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Pros and Cons of Bone

posted by Anonymous on - last edited - Viewed by 3.2K users

I thought it would be a good idea to write what we liked about Bone..and what we didn't like..


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    I also think it's MUCH too short. i mean, you don't have to pack the second book into the game, but you could at least use EVERY scene from the books instead of just a half. so I really wonder if this is worth 20 dollars... 'cause it's so short, the spirit of the books gets a bit lost.

    The graphics, dialogues and musics are great, the size is comfortable for downloading and 20 dollars aren't THAT much.
    and since I'm a Bone-fan and I wanna support you guys, I most likely will buy the next episodes...

    i hope you can understand my... CURIOUS language ;)

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    The major complaint seems to be that the game is too short for $20, and I agree with that. I expected a longer game, and my immediate feeling when the credits started rolling was disappointment.

    But give it a thought! Adventure games is a pretty risky business, as we all know, with LucasArts dropping a highly anticipated title, and Autumn Moon having great difficulties funding A Vampyre Story, et c. I don't know how Telltale managed to fund Bone, but rest assured that they're on a pretty tight budget. My guess is actually that they only had enough money to survive until September, and then they just HAD to release it, just to be able to keep going. So until this release, they've done all they could to put in as much content as ever possible.

    What I'm trying to say is that I believe that Telltale had no option - they would have loved to make the game longer and richer, but it was simply not possible, given the resources.

    So what now? Telltale got some money to produce the next episode. When that money has been used up, they will release episode 2, again with as much content as they managed to put in given the budget. Then, two things can happen. EITHER, customers will fail, Telltale will not get enough money to make a decent third episode, and that might be the end of the saga. Other potential producers and publishers (who most probably are closely watching Telltale's development) will have their doubts confirmed, and we can forget all about A Vampyre Story, Sam'n Max 2, Monkey Island 5 or just any name that sounds like it could be an adventure game. OR, customers show their support, Telltale gets on their feet, becomes successively more solid, mature and efficient, and starts releasing adventures totally worth your $20. And with one successful company, others will surely follow.

    Noone else believed in this market, Telltale did. I think that alone makes them worthy our fullest support!

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    I just had a look on my credit card bill and it appears that due to the activation fuck up I have been charged twice. Now while I have no problem with supporting telltale I just don't feel like I got my monioes worth with this episode. It still feels to me like its more of a showcase of their potential. I will buy the 2nd episode probably but that will be clinch time as to whether i will remain a customer.

    I probably agree with most of what has been said on the board (but I won't pretend I read it all)

    -Mini games wern't so great (I( could put up with the 1st one but the 2nd one seemed lazy.

    -Some of the puzzles seemed lazy... such as the apple tree.

    - the humans had slightly weird faces

    However the voice acting was largely impressive... I loved the music, environments, and characterisation.... I will await episode 2.

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    A lot has been expressed here that somewhat reflects my opinion on this game.

    Instead of a pros and cons list, I'll offer some constructive criticism. :)

    Music - While I loved the pieces, it was badly implemented. There are scenes where characters are talking about something exciting, terrifying or shocking, but the music completely fails to follow that. There's a scene where Thorn is talking about something terrible, and we get a really dramatic close-up of her face. But the whole scene is ruined because under it, there's some playful, happy music going on.

    Something similar to SCUMM's iMuse system, where the music corresponds to player, and character actions, would be nothing short of incredible.

    Engine/Graphics - I hope the rendering engine is smoothed out a little. When you get close-ups of some of the characters, they look absolutely horrible. Maybe it's just that everything was compressed for file size sakes.

    But then, maybe you could give us broadband users a bigger file with better graphics. Sort of like FATE's graphics patch.

    Dialogue Timing - Some of the dialogue timing felt a little off, maybe due to some dialogue getting cut off at the end.

    Action sequences - They were, to be blunt, boring. The game has all this fancy cinematography throughout, and then we're stuck with a top-view of an exciting Rat Creature chase?

    IMO this should've been a simpler action game (where you only control the characters jumping, not his position on the screen) with a more cinematic camera. Better yet, it could've incorporated some puzzles, like point-n-clickin' the right way through the valley while running. Couple this with some good cinematography and animation, and you'd have something loads better, I think.

