Whaddaya reckon will be next to extrude from Double Fine’s remastering machine? We know Full Throttle is on the way, which most likely leaves Loom or, my own dear Lucasheart, Sam & Max Hit The Road.
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RPS Feature Point, Click, Agree
You know that there are adventure games, and you know that some of those adventure games are better than others. But do you know which one is best, and which one is twenty-fifth best? Well, at last you can find out, with our definitive, unimpeachable breakdown of adventure gaming’s best moments.
RPS Feature Celebrating Setting
Note – this series has primarily been for RPS Supporter Program members-only, which is why you probably can’t find most of the rest of ’em, but I unlock the occasional chapter for everyone (along with many of our other initially subs-only features).
Raised By Screens is probably the closest I’ll ever get to a memoir – glancing back at the games I played as a child in the order in which I remember playing them, and focusing on how I remember them rather than what they truly were. There will be errors and there will be interpretations that are simply wrong, because that’s how memory works.
The last chapter was dedicated to my brief, complete immersion in point and click adventures generally, but among the slew of comedy puzzlers I devoured at that time, one particularly stands out. For many years, I’ve reflexively said its name when asked what my favourite early 1990s PC game was (or at least my second-favourite; my most beloved game of all time will be discussed in the next chapter, and will hardly be surprising to regular Rock, Paper, Shotgun readers), but until very recently I’d never thought about why. For the longest time, I said its name purely from fondness – whenever I thought of that era of gaming, this was the title that I simply felt warmest about when I conjured its sights and sounds in my memory. It’s time to try and discover why that is. It’s not purely because I regularly find myself whistling the incidental music.
GOG weren’t the first joint in cyberspace slinging vintage video games, but they did get publishers digging a lot deeper into their archives (Good Old Games, they called themselves back in the day). Most publishers came to realise that hey, maybe it’s good for everyone if folks can buy our old games, but some were tangled in knots or lost in mysteries for yonks. It took almost five years for a group to free System Shock 2, and we’re still waiting for the best parts of the LucasArts catalogue.
Or we were, anyway. Here, they’re coming! Sam & Max Hit the Road, X-Wing, and TIE Fighter are now on GOG – the first time they’ve been on sale in years – as heralds of a re-release-o-rama.
The question everyone’s asking: can LucasArts possibly have two adventure hits on their hands this year? With Day Of The Tentacle due in only two months, Sam & Max Hit The Road is set to appear as soon as November. There are questions to ask. Is the development team spreading itself too thin with multiple titles? Will they be able to match the same standards without Ron Gilbert or Tim Schafer directly working on the game? And what has happened to the SCUMM interface? It’s with these thoughts in mind that we sat down to a hands on with an early build of what LucasArts believe to be the next big step forward for the genre. Read on for our exclusive hands on, and some never before seen screenshots.
During a bout of iPhone willy-waving down the pub recently, someone observed that there are two things that always get released for any piece of hardware that’s hacked to run homebrew code, and everyone duly installs them. Then doesn’t do anything with them except show them off to people in the pub. The first is Quake. It used to be Doom, but in the 3D age the big Q seems to have become the de facto way of demonstrating that a given piece of hardware has something decent under the hood. Touchscreen controls mean iPhone Quake isn’t hugely playable, but it does look amazing.
The second, and the source of my point, is SCUMMvm, the esteemed emulator for the old LucasArts adventure games. I suspect everyone who installs SCUMMvm, whether it’s for their PC, their PDA, their PSP or whatever, has a favourite game they install alongside it. For many it’s Day of the Tentacle, and God knows there’s a legion of Monkey Island die-hards, but for me it’s always Sam & Max Hit The Road. Except I never play it. I only watch the intro.
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