Wot I Think: Deponia

By John Walker on August 7th, 2012 at 7:00 pm.

Daedalic really do paint the most beautiful scenery.

Deponia is released today – the latest adventure from German developers, Daedalic Entertainment. Set on a planet made of trash, will it prove to be a big pile of rubbish, or a diamond in a dungheap. You can’t refuse to find out – I promise it won’t be a waste of your time. Here’s Wot I Think:

I know that I misremember the adventures of the 90s. I know this because I’ve gone back to play them, and either games can erode over time, or they’re mostly not nearly as amazing as I remember (with the exception of those LucasArts few). And yet it’s so hard not to measure a modern point and click to the near-fictional memory of the past. Deponia, by all accounts, is every bit as good as many of the adventures back in the day. And by the same accounts, has all the same issues that we tend to forget. That, and what are now familiar problems with the translation from German.

However, it’s pretty much impossible not to warm to a game that opens with a song. From Daedalic, they who brought us the lovely Whispered World, and the not so lovely Edna & Harvey, Deponia falls stylistically somewhere between the two. Not quite so cutesy and fairytale-themed as the former, and sharing the slightly more aggressive humour of the latter, you play Rufus, a selfish and lazy man determined to find a way off the trash planet of Deponia.

It’s an absolutely standard point-and-click affair – gather various inventory items, each hidden behind dialogue and puzzles, to solve a larger problem. Do that, the story advances, and you repeat. And as you also might expect, the game is packed with eccentric characters, dozens of objects to steal and use on other objects, and a hefty pile of jokes.

And it hits reasonably often. Despite translation issues – and there are plenty – the game made me laugh a fair few times, and a number of the puzzles, while in no way original, presented a fair challenge. Then again, a number did not. And unfortunately, most of those came clumped together in the second (and longest) of four acts.

It’s always hard to know how much has suffered in the transition from German to English. Quite clearly enormous amounts of the dialogue have received a far too literal translation, as if stuffed through Google Translate, and you end up with absolute nonsense. Opening a box near the beginning of the game I was told, “Phew, it looked much lighter lying in that cupboard.” There was no cupboard. I’d opened the lid of a box. At one point I put a deflated balloon in a furnace (the correct solution was of course to have the balloon be inflated) and was insanely told, “Hehe, it tasted of window putty anyway.” Perhaps the most bemusing was near the end, when clicking glowing candyfloss on any other inventory item, and hearing, “I guess the eye has to dine out tonight if it wants to be pleased.”

Those are extreme moments, but the sense that you’re not hearing the words as they were intended is pretty pervasive, and – as has always been the case with Daedalic games – often leaves you thinking, “Oh, I see, they meant…” rather than just laughing at the gag. Mad translations make a couple of the puzzles utterly bewildering, one going on about a “mauve muff” that has nothing to do with any of the word’s meanings with which I’m familiar. However, thankfully the voice cast is really strong, and despite being given some tough dialogue to work with, they generally do a great job.

But that second act really is a thorn in the game. Opening up a huge number of locations all at once, you begin with a daunting number of options, all the act’s puzzles dumped on you at once, and often leaving you solving things in the wrong order. The lack of narrative direction, and of one puzzle logically linking to the next, means too often you’re left wandering, and a walkthrough is far more entertaining than spending hours searching out that one obscure action you missed. There are two puzzles that even after cheating to get past, I still have no idea how they could possibly have been logically solved.

And that’s all a great shame, because afterward the game takes on a much more sensibly linear route, and the walkthrough was not needed again. What doesn’t go away, however, is the slightly uncomfortable tone that comes from playing yet another anti-hero.

Rufus is basically a prick. While most of his apparent sexism could be simply put down to laziness, I really do not understand the desire for so many German adventures to cast you as someone so unlikeable. Rude to everyone, and with a bloated sense of self-importance, it’s not a great deal of fun to be him a lot of the time. And while there’s some attempt at a redemption late on, it’s not meaningful. This isn’t helped by the game’s story focusing on an attempt to “get” a girl who fell out of the sky, an unconscious girl that the men of the town argue over “getting”. The game’s only other woman (if you don’t include the post master/mistress, a cross-dressing parody whose voice constantly fluctuates between falsetto and booming thug) is Rufus’s ex-girlfriend, who exists to nag, be unpleasant, and eventually be drugged against her will. It’s not exactly enlightened.

