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Why Are We Still Talking About LucasArts' Old Adventure Games?

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the best-in-class dept.

Businesses 285

jones_supa writes "The gutting of LucasArts was a tragic loss for the video game industry, but for many of us, it was more than that. By most accounts the last truly great LucasArts game was released almost 15 years ago, and yet, many in the industry still hold these titles as the benchmark. But why is that? Why is it that we still consider these games among our pinnacle achievements as an industry? Why do developers still namedrop Monkey Island in pitch meetings when discussing their proposed game's story? Why do we all continue to mentally associate the word "LucasArts" as the splash screen we see before a graphical adventure game, even though the company hadn't released one in over a decade? Gamasutra has collected a good majority of the answers. Following these responses, as a special treat, Lucasfilm Games veteran David Fox attempts to answer that question with his own insider perspective."

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Why, Why, Why..... (5, Funny)

who_stole_my_kidneys (1956012) | about a year ago | (#43390523)

Its Monday morning, stop asking so many damn questions until I've had my coffee.

Re:Why, Why, Why..... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43390671)

Why haven't you had coffee yet?

Re:Why, Why, Why..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43390767)

Why haven't you had coffee yet?

Not all of us are like you old people who get up at the crack of 11AM !

Anyway, with these questions, "Why Are We Still Talking About LucasArts' Old Adventure Games?", we should a Troll meme. Like:

"Why yes! We are!"

Or:

"STFU and Google it and post a real headline A-Hole!"

Or: "I don't know. How about researching it and have a 1000 word essay describing the issue for me and have it by Noon. Thx! I gotta go and read Fark."

Why? The definitive answer is... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43391019)

..."Samzenpus, float over here so I can punch you."

Re:Why? The definitive answer is... (1)

jadv (1437949) | about a year ago | (#43391733)

According to a cliché touted by journalists, the correct answer is "NO"

tl;dr (0)

DFurno2003 (739807) | about a year ago | (#43390555)

That wall of text has approximately 0 readability and far less value.

Re:tl;dr (1)

DFurno2003 (739807) | about a year ago | (#43390575)

All I got out of it was Monkey Island is being namedropped by developers...

Re:tl;dr (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43390865)

That was in the summary you insensitive clod!

Re:tl;dr (4, Funny)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | about a year ago | (#43391061)

Eight sentences is a wall of text? You'll probably have a stroke and die if you ever pick up a book.

By most accounts... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43390583)

You're either an idiot, or you've been living under a rock for the past 15 years.

Re:By most accounts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43391651)

Downmod because it's true. You can't just state that a studio like LucasArts has been putting out crap for 15 years without sounding like a complete moron, and anyone who does should be called on it. Only haters and shills would seek to hide that truth.

Why... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43390599)

...Do we even give a crap?

nostalgia circlejerk? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43390605)

Those games are gone. Those game companies are gone.

And the current games will most likely not produce anything like them again.
Heck todays games won't even run when they shut the activation server off in 2 years.

Excessive greed... Kills all the good stuff.

Re:nostalgia circlejerk? (5, Informative)

egamma (572162) | about a year ago | (#43390857)

Those games are gone.

Really? I bought Monkey Island 1 and 2 on Steam in 2012. The updated graphics and sound are great, but you can switch it back to the original very easily.

Re:nostalgia circlejerk? (3, Informative)

Thud457 (234763) | about a year ago | (#43390995)

SCUMMVM [scummvm.org] is available on Android, beeotches!

Re:nostalgia circlejerk? (1)

wiggles (30088) | about a year ago | (#43391243)

Yeah, but the touch based interface makes it almost unplayable.

Re:nostalgia circlejerk? (1)

bfandreas (603438) | about a year ago | (#43391269)

I played DOTT on my Nokia feature phone 5 years ago. It is doable.
And if you've got a USB mouse lying around then simply connect it to your phone or your tablet and it will work.

Ah, the blessed bliss of using devices that come with standard IO connections.

Re:nostalgia circlejerk? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43390911)

So... a nostalgia circlejerk of which you and a couple mods are taking part?

Re:nostalgia circlejerk? (2)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#43391245)

Well, as the FOSS community would say: "shut the fuck up and fix the problem yourself".
Here's a link to get you started OGRE [ogre3d.org] . Here's another Blender [blender.org] . And another learncpp.com [learncpp.com]
When you're done with your masterpiece, feel free to give it away and support it forever.

Re:nostalgia circlejerk? (5, Insightful)

s0nicfreak (615390) | about a year ago | (#43391785)

Those games are gone.

Wait... where did they go? Did some mass fire destroy all remaining copies in the world? No. They're still there. I can still have my kids, born after they came out, play those games. I can - and do - have my kids play games from 30 years ago, from when I started gaming. Even the games that actually were lost to me due to fire or whatever ravages of time. Games do not suddenly cease to exist a few years after they are released. The good games are still played 15 years later, 30 years later, and I'm assuming 60 years later, 100 years later. Like classic books, the good ones will survive, they won't go anywhere. The games that only have nostalgia going for them will be lost once the people with that nostalgia stop lamenting or die out.

