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#1 Posted by Sor_Eddie (90 posts) -

Like, I grew up enjoying them just as much as LucasArts adventure games, equally enjoying them, never really heard otherwise (in fact, Sierra games were huge parts in pushing new technical standards forwards due to their popularity), and yet there's been this sudden movement online in the last few years to like, rewrite history or something saying that Sierra's releases were awful and LucasArts were the only ones worth playing and such.

People tend to incredibly over-exaggerate their problems, particularly when it comes to the issue of deaths - death rarely comes out of nowhere, it offers a joke or hint when you die, and make use of your 99 damn save slots. Complaining that you have to save in adventure games is akin to complaining about not having regenerating health in an FPS. ScummVM autosaves every 5 minutes now anyway, and if you somehow did mess up so badly that you'd need to start over while also neglecting to ever save, guess what? These games are like 10 to 20 minutes long if you know what you're doing so you can get back there from the start in just a few minutes.

They'll also often pull examples of supposedly "arcane puzzles", all of which are invariably from the same two games (King's Quest 5 and Gabriel Knight 3), and somehow ignore that they were all made by different teams and despite some similar sounding names, King's Quest, Space Quest, Police Quest, Quest for Glory, and Leisure Suit Larry don't share any development team beyond just actual coding, each being written and designed by totally different people. Not to mention, the majority of complaints that people level as "Sierra problems" are in actuality, "Roberta Williams problems".

I guess I'm just confused because when other genres don't hold your hand and let the player figure it out, it's celebrated, but when adventure games do it, they get crapped on for not being super easy no-death walks in the park like Telltale Games releases.

Incidentally, what causes this "revisionist history" thing I see a lot of on the Internet lately? Before this, it was stuff like "The Genesis never even stood a chance against the SNES". Is it people just echoing each-others' half-remembered assumptions instead of ever checking into things themselves?

#2 Posted by JasonR86 (9649 posts) -

?

#3 Posted by Sor_Eddie (90 posts) -

@jasonr86 said:

?

For example, go read the comments on the Leisure Suit Larry RELOADED Quick Look. Now, I'm not saying that the original was a stone-cold classic or anything, but a good 50% or more of the comments are just people saying "This is why Sierra games are awful", "LucasArts adventure games were the only ones worth playing", etc. I've seen that sentiment a LOT around gaming boards in the last few years, it's not just people criticizing that specific game, FYI.

#4 Posted by Doomed (196 posts) -

For the most part, I appreciate casualized games. LucasArts games are more fun for me to play because it's nearly impossible to die. You can't say "the design of these old games was fine" and then say "but you can use SCUMMVM's autosave feature too". Obviously their design was at least a little bad.

#5 Posted by JasonR86 (9649 posts) -

@sor_eddie:

Most of those people probably never played the original games. Plus I read those comments and 'most' seems a bit generous. But I guess, ultimately, who cares? Sierra is dead now anyway and the Internet is full of hyperbole. So fuck it.

#6 Posted by Kidavenger (3526 posts) -

I never played any Sierra games back then, but weren't they completely different generations, Sierra had their heyday in the 80s and Lucasarts did their best work in the 90s, so it's not really a fair comparison.

#7 Posted by Sor_Eddie (90 posts) -
@doomed said:

For the most part, I appreciate casualized games. LucasArts games are more fun for me to play because it's nearly impossible to die. You can't say "the design of these old games was fine" and then say "but you can use SCUMMVM's autosave feature too". Obviously their design was at least a little bad.

Well, what I'm saying is that they're totally fine, but if you still take issue with the mechanics of death in an adventure game, there's a safeguard for you to relieve that problem. Even if you have an issue with it, it's pretty much a non-issue now.

#8 Posted by CoinMatze (471 posts) -

@kidavenger: king's quest 6, gabriel knight and leisure suit larry 6 were all released around '93 or so and they are some of the best adventure games.

#9 Posted by Jams (2960 posts) -

I'm not sure if I ever played Lucas Arts adventure games when I was a kid. I did play the hell out of the Police Quest series though.

#10 Posted by Hunkulese (2693 posts) -

@sor_eddie: you're basing this off of the comments of a quick look for a bad game?

The comments for any video ever posted on the Internet should always be disregarded as trash and forgotten.

