Review: Lucidity

Miral

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Jun 6, 2008
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This is what I was afraid of when I saw the gameplay trailers. It's unfortunate, and I hope this failure doesn't scare them back into their Star Wars shells.
 

Ammadessi

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Oct 6, 2009
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I made the mistake of buying this before playing the demo, and boy was I upset.

The art is awesome, no doubt, but I was expecting something a little more playable than "adorable little girl tetris with spiky death traps."
 

Nerdfury

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Feb 2, 2008
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That's a damn shame - the game looks and sounds gorgeous, but to see LucasArts waste it on that kind of gameplay is terrible.
 

-Drifter-

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Jun 9, 2009
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HentMas said:
Developers should had understood that "luck" is not a good method, it takes away the "Skill" aspect and you end up playing the dice to se if you get the correct number, wich kind of voids the point of a "Video Game"

i was hoping to buy this game, but i hate puzzles where you have no controll of whats happenind, just hoping the right tool will come out
You just perfectly stated why I hate MMOs.

Anyway, I never was too interested in this game. Nice visuals aside, it looked pretty boring.
 

WhiteTigerShiro

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Sep 26, 2008
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Sounds like it's similar to Prototype in the sense that there was a good game idea in there, but the programmers botched it by making the challenge of the game more of a chore than a joy. Which is kind of a shame, I'd seen the trailer for this a month or so back and it looked to have some promise with it's unique aesthetic.
 

zidine100

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Mar 19, 2009
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its good to see something new, its bad that it didnt work and lucas arts will be less likely to take risks like this in the future, but its still good to see.
 

LosButcher

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May 19, 2009
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I felt the same way as Jordan, at first. The items come at random (although some levels do have a random pattern, like ever other piece being a bomb) and getting the right item just wouldn't happen. So it was more luck than skill.

But after a while, you get better at planning ahead and using the "store item" feature (or whatever its called), that lets you save an item for later use. Theres still an amount of luck involved but now I can complete every level on almost every run.

Although it's unforgiving at first (and perhaps a bit later), it's a cheap game and a few hours of good fun. Then again, I'm a sucker for these indie type games...
 

AvsJoe

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May 28, 2009
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I hadn't heard of this game before; it sounds like a cross between Tetris and Lemmings. But this review and these comments have put me off of ever purchasing it. Here's hoping I'm not missing anything I'd enjoy.
 

IanBrazen

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Oct 17, 2008
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Jordan Deam said:
Review: Lucidity

Lucidity is an artist's dream - and a game designer's nightmare.

Read Full Article
It reminds me a lot of lemmings back in the day, but with lemmings when you got frustrated you could just kill all the green haired bastards.
Whenever me and me brother pushed the suicide button, and painted the walls with lemming we would yell "Fireworks, and lemming guts!"
I don't see a suicide button working for this game though.
 

Deacon Cole

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IanBrazen said:
It reminds me a lot of lemmings back in the day, but with lemmings when you got frustrated you could just kill all the green haired bastards.
Whenever me and me brother pushed the suicide button, and painted the walls with lemming we would yell "Fireworks, and lemming guts!"
I don't see a suicide button working for this game though.
I never played Lemmings, but you bring up a very valid point with that. With lemmings, you have several little critters to guide through the platforming, so you don't feel too bad if you lose a couple to whoopsies. It's like the description of the monkeysphere: [http://www.cracked.com/article_14990_what-monkeysphere.html]

David Wong in What Is The Monkeysphere? said:
First, picture a monkey. A monkey dressed like a little pirate, if that helps you. We'll call him Slappy.

Imagine you have Slappy as a pet. Imagine a personality for him. Maybe you and he have little pirate monkey adventures and maybe even join up to fight crime. Think how sad you'd be if Slappy died.

...

Now imagine a hundred monkeys.

Not so easy now, is it? So how many monkeys would you have to own before you couldn't remember their names? At what point, in your mind, do your beloved pets become just a faceless sea of monkey? Even though each one is every bit the monkey Slappy was, there's a certain point where you will no longer really care if one of them dies.
Lemmings were a faceless sea of green-haired little dudes, each one exactly the same, so it didn't matter if you lost a couple. You'll get them back when you gain extra lives.

