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Nintendo To Be the Hero of the Adventure Genre? 111

DreamWinkle writes "If you've spent the last few years playing old King's Quest VGA updates and longing for Space Quest and Day of the Tentacle, you'll be interested to know that the Adventure genre might be facing a resurgence — at Nintendo's hand. The adventure game was killed off by the console (poor controls and too much competition), and so it's ironic that Nintendo might be able to pull it from the grave. An article at About.com looks at how Nintendo could use its virtual console to make adventure games profitable again." From the article: "The reason that adventure games are disappearing is because they don't compete well with other genres. Trying to create an adventure game that meets the graphical standards of an audience taught to expect Elder Scrolls IV makes the whole endeavor far less appealing. However, building a product to compete with Geometry Wars might be more doable. Adventure games are not disappearing because no one is buying them; they're disappearing because people are buying other types of games far more often. "
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Nintendo To Be the Hero of the Adventure Genre?

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  • by Blakey Rat ( 99501 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @12:48PM (#15826238)
    What about the multiple adventure games that appeared on the Xbox? Surely Syberia made at least enough sales to warrent a sequel.

    In any case, saying that consoles killed-off adventure games when you can buy adventure games for a console right now is a bit ... wrong.
    • Syberia did have a sequel. Syberia II.

      But Xbox is previous-generation (and Syberia/Syberia II were ports from the PC).

      Know of any for the Xbox 360? Or any that have come out in 2005/2006?
      • I know Syberia has a sequel, it was a rhetorical question. Still sleepy today.

        Yes, there's none for the Xbox 360 but:

        1) The 360 is still too new to really make a fair comparison, and

        2) People (at least here in Slashdot) have been decrying the death of adventure games for longer then the original Xbox has been around. When The Longest Journey came out, people were saying adventure games were dead (or that it was the first adventure game in years), and that was back in 1999.

        The real problem, as summed up by
      • *cough* dreamfall *cough* *cough*
      • The Xbox seems to get 2 "traditional" Adventure games a year
        • 2006 - The Da Vinci Code
        • 2006 - Dreamfall: The Longest Journey
        • 2005 - Myst IV Revelation
        • 2005 - Still Life
        • 2004 - CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION
        • 2004 - Syberia II
        • ...

        It's not surprising that most if not all of them are availble on the PC as well. I played through both Still Live and Syberia (1) on the Xbox and while I enjoyed the games in terms of their storytelling and puzzles controling them was a chore. Having played throught the first three

  • Zelda (Score:2, Insightful)

    by anjin-san 3 ( 983912 )
    The popularity of the adventure genre may come and go, but there will always be Zelda
    • Wrong kind of adventure.

      This article is talking about games more along the lines of the old Kings Quest games, Grim Fandango, Myst or Syberia. I hear Monkey Island also fits the bill, but I never played that series.

      Nintendo's already got one well recieved Adventure game for the DS (Another Code), and another that looks like it'll also be great (Hotel Dusk). I don't know how Another Code sold, but considering that Nintendo's allowing the developer to make another similar game is great!

      Here's hoping that we'l
  • by Gothic_Walrus ( 692125 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @12:51PM (#15826277) Journal
    Considering that the internet has existed as a distribution method for adventure games for...oh, over a decade now and that there hasn't been a huge resurgence, I've got my doubts here. Don't get me wrong - I love the genre and would applaud its rebirth. But when you've got a title like Sam and Max, that was close to 90% done with years of anticipation behind it...well, you lose faith. I'm not sure what it'll take to revive the genre, but we haven't hit on it yet. But on the other hand...the Wii's controller is definitely suited towards a point and click interface. ;)
    • Considering that the internet has existed as a distribution method for adventure games for...oh, over a decade now and that there hasn't been a huge resurgence, I've got my doubts here.

      There hasn't? [bigbluecup.com]

      I'm not sure what it'll take to revive the genre, but we haven't hit on it yet.

      How about a nice letter to SciFi Channel Productions saying that we love this game [bigbluecup.com] and we want an official one created just like it? Preferrably with the humor intact, and without all the Three-Dee crud all the game companies try to s

