Tuesday, 30 July 2013

What's Your Story? - Kenny McCormick

Just when it seemed the well had run dry on What's Your Story entries, Kenny McCormick has come through with the goods. Given his favourite game listed below, I think I know what the 20 CAPs he has earned might go towards! Speaking of CAPs, there is not much more opportunity to adjust the playlist for 1990. The list will be set in stone the moment I post the introduction for The Colonel's Bequest, since that will be the last game for 1989.

Kenny McCormick: I thought you were dead!

My home country is… Singapore. A small island nation in the South-East Asia. Most of you might think it to be a rather exotic place. In some perverse ways, I guess it is!

My age is… 35+. Around the same age as the Trickster.

The first adventure game I played was… I can't recall exactly... It could be "Ulysses and the Golden Fleece", I think.

Another reader that was around for the very beginning of this fine genre!

When I’m not playing games I like to… Play with myself. Okay, seriously, I'd probably go out for a walk or chat with friends and maybe catch a movie if something particularly good is screening.

I like my games in (a box, digital format)… Digital. It's a godsend. I'm no collector and not one to hang onto material stuff. That said, I'm always misplacing stuff... so I'd rather have someone (Steam, Desura and GoG!) to keep them for me.

My favourite adventure game is… "Circuit's Edge". But it also has some RPG elements. But then again, I love QFQ as well. Guess I love CRPGs too much to not have them bastardizing my other games.

Circuit's Edge: There's a still a chance to get this onto the playlist! You'll need some assistance though.

The thing I miss about old games is… I think creativity would be the most common answer here. But what I think is actually 'connection'. Those games connect with me in ways that new games fail to do so. I mean, there must be a reason why I would dig out an old copy of a game on whim during a certain weekend and play the shit out of it while that shiny new jewel-cased FPS-RPG-RTS-WTF game languished beside my keyboard.

The best thing about modern games is… Big. The gameworlds are huge! And detailed too. Basically transitioning from 'what the hell is that?!' to the 'where the hell is it?!' phase.

The one TV show I never miss is… A Taiwanese veriety programme about spooks and UFO conspiracies. Doubt any of you will have seen it. But I love Misfits! The remake is certainly funnier than its predecessor!

I take it this is the Misfits you're talking about, although I didn't know it was a remake (or has a remake)?

If I could see any band live it would be… Aerosmith! But I'd also check out Korean girl groups... Damn, Girl's Generation look good... *ahem*

My favourite movie is… Monty Python and The Holy Grail. 'Nuff said!

'Nuff said indeed my friend!

One interesting thing about me is… That my feet are so flat that my footprint looks like an imprint from a cue-ball, 4 marbles and a bowling pin.

If anyone else wants to send their What's Your Story responses through and get 20 CAPs in the process, please send them to theadventuregamer@gmail.com.


  1. Salutations there! Chet at The CRPG Addict will be playing through Circuit's Edge eventually, so you can go read it there. His style is rather different then Trickster's, but he was the inspiration for this blog, so it shouldn't feel too alien.

    Now, Trickster: 1990 is locked in, so I'm going to point out some 1991 stuff if you don't mind:

    Fascination: 18 Mobyreviews. So if two of you go and rate it, then it moves to Borderline. Most of the reviews as in German, and it looks pretty bad, but hey, if you've played it you might as well right a review.

    Free D.C!: Only 11 reviews, no wiki page. Horrid reviews, but it would be the first game to use claymation, and one of the first to use sampled speech. How would claymationeven work with EGA graphics? I kinda want to see this.

    Elvira II: The Jaws of Cerberus: It seems *someone* added it to the adventure game list on Wikipedia since the last time we talked about it, so it should be borderline, not disregarded.

    Hugo II, Whodunit? (and Hugo III, Jungle of Doom!) seem to have been added to the list by...someone...since they both had full wiki pages already. Oh, and II is at 19 Mobey ratings, so it only needs one more to become Accepted. Has anyone here played it?

    Leisure Suit Larry 1, Space Quest I: Didn't you play these already?

    Maupiti Island is on both the Wiki list and has 27 Moby ratings. Why is this borderline?

    Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective: Already on the wikilist, and has 25 ratings, yet is disregarded.

    Spellcasting 201: The Sorcerer's Appliance: On the wiki list already, 14 votes. Should be borderline

    Curse of Enchantia: It seems it has a Wikipedia page, so someone has added it to the list. Someone.

