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|5 NOV 2002 at 5:57pm|
Posts : 359
Joined: 12 OCT 2002
Status : Online
|As this is an amateur adventure, it isn't being judged by the standards of commercial adventures. The game is freely downloadable.|
Robert Redford Saves the Day Part 1
by Kyriakos 'The Butcher' Hasapis
The text file should have been enough of an indication. Labelling a file as 'README!!!' shows that there are clear traces of madness in the blood (...three exclamation marks, see). In the file was a warning that the sound should be set up correctly, as it was VERY important to the game. I expected the worst - puzzles that were unsolveable without sound - but found the warning was needed for a different reason. Hasapis has clearly made an effort to ensure that the sound is like the rest of the game: funny.
And the game is very funny indeed, and more than a little bonkers. The story, dialogue, graphics, animation, sound and even puzzles have been designed with the intention of making the player laugh, above all other considerations. If you're looking for a coherent story, a realistic gameworld, or gorgeously drawn graphics, look elsewhere - this game is about humour. And some parts are laugh-out-loud funny.
The fun might not be to everybody's taste, however. If the phrases 'off-the-wall' and 'Pythonesque humour' send you scurrying for cover, it might be wise to give this one a miss. Also, the occasional swearword or (more likely) the gentle-ish lampooning of God might put some people off. Personally, I loved it.
So how do the different parts of the game make the player laugh? As mentioned, Hasapis has put thought into the sound - he hasn't simply dropped in any old midi file from the internet. The music is fun and appropriate, and goes through a series of comic changes in response to certain game events. There are few sound effects, but they are chosen well and didn't fail to make me chuckle.
Graphically, the game is colourful, cartoony, and cheerfully anarchic - the use of a photo for the player-character's head is mismatched against the rest of the graphics, and parts of the game are deliberately crudely drawn. Don't let this fool you into thinking Hasapis hasn't put time and effort into the drawing side of things, though. There are animations in the game that are more complex than it was necessary to draw them, and at least one could easily have been replaced with a line of dialogue to describe the action. Why the extra effort? Because the animations make the game funnier.
The story and characterisation are not strong points of the game, nor were they intended to be. The nature of the humour means that the plot is a joke in itself, and the characters function as comedy props rather than realistic people. Talking to the characters reveals a nice amount of dialogue choices - not so few as to be a wasted opportunity, but not so many as to bore the player. All of the dialogue is intended to be funny and this is the only point of the game where the jokes become a hit and miss affair. Even so, roughly half of them hit their mark, which is quite an accomplishment.
All of this adds up to a very entertaining experience for the player, and the game is certainly enjoyable on that level alone. Unfortunately it doesn't do quite so well in the puzzle department. The puzzles are a little too easy to provide the player with a satisfying challenge, partly due to the small range of interactions available in the gameworld, and partly because the clues given to aid the player are occasionally too explicit. At least the solutions are all fair and make perfect sense (using a cartoon logic) - this is certainly preferable to puzzles that are more challenging but have unfair solutions.
There are also some interesting faults in the game. The player character registers when the mouse cursor moves over him, but it is impossible to interact with him. This leads to the annoyance of being unable to interact with an object if Robert is standing in front of it, without the fun of comedy messages when clicking on Robert himself. There are also a few very noticeable bugs in the game, such as the opening scene replaying if the player re-enters the first location, and an object that can be taken multiple times. The bugs don't have as detrimental an effect as they would in a more serious game, but it is a shame to see them nonetheless. There are also no instructions with the game, though the user-friendliness of the default AGS interface means this isn't a great problem.
Overall, RRSTD is an entertaining game which fails to excel in all departments, but is nonetheless very enjoyable to play. The lack of challenge in the puzzles is not too great a disappointment, because the fun to be had from the humour is the main attraction of the game - and RRSTD provides that fun in trouserfuls. A little more polishing of the code would have been beneficial, but it's hard to care about bugs when you're giggling at your monitor. I recommend that you immediately adopt the policy of Robert himself by shouting: "GIMME FREE STUFF!", and go and download RRSTD from the G.A.C. website.
Funny everything else!
Not very challenging
Some large bugs
Humour not to everyone's taste
Size: 3.01 MB
Site: www.gac.gamespage.com, or http://www.agsforums.com/games.php?category=0
Released by: G.A.C. (Greek AGS Community)
[b]£1bn -[/b] Amount British government has pledged to paying off debt of poorest nations over next 10 years.&&&&[b]£5bn -[/b] Amount British government has already spent on Iraq campaign.
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