By the time the servers of today's games are shut off, someone will have hacked/cracked them and made them playable without those servers. Games needing activation or some kind of server has been around for years now, many games have had their servers shut off. But I can't think of a single game that I still want to play, but that I absolutely can not play.

I'll remember the pain. (1, Informative)

Virtucon (127420) | about a year ago | (#43390615)

The pain.. Oh the pain of trying to install their games on my kids' computers. The incompatibilities with the video and soundblaster cards. The endless trips to buy upgraded hardware, even though you had the hardware already per the side of the box.

My kids loved their stuff, but they haven't been a player in this space, unless it was supporting the venerable Star Wars brand and IMO, that's played out. Once it went to Disney, as foretold in "South Park", expect Mickey to put the merchandising and game tie ins on overdrive.

Re:I'll remember the pain. (4, Insightful)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about a year ago | (#43390781)

There was not one game from that era that could install without spending a day trying to tweak config.sys files and autoexec.bat, no reason to single out Lucasarts. Its just that they made some of the better games in that era.

I remember the same headaches with the Wing Commander series responsible for causing me to have to spend hundreds of dollars to find the right combo of video and sound card just to get the opening cutscene to play without stuttering.

DOS was the dark days of PC gaming for sure.

Re:I'll remember the pain. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43391017)

I had a Pro Audio Spectrum 16 and a Gravis Ultrasound in my 486dx33 back in those days (plus a US Robototics 14.4 Sportster modem). The IRQ/DMA assignments were definitely messy. The GUS sounded absolutely amazing but messing around with MegaEm, Ultramid, and all the other nasty software was a pain at times. I loved the games that would allow me to use the PAS for the digital fx and the GUS for music (yay MT32/LAPC1 via MegaEM).

DOS 6 and the arrival of multi-config was a *godsend*. Without it, I'd have needed to make a boot disk for each family of games.

Re:I'll remember the pain. (5, Insightful)

discord5 (798235) | about a year ago | (#43391335)

There was not one game from that era that could install without spending a day trying to tweak config.sys files and autoexec.bat

I remember it well, and it was the first steps for me into the dark art of understanding how computers work. I can only thank videogames of that era for making me start a voyage into a new realm. Understanding memory, learning about DMA and IRQs, getting a modem to work, setting up a LAN, trying my hand at programming, ... I learned a great deal from all that and it got me interested in a subject I had little interest in before.

Thanks DOS games! You've set me onto a career which I enjoy tremendously (despite becoming such a cynic).

Re:I'll remember the pain. (2)

bfandreas (603438) | about a year ago | (#43391345)

Worse still was being able to run MSCDEX, various drivers and still have enough memory to start the game. Now the whole thing runs on 10 year old phones.
SCUMMVM was ported to S60 yonks ago.

Wing Commander 1 only flight control animations if you had EMS. Which you propably hadn't if you had a 286. Fun times!
...and fun those times were. The games had focus. Focus that has been lost. Something like Lemmings or Populous would propably be considered 'casual' nowadays even if there wasn't anything casual about them in terms of difficulty the further you progressed.

Now we get murder simulators with Hollywood movie sequences with attached Sim City and naval battles. The naval battles being the best feature of the murder simulator. Go figure...

Re:I'll remember the pain. (5, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about a year ago | (#43391403)

You spent all day mucking with config.sys? Why didn't you just Google the issue???

Re:I'll remember the pain. (1)

asylumx (881307) | about a year ago | (#43391739)

You win "joke of the day" and +100 internet points!

Re:I'll remember the pain. (2)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about a year ago | (#43391771)

Wow! I assume they're redeemable at ThinkGeek?

Re:I'll remember the pain. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43391519)

Maybe because you were/are a fucking retard?

Dark days my ass.

Re:I'll remember the pain. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43391577)

There was not one game from that era that could install without spending a day trying to tweak config.sys files and autoexec.bat, no reason to single out Lucasarts. Its just that they made some of the better games in that era.

Wrong. They were called non-DOS games. When's the last time you heard about Amiga OS 3.1 or MacOS 7.5 dude complain about a game requiring config.sys tweaks?

Re:I'll remember the pain. (4, Interesting)

Nimey (114278) | about a year ago | (#43391469)

Most of the games from back then were just as bad about configuration.

The worst were the games (can't remember the names, but were usually from the early '90s) that hardcoded the Sound Blaster's I/O port or IRQ or DMA channel. It could be made to work, but if something else in your system had grabbed one of these (most often a parallel port needed the IRQ) you were out of luck. Even better if you had more than one such game and one of them expected a different value (say, one wanted 0x220 for the I/O port, but another expected 0x240).

Even if you had one of the later games that let you specify your configuration, you might still have to dig the card back out because you'd set a jumper or DIP switch wrong and there was a conflict. Then you'd have to set the AUTOEXEC.BAT incantation correctly, which would be extra work if you'd been forced to switch a jumper around.