    • Lucasarts finally released the rights to Sam and Max (plus some of the dev team) to Telltale games - and its due for an episodic release starting sometime this fall. So maybe adventure cames can still live on at least in episodic form in this case - check out http://www.telltalegames.com/comics/samnmax [telltalegames.com]
  • Graphical quality? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Drachemorder ( 549870 ) <`gro.gnimagnaitsirhc' `ta' `nodnarb'> on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @12:56PM (#15826316) Homepage
    I don't think graphical quality is any impediment to making good adventure games that can compete. I can certainly imagine a Monkey Island game in beautiful 32-bit color at 1280x1024 resolution, with smooth professional animation. Far from being obsolete, I think computers are at a point where it's possible to do adventure games with very high-quality artwork. Realtime-rendered 3D games might be the fad right now, but realtime 3D rendering still has some visual limitations. A 2D adventure game could very well look better and handle better than most 3D games if done properly.
    • Using 3D accelerated graphics lets you do things like lighting to make the character look like it's actually in the environment, not just a sprite superimposed on another sprite - that looks like a bad photoshop job. It also makes it easier to animate the character walking at 30 frames a second, you don't have to draw each one, just do some interpolation of positions. Plus, 3D is at least fundamentally resolution-independent, which is great for PC games and the new consoles (which support HD and SDTV).

      3D gr
      • Look at Resident Evil and Resident Evil Zero on the GameCube and tell me that their engine wouldn't be perfect for an adventure game. The backgrounds are 2D, but the 3D models blend into them perfectly, and the graphics are quite stunning.

        An alternate solution would be a fully 3D engine with fixed camera angles, which would far more flexible than having pre-rendered backgrounds, and would allow for things like dynamic lighting.
        • by shimage ( 954282 )

          Look at Resident Evil and Resident Evil Zero on the GameCube and tell me that their engine wouldn't be perfect for an adventure game. The backgrounds are 2D, but the 3D models blend into them perfectly, and the graphics are quite stunning.

          As I recall, this is how (off the top of my head) Grim Fandango, Monkey Island 4, and Longest Journey worked. I never played Siberia, so I wouldn't know how they did it. Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon was full 3D, and it wasn't so bad, although I thought it was a PI

          • As I recall, this is how (off the top of my head) Grim Fandango, Monkey Island 4, and Longest Journey worked.

            Yes, of course, but the graphical level of RE/RE0 is superb, so the quality of graphics should be a non-issue.
            • I never played Resident Evil anything, so I wouldn't know how nice it looks. I did think, however, that the graphical quality of Grim Fandango, Monkey Island 4, and Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon were sufficiently high that it was, in fact, already a non-issue. The Longest Journey had reasonable graphics, except that the 3D didn't blend well with the pre-rendered stuff (particularly since it was pre-antialiasing). I just didn't see any reason to bother mentioning Resident Evil (unless you're trying to po
        • "Look at Resident Evil and Resident Evil Zero on the GameCube and tell me that their engine wouldn't be perfect for an adventure game. The backgrounds are 2D, but the 3D models blend into them perfectly, and the graphics are quite stunning."
          Haven't played them so I can't really comment. I remember it being pretty easy to tell what was 3D and what was 2D in the PS1 Resi games. It's a good point rhough - Resident Evil games (pre Resi 4) are basically adventure games with extra zombies. The genre seems less de
          • Yes, I think so too. I remember thinking that from the PSOne days, but it was really driven home in the Gamecube remake of RE1 for me recently.

            =====

            You are in a room, there is some kind of bizarre contraption with a suit of armor and some spikes.
            There is a book here.
            >TAKE BOOK

            With a grinding of gears and the sound of stone moving, the contraption springs to life.
            >Z

            You wait, the sound continues.
            >Z

            Uh-oh, looks like you've been horrible mangled by the machine.

            You have died.

            Your scor

          • Haven't played them so I can't really comment. I remember it being pretty easy to tell what was 3D and what was 2D in the PS1 Resi games.

            Have a look at this [mobygames.com], this [mobygames.com] or this [mobygames.com]. The characters blend very well. The difference between the original [mobygames.com] and the remake [mobygames.com] are pretty obvious.

            It's a good point rhough - Resident Evil games (pre Resi 4) are basically adventure games with extra zombies. The genre seems less dead the more you think about it.

            If Resident Evil had lots of dialogue, it wouldn't be much different from

      • Disagree, I just played (and completed) Curse of Monkey Island which used Hollywood quality 2D animation, and then played the demo of Escape from Monkey Island which used 3D. Curse ruled, Escape demo sucked, no two ways about it. The 3D models didn't have anywhere near the charm of the 2D characters and looked incredibly ugly to boot. Walking around in a 3D environment was just a distraction.

        Also, you can have fundamentally resolution independent 2D graphics, not sure why you think that's restricted to 3

        • Yeah, and Metal Slug 3D looks worse than the 2D ones. My actual point was that 2D graphics have limitations that 3D graphics don't - 2D graphics are really a subset of 3D graphics so that makes sense.