    Dune: Why is this listed as an adventure game? o.0

    Frederik Pohl's Gateway: 31 Moby ratings, and on the wiki list. Should be Accepted.

    Huh, I'm in 1992. Oops. I should eat dinner and get to bed, considering it is quarter to twelve.

    1. Well, I just happened to keep all my workings out, so I should be able to answer all your questions. Note that I put the list together months back, so there's every chance things have changed since then on both Moby and Wiki.

      Fascination: It may have 18 votes overall, but it only has 12 for the DOS version. I'm not counting non-PC versions for obvious reasons.

      Elvira II: Hmmm...someone hey!

      Hugo II: Hmmm...someone...again!

      Maupiti Island: There are only 12 DOS votes.

      Sherlock Holmes: Only 13 DOS votes

      Spellcasting 201: It's interactive fiction with graphics, so it can't be automatically Accepted

      Curse of Enchantia: 1992 game

      Dune: 1992 game

      Gateway: 1992 game

    2. Yeah, a lot has changed since the list was first made. I'm assuming Trickster will do a refresh of each year when the time comes, as keeping the list updated at all times would be an immense undertaking with over 500 games on it.

      For 1991, that'll probably be somewhere around Elvira (3 games before the next year).

      PS: LSL1 and SQ1 are the VGA editions, as the EGA editions have been played.

    3. Maybe LSL1 and SQ1 could get a single comparison post as I don't think that other than graphics, sound and interface the games are any different than the originals. In fact a complete play through probably wouldn't take that long and could probably be done in a single post if Trick wanted to do a complete PISSED rating for comparison/completion sake.

    4. I think we came up with the remake notion a while back, too. I think a synopsis'd be easier (given for a great number of the remakes, it'll be very fresh to mind for Trick, I'd imagine that redoing a playthrough post with his level of detail might well feel redundant.) But that's all down to him!

    5. I'd argue that the interface changes the game significantly. Sure they have the same plot, but many of the puzzles would be different due to the change from text parser interface to point-and-click interface.

      I only think there's 4 or 5 remakes altogether. I think Sierra did one for each of its franchises, but other than that the only ones I can think of are the recent Monkey Island remakes, and they're only altered in graphics and sound, with the interface largely intact.

    6. Then there's the fan remakes to consider, also. Some of them seem really professional.

    7. @Canageek: You're probably thinking of the strategy game Dune II. Dune looks like it has some adventuring elements, although I can't say for certain that it's an adventure game. From the looks of it, it seems it has more in common with a simulation game. It'll be interesting to see how it turns out after Trickster reaches it.

    8. Why only DOS votes? If it is super popular on say BBC Micro, but had bad North American DOS marketing, it is still probably a good game.

      Also: I'm doing this now, as once Trickster puts up the 1991 year ahead post you can't add more stuff to the Wikipedia list.

    9. Dune I is not an adventure game. I don't know how it even makes it on to any adventure game list anywhere on the wide world of web. It shouldn't even be on Trickster's list with a disregarded on it.

    10. I think it's listed on MobyGames as an Adventure/Strategy game. A curious mix.

    11. The sad thing about the word "Adventure" is that it could be applied to anything exciting, thus diluting this particular genre of game. Just like the word "Role Playing". I've seen some games awaiting for Greenlight on Steam labelled with the category "RPG" only to find that it's just an FPS with skill trees...

      Geez... it's like every game that has you getting out of a building can be called and Adventure game and every game that puts you in a certain role makes it an RPG. Seriously!

    12. I'm with you there, Kenny.

      There are a few games that genuinely straddle genres, but for 95% of the games, they should just pick the most appropriate genre and go with it.

    13. This is why I get annoyed who oppose classification. Lets take FPS and add some genres:

      Arena FPS: You are in an area with a bunch of other people, kill them: Unreal, Quake, Counterstrike.
      Rollercoaster FPS (Hollywood FPS): You are taken through a scripted, planned experience, on a tight path: Modern CoD games, Medal of Honour, Homefront
      Exploration FPS: You have the freedom to roam and explore as you shoot things: Halo, Borderlands.

      Doesn't that make classifying games much easier?

    14. In theory. In practice, we can't even classify games with the broad categories we have now.

      The problem is that the more we make itsy bitsy pieces of classification the more we end up with making up genres just to fit a new game in them. As creating games is (should be) a fair bit of an artistic endeavour, it'll be an ever-evolving exercise you can never win.

