Wednesday, 13 April 2022

Eric the Unready - Final Rating

By Ilmari

I am in a difficult position of having officially played only the last few scenes of the game, while the majority of posts have been written by the Brown Dragon. Although it will be difficult to integrate my playing experience with what TBD thought about it, I’ll try to take his statements into account at least in some measure. Let’s begin!
Puzzles and Solvability

There’s no question about it, Eric the Unready is a very easy game compared to Legend standards. True, there are some more complex puzzles in the middle part of the game, one of which even led to a Request for Assistance, but definitely no brain melders in the style of Spellcasting or Gateway games. This is a clear design choice, evident also in the impossibility of ever losing important items and the ensuing lack of dead ends. While there is a lot to commend in this principle, there’s perhaps a bit too much hand-holding throughout the game.
Probably the most difficult puzzle in the game
I’d also point out that the use of rare verbs as a solution to some of the puzzles was a double-edged sword. If you are playing with the mouse interface, like I did, it is blatantly obvious that you are probably meant to use that strange verb that just appeared in your word list. If you are playing it traditionally, you might never guess that hooting is a possibility.

Score: 6.

Interface and Inventory

It’s the trusty Legend interface again, with all the same merits and faults as it always used to have. Due to their new policy of making their games fun and easy, the producers have removed all inventory limits, which is a clear improvement from the earlier Legend games. Still, this is just a minor addition, and as a whole, the age of the interface is starting to show.

Score: 5.

Story and Setting

It’s a great story! Rarely has an adventure game told such a down-to-earth narrative of a sympathetic and less-than-average joe getting into more and more embarrassing situations. I am, of course, talking about the first chapter, with the wonderful tale of catching and kissing a pig. The rest of the plot… princess, curse, evil witch, five magical objects, you get the drift. It’s run of the mill fairy tale stuff that provides some filler cutscenes and the barest of motivations for Eric’s adventures around Torus.
If only the rest of the game would have held to these high standards
Speaking about Torus, you can take the setting as seriously as the name itself implies. The game world is an even less coherent mishmash of trope parodies than Discworld. There’s nothing believable in any of the places Eric travels to, but this just is part of the magic of the game. With the exception of the final chapter of the game, which serves more to give a closure to the plot than any fun ending, the individual sections have a sense of whimsy reminiscent of Monty Python and Douglas Adams. True, I might not have gotten half of the jokes based on pop culture references, but enough of them landed to make me cheerful.

Score: 6.

Sounds and Graphics

This category has never been Legend’s forté. At least soundwise, Eric the Unready makes no exception, since music and sound effects are bland and forgettable. Graphics do show improvement and there is a rich variety of location images. Yet, it’s obvious that there is only a very limited set of more high quality images used in cutscenes. This is especially evident from the constant reuse of few essential screenshots throughout the game. The reuse of game characters is especially noteworthy, since it makes some of the poses look stiff and unnatural, when taken out of their natural context.
Staying long in that pose won't be good to your frame
Score: 5.

Environment and Atmosphere

I’ve already mentioned how fun game to play Eric the Unready is. True, lot of the humor is based on pop culture references, some of which are quite incomprehensible to anyone like me, who did not live in USA at the time - what was that beer commercial, again? Still, even if individual jokes would fall flat, the whole formed out of them is enough of a bizarre experience. An important element holding all the disparate jokes together is the character of Eric - the lovable bumbling fool, who you know will have made a mess out of his latest achievements by the end of the day.

Score: 7.

Dialogue and Acting

An important part of the charm of this game is the prose. There’s nothing very deep going on, but giggles abound behind every corner. Same goes for characters. I won’t be having a discussion on the philosophical beliefs of a rock salesman, but he will give me some hilarious sales pitches. All in all, a very professional and full experience.
I just love this character
Score: 7.

(6 + 5 + 6 + 5 + 7 + 7)/.6 = 36/.6 = 60.


It's only a few points under what Gateway scored and so makes this the second best Legend game. Both ShaddamIVth and gboukensha guessed exactly that, so they will receive some CAPs. And speaking of CAPs, let's go to...

