 9's "Lords of time" again, through the magic of BeebEm. It's a shame that nothi

      • One reason I prefer adventures is that most 3D first person games are in incredibly restricted in the way the player interacts with the world around them.

        In a text adventure you can smell, turn, press, rub, squeeze, push, eat, drink, examine, feel, rotate, bury, steal objects.

        In an FPS game you can shoot, activate or sometimes take objects, which is quite limiting for interesting puzzles, or at least those that involve more subtle interaction with the game world.

        There was a FPS games ages ago (pre 3d accele
      • by kabocox (199019)
        So the difference is not 3D vs. 2D (many adventure games went for at least pseudo-3D), nor is it sprites vs. rendered graphics. It's all about action with some puzzles vs. all puzzles, all the time. It drastically changes the tone and feel of the game. Zelda, Okami, and the like, while good games, do not have the "feel" of pure adventure games. Hence "action adventure."

        Let's face it, puzzles and more puzzles don't sell video games. The annoying part of most video games are those puzzles. You don't remember
        • by frederec (911880)

          I agree, to a certain extent. When I was young I remember being stuck at a certain spot in King's Quest III for months before finally figuring out what to do, and finishing the game shortly thereafter. (Admittedly, it was only played in short bursts when I went to visit someone, but still.) So I agree in the sense that I would never expect these types of adventure games to really compete with larger genres like sports, fps, rpgs, and so on.

          There may not be many gamers who are willing to deal with these

      • Action adventure games do involve a fair amount of item collecting and puzzle solving. But they also involve a lot of fighting, frequently repetitive fighting [...] It's all about action with some puzzles vs. all puzzles, all the time.

        "All puzzles, all the time"? Sounds like Tetris to me; I wouldn't exactly call that an adventure game.

        I think this depends heavily on the game. "Fighting" isn't a genre-defining element. Take WoW for example -- actually, KotOR works, too. There's a lot of fighting in those

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I'd agree on Zelda, but I think Oblivion is pushing it a little, unless you want to just fold almost all of RPG itself into a subset of Adventure. Maybe I'm just bitter, because I'm the only person in the world who likes RPGs (Western-style as opposed to Japanese-style RPGs) and Adventure games and found Oblivion to be incredibly boring, just as I found Morrowind.
    • Is there a way to mod that "-1 clueless"? Because you have no idea of what an adventure game is!

      Just because it doesn't involve 2D sprites and some hand-painted backgrounds doesn't mean that what is often called an 'RPG' isn't a traditional adventure game.
      Nor does Myst. Nor does Grim Fandango. But they play like adventures, so they are adventures. The ones you mentioned are not adventures because they don't play like adventures. They are action RPGs.
      • Hmm, are you familiar with a language called 'English'? I'm pretty sure that if you look it up you'll find that the definition of "adventure" is probably apt to describe a story in which the protagonist escapes from prison, meets a king, commences a sacred mission, rescues a prince, becomes a great and famed warrior and magician and attempts to banish evil from a magical land (Oblivion), or a story in which a man with no past gradually unravels a massive government conspiracy and the secrets of his own cre
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Goaway (82658)
          The dictionary is not a good place to look up definitions of gaming genres. Try looking up "action" and see where that gets you.

          Nothing has "evolved". Action adventures have existed for a long, long time alongside pure adventure games. Zelda started out on the NES, remember? The former genre is still alive and well, the latter isn't.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by TempeTerra (83076)
          'Adventure games' has a meaning more specific than just "a game in which you have an adventure". Look up "adventure games" on Wikipedia. 'Adventure games' are heavily story based, rarely have arcade-style game play and have non-trivial puzzles. Fetch quests in Oblivion don't count.
    • by Blakey Rat (99501)
      I don't think most people consider Zelda an adventure game.

      But Xbox 1 had both Syberia and Dreamfall (and perhaps Syberia II, I'm not 100% sure), those were great adventure games, and people weren't saying that Microsoft had "saved the adventure genre." This article is just more breathless Nintendo praise without much fact behind it.

      Did the Game Cube have *any* adventure titles? Why would the author assume the Wii would? (And why ignore the Xbox, which has a proven record of adventure titles?)
      • Why would the author assume the Wii would?
        1. Because it will have at least one: Sam & Max
        2. Because it has a pointer
        3. Because there are lots of adventures on the DS

        The Wii and the DS are quite simply the only two consoles well-suited for "point and click" adventures.