The art style, despite being reminiscent of that in Edna & Harvey, is far, far better. This looks like the work of an expert cartoon studio, rather than doodles in someone’s English exercise book. And the animations are really splendid – a great deal of effort has gone in there, as well as into the very many luscious backdrops. This is improved further by a fantastic soundtrack, the sort of tunes you want to leave running in the background.

So yet again, it’s another German adventure that frustrates by almost being great, and often falling short of good. The story apparently just assumes we’re au fait with sky elf robot women having removable memories, and assumes we don’t care about utterly unresolved (and yet endlessly hammered into you) stories about absent fathers. For every puzzle that’s on the nose, there’s another that’s unexplained nonsense. And for all the laughs, there are as many bewildering lines of gibberish. But it’s beautifully presented, and other than a couple of glitching items and one line left in German, a lovingly crafted game in a genre where so many are so scrappy. I think, overall, I spent more time being frustrated than entertained, and perhaps too much time somewhere between the two.

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109 Comments »

  1. Danorz says:

    the character design reminds me of oglaf (do not search for this comic if you are under 18 or a prude thankyou) to an alarming extent. the main character looks like the apprentice in a flying helmet

    • LionsPhil says:

      That was my first reaction to seeing it on the Steam store, too.

      “Oglaf: The Adventure Game”. Oh dear. It’d be like King’s Quest III, but even less fair.

    • Aaax says:

      oglaf is definitely one of the best things on the internet. If you had 6 hours of life remaining, spending them reading oglaf would be the best way.

      Also, the younger or more prude are you, the funnier they are!

    • Gaytard Fondue says:

      Honest question: Are the comics connected storywise or are they just random strips featuring a lot of intercourse. Or are they connected stories with a lot of intercourse?

      • Acorino says:

        Well, they’re all set in the same world, of course, with returning characters. There are some story arcs, yes. There are many standalones, too.

        • LionsPhil says:

          The recent “fun” arc was outstanding.

          • belgand says:

            Eh… it was originally more stand-alone with light elements of continuity, but recently it fell off the wagon and decided to get into ridiculously long arcs that take far, far longer than needed to no real benefit. Since this is a common sign that a webcomic is troubled I’m pretty concerned.

            You should totally read it though.

          • Cryo says:

            “Recently”? The Apprentice storyline was there from the start and it was really long. So I don’t really see a problem.

          • The Random One says:

            It was indeed outstanding. Its central concept was bloody brilliant and could very well be in a ‘serious’ work, but at the same time it was so silly it would be almost impossible to play it straight. Oglaf is pretty much becoming Order of the Stick with dicks.

            …sticks. He he he.

          • Aaax says:

            Fucksticks!

      • PodX140 says:

        They have some connections here and there, and there does seem to be an overarching story. However there are also alot of random strips that seem to be separate for the sake of making a joke or whatnot.

        Great comic though, with great humor and art style (Couldn’t care less about the NSFW bits, but it really does look great (see: Reign of Blood comic))

      • MattM says:

        The navigation can be a bit wonky. If you are reading backwards through the strips you will miss lots of pages. Hitting back goes to the start of the previous story but each story might have multiple pages. Just go to the first strip and read in order and you shouldn’t have any problem.

    • Zombie Jesus says:

      What I want is A Game of Dwarves, but with the dwarves from Oglaf.
      http://oglaf.com/cavalcade/1/

    • Grape says:

      the character design reminds me of oglaf (do not search for this comic if you are under 18 or a prude thankyou) to an alarming extent.

      Oh, for fuck’s sake. You’re one of those, aren’t you? “Don’t look at female nipples unless you’re older than [X].”? People like you are just the worst.

      Say – you wouldn’t by chance happen to be American, would you?

