Posts Tagged ‘Sierra’

The RPG Scrollbars: Old Habitats Die Hard

There’s no better way to cause trouble than to talk about ‘firsts’. Say for instance that King’s Quest IV featured the first female adventure character, and you’re probably going to be drowned out by some pedant waving a copy of Infocom’s Plundered Hearts in your face. That pedant may even be me. Of course, that’s nothing compared to the folly of calling, say, Everquest the first MMO and leaving it without some very quick clarification. The extent of the first M in MMORPG, the importance of success over existence, the jump between mainframe and computer and all manner of other stuff makes it tricky to plant a flag everyone can actually agree deserves to be there.

But there aren’t many games with a better claim than Lucasarts’ Habitat, the latest classic game to get a fancy modern revival project. It definitely deserves it.

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Make yourself at Rome: Caesar I and II now on GOG

The boys and girls at Good Aul Games have added the ancient ancient city-builder games Caesar and Caesar II to their roster of classics, along with their Chinese counterpart Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom which is less ancient (released in 2002) but still ancient (set 3000 years ago). For years, the only way to buy ’em was to track down a second-hand CD copy. GOG already had a bunch of Sierra’s city-building series on their ethereal shelves, including the later Caesars, so getting these old lads rounds out the collection. GOG are having a wee sale to celebrate. Read the rest of this entry »

The RPG Scrollbars: A Heretical Quest For Glory

Now, as long-time readers of this column will know, there’s a few games I like to go back to on a regular basis. Ultima VII, of course, as one of the finest RPGs ever brought to our plane of existence by carol-singing angels who admittedly suck at QA. Quest For Glory IV, as pretty much the perfect fusion of adventure, RPG and, once again, crazy amounts of bugs. I adore Quest For Glory IV. So, this week, pardon my indulgence at just wanting to show you something cool: Quest For Glory IV… for Hexen. Read the rest of this entry »

Quest-O-A-Go-Go: Final King’s Quest Chapter Released

The fifth Chapter of The Demons Whispering Sierra’s Name in the Darkness’s revived episodic King’s Quest [official site] is now out. Old King Graham is dusting off his jaunty hat and squeezing into his adventuretrousers for one last quest. Let’s pretending I’m not all wistful about the hints that this character whose games I’ve never played will pop his clogs after he finally finishes telling his granddaughter his life’s story; it’s a weird time for me, okay. Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… Conquests Of The Longbow?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

When you think Sierra, chances are you think King’s Quest, Space Quest, Police Quest… something with both ‘quest’ in the name and many, many deaths. The thing is though, most of their most interesting games were buried a little deeper, and they don’t get much better than Conquests of the Longbow. Which I literally just noticed has ‘quest’ in the name. Just like The Colonel’s Bequest. Still, I’m going to say it counts!

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Eventually Upon A Time: King’s Quest Chapter 4 Is Out

Oh! Chapter 4 of the episodic King’s Quest [official site] revival is now out. Pop! Out of nowhere, five months since the last episode – just when I’d forgotten about it – here’s more of the adventure game. King Graham is continuing telling tales about his younger days, though he seems to be getting on a bit by Chapter 4. This time, Activision say, “King Graham recounts the time he had to rescue Prince Alexander from Queen Icebella’s Frozen Castle.” Okey cokey. Have a peek in this launch trailer:

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King’s Quest Episode 1 Is Now Free

A new King’s Quest [official site] was one of the first projects Activision announced after hauling the hide of Sierra Entertainment off their trophy wall and wrapping it around one of their colossal Actifingers, bringing back one of the shut-down publisher’s touchstones. With the series’ creators and makers long gone, the new episodic King’s Quest was made by P.B. Winterbottom devs The Odd Gentlemen. Three episodes are out so far, and now the first episode is free for everyone to try. Our John did not like it, but are you curious to see for yourself?

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King’s Quest Chapter 3 Now Seeking True Love

Love! Don’t talk to me about love. Especially not if you’re talking about falling in love with people. Look at young King-to-be Graham in the third episode of Activision’s revived King’s Quest [official site], off adventuring in search of love, travelling through a grand forest and tumbling down a hill – two bits of landscape that it’d be perfectly reasonable to fall deeply in love with. But no, he’s off climbing a magic tower to rescue a princess to love or something? But fine, sure, whatever, if you’re into that sort of thing, then Chapter 3: Once Upon a Climb Launch is out.

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Wot I Think: King’s Quest Ch. 1 – A Knight To Remember

Oh wow.

I really had no idea what to expect of the return of King’s Quest [official site]. The original series were mostly terrible, twee and poorly constructed adventure games, but it had its moments, and certainly found its place in nostalgia. The news of its return after a few abortive efforts seemed like it could bode well, especially with The Odd Gentlemen (PB Winterbottom) behind the wheel. Trailers were confusing, not making it clear if it was an adventure game, platformer, third-person somethinger. But I waited to see. Here’s wot I think:

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Adventure Begins: King’s Quest Episode 1 Released

The adventure has begun! Both the episodic new King’s Quest [official site], and what might really happen as Activision dusts off the old Sierra name and catalogue for the modern age. It’s not the first game released under the new Sierra ‘indie label’ (that’s Geometry Wars 3), but King’s Quest is pretty iconic for Sierra. It can never live up to people’s memories of King’s Quest, but might it be a merry lark?

You can find out for yourself, as the first episode, named A Knight to Remember, launched last night. Come have a peek in the appropriately ’80s launch trailer:

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Adventure Ho! King’s Quest Episode 1 Priced And Dated

Adventure time!

The new King’s Quest [official site] is the first real test for the glove puppet Activision have made from the flayed hide of Sierra. Will its revival of Ye Olde Sierra adventure game series fill you with warmth and love and joy and nostalgia and make you embrace and kiss the glove, murmuring “I’ve missed you, I’ve missed you so much” as tears runs down your cheeks, or will you slap the leathery paw away and screw your eyes tight repeating “It’s only a dream, it’s only a dream”?

