Zero Punctuation: Broken Age: Act 2

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Broken Age: Act 2

This week, Zero Punctuation reviews Broken Age: Act 2.

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I can't imagine how someone would even use 3.5 million, most of that can't possibly have gone into the game itself.

Dragonheart57:
I can't imagine how someone would even use 3.5 million, most of that can't possibly have gone into the game itself.

I'm sure we'd be surprised at all the little costs that keep adding up.
Having said that, was there an extra 500k laying around and the devs thought the game was basically done and no one would miss the money? Yeah, probably.

I guess it's safe to say that your hard-on for Tim Shafer has worn off, right?

This was a Tim Shafer project, wasn't it? I think I remember hearing that somewhere once. Possibly in the last review.

Am I spelling Shafer correctly?

No wonder I wasn't hearing that much info on Act 2... It was too busy bumming around with those that already had Act 1 to begin with...

Also, I do believe we were all thinking the same thing if Yahtzee did try to go the Tim Schafer route of acquiring money for a "video game"-based project...

Another thing that bothered me about the game, when you play as Shay everytime you hear about Vella she's pictured as some divine entity who helped everyone in her way and is completely infallible and pure and kind etc. (except the tree).

Every time you hear about Shay while playing Vella he's portrayed as bumbling completely helpless idiot, even by his mother! Can we get more double standard?!

Yahtz, you know you could get twice that amount if you so much as hinted at it. You just love the freedom of developing for free.

I have to say, despite all the hype this game had, I just don't think it is very good.

I did not grow up in the so-called "golden age" of PC gaming. My only examples I can recall are a poorly designed "Famous Five" game that was really poorly designed and Telltales stuff like The Walking Dead. So, maybe I am setting the bar a little high by comparing this to a game that successfully made me care about an escort quest character and maybe the story genre isn't something that appeals to me but I just can't find it in me to say Broken Age is a good game.

I like the art style somewhat and some of the puzzles got me thinking but that is it for the things I liked. The majority of the puzzles got annoying rather than difficult (although this is apparently par for the course with adventure games) but there were so many other things. The story I felt was incredibly bland. Sure the twist halfway through was quite well planned but apart from that one brief high I just found I couldn't care too much about the characters. The "villains," while creepy, remain distanced from you that they just don't seem all that threatening. It doesn't help that we've seen that kind of villain a hundred times before and far more interesting to boot. It is hard to view them as threatening when one is wearing a wolf costume and the other seems to think that the stupid plan they have is a good one.

Finally, my big issue is with the voice acting. The vast majority of the time, Shay and Vella just seem to phone it in with little adjustment for the situation often expressing little more than bland surprise. I feel a lot of the characters just do not have any emotion in their voices although there are a couple of standouts like Lightbeard and the Marshall Dune.

In the end, I just feel that it doesn't live up to the hype.

Wait so you AREN'T willing to claim to know exactly what the developers were thinking when they made the game? Well you aren't going to fit into the social justice crowd then, I'll tell you that much.

inu-kun:
Another thing that bothered me about the game, when you play as Shay everytime you hear about Vella she's pictured as some divine entity who helped everyone in her way and is completely infallible and pure and kind etc. (except the tree).

Every time you hear about Shay while playing Vella he's portrayed as bumbling completely helpless idiot, even by his mother! Can we get more double standard?!

I have played neither part 1 nor part 2 (only seen some videos of part 1), but this sounds like a prime example of the Guybrush Paradox:
image

World's worst videogame genre continues to be awful. Excuse me while I pick up my monocle that popped out of my eye socket in surprise.

Seems like Daikatana all over again. Let the creator sit on their project and do nothing because they made a game that people liked once. Release the game, and the lack of enthusiasm is completely unexpected.

Evonisia:
Seems like Daikatana all over again. Let the creator sit on their project and do nothing because they made a game that people liked once. Release the game, and the lack of enthusiasm is completely unexpected.

The only difference is that Daikatana was one game. Double fine has been pulling this shit for years now. Broken age is garbage, Space base DF 9 was never finished, just slapped with a 1.0 label with maybe 20% of the content finished and the modders were told to fix it. Brutal legend was a disappointment. They keep asking for kickstarter money, getting millions, and then farting out crap.

AND YET THEY KEEP GETTING FUNDED!

RJ Dalton:
I guess it's safe to say that your hard-on for Tim Shafer has worn off, right?

This was a Tim Shafer project, wasn't it? I think I remember hearing that somewhere once. Possibly in the last review.

Am I spelling Shafer correctly?

Considering he doesn't mention Shafer at all, you could say the honeymoon is over. Now Yathzee will have to find a new love interest, because marrying Saints Row 2 probably isn't legal in Australia yet.

Piecewise:

The only difference is that Daikatana was one game.

Wasn't Daikatana also incredibly broken?

Broken Age had numerous problems but stability wasn't one of them.