#11 Posted by Veektarius (4742 posts) -

Sierra made some great games. The Incredible Machine, Homeworld. Half Life. Wasn't much for adventure games back then.

#12 Posted by chiablo (917 posts) -

The difficulty level of all of the KQ games is absurd. Overall, I'd say the Lucasarts games are better simply because it's more approachable. The Sierra adventure games aren't "bad" per say, it's just a different design.

#13 Posted by Flacracker (1639 posts) -
#14 Posted by EvilNiGHTS (1093 posts) -

Ah, but that rubber tree joke was hilarious at the time.

#15 Posted by leinad44 (505 posts) -

They have some great games. Just the difficulty that sometimes came with their games could be such a turn off at times.

#16 Posted by Nekroskop (2786 posts) -

The later King's Quest games were horrible. Roberta Williams killed the series with her terrible writing and puzzles.

#17 Posted by cabrit_sans_cor (113 posts) -

Anybody who doesn't like Gabriel Knight can fuck off, as far as I'm concerned.

I mean, my username is a reference to that game, for chrissake.

#18 Posted by MildMolasses (3218 posts) -

@cabrit_sans_cor: honestly, I would have guessed your name was a font title. Now I know the truth

#19 Posted by Milkman (16613 posts) -

Games like Maniac Mansion, Sam & Max, Monkey Island and Grim Fandango are in another league above any Sierra adventure games. But hey, that's my opinion.

#20 Edited by Zeik (2334 posts) -

It's the internet, what do you expect? Although the Internet does seem to be getting more stupid lately, somehow.

#21 Posted by Humanity (9006 posts) -

In retrospect all adventure games back in the day were great, but awful at the same time.

I love Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle but fuck it's puzzles, that shit was completely inane.

#22 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7069 posts) -

@milkman said:

Games like Maniac Mansion, Sam & Max, Monkey Island and Grim Fandango are in another league above any Sierra adventure games. But hey, that's my opinion.

Yeah some of the Lucas Arts adventure games are absolute classics. Grim Fandango remains one of my all time favorites. Nothing from Sierra even comes close but I still think they're pretty good. Except Leisure Suit Larry. I always hated that series.

#23 Posted by jimmyfenix (3851 posts) -

Professor tim was the best sierra game

#24 Posted by Popogeejo (613 posts) -

It's not revisionist history if it's about subjective opinions and over time opinions change. What once was good can now be bad and eventually good again. Don't sweat it and just stick with what you feel about these things but also allow for others to change their minds should they wish to do so.

#25 Posted by Sor_Eddie (90 posts) -

@sor_eddie: you're basing this off of the comments of a quick look for a bad game?

The comments for any video ever posted on the Internet should always be disregarded as trash and forgotten.

This is why I added

I've seen that sentiment a LOT around gaming boards in the last few years, it's not just people criticizing that specific game, FYI.

The later King's Quest games were horrible. Roberta Williams killed the series with her terrible writing and puzzles.

How's that? It's generally agreed that KQ6 is by far the best in the series (as well as one of the best Sierra games and adventure games in general.)

....Although KQ6 is co-written by Jane Jensen of Gabriel Knight fame instead of just being solely a Williams joint, so you might be on to something there.

#26 Edited by SpunkyHePanda (1610 posts) -

I played the Sierra adventure games as a kid, and didn't touch the Lucasarts ones until much later. I have a lot of nostalgia for them, but there are some things about them that, looking back, I feel are just badly designed.

Mostly, the fact that you could miss an item or something and continue playing unaware that you now have no way of finishing the game, and the fact that a lot of deaths are practically unavoidable. Like, you need to die in order to figure out how to avoid dying, which is just kind of silly. Also, the old King's Quest games had some "skill-based" sections where you had to navigate a mountain path or a staircase without falling off which were kind of a nightmare. One of the hardest parts of King's Quest 3 is at the very end where you have to walk down the stairs while the princess you just rescued keeps getting in your way. Like, what is that? This wouldn't be a challenge for the character, so why are they making this a pain in the ass for me?

I love those games and would definitely revisit them, but I think it would just be frustrating to a new player.

#27 Posted by Sergio (2079 posts) -

Like all developers, Sierra had some great games, as well as some terrible games.

Outpost was a horrendous, incomplete POS.