        • by Blakey Rat (99501)
          As evidenced by those games ported to Xbox, nothing about adventure games requires "point and click."

          And I still say it's kind of daft to argue that Nintendo will "save the adventure genre" because the Wii will have 1 adventure game when the Xbox had several and nobody proclaimed that Microsoft was "saving the adventure genre." If you're going to make some proclamation about some company saving some genre of games, you might do a teeny bit of research to find which company already supports that genre the mo
          • by LKM (227954)

            As evidenced by those games ported to Xbox, nothing about adventure games requires "point and click."

            Yeah, and the GBA has a port of Broken Sword. It doesn't require point and click, it just sucks without it. Adventures without Point-and-Click usually either suck, or aren't real Adventures, but Action Adventures.

            So, what games are you talking about? Psychonauts? How well did these Xbox Adventure games do?

            • by Blakey Rat (99501)
              I'm talking about Syberia and Dreamfall. I always kind of assumed Psychonauts was a platformer, but I haven't played it.

              In any case, Syberia and Dreamfall are most certainly adventure games, don't use "point and click" and also do not suck. Try playing one.
              • by LKM (227954)
                So... You've got two games, at least one of which (The Longest Journey) is an Action Adventure, and the other came out in 2002 (and had a sequel in 2004). And you're telling me that Adventures don't need saving.
                • by Blakey Rat (99501)
                  In what way is The Longest Journey "action" of any form?

                  And I was just mentioning adventure games ON CONSOLES. Xbox, specifically. There are tons released for PC every year.
    • by TempeTerra (83076)
      Zelda is almost an adventure game - action-adventure would be most appropriate. Deus Ex could be counted if you don't mind FPS game play in with your adventure. Oblivion has a weak story and no puzzles.

      Adventure games from the 'golden age' of LucasArts and Sierra had a similar presentation style to each other, but the significant point is that they also shared the same gameplay style. That gameplay is what is missing from modern games, and nobody knows exactly why.
      • Zelda is almost an adventure game - action-adventure would be most appropriate.
        Prince of Persia is the very definition of action-adventures. Is Zelda like Prince of Persia? If not, you're wrong.
    • Your point is well made. Adventure game elements have been incorporated into pretty much every genre, but calling Oblivion an adventure game is a pretty big stretch. It's an RPG by any definition of the genre. It's just more related to the Computer RPGs than traditional Console RPGs like Final Fantasy. But back to the main point, while adventure game elements have been incorporated into many other genres, the traditional adventure game is pretty much gone. Adventure games are geared more toward players who
    • I sure hope so. Back was I was a kid these are the types of games we used to play. While Zelda was and still is the best game in my opinion, I never really played Wii.
  • Definition (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ObiWanStevobi (1030352) on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @06:45PM (#17912768) Journal
    Depends on they definition of adventure game. If you include RPGs (which I certainly would), I say they are as strong as they every were. Zelda, Elder Scrolls, and Final Fantasy all have great new releases. All consoles have a great adventure game. BTW, the problem with them hasn't been with the controls, so no, the Wii will not fix the plot staleness of adventure games, developers willing to take a chance on an unproven concept will.
    • Re:Definition (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Mr2001 (90979) on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @08:55PM (#17914804) Homepage Journal
      As others have pointed out, the subject here is "point-and-click adventures" in the style of Monkey Island, Maniac Mansion, Space Quest, etc. Those games don't rely on action scenes or leveling up, and in the LucasArts games, you can't die even if you try(*). They're all about solving puzzles, combining objects and working your way through conversations to achieve a goal. They share with RPGs an emphasis on story and some of the more superficial puzzle solving aspects, but they're really a different genre.

      And yes, I think one of the problems with those games on consoles has been the controls. When the game is all about moving a pointer around on the screen to select verbs and items, a D-pad just doesn't work very well.. but the Wiimote certainly does.

      (* OK, there are a couple places where you can die, but you have to try really hard. Dying is an easter egg.)
      • And yes, I think one of the problems with those games on consoles has been the controls. When the game is all about moving a pointer around on the screen to select verbs and items, a D-pad just doesn't work very well.. but the Wiimote certainly does.
        There are these things called analog sticks, they work pretty well. Also some consoles have USB ports, making porting a PC point and click game easier since you don't have to change the controls/UI at all.

