TWETY is on DS so it wins. Also Ghost Trick.
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(Note: I'm a backer for Broken Age and it's currently one of the only ways to actually play the game. My money supported Broken Age so I'm obviously biased. Nevertheless, this review is for non-backers who are interested in purchasing Broken Age.)
Broken Age is both a huge risk for Double Fine and a return to form for them. Broken Age's origin is a popular one of initially a small revival of the old school adventure game genre with a small asking price of 400k. This was back when Kickstarter wasn't the monolithic giant that it is now. The project raised much more than that and went as high as 3.4 million dollars. The development of Broken Age can be called rocky at best with expectations being much higher than the Broken Age team ever dreamed of. As a backer I've had the privilege of seeing behind the curtain of game development and have seen the best and worst from the dev team. I had high hopes for Broken Age and the documentary gave me a higher investment for the project than any video game that I've ever looked forward to. Hell, any thing that has your name in the credits is hopefully something that you're proud of being involved with. So call me a fan boy or anything like that, but I won't back down from my stance on Broken Age. After much anticipation I must say that I really enjoyed my time with Broken Age.
Broken Age is a beautiful game. No doubt about it.
The best thing that can be said for Broken Age is how great it looks. Every single environment has the look of it being hand painted and treated with care. You can notice it from looking around by how many things have smiley faces or from how everything seems to fit together perfectly. It was a joy to walk around every new area to see how bizarre yet familiar every environment looks. It's accompanied by a wonderful score that fits each new area. My personal favorite came from Shay's part as it reflects the space ship theme. All of it can fall apart if the actual game play and story don't mesh together well. That isn't the case for Broken Age.
Broken Age's story is one of two characters that are each in different time periods and different situations that are worlds apart from each other. They both can seemingly never meet each other yet both have similar situations. Broken Age is a story of personal triumph from oppressive adults. Whether it be Shay's computer mother or Vella's grandmother both are set out to accomplish self-sacrifice for a goal that is of high importance. They both must decided if they should rebel against their elders in order to break tradition. You'll be able to aid both of them in any order you want to. I went with Shay's story first as I was more excited by space. Without spoiling anything I found the story and dialogue of Broken Age to be charming, funny, and nostalgic. This is the first adventure game that Tim Schafer has made in a long time. Grim Fandango was the last big adventure game that he's worked on as a writer. You could easily notice that he wrote Broken Age by how funny it is. The dialogue tree in particular made me laugh several times. It also has a lot of humor from using your inventory on any thing or one in the environment in order to get some kind of reaction. I haven't played a traditional adventure game since Tim Schafer left Lucas Arts so it was truly a nostalgic trip back to the days when adventure games were big on PC. That said, Broken Age isn't just a trip down memory lane. It's a story of breaking away from the past and paving a new future.
Double Fine promised a return to old school adventure games and it's a promise that was kept. Broken Age play like you typical adventure game with both a mouse cursor and an inventory. In Broken Age you'll have to solve many small puzzles in order to continue forward with the story. Some of these solutions make sense but others are as ridiculous as you'd expect from old adventure game logic. Luckily, it doesn't suffer from pixel hunting problems and brutally difficult puzzle logic. However, I wish that the game offered a button to let you know what kind of items are in the environment as most of the items that you'll put into your inventory don't stand out as well as I'd like.
I also found most of the situations to be fairly easy to solve. I would've liked some more complex puzzles to be in the game. There's also a arm grabbing mini-game in Shay's section that is harder than it should be for something that is necessary to solve in order to beat the game. It's at times far too easy and mostly overly difficult for such a simple mini-game that isn't all that fun. It's also a game that deserves the Beta moniker as the game crashed multiple times for me. It also had numerous bugs such as text being unreadable and characters getting stuck in the environment. These bugs and crashes are an unfortunate part of the early release for us backers but hopefully it shouldn't be a problem once the game is released to the public.
It was probably impossible to fulfill the high expectations that many felt after the huge success of the Double Fine Kickstarter. However, as a backer I'm glad to say that my expectations were met for Broken Age. It certainly isn't the greatest adventure game ever but it's still a well worth your time and money. Broken Age is a highly polished journey that has memorable voices from Jack Black, Jennifer Hale, and even Elijah Wood. These voices were treated right and aren't simply cameos. Everything surrounding Broken Age is filled with the love and care that you'd expect a Double Fine game to have. That's the same with Broken Age but it's also amplified higher than ever before. A lot if riding on Broken Age and I felt that they succeed in making a great adventure game that can hang with the best of the genre. This could all go to shit if the second Act in Broken Age sucks but I'm confident that it won't after playing the first Act. It isn't perfect of course. I still feel that the mechanics and puzzles in the game were far too easy to solve or simply obtuse enough for me to be confused for longer than I'd like. Hopefully the second act has better puzzles to solve. The story and everything is strong enough that it overshadows the puzzles but it still hurts the overall package. I can't wait to finish the story of Broken Age as a backer and a fan of old school adventure games.
I'm with you about them covering more games. I wish Patrick was still in the office since he covered a lot of the games that the rest of the crew wouldn't ever cover or care about. I fear that they'll ignore Bravely Default when it's probably something that they'd be into. Hopefully Patrick will play some of it. A quick look for it should happen regardless.