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View Full Version : Ensemble Backlog: Gemini Rue



sabrage
05-01-2012, 12:10 PM
Since a lot of people here seem to have accrued the same kind of backlog that I have, I thought it'd be interesting to start a concurrent gaming club to play through our games together. The conceit of this thread is to designate a game for everybody involved to play together over a designated period and discuss it here. Things like flaws, plot and tactics are all fair game, though obviously any spoilers should be marked clearly, at the start of the post. The secondary goal is to knock out a bit of that backlog; I find, personally, that sometimes I have so many games to play that it's hard to focus on any individual one and finish it. http://i.imgur.com/cJKIW.png

A few people mentioned in this thread (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/forums/showthread.php?2575-A-year-in-gaming-An-effort-to-clear-the-backlog-of-impulse-buys) that they've got Gemini Rue sitting around unfinished, and as it was featured in the Indie Royale I'm sure many more have it. Myself, I've played about an hour of it, but that was months ago and at this point it's probably best to start over. I'm going to try to make this a monthly thing if it works out, so in the future we can all vote on what the next game to play together should be. To that end, it's close enough to the start of January that I think February 1 is a good goal to have everyone finish the game.

http://i.imgur.com/4hyFK.jpg

For the uninitiated, Gemini Rue is a point-and-click adventure game in the vein of Beneath a Steel Sky and Blade Runner released by Wadjet Eye Games last year. The story features two characters: Azriel Odin (yes, that's actually his name,) and ex-assassin fighting an intergalactic Mafia, and amnesiac Delta-Six. After a certain point in the story, the player can switch between these characters at will and follow whichever story they please at any given time. The puzzles are all fairly intuitive, as opposed to some of the more esoteric solutions that plague many adventure games. There are some misguided action sequences, but I would recommend just playing on "Easy" (it only affects the combat) and they shouldn't be too much of a problem. It's got a great, retro graphics style and a hard-boiled neo-noir mystery that really set the tone and drive the game.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=foZp9ToBewA

If you haven't already picked the game up but still want to join in, it's available on Steam (http://store.steampowered.com/app/80310/?snr=1_7_suggest__13) or direct from the publisher (http://www.wadjeteyegames.com/gemini-rue.html) for $10. If anyone has thoughts about how to organize this club, feel free to send some suggestions my way.

Help us decide what game to play next! Give us your input here. (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AmFMCYfuTgXodGRUM2xpXzRCYjBWem8wbTBJN0xJM Wc#gid=0)

groovychainsaw
05-01-2012, 12:13 PM
Does this mean I have to add it to my list as game no.5 in my backlog now? I think this just might push me over the edge if a few others join us :-).

Tikey
05-01-2012, 01:23 PM
I'm in. Just yesterday I started playing it.

Heliocentric
05-01-2012, 08:00 PM
I always end up despising point and click adventure games, I wish I'd just watched "let's play"searching mostly.

But okay, I will try and get it played this month.

Jolima
06-01-2012, 12:48 AM
I just spent a good part of the day playing this from beginning to end because of this thread. Sad part is that I hadn't even intended to play it before though, so my backlog wasn't really reduced.

It was quite a good game, I liked the story and characters and got caught by some of its twists. My biggest complaint is well exemplified by the elevators. You have a lot of elevators to ride in the game, and every time you have to: right-click the call button, use hand, wait for door to open, go in, right click buttons, use hand, select floor, wait a few seconds for the ride, wait for door to open, walk out. If they'd just changed that to: click door, select floor, cut to you walking out; I'd have been a lot happier.

I'll probably keep up with this thread and attempt to finish any game that comes up. Good initiative.

Heliocentric
06-01-2012, 04:41 AM
Lovely looking game, nice voice acting too. I've hit no logical brick walls which is the highest praise you can give a point and click adventure, just finished been swapped and got to be delta six for the first time (past brain wipe).

groovychainsaw
06-01-2012, 10:44 AM
Right, this is getting added to my list, thanks to your summaries (and particularly Helio's summary of the puzzles being logical - a rare thing indeed!) - I've got most of sunday to play, so I'll see how i get along. Its been a while since i played (and wasn't confounded by) a point and click game, but the setting/plot etc. looks good.

Heliocentric
06-01-2012, 01:41 PM
Actually, not just are puzzles logical, you often have multiple valid choirs, and judging by the achievements, some smoother than others.

