Is there a "dull" story in The Cave?

#1 Posted by Little_Socrates (5675 posts) -

Lots has been made of the fact that there are seven stories in The Cave in combination with its three-character party. To quote Justin McElroy's review, "That's bad twice, but the third run through is just drudgery."

But is one of the stories just not really worth seeing? Would that solve the "third playthrough" problem? I haven't played the game, and I'd appreciate no spoilers, but whether the answer is "yes" or "no," this'll probably be the thing that pushes me to buy the game.

#2 Posted by BisonHero (6251 posts) -
@Little_Socrates I haven't played it yet, but it may also be worth asking what the 3 must-see stories are. Some reviews seemed to think the time traveller was a good one. At this point, I think I'll wait for it to be on sale, and go with the 3 coolest stories in case I don't want to play it twice.
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#3 Edited by Kidavenger (3514 posts) -

The game gets a lot faster with each playthrough, I went through it all three times, 1st 4 hours, 2nd 3 hours, 3rd 2 hours.

Best to worst:

Hillbilly (best combo of platforming/puzzles/and story)

Twins (best story)

Adventurer (best puzzles)

Scientist (bit easy, good story)

Time traveler (one of the more interesting levels, but also irritating parts)

Knight (too easy)

Monk (some extremely irritating parts ruined this one for me)

#4 Posted by Little_Socrates (5675 posts) -

@Kidavenger: This is an incredibly useful ranking to start with! If anyone else could back up Kid, that'd be fantastic.

As it stands, that's good info, and enough to compel me to move my feet a little faster on this one.

#5 Posted by MooseyMcMan (10571 posts) -

@Little_Socrates: I recently played through it with a couple friends, and we went Hillbilly, Twins, Scientist, simply because those three seemed interesting. I'd agree with his take on those three, but I wouldn't say the Scientist was too easy (but maybe we just had a harder time than most).

Overall, we all really liked it. There's some great writing in there, and some decent puzzles. I would definitely not call any of it dull.

If you can play it with three players, I'd recommend that. It's short enough to beat in one sitting too, at least with those three characters.

Also, the Hillbilly's walking animation is AMAZING. Especially if you push the control stick as lightly as possible, and he is moving extremely slowly.

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#6 Posted by wewantsthering (1553 posts) -

So far my play through The Cave has been boring and uninteresting unfortunately. :-(

#7 Posted by ReCkLeSs_X (459 posts) -

@Kidavenger: @Kidavenger said:

The game gets a lot faster with each playthrough, I went through it all three times, 1st 4 hours, 2nd 3 hours, 3rd 2 hours.

Best to worst:

Hillbilly (best combo of platforming/puzzles/and story)

Twins (best story)

Adventurer (best puzzles)

Scientist (bit easy, good story)

Time traveler (one of the more interesting levels, but also irritating parts)

Knight (too easy)

Monk (some extremely irritating parts ruined this one for me)

I'd support this for the most part. I'd love to find out what you thought was irritating about the Monk's section though. I felt it was rather barebones in terms of challenge but wasn't a pain by any means.

#8 Posted by BBAlpert (1387 posts) -

The Monk's level had one of those super frustrating "we're going to acknowledge some annoying design decision with a joke, but still make that bad decision" moments. What I'm referring to is the way that you

climb all the way up the mountain, get a feather from the master, and then have to walk all the way back down while the narrator goes on about "how odd it is that you'd have to go all that way just for a feather. Maybe it's a zen thing, about the journey or something." To make things (maybe) worse, I don't know if you actually NEED to do that, as the feather is just a red herring for the first trial (unless I'm forgetting something). The problem is that you have no way of actually knowing this the first time you encounter it.
#9 Edited by ReCkLeSs_X (459 posts) -

@BBAlpert said:

The Monk's level had one of those super frustrating "we're going to acknowledge some annoying design decision with a joke, but still make that bad decision" moments. What I'm referring to is the way that you

climb all the way up the mountain, get a feather from the master, and then have to walk all the way back down while the narrator goes on about "how odd it is that you'd have to go all that way just for a feather. Maybe it's a zen thing, about the journey or something." To make things (maybe) worse, I don't know if you actually NEED to do that, as the feather is just a red herring for the first trial (unless I'm forgetting something). The problem is that you have no way of actually knowing this the first time you encounter it.

I can definitely see what you're saying for sure.

Thought of it as a little more of a chore than it should have been, but then again, getting the feather in that fashion actually gave me a little more insight into The Cave's persona. Whether it was needed or not is another story though.

#10 Posted by Kerned (1169 posts) -

Unfortunately I have not been enjoying this game at all so far. I'm almost done with my first (and almost certainly last) play through with the Adventurer, Twins and Time Traveler. It's just not fun to play. The puzzles aren't interesting, the story isn't very good, the humor mostly falls flat, and it controls like garbage. Very disappointing overall, and I had very high hopes.

#11 Posted by Ryanmgraef (229 posts) -

Couldn't even finish the demo...

