Review by dimitry_clover
I am a hardcore fan of the MYST series. I played MYST when it first came out in the CD-ROM boom, and I owned and played virtually every title in the series (even the godawful URU).
Let me get this straight. The move from "slideshow" to realtime is a BAD MOVE. The technology is simply not there yet. MYST is all about immersive, STUNNING visuals. MYST V (and URU) is downright butt-ugly. Puzzle games are supposed to be slow paced! This is not counter-strike, for Pete's sake. So what if a bunch of 12 year old idiots yells that puzzle games are boring sine there are no zombies and rocket launchers? 12 million players and I say otherwise.
Speaking of Puzzles, the puzzles in MYST V are downright illogical. We are treated to the most aqua-phobic player character in history in the first 10 minute of the game. He cannot wade though a pond that is about two inch deep. And curiously he can walk on floating algae. The telescope puzzle just makes no sense. You can only know the solution if you know "exactly" what you're looking for. No hints, no passing remarks in journals, just trial-and-error.
I only just started the third age. The trademark tropical island environment is just downright embarrassing. Please, please -- pre-rendered slideshow IS the way to go. I don't care how the now-defunct-MYST-online tie-up godawful URU is done, you just should never have polluted the prime MYST series with URU crap.
The ages are EXTREMELY boring and uninspired also. Remember in MYST3, where finishing each age give you the absolute stunning, surprising (for the first time) and fantastic finishing sequence, something that makes you know what you spent the last few hours on worthwhile? Knowing why you must painstakingly guide that glass ball from point A to point B without it breaking? Knowing why you must spend so much time rescuing the big bird? How finally getting the airship to fly is SO "You ain't seeing nothing yet"? Here we have absolutely nothing. Just some small talk, take the tablet, attaboy. Why did I even wasted time on this?
Speaking of the small talks, Esher must be the most annoying NPC I've seen in the recent gaming history. Overacted (stock) animations, rubber face expression (emphasis mine: moving away from pre-rendered slide-show and live action characters are BAD MOVE), and pausing for a freaking MINUTE between each sentence. Who does he think he is, William Shatner?
It's so disappointing to see the MYST franchise ends itself in this insulting title. Didn't the cancellation of MYST online and URU franchise a lesson for Cyan already? People want MYST, and counter-strike crap like this is NOT MYST.
(On a lighter note: realMYST doesn't count in my rant above. realMYST is ALL RIGHT, since believe it or not, the graphics is better than the original. And most importantly the live-action characters STAYED. But it's impossible with current technology to portray anything as stunning as RIVEN and beyond in real time. So suck it Cyan, and bring back the slide-shows. (not likely))
Product Release: Myst V: End of Ages (US, 09/19/05)
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