Only point stumped me was me not being used to left to move when going through a door I kept closing it... Doh!

Tikey
06-01-2012, 02:24 PM
Nice start. I'm somewhat annoyed by that tendency of some adventure games of not letting you pick up stuff until the game deems it's time you need it. Of course that's not the game's fault, it's a design decision, I'm just too used to the typical adventure game "pick up everything that's not nailed to the floor and get a prying bar to get the rest" mechanic.

Kelron
10-01-2012, 02:26 AM
The few hours needed to play through this were well spent, even though a third of them must have been occupied in walking back and forth. Mostly very well designed puzzles, I only had to look up a solution once and that was definitely a case of me not thinking everything through. The plot was enjoyable and certainly a step up from your average game writing, but I didn't think it was wrapped up very well.

*Minor spoilers follow*
One thing that did disappoint me, and is frequently a problem even with well written games, was how one-dimensional the characters seemed. My first instincts about them always turned out to be right, they lacked any capability to surprise. I thought the initial conversations and the little notes in Center 7 did a great job of cultivating suspicion about the motives of the other characters, but it didn't go anywhere. I felt it could have been more interesting if Balder really was your friend, or Epsilon-Five had her own agenda beyond being your loyal pet.

Pirate
10-01-2012, 02:15 PM
I'm jumping in on this. I have such giant backlog it's hard for me to pull myself together and start any of the games. I also have a bunch of games which I started but never finished cause I always wind up playing my usual Starcraft 2, TF2 or just Cogs or something similar.

TailSwallower
10-01-2012, 02:25 PM
Wasn't able to play this on my proper laptop because it didn't like something about the system (64-bit Windows perhaps)... So let's see if it runs on this here netbook...

And it runs. Got some Berlin to explore today, but I'll play some tonight.

Pertusaria
11-01-2012, 10:38 PM
I have this and will try to finish it by the due date. Seems like a neat idea.

TailSwallower
13-01-2012, 03:23 PM
Just finished it. In general I quite liked it, and was totally caught out by the twist. Reminded me both of the Blade Runner movie and game, and also the commentary on identity was very PKDian (which I feel I need to mention separately because I never felt they covered that as well in the film as they could have).

The voice acting was generally good, but I almost feel like the writing would have seemed stronger with no VA. Or the writing actually was ham-fisted at times and the actors were just doing the best they could.

I'll definitely spend the time to play it again with the commentary on and to do some achievement hunting.

Sabrage - are we going to do some voting on games to tackle next? 'Cause I quite like the idea of going through the backlog with something of a club.

Pirate
15-01-2012, 06:40 PM
I've played a bit of it and it seems fine. I've had some graphical glitches when loading games (autosaves mostly) and some conversations that for some reason skip automatically (like if I held a mouse button), but generally I like it. Especially the fact that there are multiple solutions to some problems. Not a common thing in adventure games.
I wonder if the story manages to surprise me. I'm not far into the game but I have a strong hunch about the purpose of Station 7. I'd be very pleased if it turns out to be something entirely different.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS BELOW ! (It's pretty much my hunch about the story, but if I'm spot on it might spoil someone's fun.)

To me, it seems like Station 7 is a brainwashing facility. The Boryokudan are putting people who rebel against the in there and train them in the 'art of prison breaking'. Then they wipe their memory again and brainwash them into thinking they're the right side to be on or it happens simultaneously to 'training'. That's why it resembles a prison so much with all it's dynamics and has so much people trying to escape. That way they get new members who can easily escape from any prison they might get put into.
It's kind of a long shot. Seems even longer now, when I wrote it down, but if I'm right, I'll get some satisfaction from the story not being surprising :)

Kelron
15-01-2012, 06:57 PM
Are you using the steam overlay? Tab will skip through conversations, the game tends to think it's still on after you close the overlay. Pressing tab once should sort it out.

sabrage
15-01-2012, 07:22 PM
Well shit, I've been completely neglecting this thread. I've yet to fire up the game at all... But I will!

Sabrage - are we going to do some voting on games to tackle next? 'Cause I quite like the idea of going through the backlog with something of a club.
Absolutely. I'm hoping to make this a monthly thing, so anyone who's interested can start throwing out nominations. I'll gather 5 or so that a sizable amount of people have/are interested in, and from there I'll make a separate thread with a poll. Off the top of my head, I've yet to really play STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl, the original Deus Ex, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, and Hitman: Blood Money.

