Zero Punctuation: The Witness & Bombshell

thanatos388

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Adam Locking said:
I'm really surprised, I thought The Witness would be Yahtzee's kind of game. I also find it a bit odd that he suggests the puzzles and the environment never have any interaction with each other, yeah it's not like Portal and Myst (with the possible exception of the last bit which he admitted to not playing) but the two do still rely on each other to quite a large extent. I guess the game is just really divisive that way.
I haven't seen the whole game but the interaction it has with the hub world didn't seem really in depth to me. Sure you solve puzzles that move boats and platforms but those aren't really puzzles as much as they just slightly more complicated buttons. Then there's the puzzles that require you to walk on specific parts of the world based on the puzzle solution. But that's not a puzzle that's just memorization. You either remember or you don't or you're smart and just take a picture and know where to go. Oh and some puzzles I guess have hints in the environment but that's so abstract it seemed like padding to me. Like, it wasn't solved because you're smart but because you brute forced your way until you solve it and see what the specific solution was. And the puzzles themselves are only hard because you don't know what problem you're solving half of the time. You can complete tutorials without really learning all the rules so you get stuck and that just seems like bad game design to me.
 

WhiteNachos

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cszs said:
I was hoping this week for a review of more interesting game(s). Either interestingly bad or good. These two are just meh.
You'll probably get that wish when Yahtzee decides to review Xcom 2.
 

Amaror

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thanatos388 said:
I haven't seen the whole game but the interaction it has with the hub world didn't seem really in depth to me. Sure you solve puzzles that move boats and platforms but those aren't really puzzles as much as they just slightly more complicated buttons. Then there's the puzzles that require you to walk on specific parts of the world based on the puzzle solution. But that's not a puzzle that's just memorization. You either remember or you don't or you're smart and just take a picture and know where to go. Oh and some puzzles I guess have hints in the environment but that's so abstract it seemed like padding to me. Like, it wasn't solved because you're smart but because you brute forced your way until you solve it and see what the specific solution was. And the puzzles themselves are only hard because you don't know what problem you're solving half of the time. You can complete tutorials without really learning all the rules so you get stuck and that just seems like bad game design to me.
Personally I found that most tutorials went over the mechanics very well and usually build in enough different puzzles to force you to actually understand what your doing instead of guessing. And the environmental puzzles were you have to look for clues didn't feel very arbitrary to me. The first puzzle is usually positioned in a way that it gets immediatly apparent what your looking for in the puzzle if you pay a little attention and the puzzles thereafter usually just play with that idea.
The most arbitrary and least apparent environmental puzzle was the sand temple in my opinion. That was kind of bs, since it required you to stand at a certain spot for you to get it.

And of course there are always the extra environmental puzzles were you draw the lines in the environment.
 

-Dragmire-

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I have been enjoying the Witness so far... Well, the puzzles at least. I hate searching for them though and I especially hate looking for the tutorial puzzles so I can learn the rules for the puzzles.
 

Steve the Pocket

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Is 3D Realms actually still a company, and not just a brand name someone bought out to slap on someone else's product (like Apogee was)?
 

NinjaTank56

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Fun Fact, Bombshell was originally a Duke Nukem game (titled Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction), but Gearbox sued them. Instead of going to court, they decided to just change the main character. Probably wouldn't have made it a decent game, but I found the story interesting.
 

Groverfield

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For those that didn't know: Bombshell has an easter egg which is Commander Keen's obituary in the opening cutscene. Yes: 3D Realms killed off their most beloved character as an easter egg (Not their most famous, obviously.) Now when's the gritty reboot of Secret Agent Man?

Steve the Pocket said:
Is 3D Realms actually still a company, and not just a brand name someone bought out to slap on someone else's product (like Apogee was)?
Apogee is 3d realms and also is ID soft, probably owned by Activision, but they don't care about the games they make as much money they make, though they're probably the best company at that angle because they don't often demand that games should follow the popular trends.
 

Drathnoxis

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Yeah I don't see why anybody thought it was a good idea to base an entire game around one puzzle. I was watching a let's play of The Witness (solving the puzzles along with the player) and I was utterly bored of doing line puzzles after about an hour. Not to mention that there is apparently an entire language of symbols you have to learn to actually do the puzzles, so not only do you have to do the same puzzle over and over, but you to essentially do homework and keep notes to play the game.
 

Thanatos2k

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Professor Layton showed us that catchy music (even repetitive catchy music) during puzzles improves the experience.
 

nightowlc

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Yahtzee's mentioned a few times over the years that (1) there's more to "strong female character" than "angry hardass who makes a big deal out of being an empowered female" (or I guess "I am Woman hear me roar" would be the even shorter description of that??), and (2) a lot of game developers have a hard time breaking out of that stereotype. Sounds like Bombshell is more of that same pattern.
 

nightowlc

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RJ Dalton said:
A hot pink bazooka that fires Sex And The City DVDs actually sounds an element of a genuinely hilarious game, now that you say it.
LMAO!! Yeah, that was my thought too.
 

