December 30, 2008
Since the last 2 discs I tried were kind of a bust, I moved swiftly on to another recent procurement: Scooby-Doo: Phantom of the Knight. This is part of a series of 3 mystery adventure games published by The Learning Company circa 2001. The other 2 are Showdown in Ghost Town and Jinx at the Sphinx (I bought the latter at the same time as Phantom but carelessly forgot to verify that a CD-ROM was in the sleeve; missing media is a real problem at this thrift store).
The game begins when the Mystery Van has an encounter with a fireball. Deciding to pull over and assess any heat damage, the gang takes refuge in an old castle nearby. The castle is named Joust For Fun and is sort of a medieval theme park. They quickly learn that the place is being haunted by the Black Knight, believed to be the spirit of the castle’s original owner (which, BTW, was originally built in Scotland and later disassembled and reassembled over here, where “here” is presumably the U.S. or possibly Canada).
Anyway, the player meets a colorful cast of characters including the owner, one Jane McHaggis who, surprisingly, is not a crude Scottish stereotype despite her name. It seems that Pizza Palace is very aggressively trying to buy up the property but Old Lady McHaggis is holding firm in her choice not to sell. I’m sure that’s just a red herring regarding the true motivation behind the Black Knight.
So the game has the player wandering around the castle, interacting with random objects during the traditional adventure game pixel-hunt, and engaging in various minigame puzzles. This is the first such puzzle, necessary to gain entry into the castle:
It just entails clicking on the flags down below in order to cycle through the flag patterns so that they match the patterns on top of the drawbridge. Pretty straightforward. Night quite as odd as the minigame that requires solving when first meeting Sir Lacksalot, a surfer-accented actor who is just trying to make ends meet with this knight acting gig:
You have to move all the armor that has fallen on the klutz, but the armor is an entangled mess. You have to tug at various pieces with the mouse cursor until something finally gives. At various junctures, Lacksalot has the temerity to address me as “dude” with the utmost incredulity. That made it all the more satisfying to exit the room with the whole gang and leave him trapped. However, I had to come back later and give it another shot when I realized the game wasn’t going anywhere until I dug him out.
Honestly, I was a bit disappointed when I finally got the armor off because it meant that I had to continue playing the game. But it wasn’t much longer before I was very, unequivocally stuck and thus had an excuse to put the game down and start on this post and my first new MobyGames entry in months.
Posted by Multimedia Mike under Adventure Games,Windows Games | Comments (0)
December 30, 2008
I know I vowed not to procure anymore games until I made a significant dent in my existing unentered stock. But really, how often do I find myself in the public library in Marina Del Rey, CA browsing a Friends of the Library merchandise section with the opportunity to buy a CD-ROM for a dollar? Ordinarily, I wouldn’t be too hyped about cribbage, a game with which I have absolutely no familiarity. But Cribbage Quest caught my eye because it comes from ZEMNOTT, the creators of My Fantasy Wedding. So I guess what I’m saying is that I laid down the dollar so that this obscure game company could have better coverage in MobyGames. Because that’s what I’m all about.
So I thought I would make that my year-end game. Guess again. Cribbage Quest is very non-functional on my system. All I get are a series of graphically-glitched screens. I think the thing is written all in Flash 6, too:
At least I learned a little about the game of cribbage since I felt it prudent to do a little Wikipedia research on the matter. I figured the game would at least feature some kind of tutorial but that turned out not to be the case. The title screen only presents the player with story mode and adventure mode.
After I broke down on my little vacation and bought that dollar CD-ROM, I really fell off the wagon and returned to my favorite thrift shop. In my absence, they managed to accumulate an alarming number of games that MobyGames and I have never seen. The most curious disc I picked up just had some feminine silhouettes along with the print: “The Longer Lasting Axe / V.I.X.E.N.S.: Very Interactive Xtremely Entertaining Naughty Supermodels”. I had no idea if it was a game (“interactive” is promising) but I had no shame in purchasing it in the same stack as 2 more Barbie games.
When I popped in the disc, some Axe brand body spray wanders across the screen, transparent against my desktop. Then Naomi (“do you know what ‘Naomi’ is backwards?”), apparently my hostess for this experience, describes how women will start appearing randomly, like this one doing some gymnastics on the water of my desktop wallpaper:
So I install V.I.X.E.N.S., hoping to find some kind of gaming content. But I’m pretty sure it’s not there. Long story short, this seems to be a viral effort from the folks at Axe. When you install the largely Flash-based program/background service, the program trains itself on your voice using the following romantic passage:
The upshot is that you are supposed to be able to speak various trigger phrases and see hot women show up at your beckoning right on your computer desktop.
Since I lack a microphone, I was unable to receive the full experience. However, if you would like to try it for yourself, the V.I.X.E.N.S. program is still freely available for download from the original, official site (about 340 MB); clearly, they also distributed it as a CD-ROM, probably through select periodical publications. Even though V.I.X.E.N.S. is apparently a background service, Spybot Search & Destroy thankfully does not peg it as any kind of spyware/malware.
Posted by Multimedia Mike under Windows Games | Comments (0)