      You can compare it to classifying music, which is much the same thing. Take a look at the Wikipedia page just for sub-genres of rock ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rock_genres ) and you'll see what I mean. There's 224 entries only there, and the main categorization for music is split up alphabetically in four as it's too large to keep on one page.

      You get to a point where you have to either dive deep and become an expert in the field, or just keep to the broad classifications most people can understand.

    15. I disagree. Sure, there is over-classification, but if I hand you an album I bet you could tell me if it is Rock or Metal. Heck, I bet you could easily tell me if it was Heavy Metal or Death Metal.

      Right now the main genres we have are:
      First Person Shooter
      Third Person Shooter
      -Physics Puzzle
      Turn Based Strategy
      Real Time Strategy
      Role-playing Game
      -Western RPG
      -Action RPG
      -Roguelike, though people seeking indie cred keep misusing this term
      -Flight Sim
      -Arcade racing
      -Simulation racing
      and the infamous 'Action Adventure'

      I think we can add a few more then just that without muddying things further. I mean, action adventure alone has more game types in it then you can shake a stick at. I mean, sure, you will have crossover games, but the trick there is to realize the categories aren't boxes that everything must fit into; you can say Mass Effect is part Third Person Shooter and part Action RPG.

      Sure, there are snobs who will over classify anything, but it isn't hard to tell that Rush and say, Copperhead belong to different genres despite being from about the same time and location.

    16. I actually know people who cannot hear any difference between rock and metal: both sound too loud, they say. And I've heard music aficionados make fun about people who can classify the last hundred years of Western music very intricately, but group all the pre-20th century Western music as classic and all non-Western music as ethno. The point being that classifications are usually pretty arbitrary.

      That said, from my personal perspective I really wonder especially the top of your list, Canageek. So both First Person and Third Person Shooters are genres of their own and not even subgenres of Shooters? Of course I see the difference between the two, but similarly I see the difference between first and third person adventures, RPGs etc. and I still wouldn't make them individual genres. Or even worse, take any First Person Shooter, change all the guns into arrows, darts, daggers etc., make the graphics medieval style and lo and behold - we've changed genres! Undoubtedly your list has its merits, but it's still only one way to see things.

      Personally, I've always managed with three broad descriptions: there are games that require quick reflexes (covering at least shooters, platformers, racing games, and all action games), there are games that require good resource management (covering at least RPGs and strategy games) and finally there are games that require problem solving skills (covering at least puzzlers and adventure games). These descriptions are not meant to be mutually exclusive (say, real time strategy might need both quick reflexes and resource management skills), but are more like indicators of whether I'll enjoy the game or not (roughly: problem solving - yea!; resource management - oh man, I really can't even manage my own economy, this is going to take months; quick reflexes - after a couple of futile tries, frustration makes the game fly into the orbit). For various reasons I might then use more detailed descriptions (what's the interface like, is is plot-heavy, are the problems inventory-based or puzzles etc.). This is a classification that works for my purposes, but probably not for others.

    17. First and third person shooters tend to play very, very, differently, though less so in recent times. I could see them being lumped together though, that would be fair. I just tossed the list up off the top of my head.

      If you only have three genres it is pretty much useless, why have them at all? In your description both Burnout Paradise and Super Mario Brothers are in the same genre, despite being decades apart and not resembling eachother is pretty much any way, shape or form. The point of genres is so that you can find something you like, then find more of that thing. Let me say that again:

      The only point of genres is to allow someone to find something they like, then find more of that.

      So, I know that if I like Super Mario Brothes, a platformer, there is a good chance I'm going to like um, Sonic or Super Meat Boy. It doesn't say anything about if I will like Call of Duty or Doom, even though they need reflexes for both of them. Likewise, the fact you like Warcraft III doesn't mean you will like Masters of Orion II or Civilization 900 or whatever they are up to, since they have such different playstyles. However, if you like Warcraft III then there is a good chance you'd like Command And Conquered, Starcraft, Total Annihilation, etc. If you like a few games on this blog, chances are you can find more games you will like by going down the list of games he has played, likewise with Chet's blog.

      Going back to music, if I like Demons & Wizards there is a good chance I'll like Helloween (Also Power Metal), and a lesser chance I'll like Dio (Heavy Metal, a closely related genre).

    18. Yep,as I said, my classification works for me, but probably not for many others (and it works for me, because I probably wouldn't really play either Burnout Paradise or Super Mario Bros., at least not for a very extended period; and it separates Civilization N from Warcrafts well, because in Warcraft you must have quicker reflexes than in Civilization - and I happen to enjoy Civilization more, so again, the description works for me).