And the video! A game might work just fine with a bog-standard VGA card, but another would need VBE 2.0 and if you didn't have the newest card that meant editing AUTOEXEC again to load a TSR on boot. Oh, wait! Now with that TSR you don't have enough RAM to run your game, so you've got to either fiddle with CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT manually (reading the manual entries for EMM386 and HIMEM) or shell out for an upgrade to MS-DOS 6 or buy QEMM386 and hope that either of the latter two could successfully optimize your memory layout. If you're poor and not up to editing your config files, you could always make a boot floppy instead (sometimes the game even did that automatically! Oh the luxury.) and boot the computer from that when you wanted to play your game... except that sometimes the automagic boot floppy utilities didn't set up your Sound Blaster properly, so you're still looking at work.

Kids just don't know how good they have it these days, with working PnP and standardized multimedia APIs and a flat memory space.

Re:I'll remember the pain. (1)

hjf (703092) | about a year ago | (#43391673)

A=220 I=5 D=1 T=4

Re:I'll remember the pain. (1)

91degrees (207121) | about a year ago | (#43391619)

That's where the DOS menu system was useful. My setup had a menu option that loaded Emm386 in one mode, another in another mode and a third that didn't load it at all. One of those settings was sure to work.

Last great game 15 years ago?! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43390619)

Jedi Outcast would like to have a few words with this Author, who confuses objective fact and subjective opinion quite hard. Yes the Money Island series was great, but that is NOT why people are upset over lucasarts demise. 1313 looked really promising, no possibility of a SW:Battlefront 3, no Jedi Knight 4, no hope for a new TIE Fighter or X-Wing vs TIE fighter game, etc.

Re:Last great game 15 years ago?! (2)

Molt (116343) | about a year ago | (#43390819)

Although 1313 does sadly look dead I wouldn't be surprised if sequels to their existing SW games were developed by external houses and published under the Disney/LucasFilm name.

Re:Last great game 15 years ago?! (2)

geminidomino (614729) | about a year ago | (#43391479)

no hope for a new TIE Fighter or X-Wing vs TIE fighter game

Sadly, holding out hope for one of those, even before the buyout, seemed to have a strong correlation with believing in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.

Once the crappy "Rogue Squadron" rail-shooters came out, and XWA was a slipshod mess, my dreams of the X-Wing series living on into the new century were shattered.

"Alpha 2, Mission Critical Installation Destroyed."

Re:Last great game 15 years ago?! (3, Interesting)

qwak23 (1862090) | about a year ago | (#43391759)

As someone who played the shit out of the original X-Wing back in the day, I've always wished someone would put out a remake, sequel, or even just a non-movie IP based space combat sim modeled after X-Wing and with all the bells and whistles of modern gaming.

A deathstar-esque run, with on-line co-op and voice chat would be awesome.

15 years ago there was no Jar Jar (3, Insightful)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about a year ago | (#43390621)

The reason the games from 15 years ago were so great was that there was no attempt to shoe-horn prequel material into the story.

Re:15 years ago there was no Jar Jar (1)

bfandreas (603438) | about a year ago | (#43391361)

...and hardly anybody mistook themselves for Hollywood movie directors. Well, not after what happened to Chris Roberts.

Interactive Movies were at the butt of any joke in the second half of the nineties. Yet they seem to have won. Press A for victory!

Because of what they involved (5, Interesting)

ubrgeek (679399) | about a year ago | (#43390639)

Thinking and puzzle solving (to a greater extent it's why people still mention Myst, although that was problem solving and really neat scenery). They were fun, with memorable characters and funny catch phrases ("I'm Guybrush Threepwood, Mighty Pirateâ). They weren't twitchy, blow-things-up-to-solve-problems games.In some, the characters had continuity between games and in others they were tied to movies of which we had fond memories (Indiana Jones and Star Wars).

Re:Because of what they involved (2)

jadv (1437949) | about a year ago | (#43391797)

... tied to movies of which we had fond memories (Indiana Jones and Star Wars).

Good times... We had fond memories of IJ and SW in those days, because at the time we only had three SW movies and three IJ movies to remember. Then George Lucas was abducted by the aliens from the fourth IJ movie (or maybe by a horde of Jar Jar Binks clones), and they lobotomized him. Next thing we know: SW prequel trilogy and IJ4.

For the same reason we still play them. (5, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43390695)

For the same reason scummvm has been ported to damn near every platform and why I still play these games on brand new smartphones. Reminds me, I need to find my Full Throttle game files.

Re:For the same reason we still play them. (1)

melikamp (631205) | about a year ago | (#43391057)

Don't bother. [torrentz.eu]

Re:For the same reason we still play them. (2)

admiralfurburger (76098) | about a year ago | (#43391569)

I ain't puttin' my lips on that...