The first episode, A Knight to Remember, will launch on July 28th, Sierra have announced.

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New King’s Quest Footage Still Shows A Platformer, But It Seems It Could Be A More Traditional Adventure

The return of King’s Quest does seem strange. Activision’s decision to revive the Sierra name, and then use it as a sort of faux-independent label, was accompanied by the news that the PB Winterbottom devs The Odd Gentlemen would resurrect the King’s Quest license [official site]. But look, see, here’s the thing: The King’s Quest games, with the exception of VI, were pretty bloody awful. Everyone seems to have forgotten that. Anyway, we’ve some more in-game footage of the new entry that doesn’t look anything like an adventure game. But have seen some other footage that shows a very different looking more traditional game.

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Watch Real Human Hands Paint King’s Quest

The art direction in the new King’s Quest [official website] is a prickly subject. While some people are unimpressed with the final outcome, at least we can all agree that it comes from a good place. The latest ‘Behind The Scenes With The Odd Gentlemen’ video (which will never stop being creepy) shows that everything you see in the game will be hand-painted. Whether you’re a fan of the painting or not is up to you.

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Christopher Lloyd Rules New King’s Quest Voice Cast

I thought you said this was a Zelda game? Oh. That Zelda.

Christopher Lloyd will be voicing the old King Graham in the new King’s Quest game [official site], as revealed in the latest “Behind the scenes with the Odd Gentlemen” video. Which sounds a bit like one or two of my more regrettable experiences in the last few years.

The dev diary goes on show off the whole main cast, including Zelda Williams, Rex from Toy Story and the Ice King from Adventure Time. Oh, and some kid who thinks being in a video game is really cool because “instead of being in a movie like I’ve usually been in, I get to be in a game.” So that’s good.

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Geometry Wars 3 Evolves In Big Free Content Patch

Splode-o.

The new Sierra might only be Activision wearing a different hat, but something about that hat is making them behave nicer. Leaving for the office in the morning, they catch their reflection and think “Yeah, you got it.” Then they reach work and release a hefty content patch for Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions [official site] for free – not as some wacky DLC season pass pre-order perk.

Slapping the game with the new subtitle Dimensions Evolved, yesterday’s patch added new levels, boss battles, a tougher difficulty mode. Yeah, you work that hat, Ian Activision.

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To Me, To You: Shiftlings Offers Solo Or Co-op Play

Shiftlings screenshot

“Our market research indicates that there’s a gap we can exploit,” says a faceless somebody in a suit. “There aren’t many games about janitors. We should make a game about that.”

“What about Viscera Cleanup Detail?” says someone who probably has a face. “Or Dustforce?”

The suit would look annoyed, if he had a face. “Alien janitors. That’s what I meant. Go away and make that.”

And so here we are, and there is Shiftlings [official site]. It’s a game in which you, you and a friend or – if you’re feeling brave – a complete stranger control a pair of alien janitors.

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Some Odd Gentlemen Are On A King’s Quest

Looks like Graham went looking for trouble in all the right places

Trailers don’t always turn me into a shrieking teenybopper, but I’m not ashamed to say I made high-pitched noises — think long, loud “EEEE”s of raw and immeasurable glee – at the King’s Quest announcement trailer. A joint production between The Odd Gentleman and the newly resurrected Sierra Games, the upcoming reboot is all about a doddering King Graham going, “In my time – ” at his granddaughter Gwendoyln while he shakes his cane-sword at shadow bunnies.

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Polygonal Pew Pew – Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions

Pew pew!

Activision reviving the Sierra name for a new supposed “indie” label is awfully cynical, but one can’t really grumble when it’s tied to a new Geometry Wars (and a new King’s Quest, if you fancy). Geometry Wars is a fine arena shoot ’em up, so I’m wary but hopeful about Geometry Wars³: Dimensions. Series creator Stephen Cakebread isn’t involved and it’s making a move from 2D arenas to wrapping around 3D objects, hence wary. Still, devs Lucid Games were formed by folks from Geometry Wars makers Bizarre Creations, and one or two Lucid folks touched the series. Watching a new trailer, I think… I want to give GW3 a crack when it arrives on November 25th.

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Lo-Fi Let’s Play: Mystery House

[I’ve been doing a series of Let’s Play videos exploring old adventures, text games and lost design forms from the 1980s Apple IIe and Commodore 64 era. In a time when young men shout over new action games, I will talk softly over strange old ones. Come along on a visitation of a different era that’s one part meditations on my childhood, one part adventure game criticism, and one part preservation effort. Bonus: Everyone says the quiet talk, lo-fi handmade feel and keyboard tapping triggers ASMR responses. Please enjoy!]

In honor of Activision’s revival of the Sierra label, I decided to revisit the 1980 classic Mystery House, Ken and Roberta Williams’ first “Hi-Res Adventure,” and the first official game by the company that would become Sierra On-Line.

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It Rises: Sierra Returns With Geometry Wars & King’s Quest

Hello, old friend.

The ritual is complete. Sinew gristle muscle fat slither and wrap around the blackened bones of Sierra. Blood skin hair. Its mouth opens and teeth pierce bone as they rise, a tongue unrolling from the back of the throat. “Gaaammesss,” it hisses. “Video gaaames.” Jelly congeals into eyes which flick around, taking in the year 2014. “I-inn independent gaaamesss!”

As expected, Activision have resurrected Sierra in the sense that they’ve dusted off the revered name to use it for a new part of their business. The new Sierra will be Activision’s indie publishing label, kicking things off with Geometry Wars 3 and a new King’s Quest game.

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