Friday, January 9, 2009

Schizm, a repost from 2002

Note: this isn't as much a review of Schizm as a rant about what I didn't like. And it's been quite a long time since I've been so annoyed by an adventure game as I was by Schizm (the last time must have been "Rent-A-Hero", which is probably the single worst adventure game I've ever played in my life), so read ahead at your own peril.

How to make the ultimate annoying adventure game:

Make every movement in the game a cutscene. Cut up longer movements into small pieces so the player has to click more often.

Do NOT make these cutscenes skippable. Play them every single time. In the DVD version, add additional movement scenes that hold the player up EVEN LONGER, like jumping fish or buzzing bees.

Make sure, for total playing time, that the player has to run across half the world and back for every single puzzle. In fact, since there are two player characters the player controls, make sure he has to RUN EACH OF THEM ACROSS HALF THE WORLD AND BACK SEPERATELY FOR EVERY SINGLE PUZZLE, PREFERABLY SEVERAL TIMES. Ensure getting from point A to point B takes at least 15 minutes of real time.

Since there's more space on the DVD, make sure to add a few bonus puzzles which involve EVEN MORE POINTLESS RUNNING AROUND, not to mention additional uninterruptable cutscenes which require you to flip the DVD over twice.

While speaking of flipping the DVD over, make sure the installer pops up when you switch to side A, killing the game in progress. In fact, make sure that Alt-Tab or incoming ICQ messages or any other disturbance kill the game in progress.

Add completely gratuitous play-against-the-computer puzzles. Require the player solve several of them in a row without being allowed to save inbetween. Then repeat the same puzzle later, only make it even MORE ANNOYING. Make the hints for puzzles extremely obscure, not to mention hiding them on the other side of the game world.

Add puzzles relying on sound. Make the sound as unintelligible as possible, just in case. Add lots of red herrings as well, so the player has to try everything at least five times.


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