Re:For the same reason we still play them. (2)

malignant_minded (884324) | about a year ago | (#43391083)

I would guess that a lot of this has to do with the small pool of games available during that time. Everyone played the same 10 big games that came out in a given year during the 90s. If you liked point and clicks you probably played all of these titles:
Goblins
Quest for Glory
Kings Quest
Monkey Island
Hook
Simon the Sorcerer
Day of the Tentacle
Space Quest
Gabriel Knight
Lora Bow
Phantasmagoria
MYST
etc...etc..
Obviously some were prettier/funnier than others and stuck out. Many of these formed our childhoods and will be forever cherished in our hearts. GOG sells a bunch of contemporary point and clicks but few people buy them when compared to all games sold so how could they be used as a measurement or reference when talking to others. Everyone bought the above because our choices were limited.

Re:For the same reason we still play them. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43391141)

Are any of those new point and clicks good?
These are games that require a good story and characters. Making them much harder to produce then pumping out another iteration of Medal Of Duty: Call of Honor.

Re:For the same reason we still play them. (1)

bfandreas (603438) | about a year ago | (#43391423)

Well, the Walking Dead seems to do allright.

If you want a true masterpiece you will have to gun for classics like The Last Express or Toonstruck.
But to be fair in most cases it is also enjoying to watch a Youtuber doing a Let's Play on them. Adventures lend themselves to that.

Re:For the same reason we still play them. (1)

hjf (703092) | about a year ago | (#43391723)

Last point and click I played was Syberia I and II about a decade ago (breathtaking graphics and a great story), and The Moment Of Silence (not so bad). I'm reading that Syberia III started development last year!

Nostalgia (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43390697)

I, for one, am happy adventure games have died.

Re:Nostalgia (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43390719)

I, for one, am happy adventure games have died.

C'mon, you know you liked going pixel-by-pixel across an entire screen full of static forest background until your cursor changed to let you know that you'd found the one "stick" in the entire place that you can add to your inventory!

Re:Nostalgia (5, Insightful)

qwak23 (1862090) | about a year ago | (#43390985)

When I was 8-12, I thought adventure games were pretty awesome. I rarely beat them, and figured it was just a lack of creativity/ingenuity on my part. Even though I failed and failed and failed some more, I love solving puzzles/problems (I'm a technician by trade and math student by hobby currently) and spent hours going over the same few screens, scouring for clues that I missed, inventory combinations I hadn't tried (and in the days of the infamous parser, word combinations I hadn't tried). I'd spend hours doing this.

Then I got a little older, installed a few of the old games out of nostalgia's sake (even still have a few of the more memorable ones installed) and given that I don't have hours to spend staring at the same screen, decided to give up, look up some FAQs and at least push my way through the story (some of those games had some really well written ones). At this point I discovered that my failures were not entirely due to a lack of problem solving ability on my part, as I found that the majority of puzzles I had always gotten stuck on lacked any sort of logic at all (I believe there is an excellent write up on Gabriel Knight 3's issues somewhere on the net). They required the kind of creativity and problem solving ability you get at 4am from numerous bongs, a few beers and the inability to click where you want to click.

And before anyone "wooshes" me, I totally got the sarcasm in the parent and just felt this was the perfect spot for a mini-rant =)

Re:creativity and problem solving ability (1)

DocSavage64109 (799754) | about a year ago | (#43391329)

At this point I discovered that my failures were not entirely due to a lack of problem solving ability on my part, as I found that the majority of puzzles I had always gotten stuck on lacked any sort of logic at all (I believe there is an excellent write up on Gabriel Knight 3's issues somewhere on the net). They required the kind of creativity and problem solving ability you get at 4am from numerous bongs, a few beers and the inability to click where you want to click.

I remember getting stuck in some king's quest game because I never thought to stick a hole that was in my inventory onto a wall on the right screen. This also reminds me of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy that was impossible to get through if you hadn't read the book. (Like who is going to just put a fish in their ear?)

Re:Nostalgia (4, Insightful)

bfandreas (603438) | about a year ago | (#43391659)

Let me join your rant.

GK3 was the worst offender. Not only did you have to be at the right time at the right spot with little indication given. It also had the worst puzzles(and also some great puzzles). Having to molest a cat to get a fake mustache for your Mosley costume must be the worst thing ever done in an adventure game.
The only adventure that ever did the real time thing right was The Last Express which sadly has to be the best game nobody ever played. But even that had its fair share of problems. Putting an action sequence into an adventure game is propably lost on your audience. Fighting on the roof of a train may be fun in a fighting on the roof of a train game but not in an adventure game. Some did it right(you could skip the jump&run sequence in Rise of the Dragon) and some did it wrong(the kneel down sequence in Indiana Jones 3 springs to mind).

But the worst puzzles were those that referenced popular culture. In Day of the Tentacle you had to scare off a couple of morons. What you had was white paint and a black cat sitting on a fence. A friend of mine is from Romania and it took a couple of highly educational Pepe le Pew cartoons to explain to him why painting a white stripe on the back of a black cat was the obvious choice to do things.