    Bad pacing - It felt really weird, taking so much time to explore the caves, but instead cutting out so much after the Rat Chase scene, for example. And certain spots felt like they had something missing, like the start of the cave exploration.

    Jumping - I'd just like to say that jumping from cliff to cliff, after getting out of the cave, was just awesome. I'm probably in a minority about this, but it just felt good for some reason.

    Active puzzles - The puzzle where you're sneaking away from the two rat creatures was nothing short of amazing. It could've been a tad shorter, but on the whole that's the kind of puzzles I'd love to have more of.

    Lastly, I just want to mention that I was pleased with the game, albeit slightly disappointed when the credits rolled in. I was mostly disappointed because the game was really picking up some steam by that time. And it should've ended on something vastly superior to that ghastly Rat Chase scene.

    In short, it was 20 bucks well spent, IMO.

  • [quote]But then, maybe you could give us broadband users a bigger file with better graphics. Sort of like FATE's graphics patch.

    I second this, if there would be a significant difference in quality. In addition to the 50 meg version that keeps with the company's policy, there could be a second, larger version for people who are willing to put up with the download size that presents the game with some more sparkle. Again, if a less compressed version would be that different.

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    Almost everything has been said, but I'd like to add the following :
    I am disappointed by the puzzles. They are far too simple and linear. You solve a puzzle and you can move to the next screen etc. I totally miss the Monkey Island kind of puzzle, where you can visit a lot of places but do not know what to do first, trying to combine objects and use this with that or how to win a spitting contest. That is what made MI fun and made it a long game.
    In bone, you directly know what you are supposed to do, so you go quickly from the beginning to the end.

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    On the product page it lists the difficulty as 2 out of 5 (I think) So I never expected anything too taxing... My theory is that they made it easy in order to introduce themsleves to the adventure community and maybe pick up pace a few games in?

  • I feel that the $20 is well worth it. My wife and I played together, and spent about 3-3.5 hours playing the game. It was highly enjoyable. We laughed a lot, and enjoyed seeing one of our favorite comics come to life.

    What else could we have done for $20? We could have seen a crappy movie in the theater (I don't know where you all live, but in San Francisco movies are about $10). This was much better than that experience is (save for something like Lord of the Rings, and I don't think we were expecting something like that from Telltale's first offering).

    The best part is, this game is definitely going to have replay value. I will certainly be playing it again in a few months in anticipation of Vol 2. I expect after a month or two, it will still take me several hours to make it through the game. Also, I have already noticed that puzzles have a few different solutions - our virus scanner went off and bumped us out of the game, and we had to quit and go back away to where we had saved, so we played the Phoney and the possums sequence twice and solved the puzzle of acquiring the shovel a different way.

    All in all well worth it - my only compaint would be that I was bummed that when I task-switched out of it, I couldn't get back in without forcing it to quit.

    Thank you Telltale!!!!

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    Bone: Out from Boneville.


    I love Bone, and a Bone game was an exciting prospect so I downloaded the game.

    When I downloaded the demo, I wasn’t exactly impressed. Graphically the game looked it was five years old, and the seemed to play out very slowly. The opening sequence conversation between the Bones played out more like tactless exposition rather than a conversation, like it did in the comic. It was word for word like the comic, but it just didn’t flow like a real conversation when being spoken. Maybe that’s fault of the voice actors who weren’t impressive in the demo, but good enough. The gameI would hardly call a game, but more like semi-directable semi-interactive fiction. The story plays out the same as the comic, but you get all the information by navigating conversations. You spent the entire demo directing conversation to get Smiley Bone to give the other Bones a map. This took maybe four panels in the comic. While I am very familiar with the comic, this aspect of the game seemed to be kind of drawn out, but interesting. Then the locust chase began, where flat bitmap locusts chase you through repeating terrain with maybe four or five landmarks you see over and over again for five minutes. I was NOT impressed by this, recycling terrain is something the way of sixties cartoons not cutting edge video games, not even games of five years ago.

    Well I still had no idea what to expect, the demo left you with NO IDEA what the game was like, because they were promising ADVENTURE, and I like adventure so I forked over the twenty bucks.

    I feel ripped off.

