So I really want to love this game..

#1 Posted by syzygyeolith (92 posts) -

But I'm finding it so god damn hard to do so.

I bought it day one, excited to get amongst the hype, but found the gameplay to be obtuse (why can't I solve this puzzle - it's just an empty room.. am I missing some ability I need to find first?), and the map to be confusing. Not in the 'you're supposed to be lost and explore!' kinda way either. Just the 'my brain hurts trying to figure out which door I'm trying to find' sort of way.

Anyway.. months on, and I watched the Indie Game The Movie. I felt refreshed by seeing the interviews with the creator, so I decidedto Fez another go. I gotta say, the months away from it didn't do me any favours, and I'm more stumped about how I'm supposed to enjoy this game than before.

So am I alone here? Surely I'm not the only person that thinks they like indie puzzle games that just couldn't get into this one (even though they really really wanted to..)

#2 Posted by HistoryInRust (6215 posts) -

I hate being this way, because I know how it makes me sound.

I bought the game about a month ago. Still haven't collected the 32 cubes. Think I'm at 24 or something. And I know the game opens up and you get a new ability after that point, though I don't know what the new ability is or how exactly it changes the fabric of the game.

I like the art style and the music and the general mechanics. But, yeah. Like you've said. The map is fucking abysmal and I'm to the point now where I'm desperately mopping up cube bits here and there and entire cubes where I stumble across them. Problem is I'll scour the map for a room with cubes or bits in it and, when I see it's far from the room in which I'm currently standing, I just have no desire to platform all the way there. Ultimately, I keep pining for a fast travel system (those warp gate things really don't cut the mustard) where I can just jump into the map and click on the room I need to get there and poof!, I'm there.

The most tedious experience for me is to be three or four rooms away from a cube bit and to have to keep circling through this cycle of:

  • Check the map to see the picture of the room I need to get into next.
  • Back out of the map and platform to the nearest door to hope it's the one leading to that next link.
  • When it's not, I repeat step two with all the doors in the room before realizing, "Oh. It's one of those hidden doors with the two squares that light on the face of it."

And then having to do that whole process over again, sometimes multiple times consecutively. It's just a drag. I haven't sunk my teeth into any of the "puzzle" stuff because getting to that deeper engagement has proven extremely trying.

So, I'm with you. I'm desperately resisting the urge to put the game down, because I want to experience this meta-game like everyone else who's washed the game with praise. But the case to continue isn't strong at this juncture.

#3 Posted by TruthTellah (7669 posts) -

@syzygyeolith: I can understand getting stuck a bit. Since community input was so important, I don't think you should feel at all resistant to looking for help on the game. Just try to solve what you can and look for help if you get stumped.

Remember that you can't solve a lot of things at first; so, you need to solve what you can first. Just explore around and use the map if you have to. If you feel like there's nowhere else to explore, just look up some tips. Don't stress over it too much.

I did three playthroughs in all, and it's definitely one of my favorite games of the year. But I can absolutely empathize with it not really "clicking". It took me a little bit, but once I learned to stop worrying and love the Fez, it just became a nice experience to enjoy. :)

#4 Posted by ShiftyMagician (2128 posts) -

I guess I'm in the minority when I say that I totally understood the map enough to get around the world without much trouble. That and I have good memory of where doors are as I play through it. Don't ask me now because it's been a while hehe. All I can say is actually pay attention to the world more and don't just expect to be hand-held in this one in that regards. Most of the world is pretty distinctive you're bound to also memorise where to go by just playing through it enough.

Once you hit the meta-game don't believe what some people say about having to look out the game or read some mp3 files in a crazy way, because just about every anti-cube puzzle is solvable without external help and the only true unsolvable puzzle at this time gives you something completely optional and unnecessary. That's all I'll say about it and hope both you guys find the sparks you need to push on through to the best bits of FEZ.

#5 Posted by Bollard (5027 posts) -

The map does exactly what it needs to do perfectly. You need to work it out. The whole game is working shit out, it doesn't do anything for you.

#6 Edited by Humanity (7965 posts) -

I just found the puzzles in Fez to demand large leaps of logic not always that apparent. The "Alphabet Puzzle" is interesting, but it has no context to the actual game world. Thats terminology from real life that you wouldn't necessarily connect right away with this magical other world of Fez. Obviously a large part of people got it right away but for me it was a bit out of left field. Much the same with the numbers where rather than show all of them it has a puzzle inside a puzzle.

I'm no stranger to writing things down when playing puzzle games. I've beaten all the Myst titles without guides and enjoyed them immensely - really wish I knew what happened to the stacks of paper on which I had sketches and diagrams of all the puzzles I was working out. Fez was just too obscure for me though, or maybe I'm getting too old.

#7 Edited by TruthTellah (7669 posts) -

@Humanity: Ack! Duder! These people still haven't beat the game. Could you perhaps mark your post with spoilers? Or edit them out? It sounds like he still wants to trudge through, and it'd be a shame for a reply to just randomly spoil some big later things that he might want to get himself.