      What I am suggesting is that if the only point of genres is to let someone find something they like, then a feature-based tagging would probably do the trick better than using any rigid classification. You want to play something similar to Call of Duty? Then instead of trying to determine its genre and looking at list of games within that genre, look up at a list of tags for the game, choose the features you liked in the game and find something similar. I bet you'll find less false positives in this manner (provided the tagging is extensive enough).

    19. I see it more as a series of sets, as in mathematical sets (think of Venn diagrams). The fact something is a Hollywood Shooter doesn't mean it can't be a bit of a puzzle game as well, but giving things names is a lot more convenient. Sure, there will be edge cases, but once you have multiple games coming out in a given class every year, without fail, you might as well slap a name on it.

    20. As a computational linguist, I agree about the feature-based tagging. Doesn't Amazon already do this to recommend products?

  2. Greetings Kenny. Good to see another follower with great taste in movies

  3. Fantastic news! StarDock has bought the rights to Star Control, and they are planning a followup heavily based on Star Control 2:

    1. I want to love Star Control 2, but I really detest the combat. I played it quite a bit, but could only get so far because of that combat issue. Just can't get the hang of it.

    2. The combat is an...aquired taste, but once you get the hang of it SC2 is one of the diamonds in gaming history.

  4. And now the Penumbra series (From the same developer as Amnesia, and similar in gameplay and scary atmosphere) is available on GOG

    And for the next 2 days, only $5


    Once again, I recommend you get it immediately if you like horror themed games.

    1. Thanks! I hate horror, but need to complete the library.

      The collection contains:
      Penumbra: Overture - 2007 Borderline
      Penumbra: Black Plague - 2008 Borderline
      Penumbra: Requiem - 2008 Disregarded

  5. Speaking of Holy Grail, I just played and completed Conquests of Camelot for the first time! It's coming as the fifth game after SQ3. (Yes, I prefer to play games I'm interested in ahead of time instead of "playing along".) Very atmoshperic game, very challenging puzzles. They're very rewarding to solve though; I only had to use a walkthrough in situations that didn't involve actual puzzle-solving (such as coming up with the exact parser command, or finding an exit I had missed).

    1. This is definitely an advantage if you want to guess the PISSED rating, and if you want to place some bets for what might stump Trickster. I mean the pot is already over 100 points!

  6. Hey! Nice screenshot of Ulysses, Trickster! Never finished that game, though. Horrible parser and absolutely no hint on what to do next.

    I had hoped that you'd be playing Circuit's Edge along with Chet like you did with QFG. Too much to hope for, I guess!

    And yeah, "Misfits" is a remake of the original "Misfits of Science" from America in the mid 80s. None of you have watched it? No? Come on!

    Glad there's more fans of the Holy Grail sketch, Draconius. =D

    Love that scene, Trickster. Brings a smile on my face every time. "Oh, I see! Running away, you yellow bastards! Come back here and take what's coming! I'll bite your legs off!" XD

    1. I tried to watch The Holy Grail with my wife before we were married. She only found the coconut tied to the swallows leg funny which is such a tiny background scene that with no further refference you may not even know it. She found the Black Knight too silly and I turned it off after that in despair. I tell you, I nearly called the whole thing off.

    2. Seriously?! MY wife didn't understand the hype on this movie was all about either. Oh, man... guess it's something only guys understand. I mean, Killer Bunnies? How cool is that?!

    3. *morphs into the Dreadful Dark Beast of Aaaargh to attack Kenny for being sexist*
      *doesn't get very far before the cartoonist's inevitable heart attack*
      *becomes a person again*

  7. I've seen the first five or so episodes of the new Misfits, and I liked it! The wife didn't though, so I've not been able to catch up on the rest. But I'll get there sooner or later. :p

    1. It's not safe for kids either. Har har!

    2. I was a bit pissed when Nathan left the show, and Rudy (or Rudies) was not of the same level. Still, the show's good for some laughs.

  8. Not in for the CAPs, since this is a small budget game that doesn't qualify anyway... but check out The Bizarre Creations of Keith The Magnificent on Kickstarter, yo. Looks pretty sick and fun.

  9. ....I somehow suspect there aren't enough CAPS in the world to get Trickster to play GAG: An Impotent Mystery, but it would be glorious or horrible, there is no middle ground. It would be either Uninvited or Emmanuel..... though it is kinda cool the puzzles aren't inventory based in large part.