        • by ECMIM (946033)
          Except that (at least in the case of the 360) you can't.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Mr2001 (90979)

          There are these things called analog sticks, they work pretty well.

          An analog stick is slightly better than a D-pad for controlling a cursor, but not much. Nowhere near as easy as moving a mouse or just pointing at the screen.

          Also some consoles have USB ports, making porting a PC point and click game easier since you don't have to change the controls/UI at all.

          They didn't have USB ports until the PS2 came out, and in the meantime, adventure games sort of died. (The SNES had a nonstandard mouse, and it's hard to sell a game that needs a special peripheral.)

          The current generation of consoles all have USB ports, but they also have wireless controllers (except for the sucker version of the Xbox 360), which enc

          • Wireless optical mice are a solution, they work on any surface even uphosltery/pillows

            Instead of putting the mouse in front of you use it on the cushion beside you. Use a lappad if necessary again, beside you, not in front. Try playing Deus Ex or Half Life that way on the PS2. Not with the keyboard controls for movement, but with the joypad and the mouse. use the analog stick to move, mouse to aim. You can keep the keyboard plugged in for the ocassional menu button function if you want. tap it with a fi
  • by HappySqurriel (1010623) on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @06:47PM (#17912798)
    Honestly, why does it have to be Nintendo's job to save the adventure game?

    Why did Sierra (Leisure Suit Larry, Kings Quest, Police Quest, Space Quest) and Lucasarts (The Dig) ever give up on the Adventure game in the first place, and why can't they save it?

    • by AKAImBatman (238306) * <<akaimbatman> <at> <gmail.com>> on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @06:57PM (#17913018) Homepage Journal

      Honestly, why does it have to be Nintendo's job to save the adventure game?
      Because it's Nintendo's job to save the industry from itself? The gaming industry has been on a headlong dive for extremely high mediocrity to high price ratios for a long time now. Only Nintendo has taken the time to step back and say, "Wait! Where are we going with this, again?" If Nintendo didn't take a stand, it's unlikely that anyone else in the industry would have.

      It's like asking the question, "Why me?" The only good answer is, "If not you, then who else?"
      • by Itchyeyes (908311) on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @07:11PM (#17913282) Homepage
        I hear this sentiment echoed all over the place these days. I seem to be the only one left who does not share it. The truth of the matter is that it's the customers who have taken the industry down this so called "headlong dive". Go look in any bargain bin and you'll find countless gems like Psychonauts or Oddworld or Darwinia that did not hold to the status quo of GTA rip-offs, medieval RPGs, or Sci-Fi/WW2 shooters. The problem is that nobody buys them. You can hardly fault a publisher for not making games that nobody will buy.

        The truth is that there have been many companies in the industry to take a stand only to get run over by the rush to pick up "Japanese RPG #25". The only reason that Nintendo gets any credit is because they have a rabidly loyal fanbase that even Steve Jobs would envy. For some reason they can put out a console supported pretty much by mini games and a 20 year old franchise and their fans hail it as a rebirth of the industry. They can produce a single adventure game for their hand-held platform and they "saving the genre".

        Hotel Dusk is a fantastic game, as are a myriad of other games for both the DS and the Wii. Why can't they just stand as that? Why do they always have to be saving something or taking a stand for something?
        • by Omestes (471991) <omestes AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @09:16PM (#17915034) Homepage Journal
          There is a term for this (borrowed shamelessly from polisci) "The tyranny of the masses". Even if the majority of consumers wants to digest pap, unoriginal games, and idiotic sequels, there should still be niches for gamers who want to play something unique and creative. Yes, the average consumer is an idiot, most of us agree when looking at Hollywood, or in your local Gamestop), since 90% of whats out there is crap, profitable crap, but still crap. For every Katamari or Elebits there is 900,000 WWII clones, and 10,000,000 stealth shooters. People don't play creative games, because they are rare and thus people don't get to experience difference. Creative games are rare because no one buys them. The only people who can short circuit this are the developers and publishers. (Just like the indie film market created exposure, which creative desire, which created a larger market, which created more indie films). Nintendo is, though, the last show in town with exposure, PCs comes second.