          And yes, I apologise, you can have 2D vector graphics.
          • what limitations do 2D graphics have? textured vector graphics can be resolution and aspect ratio agnostic just as 3D is. you can also use 3D tricks on 2D graphics by rendering "2D" graphics as a large array of very flat 3D objects
    • The Castlevania series has some of the most immersive 2 and a half dimension environments. Aboslutely gorgeous. Play Castlevania: Symphony of the Night some time and you'll fall in love. Or try Dawn of Sorrow. The backgrounds are rendered in 3D and add a lot of depth to the game simply by being there.

      But I think you're entirely correct. A high-res version of the 2D games that we love and enjoy (or any new game done right) would be utter bliss.

    • A 2D adventure game could very well look better and handle better than most 3D games if done properly.

      The problem with that reasoning is that a 2D game would actually cost more than a comparable 3D game. 3D is not more expensive than 2D. It's the other way around.

  • by Impotent_Emperor ( 681409 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @01:01PM (#15826356)
    They've ruined so many internet searches for me. Their "articles" rarely provide any in-depth knowledge and just take up space. The major search engines should combine their forces to wipe about.com from the face of the net.

    Why, oh why, is slashdot taking them as a primary source of information?
    • May they crash into Ask.com along the way in their fiery wreck.
    • "Why, oh why, is slashdot taking them as a primary source of information?"

      You're reading one of Zonk's famous fluff pieces. Why oh why do you do that? You know that if it has the Zonk label of crappiness, you should stay away.

      (I admit that I only look at the headlines, not at the editor's name. I could filter him out automatically, but unfortunately once in every ten entries he's got something that doesn't merely sound interesting, but actually is interesting. In other words, I cannot stay away from the can
  • by dividedsky319 ( 907852 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @01:02PM (#15826373) Homepage
    From TFA:However, the Wii's unique control allows for more complex interactions on the console, acting as a pointer.

    I think that this is the main reason the Wii could work for adventure games. IMO, adventure games need some sort of pointing device. I'm talking old school adventure games, where you would point and click on things on the screen. Kings Quest, Quest for Glory, Space Quest, Day of the Tentacle, Sam and Max, Police Quest, etc... I know it can be done differently, but that's how I remember (and like) my adventure games.

    As we know, using a controller to try to control a cursor on a screen is pretty much impossible. But with the pointer aspect of the Wii controller, it can act as a mouse, which would be perfect for adventure games. Hold down the "Use" button, point at the screen and click... or Hold down the "Talk" button, point at a character and talk to them... etc. Just like using a mouse to select things on the screen.

    The "Pointer" aspect is one of the main (many) reasons I'm excited about the Wii... adventure games, RTS games (Warcraft, Command and Conquer, etc), etc... Lots of new ground can be explored with the system... I can't wait.
    • Funny, I thought the point n' click interface was the death of Sierra games. Reduced the near-infinity of possible player actions through pop-up text entry down to a few meager icons.
      • Funny, I thought the point n' click interface was the death of Sierra games. Reduced the near-infinity of possible player actions through pop-up text entry down to a few meager icons.

        But it simplified things so much... There were so many times playing games like KQ1 or Hugo's House of Horrors that I'd type one thing, thinking that's what should be done... but I just typed it in wrong or something.

        >Open the door

        "I don't know what you mean"

        >Open door

        "Which door?"

        etc.

        The point and click interface just

      • Funny, I thought the point n' click interface was the death of Sierra games. Reduced the near-infinity of possible player actions through pop-up text entry down to a few meager icons.

        I had the same sentiment as you. I slowly lost interest in the games as they became so simple that you just moved the mouse around the environment until it flashed the needed input (e.g. arrow turns to tongue in SpaceQuest so you select the tongue "tool" and click on the spot you were just shown). I do remember the hard ti

    • IMO, adventure games need some sort of pointing device.
      Grim Fandango, which is more or less the best adventure ever made, did not use the mouse. In fact, it was allot closer to a shooter then an adventure game, control-wise, and I think it would play great on a game pad.
      So, solutions for making console-friendly adventure games certainly existed before. Wii will not change anything, adventure games don't sell.
      • You're right, but I still have nagging doubts in my mind over why Grim Fandango worked so astoundingly well, while Escape from Monkey Island was just annoying and dull. As someone else in this discussion mentioned, Curse of Monkey Island, which was point-and-click like the first two games, was very much superior. I guess 3D can work; but I still find it easier to point'n'click than to have to navigate carefully around invisible obstacles (and yes, Grim Fandango did suffer from this to some extent). I find S
    • Having just got a DS Lite, I'm struck by how it's just perfect for LucasArts-style graphical adventures and RPGs. You've even got a second screen you can use for maps, stats, inventory, and so on.