CAP Distribution

90 CAPs for TBD
  • Blogger Award - 90 CAPs - For playing and blogging about most of Eric the Unready
70 CAPs for Jason Dyer
  • Timecode Award - 50 CAPs - For simulblogging about Lucifer's Realm on bluerenga.blog
  • Helpful Eight Award - 20 CAPs - For answering Will's request for assistance
41 CAPs for Vetinari
  • True Companion Award - 20 CAPs - For playing Eric the Unready alongside TBD
  • Request for Assistance Award - 20 CAPs - For assisting TBD to get through a difficult spot in Eric the Unready
  • Last Lousy Point Award - 1 CAP - For finding the last lousy point in Eric the Unready
40 CAPs for ShaddamIVth
  • Psychic Prediction Award - 10 CAPs - For guessing the score of Eric the Unready
  • Companion Award - 20 CAPs - For playing Eric the Unready alongside TBD
  • ASCII Appreciation Award - 10 CAPs - As always, you know why
30 CAPs for gboukensha
  • Psychic Prediction Award - 10 CAPs - For guessing the score of Eric the Unready
  • True Companion Award - 20 CAPs - For playing Eric the Unready alongside TBD
25 CAPs for Laukku
  • True Companion Award - 20 CAPs - For playing Eric the Unready alongside TBD
  • Testudinal Award - 5 CAPs - For explaining an obscure tortoise related reference in Eric the Unready
20 CAPs for Charles
  • True Companion Award - 20 CAPs - For playing Eric the Unready alongside TBD
20 CAPS for dionous
  • True Companion Award - 20 CAPs - For playing Eric the Unready alongside TBD
10 CAPs for Lisa H.
  • Memesis Award - 10 CAPs - For highlighting the cultural history of portals to hell
10 CAPs for Rowan Lipkovits
  • Lucifer's Legacy Award - 10 CAPs - For highlighting a possible connection between Lucifer's Realm and Escape from Hell
10 CAPs for MorpheusKitami:
  • Thrash or Death Award - 10 CAPs - For knowledgeable discussions of metal iconography
10 CAPs for Leo Vellés:
  • Thrash or Death Award - 10 CAPs for knowledgeable discussions of metal iconography
10 CAPs for Ken Brubaker
  • Mamma Mia Let Me Go Award - 10 CAPs - For knowing his Bohemian Rhapsody
10 CAPs for Matt Weiner
  • Both Sides of the Pond Award - 10 CAPs - For linking parser problems to spelling differences
10 CAPS for Ilmari
  • Assistant Blogger Award - 10 CAPs - For helping to complete Eric the Unready
5 CAPs for Will Moczarski
  • Yoohoo Award - 5 CAPs - For explaining an obscure reference to an old adventure game in Eric the Unready
5 CAPS for Jonathan
  • Howard Johnson's Award - 5 CAPs - For explaining an obscure reference to an old restaurant chain in Eric the Unready

9 comments:

  1. pretty high score for this site. Will probably never play this game, but who knows

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  2. Speaking about Torus, you can take the setting as seriously as the name itself implies. The game world is an even less coherent mishmash of trope parodies than Discworld.

    Hm, wouldn't a torus be Ringworld? Which is something else entirely...

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  3. The game world is an even less coherent mishmash of trope parodies than Discworld.

    I resent this remark...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I admit I've read only couple of Discworld novels, so my impression of the series might be very flawed.

      Delete
    2. Uh oh, we've angered the Patrician...

      Delete
    3. You're neither totally wrong, nor totally right. The first two or three Discworld books were a semi-incoherent mishmash of fantasy fiction tropes. As Pratchett continued writing the series, he made the bits more consistent, if still a bit silly.

      By the time of Thud, Going Postal, and the later books, Pratchett was telling serious stories with nearly-believable humorous bits, assuming you've accepted the setting by then, and don't have a problem with powerful magic and "real" magical creatures.

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    4. I first misread this as "Ringworld" and wondered what everybody was on about.

      My impression is the same as Ilmari's (or Corey's, for that matter), though. I've read the first three or four novels and they were kind of good but nothing to write home about (or continue reading). Most people say that the later books are A LOT better so I'll probably give them another chance at some point.

      Delete
  4. What, bland and forgettable music? I quite like the soundtrack, many catchy tunes, fun to listen to even outside the game from time to time. Well, mileages vary, of course.

    It may be easy, but it's also one of few text adventures I've successfully beat without having to look up any hints. It's nice even we dumb people can have adventures. :D

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    Replies
    1. Personally, I had difficulties remembering what the music was like after the game had ended, but as you said, mileages vary. As for the simplicity of puzzles, it is a good design choice. I'd just hope for at least one more creative puzzle that would have required more lateral thinking.

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