      • ohnoabear says:

        Bare female nipples are the least of the reasons I wouldn’t recommend a child read Oglaf…

      • Danorz says:

        actually i was just letting people know in a roundabout, less acronymmy way that the comic is not safe for work and astonishingly full of fucking of all types. it’s not suggesting people DON’T LOOK at the thing i obviously fucking read i just don’t want anybody to get sacked. wind your fucking neck in you hysterical shitmonger

  2. Zeewolf says:

    I loved Daedalic’s last game, Chains of Satinav, but I barely managed to complete the first act of Deponia before giving up on it. Like Edna & Harvey, it just isn’t fun.

  3. SuperNashwanPower says:

    I wan to smith mysel a Daedalic bow and allow. That would be ruvvery.

  4. MOKKA says:

    ‘I really do not understand the desire for so many German adventures to cast you as someone so unlikeable. Rude to everyone, and with a bloated sense of self-importance,’

    Well, just look at our government and maybe it all starts to make sense.

    • Xardas Kane says:

      I fail to see the resemblance between Rufus and the government…

      • MOKKA says:

        It’s not about the character, but more about the ‘bloated sense of self-importance’.

      • dE says:

        A person inflicted with “modern german government (post 2000)” may exhibit strong allergic reactions to the following concepts:
        - Privacy of thought, opinion and person
        - Honesty about funding
        - Humility in things concerning Europe
        - Bundesverfassungsgericht

        Also concerning unlike-able characters:
        Germans often consider those to be quite funny. It’s a very peculiar kind of humour and hard to understand for anyone else. For example, a region in the north is legendary for its bad mood and cynical statements. Calling a day a good day, may get you scolded and killed by stares alone.
        Most people consider that rude and annoying. Many germans laugh about it, maybe respond in a snide fashion too, so both sides have something to laugh about. Odd. Yes.

        Or bavaria in the south. Germany doesn’t quite like Bavaria. Bavaria doesn’t quite like germany (going as far as to claim they’re an independent nation at times). Every cliché about germans centers around that small part in the south. But they also bring big money and technology, so in a way, germany also likes them.

        • Acorino says:

          Well, them Brits are peculiar, too. :P

        • Discopanda says:

          That was a very interesting and insightful post.

        • Ironclad says:

          “Bundesverfassungsgericht” was not something I expected to see in that list. Tip of the hat for you, sir!

  5. Acorino says:

    the not so lovely Edna & Harvey

    You’re still wrong, Mr. Walker, and will always remain so!
    Admittedly, I played the German version, but I feel it’s the much better game compared to The Whispered World and imo the best adventure game of 2008. The voice acting and the unique responses to pretty much every action are a huge part of its charm. My favorite Daedalic game to date.

    Edit: Deponia was one of the few adventure games I solved entirely without a walkthrough. I had lots of fun with the puzzles and wasn’t even bothered that it hadn’t much of a story! I skipped one minigame and solved another puzzle (where you had to operate the tracks, in the third chapter) merely by trial and error, but otherwise the puzzles were just right for me!
    I’m sure they weren’t right for everyone, but the point is I was surprised by how fun they were, since often enough they aren’t for me.
    Maybe you don’t know, but Deponia is just the first part in a trilogy, the second part will be released in September here in Germany. This should explain the many still unresolved story threads.
    Those lines you mention really sound terribly nonsensical, so I guess they may ruin the puzzle design a bit. :-/ At least the voice acting sounds good, judging by the trailer!
    On the upside, The Book of Unwritten Tales was just recently released on GOG and Steam! Its translation seems to be of high quality, as far as I heard. So, maybe this would be a better choice for international gamers.

    • Bluerps says:

      Yes, I agree! I really, really loved Edna Bricht Aus.

      Though I have to admit that a great deal of it’s charm came from the great voice acting of the two main characters, which of course isn’t preserved in a translated version.

    • John Walker says:

      I can only assume it lost one hell of a lot in the translation. Although in that case, “translation” is an awfully strong word.