      Plus, the sound and graphics expectations aren't ridiculous, so you can develop with a reasonable budget.
    • I don't know about the masses, but I certainly would love to be able to play all the old LucasArts adventures if they were reworked to function with the Wii. Insult swordfighting would be even more fun!
    • I think that this is the main reason the Wii could work for adventure games. IMO, adventure games need some sort of pointing device. I'm talking old school adventure games, where you would point and click on things on the screen. Kings Quest, Quest for Glory, Space Quest, Day of the Tentacle, Sam and Max, Police Quest, etc... I know it can be done differently, but that's how I remember (and like) my adventure games.

      Then you don't remember the old school days of adventure games. The original graphical advent
      • Granted, I think that a mouse interface, like the Lucasarts Adventures using the SCUMM engine (Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Monkey Island) or the later Sierra games (KQ5-7) were more enjoyable because it wasn't a race to see if you would die before you typed a command.

        Right. I do remember the REAL "old style" of typing in commands. One of the first computer games I played was Hugo's House of Horrors, as well as Whodunnit, then the jungle one... I forget the name of that one. Then I moved ont

    • I don't consider the pointer-function of the Wii controller that important, adventure games like Grim, Dreamfall or BrokenSword3 already play great with a controller, so there is little need to go back to point&click control, as long as games are created with a controller in mind, control isn't an issue and never really was.

      However, the Wii controler goes bejoint just being a mouse-like pointer, the Wiimote is basically a 3D-mouse and that opens the door for a whole new way to do adventure games. Imagin
    • ...the majority of professional[sic] WarCraft, StarCraft, etc players utilize hotkeys, trying to minimize the switching from keyboard-to-mouse. I can only begin to imagine the quick onset of intense wrist strain from moving to the left/right/top/bottom in a heated battle.
  • Objection!!! I'd argue that Nintendo has already triggered an Adventure Game Renaissance with the Nintendo DS. I can't think of any games off hand... but I know there are some.
  • Nintendo and Quantic Dream need to get together!! The controls in Indigo Prophecy (aka Fahrenheit without boobies) were really revolutionary - analog joysticks were used to open every door, press every button, and flush every toilet. A game with a good story that is interactive to this heightened degree would make a KILLING with hardcore and casual gamers alike. Graphics would almost be irrelevant in this kind of game - it could even work with a text adventure! Alternatively, they could go the Gabriel K
  • by Chaffar ( 670874 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @01:12PM (#15826456)
    It's funny how the word "adventure" was used to define the LucasArts-style adventure puzzle games (DOTT, King's Quest) as well as the RPG-type Elder Scrolls IV.

    The truth is that the former genre is pretty much dead (to my disappointment), since apparently the standards were set so high in the past that any game that comes along and that doesn't offer 200 hours of laughter and entertainment is deemed a failure by the "critics" and the game performs poorly in sales.

    As for the latter genre, well I don't think the genre is dying. As the success of Elder Scrolls shows, people are willing to pay big bucks for that kind of entertainment.

  • Well, let's see here. SCUMMVM added support for AGI games in the current development builds, so I've been playing Kings Quest, II, III, IV, Space Quest I, II, Gold Rush and some other golden oldies again on my desktop. Thanks to SCUMMVM 0.9 on my PSP, I've been playing The Dig and other SCUMM classics with their full talkie versions (multiGB memory sticks are great).
  • Nintendo, the developers that brought us The Legend of Zelda and it's sequel. Without those two games we might not even be here disscussing the effects of the "adventure" genre.
    • Nintendo, the developers that brought us The Legend of Zelda and it's sequel. Without those two games we might not even be here disscussing the effects of the "adventure" genre.

      That's true of real-time adventures, but what about turn-based adventures, starting with text adventures and continuing up through Maniac Mansion and its successors?

    • Zelda is not an adventure game, it's closer to a roleplaying game. Many, many, many adventure games (like several instance of Zork) and roleplaying games were released prior to Zelda. Even King's Quest and King's Quest II came two years before.
  • Nintendo is going to save adventure gaming? Strange, because from the looks of it, I woulda said GameTap [gametap.com]. Considering that GameTap is getting [slashdot.org] episodic content for new Sam&Max adventure games, and they currently have King's Quest 1 through 5, Space Quest 1 through 5 (save for 4), Quest for Glory 1 through 3, and more [gametap.com]. But, you know, maybe that's just me. /Disclaimer: I do work for GT, though in nothing as well-paid as PR. It doesn't benefit me to promote GT; I just happen to like it. I like Nintendo too.
    • You wouldn't happen to know if they plan to add King's Quest 6, would you? That was my favorite game from all of childhood and I've never actually seen the end.
      • It was my favourite KQ game. :) I've still got the CD laying around here, actually. Sadly, though, have not heard anything. But they'd be insane to not. I doubt it's a license thing. My money would be they're still working on emulation for it. Same for Space Quest 4.