#28 Posted by TyCobb (1960 posts) -

I enjoyed the Sierra games as kid; especially Leisure Suit Larry. Sierra also made the best NASCAR games after they bought Papyrus.

The problem is that a lot of comments are probably from people that never played the games in their day or have way too high of hopes due to nostalgia.

#29 Posted by Hunter5024 (5598 posts) -

The only adventure game I've ever played is Torin's Passage. So in my highly qualified opinion, fuck Lucas Arts.

#30 Posted by Sor_Eddie (90 posts) -

@spunkyhepanda:

I'm not saying everything Sierra did was flawless by any means, but there's far too much dismissiveness when it comes to their games, and as a fan of both their games and the genre in general, it's almost painfully frustrating to see people throw stone-cold classics under the rug because it's not always the easiest thing.

@sergio said:

Like all developers, Sierra had some great games, as well as some terrible games.

Outpost was a horrendous, incomplete POS.

To be fair, I wouldn't know. My knowledge of Sierra pretty much begins and ends at their adventure games. I even wanted to specify "adventure games" in the thread title, but I ran afoul of the 60 character limit.

#31 Posted by Belegorm (396 posts) -

Never played their adventure games, but I did play some of their other games, such as Caesar III, which is a classic.

#32 Edited by Ares42 (2610 posts) -

All I really have to say about this is that Quest for Glory is pretty much the foundation of everything that made fall in love with videogames. Looking back at that game it's just amazing how insanely far ahead they were with things like open-world, multiple solution puzzles, character progression, story/setting, action gameplay, non-linear design, etc etc. I could just go on and on, but I will fight anyone that dares to say those weren't excellent games :P They even had save-imports for christ sakes, with events and stuff that would only happen if you had specific imported data.

#33 Posted by Prestige (92 posts) -

I also grew up with Sierra's adventure games. Some were good, some bad. Back then (especially in the early years) it was the Wild West of games, when it took just a handful of people to make a game, and there was very little filter. There's a charm to that rawness, but sometimes whoever was making the game just had bad ideas about game design/writing.

When I was a little kid, the original Space Quest was probably my introduction to adventure games. Although I'll have a soft spot in my heart for its goofy 80s sci-fi humor, it does embody what we would today cite as the clunkiest aspects of old adventure game design. Then again, if you look at my favorite Sierra game Quest for Glory II, I think that still holds up today (minus the annoying street system... which you won't have to deal with if you play the fan-made remake by AGDI, which I recommend.)

#35 Posted by Reisz (1478 posts) -

No one who grew up playing both Sierra and Lucasarts games feels this way. Sounds like a case of the internet being the internet. Better to just ignore it.

#36 Posted by PeteyCoco (97 posts) -

@belegorm said:

Never played their adventure games, but I did play some of their other games, such as Caesar III, which is a classic.

Caesar III/Zeus/Pharaoh/Emperor represent!

#37 Posted by fuzzybunny566 (449 posts) -

@tycobb said:

I enjoyed the Sierra games as kid; especially Leisure Suit Larry. Sierra also made the best NASCAR games after they bought Papyrus.

The problem is that a lot of comments are probably from people that never played the games in their day or have way too high of hopes due to nostalgia.

Those NASCAR games were so awesome, I used to spend so much time downloading new cars and tracks. You could mod literally anything in those games.

#38 Edited by Silver-Streak (1343 posts) -

Quest for Glory was their strongest series (in my opinion). Space Quest and King's Quest were quite good too. Manhunter 1 and 2 were ok, but that was before most people's time, and I only stumbled upon it by chance.

#39 Edited by The_Ruiner (1027 posts) -

I enjoyed the hell out of Sierra games when i was young. Though they haven't aged too well.

#40 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

Who says such a thing? I grew up on Space Quest. It's my favorite adventure franchise ever. Overall, I've more fond memories of Sierra's adventure games than Lucasarts' ones. Might be because my parental units didn't keep up the hardware for gaming purposes, so many of LucasArts' post-Monkey Island gems were experienced only in bits and pieces, being an over-the-shoulder player at friends' houses.

#41 Edited by ProfessorEss (7307 posts) -

@reisz said:

No one who grew up playing both Sierra and Lucasarts games feels this way. Sounds like a case of the internet being the internet. Better to just ignore it.

True dat.

I'll be the first to admit that time hasn't been kind, but those who "know", know.