I eagerly await the massive threads that will constantly pop up in the Gaming Industry forum for the next several years about how Tim Schafer is a lying con artist who steals Kickstarter money from hapless dupes who know not what they do, and that he's destroying the games industry.

Oh wait. They won't. Instead, as another commenter has helpfully pointed out, this is still Sarkeesian's fault somehow.

Dalisclock:

Piecewise:

The only difference is that Daikatana was one game.

Wasn't Daikatana also incredibly broken?

Broken Age had numerous problems but stability wasn't one of them.

Daikatana also had some awesome ideas in theory. (Seriously, as stupid as a shotgun that burns through it's entire clip in one trigger pull sounds, it's not that much more ridiculous than a lot of guns from that era.)

irishda:
I eagerly await the massive threads that will constantly pop up in the Gaming Industry forum for the next several years about how Tim Schafer is a lying con artist who steals Kickstarter money from hapless dupes who know not what they do, and that he's destroying the games industry.

Oh wait. They won't. Instead, as another commenter has helpfully pointed out, this is still Sarkeesian's fault somehow.

What? Were? I don't see a single post claiming that Sarkeesian is to blame for Broken Age being bad. I do see quite some post blaming Schafer for pissing all his kickstarter money away, though.

irishda:
I eagerly await the massive threads that will constantly pop up in the Gaming Industry forum for the next several years about how Tim Schafer is a lying con artist who steals Kickstarter money from hapless dupes who know not what they do, and that he's destroying the games industry.

Oh wait. They won't. Instead, as another commenter has helpfully pointed out, this is still Sarkeesian's fault somehow.

Careful with that argument there. It's so full of straw a spark would set it up in flames.

Dalisclock:

Piecewise:

The only difference is that Daikatana was one game.

Wasn't Daikatana also incredibly broken?

Broken Age had numerous problems but stability wasn't one of them.

Don't worry, DF-9 handles that.

Metalix Knightmare:

irishda:
I eagerly await the massive threads that will constantly pop up in the Gaming Industry forum for the next several years about how Tim Schafer is a lying con artist who steals Kickstarter money from hapless dupes who know not what they do, and that he's destroying the games industry.

Oh wait. They won't. Instead, as another commenter has helpfully pointed out, this is still Sarkeesian's fault somehow.

Careful with that argument there. It's so full of straw a spark would set it up in flames.

Sarkeesian's misinformed opinions, and the people who take subjective, biased and limited analysis as fact, have a lot to answer for. As do the endless jackasses who do nothing with their time but attempt to "Rebuke" a subjective opinion rather then simply putting forward a different opinion.

Double fine's inability to develop games in a timely and frugal fashion isn't one of them. I think that has to do more with Tim spending all his funding on candy and trying to create a timeline while in a near terminal sugar high.

Dalisclock:

RJ Dalton:
I guess it's safe to say that your hard-on for Tim Shafer has worn off, right?

This was a Tim Shafer project, wasn't it? I think I remember hearing that somewhere once. Possibly in the last review.

Am I spelling Shafer correctly?

Considering he doesn't mention Shafer at all, you could say the honeymoon is over. Now Yathzee will have to find a new love interest, because marrying Saints Row 2 probably isn't legal in Australia yet.

Isn't he already married to Silent Hill 2? Nothing will beat Silent Hill 2.

irishda:
I eagerly await the massive threads that will constantly pop up in the Gaming Industry forum for the next several years about how Tim Schafer is a lying con artist who steals Kickstarter money from hapless dupes who know not what they do, and that he's destroying the games industry.
Oh wait. They won't. Instead, as another commenter has helpfully pointed out, this is still Sarkeesian's fault somehow.

Sorry to burst your bubble but nobody blames Sarkessian for things that happen in games, just call out her/Mcintosh's bullshit when they spout it. Besides the fact that shes an attention whore com artist she's pretty harmless. A joke basically.

I totally forgot about this game even WAS a two-parter! Shows what I know. And what Double Fine thinks of finishing games in a timely manner.

Tim Schafer seems to be hell bent on getting us to all agree with Bobby Kotick and if that was his intention, he's doing a great job.

seriously Tim Schafer and double fine have burnt all the goodwill and fanboy love I had for them, I no longer trust them to deliver a quality fun game, I no longer WANT to see Psychonauts 2 because I'm confident they will mess it up somehow and ruin the glory of the first game.
and as much as I love being able to play Grim Fandango again, they could have done so much more with the updated port to make it playable on modern systems.

The saddest part about all this is that Bobby Kotick was right about Schaffer.

captcha:skynet knows. Even the fictional AI fucking knew.

MC1980:
The saddest part about all this is that Bobby Kotick was right about Schaffer.

captcha:skynet knows. Even the fictional AI fucking knew.

right there!
and thanks for making my day better! :D

RJ Dalton:
I guess it's safe to say that your hard-on for Tim Shafer has worn off, right?

This was a Tim Shafer project, wasn't it?