      • Acorino says:

        The thing is, if you take the great voice acting, the funny responses, comments, dialogues and the charming interaction between the two main characters away, there isn’t a whole lot left, admittedly. So yeah, I can understand why the English version sucks, but Edna bricht aus remains great nonetheless! :)

        • Ragnar says:

          So, really, Daedalic are capable of making great games, with great voice acting, story, humour, etc. They’re just incapable of translating them into English without losing all those great things that would make their game great, and as a result the English releases end up being mediocre, if not poor? This seems like a rather large problem that they need to correct.

          • volcano_fl says:

            Now you know how it feels like when I play the German localisation of an American game and facedesk so much you can see it for weeks. It’s all coming back to you.

      • Xardas Kane says:

        I didn’t even know it was translated actually. But the original German version is a charming, mental and psychedelic trip through the nether realms of childhood innocence. It is one of the best adventures I have played in years by far. Would’ve been the best hands down if not for the somewhat lacklustre second act.

        On to Deponia – shame again, because the game is really fun. I agree, although not to that extent, that the second act lacks a bit of direction, but your comments about Rufus bewilder me. Sure, he’s a bit of a prick, but hardly as unlikeable as you make him out to be. Maybe it’s another thing that got lost in translation? It’s times like these that I am glad I chose German as my third :D

      • dE says:

        That and local humour.
        In a way, a lot of the references in a Discworld Novel for example, fly right over my head because I don’t know what they’re linked to. And yes, translation. It’s really odd but also interesting, to be at the other end of the translation stick in this case.
        Personall, I often found german translations and most of all, german voiceacting to be gamebreaking. It’s almost comedy in itself. For example, there was this shooter some while ago and the hero confronted the evil dictator in the most deadpan bored voice possible: “You killed my brother, you murderer”. At which the dictator got a lot of dramatic music and zooms, only to reply with an jovial all too casual “Okay.”

        Or my first encounter with the german version of Baldurs Gate. For some reason they had this very “smart” idea of using localised dialects for the voiceacting. All of them. So my chaotic evil mage spoke like the guys in this video:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uF2djJcPO2A
        Reaaaaally haaaard to take the game serious after that.

        - So I started playing english versions exclusively.

        • Xardas Kane says:

          Kaansch des grad bide noma sage? :D:D:D

          Really? Chaotic Evil with THAT dialect? Hey, I’m down with that, I gotta try the game in German, you know, for the lulz! I’ve always known Stuttgart was the den of evil.

          • Acorino says:

            I should mention then that they actually patched out the dialect prone voice acting! Doesn’t happen too often, I think.

        • c-Row says:

          While I do agree with you, I usually point out the russian accent of Jaheira in the original version whenever it comes to this discussion to balance things a bit.

          • RedViv says:

            The problem with that voice-over in the German version is the use of dialect, in some cases even vernacular, as opposed to simple accents. Those are differently received by German natives when compared to native reception of English language accents.
            Light accents in standard German are normal and encountered almost everywhere, but dialect and vernacular are used to give either a strong local flavour in specific productions (in which case most actors will use the same one), or, rather more common, for comedic purposes. The dialects in Baldur’s Gate are hammed up to a ridiculous level, one that only comedy openly uses.

          • c-Row says:

            It certainly added some unintentional humour to the German version.

  6. Nick says:

    ” really do not understand the desire for so many German adventures to cast you as someone so unlikeable. Rude to everyone, and with a bloated sense of self-importance”

    Aka the Simon The Sorcerer 2 model.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I think it sits somewhere between Rincewind in the Discworld games, and Guybrush from Monkey Island, with some “doesn’t translated well” problems.

      Possibly that we’re not supposed to relate to the protagonist too closely, otherwise it’d ruin some of the slapstick we push them into.

      • LionsPhil says:

        I dunno; while an absolute buffoon, Roger Wilco was pretty likable, yet it was still entertaining to see the Universe repeatedly maul him.

      • mr.black says:

        I’d add to that also Homer Simpson, cause there are many instances he sounds really non-intelligent. I agree with John, shame Rufus doesn’t seem to develop at all during the game, but if one of the comments is true and this is just first part of a trilogy, then the whole package could become more than the sum of its parts..