#42 Posted by Raven10 (1759 posts) -

I think the thing is that for most games made in the 80's and early 90's there are just a ton of elements that don't hold up at all today. I don't think it is exclusive to Sierra or even to adventure games. It's like the 1920's in cinema. There are some great films there (German expressionist films for example) but even those films have to be enjoyed with an eye towards the limitations of the medium at the time. For example there was no sound, no color, and very little in the way of editing. You can still appreciate those films, but years of improvements in technique as well as technology have rendered a lot of elements of those films unwatchable to the vast majority of modern film goers.

To use your example of not holding your hand, there is a difference between that and what many games in the 80's and early 90's did, which was drop you in a world with no direction whatsoever and say good luck. I'll admit that I never played Sierra's adventure games as a kid, but going back to most any game made before the mid-90's, and even quite a few made up until this century, you have to just wonder how the hell anyone thought people would be able to figure some of this stuff out. There was a reason strategy guides were big sellers and not just because there was no Internet. A lot of the time puzzles or even objectives were just so obtuse that figuring them out yourself would take days or weeks. It was acceptable when you were 7 or whatever because it's not like you were going to be getting another game for a month or two anyways but at least for me as soon as I could afford my own games, spending a week trying to complete a single objective just became a lot less enjoyable. So I guess at the time those games were great for a lot of reasons, but even Lucasart's best games from that era have a ton of problems looking back on them. That said, the Lucasarts games people talk about were made 5 or 10 years after the games you are talking about. Again, comparing it to film, that's the 30's vs the 20's, after the invention of both sound and color. People watch movies from the 30's to this day and still enjoy them. Can't say the same for 90% of people about movies from the 20's.

#43 Posted by BaconGames (3358 posts) -

I also have a feeling the mind share concerning LucastArts adventure games is a product of the fact that a lot of that legacy is actively around. As someone who never touched any of those old adventure games, I've managed to fall in love with Monkey Island and Sam & Max thanks to the work of those remakes and TellTale. That and even at its best I don't think Sierra touched the dynamic of Grossman, Shafter, and Gilbert at LucasArts.

At the time I'm sure the comparison was fair but divisive typical of such things. In retrospect though, for multiple reasons, the Sierra legacy sort of died with adventure games and the design, staff, properties, and influence of LucasArts lived on. That it worked to Monkey Island's favor in retrospect that it didn't have that much obtuse puzzling and no deaths. I think even putting them side by side for that reason Sierra games don't age nearly as well.

#44 Edited by Jedted (2340 posts) -

I grew up with Day of the Tentacle and Fate of Atlantis but i also love the Space Quest series as well. The death scenes in Space Quest are some of the funniest parts of those games.

I heard there was kickstarter to try and get another Space Quest game made. Haven't looked into the development of it recently though.

#45 Edited by HerpDerp (133 posts) -

KQ5 was the first and only Sierra game I played as a kid. It baffles me to this day that somehow a game that has it's humor and story so obviously written for kids, is so ridiculously hard. If you don't throw the right thing at the dog, or eat the right food on your way up the mountain, you are unable to finish the game, straight up. You can even let one of the main characters die, and play up until the last screen of the game before you find out, you can't win. How in gods name is a kid supposed to be resourceful enough to figure this shit out?

Edit:

@eujin said:

Quest for Glory was their strongest series (in my opinion). Space Quest and King's Quest were quite good too. Manhunter 1 and 2 were ok, but that was before most people's time, and I only stumbled upon it by chance.

Dude, I totally forgot about the Quest for Glory series! I love those games, they are completely underrated.

#46 Posted by SoldierG654342 (1758 posts) -

Sierra made Shivers so they get a free pass in my book. Shivers 2 can go fuck right off though.

#47 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5352 posts) -

Adventure games are bad in general, Sierra made some decent other stuff though.

#48 Edited by SpencerBoltz (85 posts) -

Hindsight is 20/20

#49 Posted by DarkShaper (1323 posts) -

I didn't grow up with either the Lucas or Sierra games and I feel like both company's adventure games have aged terribly. I have never enjoyed playing any classic adventure game but at least the humor of the old Lucas games have held up for me.

#50 Posted by RazielCuts (2943 posts) -

Any game that punishes the player or outright kills them for experimenting is bad.