Tim Schafer, spelled with a 'c'. Yes that's him.

Actually a lot of his projects went massively overbudget, which is why industry suits don't have the same hard-on for him that his fans have. It's a good thing he finished, he's spent way more than 3.5 million on several games.

inu-kun:
Another thing that bothered me about the game, when you play as Shay everytime you hear about Vella she's pictured as some divine entity who helped everyone in her way and is completely infallible and pure and kind etc. (except the tree).

Every time you hear about Shay while playing Vella he's portrayed as bumbling completely helpless idiot, even by his mother! Can we get more double standard?!

WhiteNachos:
Wait so you AREN'T willing to claim to know exactly what the developers were thinking when they made the game? Well you aren't going to fit into the social justice crowd then, I'll tell you that much.

irishda:
I eagerly await the massive threads that will constantly pop up in the Gaming Industry forum for the next several years about how Tim Schafer is a lying con artist who steals Kickstarter money from hapless dupes who know not what they do, and that he's destroying the games industry.

Oh wait. They won't. Instead, as another commenter has helpfully pointed out, this is still Sarkeesian's fault somehow.

Does every thread have to devolve into GG vs SJWs and vice versa? Come on guys. I get that that particular issue gets people all worked up but can't we occassionally not be divided along those lines. For instance when you have to go out of your way to bring it up?

Apparently that fishing book used to be quite hard to find.

Oh, the honeymoon is *SO* over with me and Tim. I had such high hopes for part 2, since 1 was going pretty well...but ya. there is no culture shock. there's nothing. Shay has no problems being able to interact with strange new people constantly...vella doesn't ever 'stop' with the 'kill the mogs!' mindset...I haven't finished the game yet, since I'm LPing it, but the latest puzzle I solved made me so angry that I just had to STOP for a bit...I'm even shifting my upload schedule so I will get it done FASTER and not have to play it anymore.

Bumming around in ships is one of my favourite pastimes though...

TheBigOne0305:

inu-kun:
Another thing that bothered me about the game, when you play as Shay everytime you hear about Vella she's pictured as some divine entity who helped everyone in her way and is completely infallible and pure and kind etc. (except the tree).

Every time you hear about Shay while playing Vella he's portrayed as bumbling completely helpless idiot, even by his mother! Can we get more double standard?!

I have played neither part 1 nor part 2 (only seen some videos of part 1), but this sounds like a prime example of the Guybrush Paradox:
image

I only dropped by to say thank you for the picture added to your post.
Was a great read.

What bugged me the most is that i noticed i felt uncomfortable when i imagined switched genders on Guybrush and Elaine. That took me by suprise.

Spot1990:

inu-kun:
Another thing that bothered me about the game, when you play as Shay everytime you hear about Vella she's pictured as some divine entity who helped everyone in her way and is completely infallible and pure and kind etc. (except the tree).

Every time you hear about Shay while playing Vella he's portrayed as bumbling completely helpless idiot, even by his mother! Can we get more double standard?!

WhiteNachos:
Wait so you AREN'T willing to claim to know exactly what the developers were thinking when they made the game? Well you aren't going to fit into the social justice crowd then, I'll tell you that much.

irishda:
I eagerly await the massive threads that will constantly pop up in the Gaming Industry forum for the next several years about how Tim Schafer is a lying con artist who steals Kickstarter money from hapless dupes who know not what they do, and that he's destroying the games industry.

Oh wait. They won't. Instead, as another commenter has helpfully pointed out, this is still Sarkeesian's fault somehow.

Does every thread have to devolve into GG vs SJWs and vice versa? Come on guys. I get that that particular issue gets people all worked up but can't we occassionally not be divided along those lines. For instance when you have to go out of your way to bring it up?

Yeah it was kind of uncalled for.

After watching your Ego Reviews on YouTube Yahtzee, I'm actually kinda curious as to what you'd come up with if given 3.5 million dollars to develop and adventure game.

I've said it before but it bears repeating: You know who really ought to be taking up the mantle of making adventure games? Valve. Their development cycle of "roll out a prototype quickly, then playtest the hell out of it and keep tweaking stuff until people run out of things to complain about" would be a perfect fit for a genre that runs on logic puzzles, where sometimes it requires trial and error to determine if they hit the sweet spot of intuitive-but-challenging. It would also give their writers something to actually do while the artists and programmers are busy making TF2 hats and developing their new engine, respectively.

canadamus_prime:
After watching your Ego Reviews on YouTube Yahtzee, I'm actually kinda curious as to what you'd come up with if given 3.5 million dollars to develop and adventure game.

He used to make adventure games; look up "Five Days a Stranger" if you're interested and can spare several not-necessarily-consecutive hours playing it. He also made three sequels, which I never got around to playing. Anyway, I suppose he'd probably just make something like that, but with better graphics and hopefully (given his love for Valve, see above) lots of time spent in playtesting.

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