It's the cultural equivalent of why none of us old farts will ever get why painting some obnoxious kid's hair orange and gel it into a spiky mess will scare off bullies. Kamekamehaha...whut?

I very rapidly understood why adventure games are best played with a walkthrough. And it is best to consult it only when needed. Being stuck was the worst thing that could happen to you. Being stuck because youd didn't pick up something at a place you can't get to anymore was even worse. And that is what never happened to you in Lucasfilm Games adventures and that was also something that made them awesome. That and you very rarely got stuck. And they were great fun. And they sometimes even made you think. They had great atmosphere. And diversity. They sent you on tropical islands, the afterlife, who knows where(Loom was odd), the future, the past, on a bike, on a zeppelin and even Atlantis(which would have been the better choice then looking for alien glass skulls)


Sadly they fell victim to the Doom clone craze and continued to produce rehash upon rehash of the least cerebral game concept since shooting gallery shareware was invented. Only with light sabres! And Jedi! Yay!
http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/shooting-gallery/ [dosgamesarchive.com]

Because they were good (4, Insightful)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about a year ago | (#43390701)

Its a shame that George forced his entire empire to eat, breath and shit out Star Wars franchise IP which is why the empire collapsed and got absorbed by an even bigger evil empire. But the few original IP created by Lucasarts were actually quite good and original.

I'm not saying we need to revisit them or have remakes of any of them, but it shows there were actually some creative and inventive original thinkers in the Lucasarts company and hopefully now they are free of the oppression of only doing Star Wars IP, we might see some new and novel games come from them again.

Re:Because they were good (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year ago | (#43390983)

What happened to Lucas Arts: I loved Afterlife, although essentially pointless (you spend your game time in a vain effort to balance Heaven and Hell, whatever that meant) it was relaxing and I spent hours at it. Then Half-Life came out and I never looked back. All the other stated reasons for waving bye bye to LA pale.

Re:Because they were good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43391765)

Finally someone else had/has a copy of Afterlife. So what, LA ran out or Adinfinitem? or did Disco Inferno do them in? I do have to wonder if there will be an afterlife for LA to keep the Karma flowing..

Re:Because they were good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43391029)

Could go back even further and we could be talking about Ball Blazer, The Eidolon, and Rescue on Fractalus. Haven't seen much that looks like a modern remake of any of those, then again they were designed to push the limits of what could be done on hardware from the 8-bit era.

PR Trick (2)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about a year ago | (#43390705)

At this point is all going to be a PR stunt to make everyone somehow go "Yeay they saved Lucasarts." and then they hope that we will all run out and buy their next SW game: Darth Vader and the lost princess.

Because they used to make good games. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43390707)

Personally I really loved Tie Fighter. And the mindset - no shields, no armor, everybody wants to murder you - was a great prep for driving.

Re:Because they used to make good games. (1)

bfandreas (603438) | about a year ago | (#43391703)

I was really prepared to hate Tie fighter when it was announced for the very same reason.
"Me? In a Tie fighter? Isn't their one redeeming value that they are cheap and you get lots of them? Why would I want to play as cannon fodder?"
Larry Holland pulled that stunt off beautifully. But let's not forget that a lot of the craft you got to fly in this game indeed had shields.

Full Throttle (4, Informative)

tekrat (242117) | about a year ago | (#43390717)

Full Throttle had the greatest opening to a Videogame I have ever seen. I would point to the screen even years later to show people, "There! This is how you do it!" *Movies* didn't get me that juiced.

And while the gameplay itself was reminscent of "Sam and Max hit the Road" (since I believe it used the same SCUMM engine); it was still mighty entertaining. Considering that most CD-ROM based games at that time were terrible "click and wiggle" titles; the stuff that came out of LucasArts during that period was well thought out, richly designed, spectacularly written, and incredibly above-average. It was an exciting time.

Re:Full Throttle (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about a year ago | (#43390845)

The headline made me think of Full Throttle as well. I never played Sam & Max or Monkey Island but I played Full Throttle over and over even though the game really never changes because it was fun watching the characters much like an interactive cartoon. I too loved the intro and the recently released Borderlands 2 intro felt reminiscent of the FT opening to me.

Re:Full Throttle (3, Funny)

heypete (60671) | about a year ago | (#43390891)

Oh ghods. Now you've done it: I have to go and dig up my Full Throttle game and play it again.

It's like Deus Ex -- everytime someone mentions it, you have to go play it again. :)

Re:Full Throttle (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year ago | (#43391149)

Oh ghods. Now you've done it: I have to go and dig up my Full Throttle game and play it again.

And listen to the hilarious song on the radio.

"The population is greatly decreased..."

Re:Full Throttle (4, Informative)

ProzacPatient (915544) | about a year ago | (#43391439)

Also Outlaws [youtube.com] and especially The Dig [youtube.com] were some other great LucasArts games with amazing intros.