          I'm sick of the "nintendo only pops out sequels" myth. Yes, there are shared characters, and series. BUT, how much gameplay do these share with other games with "Mario" or "Donkey Kong"? Not much. They at least shake things up, unlike other popular series, such as the much beloved Halo series, which is the exact same game, going on 3 iterations now.

          The minigame thing for the Wii is scary though. I love Wii Sports, Rabbids, and Wario, but 3 is enough for so close after launch, and perhaps another year. Sure, it is nice to be able to play a game for 10 minutes, and still get a good experience, and have something to break out at parties. But still...

          As for adventure (classic, hunt the hotspot type), I rather doubt they will be big ever again. The audience is aging, and has less time on their hands, the younger folks don't have the patience to stare at a static screen for an hour, trying to figure out you need to shove the fence post into the giant evil space pumpkin, to kill her.

          Yes, I want a Wii version of Sanitarium.

          Insolent meat! Your cells lack structure!"
      • by Grey Ninja (739021) on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @07:13PM (#17913332) Homepage Journal
        Exactly. I think it's also worth noting though, that Nintendo has ALREADY DONE THIS once before, when it rescued the industry from the crash [wikipedia.org]. It's long been my belief that the industry is headed for another crash. But with the introduction of the Wii and the DS... I am starting to have my doubts. The PS3 and the Xbox 360 may well be headed to a crash. But I think Nintendo has a bright future ahead.
    • Seriously, I wish what's left of Sierra would work on moving their Quest game series into this century. If nothing else, I think Hero's Quest (aka Quest for Glory) has enough RPG/Action elements that the transition to a modern game could be accomplished.
      • by Nasarius (593729)
        A new Quest for Glory game would be incredible, though I think QFG5 was a bit of a letdown. I really doubt Sierra will revive the series, but you can always bug the Coles [transolar.com] to make something new.
        • Personally, I think there was something about the people at Sierra that failed to keep up with the times. They were great at making command-line games, back when that was the thing. When graphics came to the forefront, command lines went away, and everything was mouse-driven, they started to fall apart. The conventions changed, the market changed, the audience changed, and the people there didn't seem suited to do the new things.

          I'm guessing there. From the point of view of a fan, the games just starte

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by VGPowerlord (621254)

      Why did Sierra (Leisure Suit Larry, Kings Quest, Police Quest, Space Quest) and Lucasarts (The Dig) ever give up on the Adventure game in the first place, and why can't they save it?

      Well, this is how it worked:

      LucasArts noticed that it made a lot more money on mediocre Star Wars titles than they did from their best selling adventure games... although the move away from point-n-click with Grim Fandango and Escape From Monkey Island probably didn't help their sales.

      The creative minds behind Sierra, Ken and R

    • by master_p (608214)
      They gave up because the people behind those adventures either are dead, got bored and moved on to other things.

      An adventure game needs people who love to write those types of games; an adventure game can not be treated just another instance of the same game with different graphics and sounds. Just like comedy is the most difficult of plays, adventures are the most difficult of games.
  • oh Nintendo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Itchyeyes (908311) on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @06:50PM (#17912840) Homepage
    I saw this article, and frankly I'm not convinced. There's so much hype surrounding the Wii right now and all the amazing innovative things people expect out of it. If adventure games succeed on the Wii, it won't be because there was some kind of pent up demand for adventure games that wasn't being served. There have been some excellent titles over the last couple of years like Dreamfall and Indigo Prophecy the people just flat out ignored. Rather, if Adventure titles succeed on the Wii, I think it will be because of the excitement that surrounds that machine. Nintendo has done such an amazing job marketing this thing that people are practically falling over themselves to just to play games like Mario Party 8. Pretty much any game that comes out for the system is viewed through rose colored glasses at the moment. I suppose in that sense, it certainly could bring back the genre.
    • by Shados (741919)
      So true, and I'm a victim of that amazing marketing myself. Everything feels better on the Wii. I'm sure its just an illusion...but in the end, its what videogames are for in the first place.