Pirate
15-01-2012, 08:19 PM
I really like the idea for making this a monthly thing. I have a lot of good and fun games but I just need a nudge to start playing them.
As for ideas I have so much games that I wouldn't know where to start :) I recently started STALKER: SoC, started the original Deus Ex a while ago but then switched to the new one. Among other games unfinished I have Shadowgrounds and Shadowgrounds: Survivor, Amnesia, The Ball, Crysis (+ Warhead), Darwinia, Darksiders and a bunch more.

TailSwallower
15-01-2012, 09:26 PM
Deus Ex, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines


Shadowgrounds and Shadowgrounds: Survivor, Darwinia

Apparently these will all run on my netbook, so I'd be keen to give them a shot. Deus Ex isn't officially on my backlog, but I just remembered that I've never actually finished it, so I'm going to have to add it on now.

Other titles on my list that might be common:
Fallout: Tactics
Cave Story+
Avadon: The Black Fortress
Cthulhu Saves the World
Dungeons of Dredmor
Jagged Alliance 2
Planescape: Torment

My full list is here, for reference (http://taleswallower.wordpress.com/2012/01/11/the-backlog-introduction/).

sabrage
16-01-2012, 12:27 AM
Right, made a Google Doc (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AmFMCYfuTgXodGRUM2xpXzRCYjBWem8wbTBJN0xJM Wc) so everyone can throw their choices up. No reason we won't be able to use this in the months to follow as well, so I threw quite a few up there. I purposely avoided putting further adventure games on there, just to keep things diverse month-to-month.

TailSwallower
16-01-2012, 01:43 AM
Added my full list. It's a long list, but I thought I'd throw it all up there so we have a better chance of finding titles that cross-over a lot of our lists. Grey are games that are in my backlog but can't run on this netbook, so I'll be putting them off until October or November most likely.

I also did some formatting and such, because I spend too much time at work playing around with spreadsheets and couldn't help myself.

sabrage
16-01-2012, 01:47 AM
I also did some formatting and such, because I spend too much time at work playing around with spreadsheets and couldn't help myself.
Considering I spent the better part of 5 minutes drawing that up, I'm frankly outraged.

TailSwallower
16-01-2012, 02:03 AM
Sarcasm? I surely hope so, because I would hate to step on any toes.
I like what you've done since I played around with it - with our powers combined we are Captain Ensemble.

Anyway, it's late, I should be in bed. Hopefully we've got some more lists to compare with once I crawl out of bed tomorrow morning (afternoon?).

sabrage
16-01-2012, 02:10 AM
Sarcasm? I surely hope so, because I would hate to step on any toes.


I was hoping that it would shine through, but this forum has yet to implement the sarcastic font (http://glennmcanally.com/sarcastic/)...

I filled in the rest of my list based off yours. Titles I've crossed out are the ones ones I've finished. I'm not going to outright veto anything, but I think there are obviously some games that don't really fit within the purposes of this endeavor:
-Minecraft is simply a sandbox
-Super Meat Boy starts out hard, and then really hits a wall in terms of difficulty (as do BIT.TRIP RUNNER and Revenge of the Titans)
-Dungeons of Dredmor and The Binding of Isaac do have an end, but they're both very arcadey in that they're intended to be replayed with different configurations of skills
-Sword of the Stars is very multiplayer focused, and we already have (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/forums/showthread.php?1313-Sword-of-the-Stars-Multiplayer-game-(for-inexperienced-players)&highlight=sword+stars) a community effort for that.
-Personally, I have a really hard time finishing those indie puzzle games that get thrown in every bundle... I've bounced off Osmos, Braid, and *sigh* And Yet It Moves (I hate that game, right down to its very title)

Pirate
16-01-2012, 03:39 AM
I've put the games that overlap with my backlog. I'll try to put the rest in tomorrow.
I could have put in more in there but some of them don't make much sense to me.
BIT.TRIP BEAT and RUNNER, Cogs are games that I play from time to time to kill like 0,5-1h or to just relax. I don't see how we could play to finish them.
Similarly I run Super Meat Boy when I feel like playing it, cause playing it while trying to finish it would frustrate me too much.
DEFCON is not a game you can actually complete. It's a multiplayer strategy so I'd be better to just look for some people willing to play it. (I'd certainly be up for some nuclear apocalypse ;))
And Yet It Moves - Oh my God THIS GAME ! I can't describe why I don't like it. It's very weird.