#12 Posted by Kidavenger (3514 posts) -

@Ryanmgraef said:

Couldn't even finish the demo...

The first step is always the hardest; but I commend you on having the courage to admit you are "bad at videogames"

Bravo!

#13 Posted by CapnThrash (144 posts) -

Once you know the monks solutions, its probably easiest and quickest on another run through. Its still mind boggling that there arent 9 characters....

#14 Posted by Sbaitso (513 posts) -

Has anyone done it all playing with friends on coop? Could you see it being more fun that way?

#15 Posted by project343 (2812 posts) -

I find the game actively infuriating. Not because it's so bad, but because I have such a deep respect for Double Fine.

#16 Posted by ArjanN (119 posts) -

IMO all the character stories are worth seeing. Once you know the solutions you can go through the stuff you've done before really fast anyway.

#17 Posted by Veektarius (4649 posts) -

@project343: Between this and Ron Gilbert's last feature production "DeathSpank" I'm going to say it might just be him.

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#18 Posted by BisonHero (6251 posts) -

@Veektarius said:

@project343: Between this and Ron Gilbert's last feature production "DeathSpank" I'm going to say it might just be him.

Yeah, like I'm not trying to be mean to the guy, but it's beginning to look like he was not the brains behind the operation of all those classics he was involved with. Or maybe he was, but he lost it at some point.

I mean, he made those Pajama Sam and Putt-Putt games that were pretty rad as far as kids' games go, but I don't think I've liked anything he has worked on since those kids' games.

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#19 Posted by project343 (2812 posts) -

@Veektarius: I actually liked DeathSpank. The humour was so goddamn throwaway, but the RPG/adventure-lite hybridity and art style made that game pretty distinct.

#20 Posted by BeachThunder (11725 posts) -

@CapnThrash said:

It's still mind boggling that there aren't 9 characters....

7 Deadly Sins

#21 Posted by Hunkulese (2657 posts) -

@Veektarius said:

@project343: Between this and Ron Gilbert's last feature production "DeathSpank" I'm going to say it might just be him.

Deathspank was pretty good but it probably didn't need all those sequels.@BisonHero said:

@Veektarius said:

@project343: Between this and Ron Gilbert's last feature production "DeathSpank" I'm going to say it might just be him.

Yeah, like I'm not trying to be mean to the guy, but it's beginning to look like he was not the brains behind the operation of all those classics he was involved with. Or maybe he was, but he lost it at some point.

I mean, he made those Pajama Sam and Putt-Putt games that were pretty rad as far as kids' games go, but I don't think I've liked anything he has worked on since those kids' games.

Did you even play those "classics". They were all full of the same issues that people are having with "The Cave" but they were released in a different time when people didn't have 37 games on the go at one time so backtracking wasn't a big deal.

The Cave is still full of some of the genius that is Ron Gilbert but unfortunately he cut back on the dialogue and tried something new that didn't really work out.

#22 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

I really, really, really liked the Cave. 
 
It was, in the short playthrough I had, more fun than most games I've played recently, many of which I can't even stomach long enough to finish. I find myself buying games like Bayonetta or The Walking Dead and finding them deathly boring and unfun to play. 
 
I read a lot of the criticisms with this game and get frustrated at the people making them. 
 
The controls are bad? Um... what? There is nearly nothing in this game that requires any sort of precision. All you do is run and jump around and pick stuff up. I found the controls to be more than adequate. I enjoyed using them. Are you not playing with a joypad? 
 
Now the framerate IS bad. Or, at least, it was on my Mac. THAT is a reason to complain, but the control is fine. 
 
People always feel the need to address the humor, but that seems ridiculous to me. It's not billed as a "funny" game. It's not a comedy. It's an adventure game. The point is to be clever, which it is. If you enjoy cleverness, then you're likely to enjoy the writing in the game. Sometimes it will make you laugh. Other times you just think it's clever. For instance, it's clever how well the animators capture little human nuances in the animation. It's quirky and witty. it's  NOT "funny". 
 
I found the game to be a great deal of fun and a neat throw back to Lucas Arts adventure games. 
 
The Time Traveler features a need to coordinate between The Past, Present and Future ala Day Of The Tentacle 
The Twins have you scampering about an old mansion ala Maniac Mansion (and features a cameo by Chuck The Plant) 
The Hillbilly features a carnival incredibly reminiscent of the one in Sam and Max Hit The Road, etc. 
 
In the end, I think the  mileage one gets out of this game is directly proportional to how many games you play or have access to. 
 
When one has hundreds of games to play, like in emulation, any slight setback or cause to stop and think gets an immediate shut off and switch to another game. I feel like game reviwers and whatnot don't feel like they have time to play games that require an ounce of patience when they can instead be living a gamer life similar to people who only buy "greatest hits" records. If you have patience and ACTUALLY like adventure games instead of the slightly interactive cartoons that Telltale has been putting out, you should DEFINITELY give this game a go. 
 
For the record, my vote goes to Time Traveler, Twins, and Hillbilly  for the best stories, with the Knight being the weakest one. I didn't play the Monk, though.

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