      Microsoft probably should hire Nintendo to market Vista or something :)
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Itchyeyes (908311)
        I did the same thing when I ditched my PSP for a DS. At first I thought it was the most amazing machine ever. It wasn't until several months later that I realized that there wasn't anything special about the system. I was playing the same Mario Kart, SMB, Animal Crossing, etc... that I had played on Nintendo systems for years. There wasn't something inherently special about the DS that made these games good. It was the games that made the DS good.
    • by Jefe (2093)
      Actually, I think that if anything 'saves the adventure game', it'll be the DS where it's already started. The sort of games we're talking about just don't feel right on a big TV, but in a handheld they FIT. They feel more like a living novel, and are paced well for that sort of interaction. I think developers recognize this, and we're starting to see the results. We could equally comment on the dearth of FPSs on the DS. It's not for a lack of horsepower, really, it's just a poor fit. I don't see the Wii's
  • ...whether the Wii can save the adventure game genre.
    Sure, if they start including a C64 emulator. Seriously, "adventure" hasn't been a game genre for what, now, 20 years? (I think it's mostly been replaced by "RPG" or "FPS".)
    • by shimage (954282)
      I guess, if you don't count the so-called point-and-click adventure games. But in that case, I think you'd be missing the point, since the article is talking about point-and-click adventure games. The last one I enjoyed was Monkey Island 4, but they're still coming out with them (e.g., Broken Sword, Dreamfall, Syberia).
  • I'd like to see better sports and FPS adaptations. Use the nunchuck to move (turn?) and reload; use the Wiimote to aim, (turn?) and shoot.

    Heck, bring ROCKET JOCKEY to the Wii!
  • Myst... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by quark101 (865412) on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @07:13PM (#17913330)
    Granted, I'm not old enough to remember any of the adventure games from the 80s, but Myst essentially defined video games for me, and I've played through the 4 sequels and abolustely loved them. Point and Click will always have a fond place in my heart, and I've been really sad to see it go.

    Games like Final Fantasy and Oblivion, while they are really, really nice, just aren't the same. The basic concept of the game is different. There are puzzles yes, but they are a secondary element, instead of being an integral part of the story and experience.
    • Re:Myst... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Shados (741919) on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @07:20PM (#17913456)
      In this day and age, Myst-like games have a lot of trouble getting through to the mass... The mass simply doesn't like hard games. They want to be spoon fed, and they don't want to have to think. The only real challenge you'll ever see involves button mashing in the right order, and aiming well, and while they require a lot of skill (more than I have!) in their own right, it is a different skillset entirely.

      Puzzle games that make you think don't have a place anymore, in a world where if there's no walkthrough or FAQ about a game, it is considered "frustrating and impossible".
      • by nomadic (141991)
        My problem with Myst is it took out most interactivity with the environment. As a gamer who grew up with LucasArts-style adventure games where you can walk around, being offered what's basically a slideshow was not that appealing.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Leto-II (1509)
          I agree 100%. I never understood the whole fascination everyone had with Myst. Okay, the pictures were pretty... And? It was not fun.
          • I agree 100%. I never understood the whole fascination everyone had with Myst. Okay, the pictures were pretty... And? It was not fun.

            I didn't care much for the puzzles or the pretty pictures in Myst. But I did like the illusion of wandering around places abandoned, yet well preserved. I liked going from age to age and examine everything and trying to imagine who lived there and how. Where they happy? Where they scared? It was rather voyeuristic.

            Then the new games came, with actors and such and ruined i
      • ...because all I am playing these days are adventures! I can not bear mindless violent games any more...I've played so far: the Maniac Mansion, the Day of the Tentacle, Sam and Max hit the Road, Indiana Jones and the temple of Atlantis, All 4 Monkey Island games, King's Quest 1 to 4, Grim Fantago and many others!

        And you know what? the fun I had was tremendous, much more than killing enemy soldiers and blasting aliens. There is nothing like getting a cup of your favorite drink (coffee for me) and try to solv
      • by kabocox (199019)
        Puzzle games that make you think don't have a place anymore, in a world where if there's no walkthrough or FAQ about a game, it is considered "frustrating and impossible".

        What would be a good thing for the entire puzzle genre would be stealth educational games. Instead of just the hunt for the really hidden item or pull/push switches/levers in the right order to unlock something, why can't they be centered around say chemistry, physics, biology and some math? I've been playing FFXII lately and in that game,
      • by Graymalkin (13732) *

        Puzzle games that make you think don't have a place anymore, in a world where if there's no walkthrough or FAQ about a game, it is considered "frustrating and impossible".