I'll add more stuff to the list tomorrow, cause it's really late and I can't focus anymore.

TailSwallower
16-01-2012, 10:59 AM
sabrage - Veto away. You and Pirate make good points, so I'm happy to go and remove those titles from the list. I just put the whole list up there to encourage discussion.

Pirate - For indie and older MP titles it can be hard to find people to play with, so that's why I put a couple of MP titles in the list too. But yeah, SotS might be a bit too full-on for our purposes.

So I went through and hid some lines instead of outright deleting them. There's already a few common titles between the three of us, so that's cool.

Kelron
16-01-2012, 02:03 PM
There's no way I'm typing out all my unplayed games again but I filled in a few.

Pirate
16-01-2012, 02:19 PM
I've added some games. I've also greyed out the ones that I have either played a lot but never finished or finished but still plan to complete them (achievements, higher difficulties etc.). They're more of a backup thing.

Kelron, of course we can't put all of them there ;) I can't even remember which ones I wanted to finish like a year ago.

P.S. I skipped Half Life 2 and Episodes cause I might be the last person on Earth who never played them :P

Colonel J
16-01-2012, 10:05 PM
I like this. I'm going to try to finish Gemini Rue in the next week also. It appears that my auto-save from my first try at it two months ago has been corrupted (loading it crashes the game) but I was only an hour into it anyway.

I see you all have Jagged Alliance 2 on your lists. That would be a sweet choice, I have way too much GOG stuff in my backlog, JA2 is top of that pile but I just never get around to starting on it ahead of recent purchases. Big game to tackle, but it'd be good to feel I'd at least made some progress into it over a month.

Also: Amnesia: The Dark Descent. This scratches and moans in the dark attic of all our backlogs like the ugly step-child we'd prefer to forget about but we know we'll need to let out one day. Some peer pressure and the knowledge that others are manning up to it at the same time might be the only way most of us ever finish Amnesia. Or even get the bugger started. I loved this Amnesia Support Group (http://www.gamingdaily.co.uk/2011/the-amnesia-support-group/) write-up from Gaming Daily last year, made me want to start a group Mumble server where people can go while they play it to laugh at each other's panic attacks and creative swearing and not feel so alone in the dark.

sabrage
17-01-2012, 12:53 AM
I went through and highlighted in Green the games that a number (>half) of us have, and red the ones that don't seem like a good fit. Hiding them just makes it confusing in my opinion. Ideally, we'll pick a game that a) none of us have beaten and b) all of us can play, but I guess that remains to be seen.

DarkNoghri
17-01-2012, 02:21 AM
I'd be up for this. Not sure how much time I have to put towards it, but I'll jot some stuff down. Most of what I'm putting down is stuff that I've had installed for ages and haven't done anything with, so that comes first for me (Need moar hard drive space).

DarkNoghri
17-01-2012, 02:44 AM
Ok, I lied. I threw on any matching games that I had, and then most of the installed ones I have.

TailSwallower
17-01-2012, 03:40 PM
Ideally, we'll pick a game that a) none of us have beaten and b) all of us can play, but I guess that remains to be seen.

All we can do is try. Also, there's a good chance we'll pick up more people as we go along - if we have the name of the game of the month in the new thread title, then different people who are interested in that title might jump on board. So I imagine it might get more complicated, but also I think the discussions will be livelier and more interesting the more people we have involved.

DevinSmoth
18-01-2012, 04:36 AM
I added myself to the list and will attempt to beat Gemini Rue this weekend. Point and click games aren't my favorite... but I need to beat it to get it out of my list and I have heard only good things about this particular one. Maybe I'll enjoy it as I get a bit more into it, eh?

So yes, I totally want to join in and do this too! Count me in!

siegarettes
21-01-2012, 01:01 AM
I'll add myself to the list, but I'll only fill in the ones already put in. Adding more would be a disaster.