Nostalgia. (5, Insightful)

jonnythan (79727) | about a year ago | (#43390777)

It's not because those games were just particularly amazing, well-written, and well-constructed. It's because those were the games that we grew up with. Those of us in their 30s and early 40s are the ones currently dominating the industry, and we grew up playing King's Quest IV and Monkey Island and Loom and X-Wing etc. We have a fondness for those now because we were kids and those games were the world to us.

Same reason most of us love Voltron and hate Power Rangers, even though they're damn near the same thing.

Re:Nostalgia. (1, Interesting)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year ago | (#43391481)

Voltron is pure nostalgia. I had fun watching it as a kid, and attempted watching it as an adult, but it was as you say: just as bad as power rangers. However, good games from the past like the Lucas Arts games stand the test of time. They're still fun, and that's not the nostalgic reminiscing talking, that's honest to goodness present day fun I'm having.

Re:Nostalgia. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43391557)

I'm pretty sure that if you asked 50 random students in relevant fields to each come up with a way to score or grade the quality of entertainment products on an absolute scale, Monkey Island would beat out Power Rangers on all 50.

captcha: quagmire

Re:Nostalgia. (2)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | about a year ago | (#43391643)

Compared to today's games, Tetris has incredibly bad graphics and sound, there's no writing and nothing about it is amazing at first glance... yet there are versions of it for virtually anything you can possibly play a game on and everyone has played it. The quality of a game cannot be measured by the quality of the graphics and sound.

In addition, I would say that the Monkey Island games are still some of the best written adventure games ever made. I shared the the two special edition remakes with a friend's kids and they found the jokes just as hilarious as I remember them being when I was still a kid.

Unfortunately, we're all doomed to grow up. When we go back and look at the things we enjoyed as children, the magic of youth is gone. The jokes we laughed at seem simplistic and dumb. The graphics are worse than we remember because it's not fresh and our imaginations aren't supplementing them. For the most part, only the people who don't go back and re-watch and replay can remember the magic that was there... but that doesn't mean it isn't there for the next generation to find.

Re:Nostalgia. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43391697)

Frankly if you are trying to imply that Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis wasn't a few teratimes better than that crystal skull fiasco then you need to get a new brain. The stories in those games were maybe not up to the best classics of literature, but they sure beat any modern piece of entertainment since hands feet and other appendages down.

Why? Simple ... (5, Insightful)

tgd (2822) | about a year ago | (#43390787)

Nostalgia.

Everyone doing that right now is getting old. Kids today will be doing the same thing about Gears of War, Borderlands and Splosion Man.

And some of us, who are older, are still doing it about Joust, Donkey Kong and Super Mario Brothers.

Welcome to the pool of people not at the top of the generation queue.

Re:Why? Simple ... (2)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about a year ago | (#43390871)

Partly. There's also more to it. I'm not of the Joust generation, but that was an awesome game. They still make Super Mario Brothers games, and Donkey Kong gets a remake every once in a while.

LucasArts, and earlier Sierra, really dominated the adventure game genre in a time when your game had to be creative because the hardware wasn't good enough to make it shiny.

Re:Why? Simple ... (4, Insightful)

Windwraith (932426) | about a year ago | (#43390881)

I don't think so. I still pick up some of their games every now and then, and they are as rightfully enjoyable as they were back in the date. Even new ones I never got around to try as a kid, I enjoy greatly now.
I think the word "nostalgia" has been shifting meaning as of late. Nostalgia is when you think of that summer in 1989 (random example). Something you only relive through your memories, if you will.
Perhaps if you relived that summer, it wouldn't be as memorable as you remembered.

However, this is videogames! Things you can pick up and play almost anytime. I still pick up games from the Genesis/Megadrive or SNES. I still find new obscure games that I never played as a kid. And know what? I love them! Because they are genuinely good, and nothing else.

This is not nostalgia. This is given credit where it's due.

Re:Why? Simple ... (1)

bfandreas (603438) | about a year ago | (#43391779)

And you still can pick up the old adventures and still enjoy them. They have aged quite well.
X-Wing and Tie Fighter have interestingly also aged quite well.
There are a lot of DOS era games that have aged very well and still are fun. GoG is chock full of them.

Others haven't aged very well at all. Wing Commander(1+2) for example. Back in the day we marvelled at those two. But now...hrm. Nostalgia does indeed have to kick in to enjoy those two.
Master of Magic is also a candidate for "hasn't aged very well". The gameplay and graphics are not the main cause for concern but rather the user interface.
And you can only say that Summer/Winter/California Games were any good when you are in full retard nostalgia mode. They were bad even back in the day. Never go full retard.


...well the surfing bit was fine...

Re:Why? Simple ... (3, Insightful)

Mike Frett (2811077) | about a year ago | (#43390907)

Not really. There is a difference between a good game with lots of playability and a game that can't be played anymore when the DRM servers are turned off. There is a difference between making a good single-player game and a game where the devs can't be bothered with anything but the same dime-a-dozen multi-player.