        I don't think it's puzzle adventure games not having a place. The problem is too many developers over the years have stuck puzzles where they don't belong and/or have made them illogical and obfuscated. I want to play thorugh a game and be part of a story, not decipher Linear A [wikipedia.org] to get to level 2. When resorting to a FAQ or walkthru I very

  • by hardburn (141468) <hardburn AT wumpus-cave DOT net> on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @07:21PM (#17913480)

    No discussion of adventure games is complete without Old Man Murray [oldmanmurray.com].

    I miss Old Man Murray.

    • by Qbertino (265505)
      That link is hilariously funny. Great read and great laugh. And some nice insight on the topic.
  • Adventure games are not really dead, they dont even smell, in the last 2 years 10-20 of those games habe been released. They are definitely not anymore high profile, double page ad games, but they are released on a constant scale with about 20 titles per year. Thing is, nowadays those games are cheaply produced with many tools already available, so smaller studios nowadays do them (except for Nintendo who has Cing on their Payroll for the DS adventure games) they do not have to sell millions but those studi
  • by ChaosDiscord (4913) * on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @07:54PM (#17914034) Homepage Journal

    Sure, Zelda, Deus Ex, and RPGs like Oblivion provide many of the same pleasures of a good adventure game. I like all of them. But you know what's meant by "adventure games" in this case. There is a strong emphasis on puzzles and a traditionally paced plot. These games are typically more slow paced with a strong focus on thinking. They have little to no emphasis on action, combat, or character skills and attributes. These are games like Zork, King's Quest, the Secret of Monkey Island, Myst, or Hotel Dusk.

    Suggesting that Zelda, Deus Ex, or Oblivion are somehow replacements is as unhelpful. You might as well suggest that Oblivion is a first-person-shooter since you can shoot arrows or spells at people, or the Rainbow Six series of games is interchangable with real-time strategy games like Warcraft, since in both games your success relies on your ability to give AI controlled units commands. Sure, you can make reasonable definitions that blur those lines, but those lines are useful as they distinguish very different styles of play that different people like.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Blakey Rat (99501)
      A better argument is one expressed a few posts ago which sums to:

      If great modern adventure games like The Longest Journey, Dreamfall, Syberia, Syberia II and Indigo Prophecy were basically ignored by the gaming press, what makes him think anything can "save" the adventure genre? All of those games were well-done and very entertaining.

      Frankly the adventure genre is only dead in the first place because the gaming press mostly ignores new adventure games that come out, for some reason. I think it's all just no
      • by potaz (211754)
        Hey, how do you get the frozen crunchberries out of the Mastodon wall in Kate Walker II? I am stuck.
      • That's it exactly. You can't package your childhood in a box and sell it.

        I've learned that a really good game is only a really good game in your memory. It's fun to think about it later, but it's really not worth buying / dusting off the old equipment.

        What you get isn't as good as what you remember.

        That said, games where brains and thinking are more important that reflexes and a fast video card are few and far between.
      • by zoney_ie (740061)
        I think that if you simply had good enough writers, artists, what have you, you could do another Monkey Island. I've played The Longest Journey through (and will play Dreamfall once I figure out how to avoid installing Starforce or downloading the entire cracked US version).

        But nothing other than Monkey Island has the same quirky humour, laid back style, and well, MONKEYS AND PIRATES! OK - so it doesn't have to be monkeys and pirates. But seriously, TLJ wasn't exactly a light-hearted amusing little romp.
        • by Blakey Rat (99501)
          That's fine, but "light-hearted amusing little romp" isn't part of the definition of "adventure game."
          • by zoney_ie (740061)
            Yes - but my point was that certain types of adventure game are not now prevalent. I mean, my comments apply not just to Monkey Island, but Simon the Sorcerer, Discworld, etc.

            That's not just childhood nostalgia as the gp was attempting to say. It's about wanting something similar again, because its good fun in a way that even other adventure games aren't.
  • Assassin's Creed will save the genre.
  • by RyoShin (610051) <tukaro AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @08:32PM (#17914532) Homepage Journal
    With the introduction of the Wiimote, Wii can bring back point-and-click interface gaming.

    Games like Myst were appealing to a wide range of players; the beautiful graphics, interesting puzzles, and simple play style (no spells to memorize, just use your brain) made it a hit seller.