As a side note, I did always want to play some Red Faction Guerrilla but the community has been ruined by GFWL.

sabrage
21-01-2012, 03:31 AM
I'll add myself to the list, but I'll only fill in the ones already put in. Adding more would be a disaster.
Well, I don't know how to sort the columns while still retaining the formatting, but even an Excel Luddite like me can insert a new row and add more games that way. Feel free to put whatever you want up; I don't think I have nearly half my unplayed games on that list, so there's a decent chance I need to play it to.

welka
21-01-2012, 07:46 AM
I'm already part way through Gemini Rue, and I should definitely finish it before I forget about it. Count me in! I added myself to the spreadsheet. I didn't add a couple of games because they weren't so simple as yes or no for me.

Fallout 1+2. I've beaten them both multiple times, but I'm actually part way through a new playthrough of Fallout 2 with some mods. Fallout 1 I beat again maybe six months ago, and I'm not interested in playing it again so soon.

Super Meat Boy I have, but I do not ever want to play that game again.

Terraria I added, but, well, I don't really know what you'd consider having beaten it. I guess beating all the hardmode bosses would do, but that can take some serious hours. I've already put 100+ hours into the game (most before 1.1 update and across 3 characters). However, I'd be glad to play it with other folks.

Dungeons of Dredmor also has a difficult to reach endgame, but I'd be more than happy to give it a good shot for a month and share some stories.

Fallout: New Vegas and Cave Story+ I've beaten, but I could probably play them again if they don't come up right away.

siegarettes
21-01-2012, 12:10 PM
I added Doom 1+2 to the list. Been meaning to knock those out and I figure using the Skulltag sourceport we can set up co op games relatively painlessly.

You are all welcome to add me on Steam and join my Backlog group as well if you'd like. Might help for future co op games.

siegarettes
21-01-2012, 12:16 PM
P.S. I skipped Half Life 2 and Episodes cause I might be the last person on Earth who never played them :P

I'd join you on the crusade, as due to strange circumstances I have never completed HL2 or Episode 2. Somehow managed to finish Episode 1 though.

Heliocentric
21-01-2012, 01:38 PM
I'd join you on the crusade, as due to strange circumstances I have never completed HL2 or Episode 2. Somehow managed to finish Episode 1 though.

Hate driving?

siegarettes
22-01-2012, 02:16 AM
Hate driving?

Ha! No I haven't even touched it really. Its more that do to the length of the games and the multiple pc crashes, moves, and only being able to buy my own games relatively recently I have had to start HL2 over at least 3 times. This is before Steam Cloud support for it as well.

siegarettes
23-01-2012, 05:37 AM
I started Gemini Rue, hoping to finish this month. I also added Sleep is Death to the games list for next month. Been meaning to play that but so far haven't been able to get anyone to play with.

Colonel J
27-01-2012, 06:20 PM
I finished this last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. Which is high praise as I really don't get on with point-and-clickers generally, I've never got more than half an hour into others before the frustrations of the format drove me away. It was very much the atmosphere and mood that kept me playing it. Yes all of its tropes, including some of the music, are ripped straight from Blade Runner but it's very well done and it's an affectionate and knowing tribute. And I love Blade Runner so much that if the same mood is well executed then it can't fail to push my buttons. So much so that I had dreams about the game afterwards. And I loved the retro graphics style which made the mood more immersive and effective the further I got into it.

Some things to know if you haven't played it yet:

- As recommended in the OP, turn Combat to 'Easy'. The shooty bits are rubbish - a ball-aching bore and best gotten over with quickly. Thankfully they are few.
- I only found out halfway through that there's a launcher in the game folder where you can change graphics settings. This lets you increase the resolution a bit and also play it windowed. Also solves a common problem with half the screen failing to redraw in some locations, I had to switch from Direct3D to DirectDraw in the options to fix this.
- I had to disable Steam Cloud as it twice failed to restore my saved games after restarting. May not be game specific but I've not had that problem with Steam Cloud until now.
- I couldn't use the Steam Overlay or Alt-Tab out without getting a problem with runaway mouse click speed that made the game unplayable. Solved by running it windowed.

Finally on the plot and game ending, I was surprised and a bit disappointed that the game POSSIBLE SPOILER didn't have any multiple endings or even any plot branches to speak of. Which felt like let down and a big missed opportunity given the memory wipe and multiple identities theme. (end)