        If you're a subscriber, use the suggestion box to suggest it. Many features and such that customers have suggested have been implemented.
  • by cerelib ( 903469 ) on Tuesday August 01, 2006 @01:31PM (#15826602)
    I would like to point out Dungeon Man 3 [homestarrunner.com]. If you are a fan of old-school adventure games, this will provide some good laughs.
  • Breaking games news: Some guy on About.com thinks Nintendo is really cool.

    Breaking games news: Some guy on About.com has the scoop on how Super Mario 2 .

    Breaking games news: Some guy on About.com thinks the Wii's controller is really cool.
  • Anyone who wants adventure games should go look. However they are niche market, but the funniest thing is, there's more adventure games out there than games for the NES.

    The only thing is you must get an interpreter for them, and there are many of them but they all work perfectly. The main ones are TADS, ADRIFT, and INFORM (infocom engine) but there's at least 10 major interpreters that have been used.

    The only other thing is this is a niche field but it's also a free niche market that people constantly con
  • Nintendo's already revived the adventure format somewhat. "Trace Memory" and "Phoenix Wright" are basically modern adventure games, in that you go around looking for clues and solve mysteries, with an dialogue-driven story and inventory of clues, etc. I've been thinking about getting a DS because of games like that, actually.

    And why does he say the console killed the adventure game? I remember the late 90's, the adventure game was killed in its home turf of PC gaming. From what I recall, FPSes, RTSes, and s
    • For: Graphics Software
      From: Wavefront GameWare
      Appeared in: EGM, December 1994

      Are you still dicking around with lovingly detailed 2D sprites? Enormous Gouraud shaded triangles are the wave of the future! Glazed, emotionless eyes! Hair that's been hacked out of stone! Giant 3D booger men in diapers are what today's gamers want, and we'll give you the tools to craft those horrendously ugly damn creatures.

      Someone perfect time travel already so we can just bomb 1994. -- from More Worst Videogame Ads [slashdot.org], Ac [1up.com]

    • I'm just going to chip in that if you like text-based adventure games, it is completely worth buying a DS just for Phoenix Wright. It's a fantastic game. It doesn't hurt that Capcom is working on a translation of the sequel!
  • maybe it's frustration with too hard puzzles, maybe other reasons... I recently discovered Siberia and I must say it's not only the most climatic hame I have played, it's overall best...

    Gfx: 6/19 pretty but static.
    Sound: 7/10 very nice music, not much of it.
    Gameplay: 5/10 at times a bit frustrating or boring.
    Mood: 30/10 OMFG THIS STORY IS INCREDIBLE!!!
    Final score: 12/10 :)
    • ### maybe it's frustration with too hard puzzles, maybe other reasons...

      At least in europe adventure games never really died out, especially today the genre is quite alive an well (Dreamfall, BrokenSword, BlackMirror, TonyThough, MomentOfSilence, Runaway, The Westener, etc.), it doesn't get the media buzz like a HalfLife2, but there are plenty of good games around to buy. The thing that however changed was LucasArts, they happend to push out one awesome game out after the other on a yearly basis, most of th
    • Graphics get a 6/19? Why not just a straight 3.15/10? I mean, be fair.


      Yeah, I know it was a typo.

  • or Dreamfall, The Longest Journey. Both are incredibly good adventure games, the graphics are outstanding, the acting is solid, and they're not overly frustrating like some games in the genre can be.

    There were moments in D:TLJ where I was told to follow someone through a new area, and I felt like a hobbit, running back and forth and just trying to soak everything in as fast as I could, it was so beautiful. I'll be replaying the game just to re-visit some of the places in it. Great game, check it out if you
  • I rather prefer to play adventure games the classic way, with a keyboard. The "vocabulary" of a point-and-click game is quite limited compared to most games that allow text entry. Hell, even most old Sierra games allowed keyboard input.

    I just think it's sad that the author of TFA only seems to know about a (in my eyes) limited subset of the adventure games genre. But then, how many console owners have a keyboard?

    There is so much more out there in adventure-land, and it's called interactive fiction (or IF fo

  • I was unaware that Nintendos had a keyboard.
  • Not trying to troll to anyone that likes them, but most of the time adventure games are just games that lack any other system of gameplay. While some adventure games are good, the gameplay is very limited. I think most adventure games families would probably be better if they changed to an RPG-ish game play (depending on the game). I would love to see a Zelda with a TES like engine...

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