  7. Bluerps says:

    Heh, so translation problems also happen in this direction. Usually, it’s the other way around – english to german translations tend to be not so good (or at least, they were ten years ago – apart from games in which that was the original language, I haven’t played a game in german for a long time).

    The same kind of “google translate” translation error, like translating “bar” (as in a place to drink) with “Stange” (which means “rod” or “pole”). Or translating “you’re welcome” as a greeting.

    • Grey Ganado says:

      The German versions of most English games are still outright horribly translated.

      • RedViv says:

        “Horrible” is a strong word. Lacklustre, yes. Most people try to give it their best.
        The problem is a lack of direction, or direct game material that the publisher might hand out, might not.
        Mostly the material that non-English translators get really just includes the game scripts. You’ll be lucky if you actually get the voice scripts for the acting parts, let alone pre-release versions to get your context. Game scripts often are a disconnected mess to go through, hence a lot of studios use semi-automatic translation tools, equally throwing you off track when it comes to context-sensitive translation. If you don’t do that, the translation will take much longer. Time, money, blah.

      • Edradour says:

        Depends on the game, most AAA titles got very good voice acting by now….

  8. mr.ioes says:

    “There are two puzzles that even after cheating to get past, I still have no idea how they could possibly have been logically solved.” I hate such experiences ;( Gladly, they usually are rare. But still, they leave a bad feeling on ya.

    I would have been interested in knowing if they yet again put a ton of voice work into weird item combinations. It was so fun trying the weirdest combinations since the reactions more often than not were unique and funny.

    Game’s -20% off til 14th of August.

    • John Walker says:

      They did. Although only sometimes, and not often enough to inspire me to keep checking. Also, these tended to be the worst examples of Germlish.

    • Nyst says:

      I liked how Machinarium handled that, with a built-in hint system. Not having to leave the game, plus having to work for your hint, made things a lot better, and made me feel less like I was cheating somehow.

      • phlebas says:

        An explicit hint system, even a good one, is still a workaround rather than a solution, though. If the game’s designed with the player in mind then
        (a) there should be clues pointing you in the right direction, especially if you’re trying sensible things out – if you try something and it fails, the game should indicate why it failed and that should help you work out what might succeed.
        (b) investigating and trying things out should be sufficiently entertaining that you don’t get frustrated and discouraged as soon as the next thing to do isn’t obvious.
        (a) is particularly susceptible to translation issues – you can lose helpful pointers if you don’t pay as much attention to things that aren’t on the optimal path. There were several places in Runaway where I got the impression this had happened.

  9. MistyMike says:

    Derponia

  10. VA1N says:

    I bit and decided to give it a shot. I haven’t played an adventure game in quite some time so I figured I’d give it a shot.

  11. ulix says:

    Can you do a WOT on “Chains of Satinav”, Mr. Walker?

  12. psyk says:

    How do the translations end up so bad, does it get outsourced and they only send a really basic script (just lines) with no context?

    • Hoaxfish says:

      As far as I understand it,

      1. Game companies do tend to outsource, because obviously their own staff make games, so in-house would be a weird overhead.
      2. The lines are sent out, and just translated as-is. Often this means you can lose context, so the same object can be referred to by different names etc.
      3. German isn’t as similar to English as “latin” languages like French. I’m not sure how much of a step-up it is between those two languages, but German has less in common in terms of grammatical structures.

      • ulix says:

        Point 2 cannot be stressed enough. Recently read an article on a German website about game translation, and apparently companies often actually send out individual lines or lines in the wrong order, so that just this one line is translated. This way they can change individual lines and only let those be retranslated if needed.

        Also, companies (in general, not just in Gaming) are not ready to spend appropriate amounts of money and ressources on translations.

      • LionsPhil says:

        4. Apparently, don’t bother to give it even the most cursory proof-reading before spending money on having voice actors read it out, with all the recording and getting it into the game overheads that then follow from that.

        Cheaping out on an earlier part of the process is a false economy.

        • Hoaxfish says:

          How do you proof read a language you had to out-source the translation for?

