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Puzzle Agent 2 Review Thread

posted by puzzlebox on - last edited - Viewed by 5.5K users

So we finally return to the crazy creepy town of Scoggins for a second helping of nuts!

What did you think of Puzzle Agent 2?

80 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • @Cheeseness said: ...
    Saying that players should get a dictionary out probably isn't very appropriate. Ignoring that interrupting the gaming experience isn't a good idea, how many non-US dictionaries have "dime" in them? I was surprised to find that one of my dictionaries did....

    Well, if you paid more than 2 cent for the dictionary it better does.
    (Checking the dictionaries I have here, both the English-English and the English-German ones could explain to me very well what a dime is.
    Not that I would have needed that during the game as I gained the ability to understand basic English about 20 years ago)

    And I think the assumption that you can understand English is a lot more reasonable than that you know 10 digits of pi

  • Also, you have downloaded this game from Telltale's website. This tells me three things:
    [LIST=1]
    [*]You have a working computer.
    [*]You have a web browser on your computer.
    [*]You have an internet subscription.
    [/LIST]
    Given these premises, it should take about five seconds to fire up your browser and enter define dime into Google.

    Yes, it sucks to have to look something up to finish the puzzle. Yes, I would have preferred it if the coins were labelled with their values too. Still, let's not make a bigger deal out of it then it is.

    It was clear from the start that this game was going to be presented in American English; words like "penny" and "dime" aren't very obscure. It's possible these aren't in your vocabulary, but it I don't think the game designers are to blame for that.

  • I was able to Alt-Tab my way out and search for the coins. Also checked the needed digits of PI, too. Didn't really bother me.

    What bothered me was the count of the puzzles. Also, most of them were actually pretty easy (one puzzle was actually a QTE segment in disguise). Though, there were less "drag that to that so that you will get a bigger that" puzzles. They also fell into less repetition with puzzles so I'm aight with that. The story was OH MY GOD magnificent; it was the absurdity and weirdness that Telltale had known to deliver in the good ol' days. The presentation of it wasn't as dramatic as the first one, but it made it up with absolutely gorgeous moments of the climax. The revelation was also tidied up with all the irrelevant loose ends knotted quite well. Brilliant writing.

    All in all worths the money and is a respectful conclusion to the first game. Good job guys.

    Enjoyed the game EXCEPT for the goddamn bonus robot puzzles! I try and try to solve them and when I do it I've already tried it 5 more times so the game doesn't even celebrate my triumphant moment and instead downright insults me by calling me BORDERLINE.

  • I just finished the game, and well... I am a bit disappointed:

    The story gets really odd and crazy throughout the game. There are nice elements, for example Korka with this stimulating russian bond-girl-touch, but the game doesn't really fit together at whole in my opinion. You meet Korka twice and then she is dropped from the storyline as if the writers have forgotten she is there. Many other characters taken from part one are not developed further in the game.
    It seems to me, the writers made 30 minutes brainstorming about what might happen in Scoggins and just sticked to whatever came to their minds without reconsidering. Even after considering the supernatural elements, too many are too far-fetched and not really plausible in my opinion.

    Then there are less puzzles in the game than in the first episode (PA1: 37 puzzles, PA2: 33 puzzles). But that would not be a real problem if the puzzles would be really good. The puzzles are less fancy and repeated too often. Even puzzles from the first episode are repeated.
    Sometimes the description could be better. (Hey, this is a computer game! Why not implement some visual animation to describe some of them??)
    No, really, there are so much really nice and good puzzles out there, and then I have to move furniture (and other things) around or sort pictures chronological several times. It is really a shame. I want to agree with richmcd, too. He complains about the combination of bad puzzles which don't make much sense within the story.

    I would have liked more freedom while playing, too. The game is 100% linear and there is for example seldom the possibility to skip a puzzle, continue at another point and then come back to the puzzle. Sometimes when there is only one single hotspot on the screen I wonder why the game is not completely designed as a movie and only interrupts when a new puzzle appears.
    I often travelled to other locations where I did not have to go and found nothing new there. Why not include additional information you can get from the people? Why not include easter eggs and/or hidden puzzles, or hints for puzzles which are hidden in another location? Why not give the player the possibility to just do stuff which isn't important for the game but maybe fun? I am thinking about something like the bonus tasks in the Strong Bad episodes, like collecting something which you can find in Nelson's office in the end. There is probably much more you can do to enhance the gaming experience!