There is a difference between a finished game and a game that requires DLC. There is a difference between a game company that wants to make games, and a game company that only cares about money. This has nothing to do with that first glass of Milk and Cookies you ever had.

Re:Why? Simple ... (1)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | about a year ago | (#43391799)

There is a difference between a good game with lots of playability and a game that can't be played anymore when the DRM servers are turned off.

I believe you're confusing "lots of playability" with "can always be played." Those two are mutually exclusive.

You can have a good game with lots of playability that relies on servers (World of Warcraft, for example) which will eventually be shut down. You can also have a game with limited game play and no replay value which doesn't rely on servers (like Braid) which will always be available for you to play even though you'll most likely never do it.

The genre since LucasArts. (2)

Molt (116343) | about a year ago | (#43390805)

Equal parts rose-tinted nostalgia and the fact that no-one's moved the genre forward in a major sense since. Telltale have done a good job with their games and have managed to get rid of a lot of the annoyances from the Monkey Island era but it's all been small-steps rather anything major, and I think they've not managed to achieve quite the same level of humour as the old games yet but that could just be me getting old.

Book of Unwritten Tales (4, Interesting)

Luyseyal (3154) | about a year ago | (#43390833)

I know everyone wants to complain about adventure games being dead, but recently I have been enjoying The Book of Unwritten Tales [kingart-games.com] , an amusing point-and-click adventure in the traditional style. Incidentally, it had a Linux port before Valve ported Steam.

Cheers,
-l

Re:Book of Unwritten Tales (4, Informative)

grumbel (592662) | about a year ago | (#43391757)

I know everyone wants to complain about adventure games being dead

The genre had quite a down in the early 2000's, but it hasn't been dead for many years. Not only is TellTale putting out adventure games on a regular basis, we also have Wadjet Eye games, Daedalic, Amanita Design and a whole lot of other companies releasing new games all the time. The Walking Dead even managed to grab numerous Game Of The Year awards. The Daedalic games are probably the closest in style to what LucasArts put out back then.

Because there was no internet... (1)

A Friendly Troll (1017492) | about a year ago | (#43390851)

... and the majority of people couldn't access a BBS. Walkthroughs? Tutorials? If you were lucky, an actual real-life friend might have told you how to win the spitting competition in Monkey Island 2. Or you persevered, having a much greater attention span twenty years ago - uninterrupted by a billion browser tabs, FB notifications, phones ringing, etc. It was just the game and you.

Re:Because there was no internet... (1)

Carrot007 (37198) | about a year ago | (#43391645)

> Because there was no internet...
> ... and the majority of people couldn't access a BBS. Walkthroughs? Tutorials?

Nonsense they were there if you wanted them.

Magazines had huge section on tiops/walkthroughs back in the day. Nowadays they know it is pointless as you have already found one on the internet if you wanted one. Also diskmags had them as well. No need for internet/bbs if you were scared to do it!

Goldeneye (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43390887)

The same reason we talk about Goldeneye as the best multiplayer shooter, good nostalgic moments.

To be fair, the LucasArts adventure games have aged much, much better than most games from the 32 bit / 64 bit era.

Sierra come to mind way before LucasArt. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43390893)

Sierra is spash screen that come to mind way before LucasArt... LucasArt is burn in my memory because it was the first game (X-Wing) that I saw on a 2X CD-Rom computer in a store... But Sierra is the compagny that made most of the adventure game I played.

Re:Sierra come to mind way before LucasArt. (1)

calgar99 (856142) | about a year ago | (#43391411)

Sierra is spash screen that come to mind way before LucasArt... LucasArt is burn in my memory because it was the first game (X-Wing) that I saw on a 2X CD-Rom computer in a store... But Sierra is the compagny that made most of the adventure game I played.

This exactly. X-Wing was a great game (how many 3.5" floppies did it have?). I was also uber impressed by the cut scenes with voiced dialog. And then to hear the soundtrack (with gameplay-matched music) on my friend's PC with wavetable synth... oh, it was glorious! And yet, when I pull out DOSBox, I'm not playing X-Wing (who wants to calibrate an old analog joystick?). I'm playing any of the Sierra quest-series games, or Leisure Suit Larry. (Plug for LSL: Reloaded! I can't wait!)

It's because they were funny (1)

jader3rd (2222716) | about a year ago | (#43390957)

The LucasArts point and click games were generally funny. I can't think of any other games being funny. Maybe it's because so many games are made in Japan, and Eastern humor is different than Western humor, but I can't think of a any game having even generated a chuckle out of me since playing the LucasArts games. Even the Monkey Island Tales, while somewhat entertaining, wouldn't be described as funny.

Re:It's because they were funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43391605)

I love the LucasArts games for the same reason you do, but I have to disagree with your assertion that Japanese games tend to be humourless (or contain humour that's incomprehensible to us). The N64 Zelda games were quite funny, as were some of the earlier SNES RPG games.