          • LionsPhil says:

            Find almost anyone who can speak the language to at least look over it? Even if you have to pay them, it will beat having your expensive VA try to wrap their mouth around “I guess the eye has to dine out tonight if it wants to be pleased”.

            There is some check missing in the process if that line can reach all the way to a shipped product.

          • psyk says:

            You would think they would do a quick QA check on it, but I can see how costs could spiral quickly.

          • Deano2099 says:

            You hire an English editor in addition to a translator, who basically gets the assembled script and ensures it’s consistent.

            It’s frustrating as it’s something I do for a living in a different sector. I know that I could do a great job on the script of your average German adventure game in three days. Even at freelance rates that’s less than £500. Yet it’s never done, even though it’s constantly the biggest criticism in reviews and fixing it is so cheap and easy…

            It’s embarrassing if you go look at amateur VN translation projects online, they’ll generally have two translation stages, an editing stage AND a proofing stage, all done by different people.

          • Ragnar says:

            It seems to me that the money for a translation editor would be well spent as it would pay for itself several times over through better game reviews, better reception, and thus much better sales.

            I play adventure games for the story and dialog much more so than the puzzles, so poor translation and voice acting means a lost sale.

          • LionsPhil says:

            Indeed; hence describing it as a false economy to skimp on the translation quality.

      • Xardas Kane says:

        I agree about points 1 and 2, but 3 is wrong. Grammatically German is the closest language to English out there.

        • LionsPhil says:

          Until all the verbs pile up at the end of the sentence like an exercise in Reverse Polish Notation, anyway.

          • Brun says:

            That’s sentence structure, not grammatical structure. Latin does the same thing (puts verbs at the end of the sentence), but that’s just a sentence structure choice. It doesn’t affect the grammatical meaning of the sentence or the words in it – you could rearrange the words in a Latin sentence to follow “English” rules for sentence structure and it would still make sense. I’m not certain if the same is the case for German.

          • Hoaxfish says:

            Isn’t sentence-structure part of grammar?

          • Xardas Kane says:

            No, that’s syntax. I am saying this as a person who has studied both languages and who comes from a family of linguists – the closest existing language to English is German. It’s not an opinion, it’s a fact.

          • ulix says:

            Which is only correct if you’re not talking about vocabulary (the actual words being used as opposed to sentence structure, etc.). Because then French would be the closest to English. Fact.

          • Xardas Kane says:

            Fact is there are about as many words from German as there are from French. Fact is judging just based on vocabulary is very frivolous to say the least and any philologist would find such a comparison laughable. German is the closest language to English, end of story. There is just no possible argument against that, it’s a simple scientific fact.

          • ulix says:

            I we’re talking scientific facts, than the Scots and Frisian languages are much closer to English then German. And if we’re talking languages that are spoken by more then two people, Dutch would be the closest language to English (and also the closest language to German, since it is somewhat in between the two).

          • Xardas Kane says:

            I acknowledged and touched upon that just a wee bit below your comment.

        • Aaax says:

          English seems to me is sticking out like a sore thumb. Saying that german is gramaticaly closest language to english is like searching for a town in California closest to Jupiter.

          • Xardas Kane says:

            Umm no. If you take a closer look you’ll see you are way off on this one.

          • LionsPhil says:

            “If you look closer you’ll see that I’m right” is not an argument.

          • wodin says:

            Xardas is right. As an amateur military historian I can say Xardas is right and it is linguistic fact.

          • Xardas Kane says:

            Indeed it isn’t. 50 pixels above that comment I give more than enough arguments, ain’t that hard to find ‘em.

          • The Random One says:

            I guess if you only speak English and German you’d think they are quite different. My native language is Portuguese and I see how they are rather similar. I imagine that someone whose native language was not a Latin derivative, like, say, Chinese, might even confuse the two languages, or mistake them for the cries of an orangutang.

          • Aaax says:

            I’ve read that closest to English are Dutch, Frisian and Norwegian. Personaly both English and German are my second languages(first is Czech), and somehow I’ve failed to notice many grammatical similarities between them. But I’ve noticed many, many differences and knowing English was not very helpful for German.