Thyunda

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Silentpony said:
It almost sounds like Bombshell is the female equivalent to Duke Nukem or Leisure Suit Larry. All joke and innuendo, but in Bombshells case it sounds like someone forgot to tell her she's in a comedy game. Or when Pamela Anderson made Barbed Wire and legitimately thought people saw it for her acting abilities.
No, no, saying Bombshell is the female equivalent to Duke Nukem or Leisure Suit Larry implies Bombshell anthropomorphosises everything that makes a woman a woman according to stereotypical gender norms - which is what the other two are based off, just for the other gender. No, Bombshell is everything that makes a man a man, but with tits.
 

C14N

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Hillary Clinton had better win the presidency so that visual joke can stay relevant for a few more years.
 

Arnoxthe1

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Jonluw said:
[sub]Hehehehehehe Junior Jumble...[/sub]
Did he just make a sweet little Undertale reference? <3

Anyway, Yahtzee, why the hell are you reviewing these small bad games when you could be doing retro reviews?
 

Starker

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Amaror said:
thanatos388 said:
I haven't seen the whole game but the interaction it has with the hub world didn't seem really in depth to me. Sure you solve puzzles that move boats and platforms but those aren't really puzzles as much as they just slightly more complicated buttons. Then there's the puzzles that require you to walk on specific parts of the world based on the puzzle solution. But that's not a puzzle that's just memorization. You either remember or you don't or you're smart and just take a picture and know where to go. Oh and some puzzles I guess have hints in the environment but that's so abstract it seemed like padding to me. Like, it wasn't solved because you're smart but because you brute forced your way until you solve it and see what the specific solution was. And the puzzles themselves are only hard because you don't know what problem you're solving half of the time. You can complete tutorials without really learning all the rules so you get stuck and that just seems like bad game design to me.
Personally I found that most tutorials went over the mechanics very well and usually build in enough different puzzles to force you to actually understand what your doing instead of guessing. And the environmental puzzles were you have to look for clues didn't feel very arbitrary to me. The first puzzle is usually positioned in a way that it gets immediatly apparent what your looking for in the puzzle if you pay a little attention and the puzzles thereafter usually just play with that idea.
The most arbitrary and least apparent environmental puzzle was the sand temple in my opinion. That was kind of bs, since it required you to stand at a certain spot for you to get it.

And of course there are always the extra environmental puzzles were you draw the lines in the environment.
The tutorials are not there just to teach you the rules, they are also there so that you can experiment with them and test the rules to figure them out by yourself. The game is gated away metroidvania style and the knowledge in your head is the key to unlocking shortcuts and access. That lack of handholding is probably one of the best parts of the game. The game gives you all the tools that you need -- it's up to you to find the knowledge and use it.

Also, as far as puzzles making use of the environment is concerned, there are puzzles that require you to frame a puzzle a certain way in the environment, there are puzzles that use reflections, there are puzzles that play around with colour filters, there are puzzles that use sound, there are puzzles that use shadows.

Dismissing the game as having one single puzzle that could've been done as a smartphone game is one of the more ignorant criticisms of the game that I've seen bandied about. Drawing lines is just the input method and the puzzles itself are far more clever, far more varied and far more involved than that. If it was a smartphone game, it wouldn't exist.

Anyway, whether you'll like the game or not probably depends on whether you like puzzle games because of the story and see puzzles mainly as an obstacle in way of the content or whether you like puzzle games because you like the satisfaction that you get from solving cleverly done puzzles and see nothing wrong with the reward for solving puzzles being more puzzles. If it's the former, this game is probably your anti-game and you should stay away as if it was a pit of cacti with those barbed needles that stick in your skin, but if it's the latter, chances are good that The Witness is so much your jam that you can just jump right in and roll around it all day long.
 

Nuuu

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-Dragmire- said:
I have been enjoying the Witness so far... Well, the puzzles at least. I hate searching for them though and I especially hate looking for the tutorial puzzles so I can learn the rules for the puzzles.
I'm 23 hours in and have been enjoying it immensely. I actively went out to find puzzles because I found fun in solving each one. If there were two paths to get to the end of an area, I took both.
I just got the "ending" but i'm still not even completely done with the game.

As for puzzles not interacting with the environment:
Maybe i'm not 100% on what he means, but there is some intractability.
Puzzles that determines where a platform gets positioned depending on paths used to solve it.
Puzzles that require the surrounding environment's lighting or perspective to find the answer.
Not to mention there are a ton of hidden line paths disguised as the environment. Shadows, flowers, even rivers may be secrets.