    Well... some criticism from my point of view because I really expected better puzzles, a good story and some new surprises in comparison to part one. It was fun to play nevertheless, but I hope you will consider the comments from your customers. Thank you.

  • @Krohn said: Well, if you paid more than 2 cent for the dictionary it better does.
    (Checking the dictionaries I have here, both the English-English and the English-German ones could explain to me very well what a dime is.
    Not that I would have needed that during the game as I gained the ability to understand basic English about 20 years ago)

    And I think the assumption that you can understand English is a lot more reasonable than that you know 10 digits of pi

    It's got nothing to do with knowing English. Dime isn't an English word so far as I'm aware (apparently it has French roots), and doesn't have any meaning or use beyond North American currency.

    Pi on the other hand is a very basic, very visible pattern and something a person can discover on their own, regardless of their language or cultural origins (unless you come from some culture where studying circles is forbidden).

    If you're talking about general knowledge, what makes you think that more people know about North American currency (or even speak English for that matter) than know of Pi?


    Edit: Sorry, I missed this one.
    @Krohn said: Yes, it sucks to have to look something up to finish the puzzle. Yes, I would have preferred it if the coins were labelled with their values too. Still, let's not make a bigger deal out of it then it is.

    I don't know that I'm making a bigger deal out of it than it needs to be. Aside from the first time I mentioned it, I've only continued to talk about it when responding to others to clarify what about the puzzle made for a negative experience (in this thread, anyway).

    I'll agree that it's an issue of vocabulary, but the vocabulary is unrelated to the puzzle itself. I'm pretty confident that that wasn't purposeful obfuscation, and whilst the words are probably appropriate to the setting of the game, it seems like things ended up the way they did because it was overlooked rather than intentional.

    Also, if this is the biggest criticism people can come up with for the puzzle content, then that in itself is saying something ;)

  • I know you're half joking, but I'm not sure that's a reasonable conclusion. It's not the only puzzle worth criticising, just the only one where the criticism wouldn't simply be that the puzzle is boring, trivial or recycled from somewhere else. I think the only puzzle in the whole game that took me more than half a minute to solve was the jigsaw forest maze. (Oh and the leaflet puzzle, but only because I misread that there had to be EXACTLY 50 delivered). I'm not including the two bonus puzzles because I couldn't be bothered to try them. The interface to adjust the program was irritating and the puzzles seemed to have absolutely no connection with the plot or the setting in general.

    More constructively, I think there is a problem with the interface. One of the good things about Professor Layton (or rather, the fact that it's on the Nintendo DS) is that you can see all the information at once: the puzzle can be on one screen while the instructions are on the other. Also there was the option to overlay your own notes after the first one, which means the puzzles didn't have to be simple enough to be done in your head. (I'm in favour of tricky puzzles but, like alt-tabbing to do a google search, I think any computer game that makes you reach for a pen and paper has a design issue.)

    In Puzzle Agent, you often have to press a button to review the instructions (or the puzzle itself in the case of the logic ones) which is actually pretty irritating. You wouldn't print a crossword with the grid on one page and the clues on the other, would you? Also the font is pretty large, so it seems like you're seriously limited as to how much text can fit on the screen. This is especially true for the explanations of the puzzles: these were some of the most interesting parts of Professor Layton, but often required two full screens to do, with a diagram on one and an explanation on the other. If you're only going to give yourself about four lines of text to work with then it almost seems worth stripping the feature out entirely.

  • My verdict, for what it's worth:

    PA1: 8/10
    PA2: 5/10

  • Puzzle Agent 2 WAS an 8/10 for me, but that got downgraded to a 6/10 Overall, the ending, from the point where you escape your hotel room onwards just felt rushed, like the game took a mixed dose of LSD and Speed and it just messed up the flow and felt more like it was rushed to deadline rather than explained and well thought out.

  • I don't think TT will squeeze a game like this in between big franchises 3 months apart (BttF wrapped up in June, Walking Dead and Jurassic Park launch in Sept) again in a hurry.

    @Jake: You're a mastermind behind Jurassic Park, aren't you? I seem to have a vague recollection.

  • @puzzlebox said: Why did they inject Nelson with a sleeping drug and then... take him back to his hotel room?

    This bothers me too.

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