            Czech is certainly closer to German than English, and knowing it is certainly huge help. When deciding what grammatical case of verb to use, 90% of the time direct translation from Czech works. Before noticing this I was trying to determine cases as written in one German grammar from english author, and it was pure horror!

          • Edradour says:

            Ill use this discussion to ask a question ive been asking myself for a long time now: How did the english language develop?
            From my understanding the saxons ( kindof germans even though back then there was neither germany nor a real german language ) conquered ( or settled down on? ) the island of britain which was inhabited by kelts. The two merge into what was called the anglo-saxons who were then conquered by the french ( normans ) and all the different languages formed what is now english?

            Is that about right?

          • Xardas Kane says:

            @The Random One I know English, German, French, Spanish and my native Bulgarian. I think I’ve got plenty to compare to.

            @Aaax Dutch is basically a mash-up of English and German actually. I disagree about Norwegian. I actually agree about Frisian, forgot about that, I was taking only the “major” languages into consideration. Frisian is actually more or less a sister language of English

            One language stemming from another one and having a similar grammatical structure doesn’t mean it’s “helpful” to know one when learning the other. The similarities nevertheless are there and you can’t just wave them away – regular and irregular verbs, strong and weak verbs, tenses etc. As someone who speaks both French and German I can tell you that stating French is closer to English is laughable.

            @Edradour pretty much, yeah. English is a West Germanic language. Old English was a mash-up of the Anglo-Frisian and Old Saxon Germanic dialects with Saxon being the dominant one. Then came two invasions – the North Germanic one in the 9th century and the Norman conquest in the 11th century, which introduced quite a few new words and simplified the grammatical structure of the language. Modern English is considered to have finally been developed around15th or 16th century.

  13. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    ” really do not understand the desire for so many German adventures to cast you as someone so unlikeable. Rude to everyone, and with a bloated sense of self-importance”

    Because they’re german?

  14. KDR_11k says:

    “Window putty” is probably taking “Scheibenkleister” too literal, that’s one of those substitute words people use when they want to hide swearing (in this case it starts just like “Scheiße”) like darn or heck. The eye eating out refers to the saying that the eye eats as well (meaning that the appearance of food is important too).

    Anyway, now you know how I felt at the end of Metroid Prime where two hints were translated in a way that made them refer to entirely different rooms.

  15. Andy_Panthro says:

    A planet made of junk you say? All I could think of is this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKqboQV_lfg&feature=player_detailpage#t=21s

    • Xardas Kane says:

      Actually the game feels at time like a shameless light-hearted copy of Battle Angel Alita.

  16. The Random One says:

    I refuse to believe it’s such a waste of- wait. John, you bloody bastard, you stole our pun thread!

    We can’t even have the litter things.

    • Danny252 says:

      I guess he’s seen enough already, and couldn’t be bothered waiting for us to get around to doing one – a case of bin there, done that.

  17. RogerioFM says:

    I liked the game, the characters and story. So anyway, but I am used to like less than stellar games, like Pathologic, Dark Premonition Sanitarium and so on.

  18. li says:

    I could play through the game in a good week or ten days without walkthrough, even though I usually lose patience pretty quick with points-and-clicks.
    I got stuck several times, but after closing the game, doing something else and coming back, I could always open new paths (the toughest one was – spoiler: the schnaps from the Doc)

    My main reaction is that the first scene (the one in the city after Goal’s fall) is really great, because it contains a lot of places, puzzles and clues. The following scenes are quite pale in comparison, the one before the track is ok but not so long, the end part at the bottom of the tower contains almost no challenge. This last one could do much more though, it seems to me that the developers rushed into the deadline; look at the smuggler’s boat, you do nothing there, it’s really disappointing..

    So good experience overall, fleshy first 50 %, last 50 % underdone :/

  19. Drake Sigar says:

    Charming game which hints at an epic quest of personal discovery, then decides to forget all that in the last minute for a save the world dance instead. Much like Unwritten Tales it loses focus the deeper you go.