    The game has some promising aspects, but then again I stress it is hardly a game, so little is actually playable, let alone adventure, it is semi-interactive fiction, like a not-so good adaptation of the comic.

    You can finish the game in two hours.

    A rather short graphic novel is condensed into an even shorter game, when other mediums of entertainment are usually adapted into games they are usually expanded upon to make fully satisfying game. That is not the case here, elements are completely phased out which seems needless, and in fact harmful to the game.

    Most notably winter doesn’t happen, which is assumedly because the designers didn’t have the resources (time, money, staff) to create a different set of graphics for the seasons, which is unfortunate, because in between issues one and two of the comic, a lot of time passes, where the game could of interjected some plot and puzzles. Like Bone building his house and meeting Miz Possum. Miz Possum isn’t even in the game, but the Possum kids are.

    The directable conversations, are probably the best part of the game, considering they are primarily what the game is. Playing as Fone when he first meets Thorn and trying to say the suave lines and watching Fone awkwardly say something different was done very well, I liked that a lot. Also playing as Phoney was an unexpected surprise, and the contrast to Fone was also well done. Where Fone tries to help everyone to progress in the story, Phoney lies, cheats, and steals which is exactly like Phoney and well executed.

    Unfortunately the game lacks adventure, and mystery. After the Demo the game feels slightly adventurous as you’re following Smiley’s cigar butts to the valley. But once you hit the valley the adventure stops, and the world no longer seems quite large, but infact very small and confining especially since you revisit the areas you go through as Fone, with Phoney, twice. The game has a few mini game like challenges, which are mildly entertaining at best. Which split up the progress through the semi-interactive fiction . Play as Ted the bug and leap on rocks. Play hide and go seek with the Possum kids. Dodge Ted’s Big Brother. That’s all of them.

    The Bone’s are well animated for the limited graphics, as are the rest of the characters. Except Thorn, Thorn looks like a scary mannequin with no fluidity to her movement and a frightening chipmunk-esque voice. I understand voice actors aren’t cheap, and that the same person had to voice Gran’ma Ben and Thorn, but the digital raising of Thorn’s voice is quite creepy, especially paired with her lackluster animation.

    The puzzles are few, and clumped together at the end of the game, when you get to Gran’ma Ben’s house. Those few puzzles were enjoyable, and I wish the game had a ton more, but it does not. As soon as you finish the two puzzles, you navigate more conversation and then run from the rat-creatures in the same fashion that you ran from the locusts.

    Would I suggest the game to my friends? Definitely not, twenty dollars is far too much to ask of ANYONE for a two hour game. I would rather buy a copy of the graphic novel at that price. The biggest fault is they tried to condense rather than expand on the novel, inbetween issues there are time lapses where allsorts of puzzles and adventure could have been interjected while remaining exactly faithful.

    There is NO way I will pay twenty bucks for eight other games of this magnitude, infact I should at least get the next two for free at this price! If I did, I would probably buy the next three after that for twenty bucks, and then the next three after that for twenty. You’d get sixty bucks out of me, instead of the lowly twenty that you’re only going to get when you ask for $180!

    I’m sorry Telltale, I wish I could only say good things about you and your Bone game, but the fact is, it’s not a very good game. I respect the fact you guys are independent game makers doing your thing, and I wish you luck, and wish I could find it worthwhile to support your efforts but it is just too much to ask financially out of me.

  • [quote]On the product page it lists the difficulty as 2 out of 5 (I think) So I never expected anything too taxing... My theory is that they made it easy in order to introduce themsleves to the adventure community and maybe pick up pace a few games in?[/quote]

    2 out of 6 actually. That's also why I was expecting a pretty easy introduction to Telltale's adventure game output.

    They've also said in interviews that they're trying to attract a new audience (perhaps the 20 Female demo (my thoughts, not theirs) who make games like The Sims such a success).

    Honestly, if the game was only pitched at the encumbent 'adventure gamer crowd' or those of us that regularly read gaming sites then they might as well close up shop now. There's just not enough of us around at present, and those who are still actively following the genre tend to be pretty experienced Adventure Gamers - who obviously will find the puzzles too easy.

    Though if I were Telltale I'd wait until all the niggles are ironed out with the distribution method and gameplay, and there are maybe 3 chapters finished and available before pitching the marketing at the mainstream.

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