    I think that could happen over again on the Wii. While it doesn't have the best graphics of this generation, I don't think it will be a stretch to move the graphics of the various Myst games to the system, since much of it, to my knowledge, is pre-rendered.

    It would also be another way for Nintendo to reach out to the "non-gamer" audience. Myst doesn't involve frantic violence, movements, sexuality, or most of those other things games are usually chided for. It's simple point-and-click, point-and-click, point-and-click. A great game for parents or grandparents, aside from those nostalgic for days of yure.
    • I disagree that Myst was widely loved by audiences... I think Myst is a prime example of "right place right time" When Myst was released, people were buying their first PCs and they were coming with these awesome "CD ROM" Drives. People were dying to see what this $2000 dollar caluclator could do, and Myst delivered that. The game is not much more than a glorified Powerpoint presentation. It was filled with breathtaking 3D images and a "story" to accompany them. Even more amazing... players were treate
  • Whatever happened to Dreamforge? Sanitarium was one of the most enjoyable adventures I have ever played. Ditto for Silver though it was technically an RPG, the linear storyline and point and click interface made it more like an uber adventure game IMHO.
    • Agreed - Sanitarium was a wonderful game, one of the last greats of the 'graphic adventure' genre. If adventure games make this so called comeback, I hope it's games more along this line, and not the exercise in tedium that is the Myst/7th Guest-like adventure. As for Dreamforge? They don't exist anymore :(
  • Maniac Mansion was a blast. Played many many times and got nearly all the endings. Nother Awsome game from its day that would really shine would be some thing like Shadowgate. The Wii would do the game justice w/ the point click Wii interaface. Oldschool is making a come back so lets be sure to show the true Gems that made up the basis that games are made by now, not who had better marketing ploys just to sell more titles !!!
  • What killed them was when there were so many games that didn't use "logic" but resorted to random puzzles to cram into them. We remember the well made ones like grim fandango and sam and max but how about the other wretched sierra tittles liek space quest 6 and their lot. Thats what killed them. they may come back but in hybrid form. For instance didn't Planescape feel a lot like a poitn and click? you had to get X item to advance Y plot and repeat. It did it well but it was a lot of fetch and kill quests t
  • The mouse is the best controller for adventure games, and the PC the best platform. Console games should stick to what they do best: action games. The whole point of the Wiimote is that it enhances the action experience, not acting as a mouse...
    • The whole point of the Wiimote is that it enhances the action experience, not acting as a mouse...

      But then wasn't the main problem with point-and-clicks that the mouse made you feel removed from the action? The whole point of the Wiimote is to try and replace unintuitive control systems with something more natural. Note that the control-pad is only one unintuitive control system, and the mouse is quite clearly another.

      HAL.

      • by master_p (608214)
        but the action detracts from puzzle solving...
        • but the action detracts from puzzle solving...

          Does the mouse action detract from the puzzle solving? Why should Wiimote action be any different. What I'm talking about hear is immersive interactivity -- being more involved and relating more to the lead character. Should a point-and-click character be a mere pawn, or your avatar? Ideally, where control systems support, I'd say the latter, personally.

          HAL.

          • by master_p (608214)
            It is the action that detracts from the puzzle solving.

            The Wiimote is good for simulating swords, bats, tennis rackets, i.e. for physical actions requiring movement of limbs or extension of limbs etc. In a point and click adventure, there is no need for that. What an adventure needs is a device to quickly select options: dialog options, item options, etc.

            A good example of my argument is LucasArts adventure games. The standard interface developed the previous decade contains the commands: give, pick up, use,
    • by Yvan256 (722131)
      Strangely enough, I'm quite fast at typing URLs in Opera using the Wiimote. It really feels like using a mouse on a virtual keyboard. Let me tell you I was the first to be surprised by this.

  • Adventure games are alive and well on the PC. I just finished Safecracker and found it to be fairly enjoyable. Granted, these aren't AAA games, but they're still out there if you look around a little. http://www.amazon.com/Dreamcatcher-Interactive-Sa f ecracker/dp/B000GUNAOW/sr=1-1/qid=1170882598/ref=p d_bbs_sr_1/105-9363391-4843657?ie=UTF8&s=videogame s [amazon.com]

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