I agree about what you're saying regarding some of the later mysteries, but goodness. Let's let these people at least try to get to these spots or beat the game once before spoiling such things, right?

(As for the numbers, I worked those out by paper similar to those old adventure games, and while it was difficult, it did eventually make sense. But I agree that it isn't as easy now that I'm older... ha.)

#8 Posted by Humanity (7965 posts) -

@TruthTellah: I think to you and me, who have beat the game and solved those puzzles it seems like a dead give away but to someone who hasn't, what I wrote was obscure enough to not be a solution as much as a hint to what they should do.

Regardless I did edit my post to keep it as kosher as possible. With the numbers I actually knew they were numbers, but no matter how I wrote it out I couldn't figure out what he wanted of me. That puzzle actually sums up the entire game for me. Almost every major puzzle had just one step too many for me to make sense of it, which would probably explain why I only think Fez is OK rather than my top 10 game of the year.

#9 Posted by NoobSauceG7 (1210 posts) -

I agree. It is a real empty game and not a very good game.

#10 Posted by TruthTellah (7669 posts) -

@Humanity: Thanks for smart edit to your post. :)

As for the puzzles and mysteries, I think my above statements toward the OP express my feelings on the gameplay well enough. I did have some frustration, but then a friend gave me some good advice to just relax about it. If I felt I could get a puzzle, I'd work at it, but if I got stumped, there's no shame in getting some help. Fez is a game meant to be experienced all of the way through, and working together is recommended, if not sometimes essential. People playing it now can't have that same community interaction as much, but they can still find useful tips and hints to get you over the eventual humps.

As I said before, I learned to stop worrying and embrace what Fez is. A fantastic, absurd little world that lives as one gamer's love and obsession with what videogames are. Once I stopped feeling so stressed about it and just played around in his quirky space, it made sense, and flaws and all, it's a surprisingly human game in a time of polish and excess where personality is often sacrificed for the sake of saleability. I'd full-heartedly agree about its imperfections, but for what it is and those little moments when it somehow all makes a little more sense, Fez remains one of my favorite games of the year.

#11 Edited by xyzygy (9627 posts) -

@Chavtheworld said:

The map does exactly what it needs to do perfectly. You need to work it out. The whole game is working shit out, it doesn't do anything for you.

This. This game is the ultimate in anti-hand-holding. You have to learn a new *script* for crying out loud. And then remember which direction to tilt your head in order to read it every time. This game is actually brilliant. Oh the memories...

#12 Posted by deadeyes (64 posts) -

I suppose the only way to figure out the map is to just experiment then?

Its definitely one of the things that put me off. I had actually figured that it didn't have a functional purpose and was just there to confuse people further.

I suppose I'll need to give it another try at some point and figure it out, maybe once I've finished up far cry 3..maybe :P

#13 Edited by Flacracker (1391 posts) -

I bought this game Friday night and I just now beat it. Got all the cubes and anti-cubs. The map is perfectly fine. The only thing I found wrong with it was when it would make some stuff disappear behind stuff when that is what you wanted to look at. Figuring out the tetris pieces was pretty easy. You don't even need the alphabet system and the number system is used on one, maybe 2, puzzles. Fantastic game though. I knew I loved it when I got my first QR code.

#14 Edited by I_smell (3925 posts) -
@Flacracker said:

I bought this game Friday night and I just now beat it. Got all the cubes and anti-cubs. The map is perfectly fine. The only thing I found wrong with it was when it would make some stuff disappear behind stuff when that is what you wanted to look at. Figuring out the tetris pieces was pretty easy. You don't even need the alphabet system and the number system is used on one, maybe 2, puzzles. Fantastic game though. I knew I loved it when I got my first QR code.

What the hell- did you use a FAQ or something? I collected nearly everything and it took me at least a week!
 
and yeah I didn't get the map for a long time, but once I realised that the whole game was about deciphering things yourself, I actually had loads of fun just figuring out how to read the map.
#15 Posted by Flacracker (1391 posts) -

@I_smell said:

@Flacracker said:

I bought this game Friday night and I just now beat it. Got all the cubes and anti-cubs. The map is perfectly fine. The only thing I found wrong with it was when it would make some stuff disappear behind stuff when that is what you wanted to look at. Figuring out the tetris pieces was pretty easy. You don't even need the alphabet system and the number system is used on one, maybe 2, puzzles. Fantastic game though. I knew I loved it when I got my first QR code.

What the hell- did you use a FAQ or something? I collected nearly everything and it took me at least a week! and yeah I didn't get the map for a long time, but once I realised that the whole game was about deciphering things yourself, I actually had loads of fun just figuring out how to read the map.