  20. Jupiah says:

    That’s a shame about the bad translation, dodge puzzles and the unlikable main character. I watched the trailer and was mesmerized, I kept thinking I was watching a trailer for a new television animated series. It’s that great looking. Now I’m not certain whether to buy it or not. A very difficult choice.

  21. golem09 says:

    Zeigen und Klicken?

    And here I thought for a moment that RPS had detected my IP adress and changed some specific parts of the site according to my language.

  22. d2cmp says:

    To be fair everyone else in Rufus’s hometown is kind of a dick and is constantly belittling him, not to mention his father abandoning him as a kid, is no wonder that our hero is no saint.

    The only likeable people in town were the barman and his ex-girlfriend which besides all the nagging she does, cares enough to give him food and shelter

  23. Sic says:

    In times like these I regret I didn’t pay more attention in German class.

    Because of the horrible translations of these games, I have been half tempted to use them as an excuse to brush up on my German.

  24. TehK says:

    Edna was great (incl. the art style)! We Germanz lovez our Daedalic adventurez! *shakes fist at Mr. Walker*

    Seriously though… it’s quite funny actually, seeing that English speaking countries have to suffer from bad translation/localisation, because believe me – we Germans suffer A LOT from that. Bad translations, bad voice acting, jokes get lost most of the time, you name it. I even think most German gamers have switched to playing English versions only by now.

    Also… (positively) surprised to see quite some Germans reading RPS. Ein herzliches “Huhu” an alle ;)

    • c-Row says:

      Ein ebenso herzliches “Huhu” zurück. ;-)

      It’s funny to see the other side of the coin for a change. As usual, games should be played in their original language whenever possible, as long as you understand said language of course. Unless we are talking about “Outcast” or “Kane & Lynch” whose original voice acting simply can’t be better than the German translation thanks to the brilliant voice cast.

    • Xardas Kane says:

      I bought Oblivion in Germany. Aside from the fact that EVERY FREAKING MALE IN THE GAME IS VOICED BY A SINGLE ACTOR who also happens to voice almost every character in every show ever translated into German, the translation was so bad I couldn’t play for more than 2 hours. And it’s not just that some parts of the game are actually left in English weirdly enough, but what the hell is Schw. Tr. d. Le.en.-W. o.O Or Homefront with great examples such as Hölle ja! (Hell yeah) or Macht sie platt (drop them).

      • phlebas says:

        As opposed to the three actors who appear in the original English?

  25. FlipJay says:

    “I guess the eye has to dine out tonight if it wants to be pleased” is fine. it’s just cheesy.

  26. veremor says:

    “Rude to everyone, and with a bloated sense of self-importance”

    And the reviewer can’t identify with that?

  27. volcano_fl says:

    1) “mauve muff”
    In the original, the “mauve muff” appears as “mauver Flansch”; according to Wikipedia Flansch translates to flange. It was chosen because it sounds like a nonsense word even though it’s a real object.
    Mauve is mauve. The colour.

    2) “I guess the eye has to dine out tonight if it wants to be pleased.”
    “Das Auge isst mit” is a German phrase meaning that whatever you’re eating has to look good, too. A literal translation would be “the eye eats with you” (how do you translate mitessen, ffs?). I hope this makes sense now.

  28. hemmer says:

    and the not so lovely Edna & Harvey I actually found that one quite amazing, though admittedly a lot if it had to do with the charming characters, which might’ve been lost in translation. *Austrian-thus-German-native-speaker*

  29. Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

    “I guess the eye has to dine out tonight if it wants to be pleased.”

    -This is some Joyce right here.

  30. TheBarringGaffner says:

    While the point about the scarcity of female characters is fair, Toni, the ex-girlfriend character, isn’t nearly as offensive as this makes her out to be. She is unpleasant towards the protagonist, but only because he’s a mooching loser who makes her life hell, and I’m fairly sure we’re supposed to root for her. Also, while it is about an attempt to “get” an unconscious woman, I’m fairly sure the fact that she’s named Goal shows that’s it’s at least self aware. A fair review otherwise, just wanted to share my statistically worthless opinion.