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Anachronox - what's the appeal?

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Lord_Potato, Mar 21, 2020.

  1. Lord_Potato Arcane

    Lord_Potato
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    So I started playing Anachronox, thanks to the hype from the Codex and the fact you guys placed in on both the 70- and 101- list of best RPGs evaaaaar. Besides, I like to change things from game to game to keep it fresh. So, if my last rpg was a fantasy one, now I figured a science fiction one would be a good pick.

    Anyway, after putting almost 10 hours into Anachronox (arrived at starport in Sunder and about to face the laser riddle to get into Rainbow Sanctuary) I just don't feel what's supposed to make this a good game.

    The combat is atrocious. Bland jrpg formula, long, repetitive animations, weak encounter design, lack of really interesting enemies, except for the boss thing in MysTech tunnels. It does not respect my prescious time, and bores me to tears.

    Story - supposed to be a strong point of the game - so far does nothing to me. Some guy hired Sly to solve the mystery of ancient alient artifacts. So, we travel from planet to planet doing tedious subquests, mostly connected with buying shuttle tickets. That's basically it. Characters are not very memorable and usually very cliched. Detective with a dark past? Check. Grumpy asocial scientist? Check. A sly mafioso? Check. Brainiac with all the answers? Check. After what was propably about 1/4 of the game, neither the plot nor the support cast managed to get me hooked.

    It was also supposed to be funny. Until now only PAL, the little robot guy, manages to put a smile on my face. The rest of the jokes are either unfunny, or cringe-inducing, like the quest for chewy, smelly sock. Oh, Eddy gnaws it! Very fucking droll. Didn't know the humor in this game came from some retarded, basement-dwelling teenager.

    Anyway, I wanted to ask: does it get any better? And if not, why some of you guys actually like it? Anachronox seems like a bizarre mix of jrpg and adventure game, but without the good parts, like engaging storytelling or interesting riddles. I also hear that because of lack of time and funds they had to cut a lot of content from the game, so it ends with a cliffhanger that never gets solved.

    Well, at least the minigames are bearable and you can even skip some of them. But beyond that... wow. A heavy dissapointment so far.
     
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  2. Wunderbar Arcane

    Wunderbar
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    You can speed up animations by holding \
     
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  3. zwanzig_zwoelf Graverobber Foundation Developer

    zwanzig_zwoelf
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    Not sure what you mean by 'better'. The adventure elements combined with the story and 'wtf what black sorcery did they do with Quake 2 engine?' are the main draws of Anachronox.

    If you find that combat takes too much time, you can speed things up by pressing '\'.
     
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  4. Nano Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

    Nano
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    Personally I thought the story and characters were good and creative, but the *game* part of the game is just awful. Bloated levels, tons of backtracking, constant JRPG combat. It's a slog. Couldn't make myself go further than the halfway point.
     
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  5. Beastro Arcane

    Beastro
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    You're talking about a game most ppl stop playing once they get the planet character in their party.
     
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  6. Background Character Arbiter

    Background Character
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    That's one of the best party members
     
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  7. Beastro Arcane

    Beastro
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    Cept the game goes hollow after you get em.
     
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  8. Daemongar Arcane Patron

    Daemongar
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
    Put down the walkthrough. Play and explore the game. It's more enjoyable like that.
     
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  9. Lord_Potato Arcane

    Lord_Potato
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    From what I read the visuals were dated even at the time of the game's launch. "A Quake 2 game in a Quake 3 world", as a reviewer from Computer Gaming World put it.
     
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  10. Lord_Potato Arcane

    Lord_Potato
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    Oh I try to play blind, but some quest solutions are very obscure and it's not like there are multiple ways to solve quests, usually it's a pretty linear affair in which you have to do everything like the devs invented...

    Like the second ticket to Sunder. You cannot buy it, legally or illegally. You cannot wait for the next shuttle until they are available again. You just have to walk to a random guy in a random place and harass him until he gives it to you. That's bad quest design if I ever saw one.
     
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  11. zwanzig_zwoelf Graverobber Foundation Developer

    zwanzig_zwoelf
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    They were, but the design more than makes up for that. Still, it's impressive what they've managed to squeeze out of the old engine created first and foremost for ego-shooters, not JRPGs or anything like that.
     
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  12. catfood AGAIN

    catfood
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    The story and characters are the only thing it has going for it. You're better off watching a let's play.
     
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  13. Smoker Educated

    Smoker
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    Sly staring at the super hero's bald spot always gets me.
     
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  14. Smoker Educated

    Smoker
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    Also I thought I imagined it but there was in fact animated signs before the final patch
     
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  15. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
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    Could never get into this game, the way you interacted with shit was really off-putting. Its been a while but I remember it being some obnoxious mouse-cursor like thing.
     
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  16. Smoker Educated

    Smoker
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    If you only knew :negative:
     
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  17. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
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    Yeah I know the story behind it, I just remember the actual game mechanic annoying the hell out of me and quitting because of it.
     
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  18. zwanzig_zwoelf Graverobber Foundation Developer

    zwanzig_zwoelf
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    Apparently there's a mod that fixes this issue along with broken transparent textures.
     
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  19. Falksi Arcane

    Falksi
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    I'd never played it until around 2017 due to the Codex recommendations, and for me it was just to dated to get to grips with as a newbie to the game in 2017.

    I find there's a lot of 3-D games from the 2000-2005 era, which carry that awkward feeling of transition from the 2-D era with them, and this is one.

    Didn't find it awful, but I'd had enough after around 6 hours
     
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  20. Lord_Potato Arcane

    Lord_Potato
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    It sure is ugly, especially characters design (excluding several, like Grumpos). Early 3d was the worst. However I could ignore it if the game had other advantages. I just don't see them.

    I will play it a bit more to see if the new companion is any fun. And maybe reach the planet companion, which seems like one of the few truelly unique features of Anachronox.
     
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  21. Ludwig von Eisenthal Augur

    Ludwig von Eisenthal
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    I played it around 2003 and found it to be hilarious and full of crazy ideas. I liked being able to talk to everybody and they all had to say some silly stuff. I especially remember it for the exploration part and for the many different locations. Sure, gameplay wasn't the creme de la creme but it worked. The game was a nice and thoughtful persiflage on Sci-Fi- and Noire-clichees. I have fond memories of it. Just downloaded it again from GOG, I have to play that one again.
     
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  22. Wunderbar Arcane

    Wunderbar
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    NPCs also say different things depending on which party member you're currently in control of. Rowdy's bouncer mentions some dark shit about how Boots used to beat PAL while drunk.
     
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  23. Sloul Savant

    Sloul
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    The writing is where it's at.


    Btw did you have a look at those batteries?
     
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  24. passerby Augur

    passerby
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    There is a mod, or console commands, that allow you to speedup the game 10x with a hotkey ( or use cheat engine if you can't find it).
    It's absolutely unplayable without it, I fastforwarded all combat animations and all running around and backtracking.

    The appeal is in the writing and humor, it gets hilarious and brilliant in the middle and takes a nosedive toward the end. That said, I've never finished it.
    I gave up on some comic book themed starship, the writing was shit for some time already at that point and retarded, repetitive combat wore me down.
     
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  25. DraQ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    DraQ
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    It's a storyfag game. The game part is pretty awful, but the storyfag parts are excellent and more than make up for it.
    Also impressive Quake 2 engine sorcery - anyone saying the this game is ugly is wasting a pair of perfectly good corneas other people could use.
     
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