All of the gold blocks can be found very easily. And I was spoiled for some of the puzzles because one time I happened the do one of the anti-cubes by accident and I was in a room with the tetris peices, but what I actually did was the achievement code. For the clock I cheated and changed my Xbox time. Also, I played quite a bit over this weekend.

#16 Posted by syzygyeolith (92 posts) -

I suppose I should clarify my beef with the map isn't that I don't understand it. I understand it perfectly fine. I just find it difficult to move around and see properly, since the portraits for the locations are so small and focused on one aspect of the destination. I also find it tedious having to trace myself a path from A to B. IU suppose 'tedious' would be a good word to use for why I find a lot of the game hard to warm to.

Also, I do have to echo what has been said above - I remember when Riven first came out.. I had pages of notes done in pen and colour pencil. Most of those notes were as hard for people to decipher as the game its self. I even used to draw maps for Zork games on grid paper. However, I just don't think thats the sort of thing I want to do anymore.. I used to enjoy it, but now I guess I'm just too old?

That said.. if you guys who love it all think it's acceptable to use hints from online, and that's not just going to ruin my chances of enjoying the game at all.. I'll give it another chance.

#17 Posted by MURDERSMASH (248 posts) -

@syzygyeolith said:

I suppose I should clarify my beef with the map isn't that I don't understand it. I understand it perfectly fine. I just find it difficult to move around and see properly, since the portraits for the locations are so small and focused on one aspect of the destination. I also find it tedious having to trace myself a path from A to B. IU suppose 'tedious' would be a good word to use for why I find a lot of the game hard to warm to.

Also, I do have to echo what has been said above - I remember when Riven first came out.. I had pages of notes done in pen and colour pencil. Most of those notes were as hard for people to decipher as the game its self. I even used to draw maps for Zork games on grid paper. However, I just don't think thats the sort of thing I want to do anymore.. I used to enjoy it, but now I guess I'm just too old?

That said.. if you guys who love it all think it's acceptable to use hints from online, and that's not just going to ruin my chances of enjoying the game at all.. I'll give it another chance.

The map also has a zoom function if you're having trouble seeing the portraits.

As for the hints, I would recommend not going for them until you've seen the first ending. Getting all 32 yellow cubes is simply a matter of just platforming. That's it. The crazy puzzle-solving, glyph deciphering, etc. doesn't come into play until you start New Game+. If you're stuck, you just need to find a couple doors that you missed. Could you give us some details as to what you've seen? Like, have you uncovered all 4 of the main hubs you can access via the warp gates? Stuff like that.

Trust me, it's worth working through the first ending to see the real insanity buried in the NG+.

#18 Posted by SeanCoughing (252 posts) -

I found myself too stupid to solve most of the puzzles and had to resort to a guide to solve most. that being said, the game`s soundtrack, art style and basic platforming charmed me so much that I consider it one of my favorite game experiences.

#19 Posted by kerse (2040 posts) -

I feel like Fez was only amazing the week it was out, being apart of that solving the puzzles with the rest of the world. I can't even imagine playing it afterwards.

#20 Edited by golguin (3658 posts) -

@kerse said:

I feel like Fez was only amazing the week it was out, being apart of that solving the puzzles with the rest of the world. I can't even imagine playing it afterwards.

I feel that was the major draw and everyone else that played it afterwards didn't get the same experience. I beat the game, had all the gold cubes, had a good number of anti cubes, and I figured out the language. I figured out that the number system existed and I tried my solution on the bell, but it didn't work. I didn't go looking for solutions to any of the puzzles so I was literally stumped.

I have nothing to contribute to the game in terms of providing what I've learned about the world to help others so I don't see how I deserve to know the solutions. I know that every member of the giant bomb crew eventually went to a FAQ to continue, but I'm not that kind of person when it comes to games that require you to figure something out. I have to earn it. I earned everything in Super Meat Boy and got 1000/1000. I earned everything in Dark Souls and got 1000/1000. I've considering going back to FEZ after I finish up S ranking Dust and I'm hoping that I'll see something that I missed. I wasted a good number of hours going back and forth between areas that showed I had missed a thing and that was no fun.

EDIT: I also remember that time clock pissing me off. I knew the various hands on the clock needed to point to a specific time to unlock their anti cubes. It was pretty obvious. I was very excited when I knew the language and went back to the area to translate the runes for the hint to know how to set it. You know what I got. I got "all of time and space and the space outside of the space does it ever end." Yes game, I understand that you'd manipulate the system clock to set it to a particular time like many other games have done in the past, but where is the hint that leads me to know the time? The other translations in the areas I knew stuff was missing was basically nonsense and the time it took to translate the runes was bullshit. Why not auto translate once you proved to the game you knew the language?

#21 Posted by jonnyboy (2920 posts) -

The goal of the game isn't to collect cubes, it's discovering that the world is full of hidden secrets, if you discover them, you win. The cubes are just breadcrumbs to lead you to them.

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