Lucidity lacks this since it only has one main character, so it's more like Slappy than the faceless sea of monkeys. Not only is the emotional investment different, but from a gameplay angle, you have less resources to use in a game play style that really requires the player to have multiple resources to use because screwing up is downright likely.

This review reminded me of Game B in the NES game Gyromite where the main character is sleepwalking across the screen and the player must move the column obstacles to allow him to reach the end of the level. This game was designed for use with the R.O.B. robot, so the level design was decidedly easy because you would have to futz with the robot the entire time. But even this game was frustrating and lacking. Nintendo also had another, similar game called Gumshoe that used the Zapper.

Games where you do not directly control the main character like this have been tried from time to time with various themes. Bubble Ghost [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bubble_Ghost] (Soul Bubbles), Loco-Motion [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loco-Motion_(arcade_game)], World of Goo to a certain extent, and the afore-mentioned games. What seems to work for this kind of game is to either have one main play element and the entire level present on the screen so you can better plan ahead to reach the end of the level or you have multiple elements so that the occasional mistake is not so costly. In both cases, level design is not the same as it would be if the player had direct control over the element. It needs to be more forgiving as the player need to constantly switch through various items to get the element to move how they want.

In the case of Lucidity, it sounds like it is hampered by the random tool feature. (Is it really random? I haven't played, so I don't know) Such a game should have the same tools appear in the same order every time. Random tools like Tetris blocks is not a good idea. The level design needs to be much, much, much tighter for this style of play.

It may also be hamstrung by having so many tools at your disposal, even if you only get one at a time. The action of these games needs to be very simple so you can use the tools in complex ways. This method is more complicated than complex.

But now I'm just rambling. But when I look at a game, I like to try and think of a way to make it better as well as understand the underlying principles of what makes a game work or not work. This one is a poser since the gameplay style is slightly rare.
 

IanBrazen

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the antithesis said:
In the case of Lucidity, it sounds like it is hampered by the random tool feature. (Is it really random? I haven't played, so I don't know) Such a game should have the same tools appear in the same order every time. Random tools like Tetris blocks is not a good idea. The level design needs to be much, much, much tighter for this style of play.
couldn't have said any of that better myself.
This game could have possible been a lot better if they just made it a straight up platformer.
I mean the music and graphics are beautiful, but these do not a good game make.
If you give us tools to get through a level and then randomly distribute those tools, the game is no longer about strategy and more about blind luck.

Lemmings is the only one of these types of games to actually be successful. (I think)
The reason is because their are a lot of them, (like the monkeys) and its as much fun to guide them safely through as it is to watch them line up and take their turns on the decapitation machine, or blow them all up with the aforementioned self destruct button.

If you are guiding a cute, innocent, little girl in the same way then you most certainly do not want to see her get murdered, unless your a prick.
 

300lb. Samoan

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Mar 25, 2009
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The gameplay doesn't look that broken from watching the video - it just seems the reviewer wasn't looking far enough forward. But enough people have corroborated here that it's indeed a pain to play, so I'm glad I didn't get lured into this one as well. More time that could be spent finishing Braid, anyway.
 

The Dane

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Dec 16, 2009
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It's likely that you won't feel too tempted to revisit stages you've already beaten when success and failure feel so arbitrary.

Arbitrary? And here I thought it was my skill and ability to employ tactical solutions when strategy failed. Like with Tetris. Or Dr. Mario. Or every third puzzle game to come down the pipe. It's kind of a bummer to find out what one thought was skilled gameplay was really just completely random.

Really, the problem may have to do largely with platform. I played Lucidity on a PC via Steam and using a mouse as my controller made the whole thing seemed pretty easy. There were moments when I wasn't getting the pieces I wanted and would fail, but as I practiced at the game just a little, I learned how to make do with less than ideal combinations of items. Now when I play, anytime I fail to keep the girl safe, I can wholly attribute her demise to user error.

Also, the enemies do not behave unpredictably. They follow set courses and react to the proximity of the girl in set fashion. As well, while the order of items is not always predictable, I don't believe they appear randomly. There was one bonus level I was having trouble with and every time I played, the first seven or eight items came in the same order every time—and later portions of the level seemed to offer and withhold items based on where I was on the screen.

I'm not sure where the negative reviews of this thing are coming from, save for the possibility of the game being broken on console. I have experienced none of the awkwardness described while playing on PC.