Why do we still talk about them? (3, Insightful)

Guru80 (1579277) | about a year ago | (#43390965)

Simple..because LucasArts just got canned for exactly what is mentioned...they haven't produced much that's appealing in a decade. Sure, those games were fun and mind-blowingly fun when they came out but I assure you, nobody I know "still talks about them" except in a moment of nostalgia and that's no different than any other game from the first time we played Pong right up to recent years.

Re:Why do we still talk about them? (1)

Guru80 (1579277) | about a year ago | (#43391009)

*Disregard one fun or the other in the above comment ;-)

Re:Why do we still talk about them? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43391067)

I disagree. People still play them, and talk about them. Monkey Island finally got a recent sequel, but it had to be done by TellTale since LucasArts had no one to do it in house.

Had LucasArts made those games instead of licensing out more and more Star Wars mmorpgs it might have survived.

Grim Fandango (5, Insightful)

MetricT (128876) | about a year ago | (#43391001)

In the 30+ years I've been gaming, Grim Fandango was the best game I ever played. Such an absolute joy, and an ending that was worth the journey.

If I had to choose between Grim Fandango 2 and Half-Life 3, GF2 it would be.

Re:Grim Fandango (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43391241)

The controls got on my nerves so bad, I never could make myself finish Grim Fandango.

Why are old LucasArt's games better? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43391021)

Because you were younger

Wow. (1)

tqk (413719) | about a year ago | (#43391125)

They haven't released much that's at all memorable in ten to fifteen years, yet they're only now being handed pink slips? Way to screw the pooch! I'm impressed! How do we find sinecures like that, or do they only exist in corporate boards of directors these days? Fifteen years of no, "What have you done for us lately?", and they got away with it (no lawsuits & etc)? That's pretty amazing.

Bleedin' obvious answer (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#43391135)

First, because they were good. Second, because "we" - as in someone, somewhere - are always talking about everyone's old games. Thirdly, because they've just been closed down so they're topical (sorry, "trending"). Oh yeah, and fourthly, because Slashdot are click whores.

What Lucas Arts games? (1)

David_Hart (1184661) | about a year ago | (#43391207)

Seriously, I guess I must have missed something because I was too busy playing advanced (for the time) FPS games such as Wolfenstein, DOOM, Quake, Unreal, Diablo, Baldur's Gate, Fallout, and various AD&D style RPGs. Prior to this I had played the various Sierra games as well as the Tex Murphy series (now that was a funny game).

I chalk this up to nostalgia, rather than the games being better than any other games from the same era.

Re:What Lucas Arts games? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year ago | (#43391367)

I played all those games too, but the Lucas arts games like X-Wing series, Day of the Tentacle, Grim Fandango, and Monkey Island series were top notch. Sam & Max were close to top notch, but were probably only on par with Doom as far as overall fun goes. BTW, you also missed UFO/XCOM, Civ, MOO, MOM, Infocom games, and many many more.

Re:What Lucas Arts games? (4, Insightful)

grumbel (592662) | about a year ago | (#43391597)

I chalk this up to nostalgia, rather than the games being better than any other games from the same era.

While Sierra was still trying to kill you in dozens of more or less "funny" ways and allowed you to end up in dead ends, LucasArts practiced essentially modern game design practices and made sure that you couldn't get stuck into dead ends, get killed or otherwise get your gaming experience ruined by obtuse puzzle design. I think that is the main reason why those LucasArts game are so fondly remembered and Sierra not quite so much. When you load up an old LucasArts adventure today it essentially plays not much different then a modern one would, the interface is clean and polished and the game design very straight forward without any ugly surprises. When you load up most other games of that time you are greeted with a rather obtuse interface, unclear game rules and other problems that just make those old games far less tolerable in modern times.

It of course also helps that the games are just damn good, with rememberable characters, great graphics, voice acting and all that.

Rescue on Fractalus (1)

Mike Morgan (9565) | about a year ago | (#43391221)

The first two games I ever played from LucasArts (Lucasfilm Games at the time) were Rescue on Fractalus [wikipedia.org] and Koronis Rift [wikipedia.org] . They were two amazingly well done pieces of work considering the hardware that it had to run on (Atari 800XL). I always had high expectations from LucasArts after playing the crap out of these two games for years.

Replaying value (3, Interesting)

ScaledLizard (1430209) | about a year ago | (#43391233)

Many games are too boring to play to the end even once. They lack story, or the challenges are repetitive in nature (Shoot that alien! Now shoot that alien! And that must be an entirely different alien, even though it looks exactly like those I shot before it, but it's still moving!...)

It is an interesting challenge to see whether you still remember the solutions to all the puzzles in the LucasArts games. If you do, playing these games is like participating in an interactive movie, but often with way more alternatives. I still like exploring large and complex environments when I find the time. Leave linear first person shooters to the masses and give me a new Fallout, Wasteland, or Elder Scrolls. Zak Mc Kracken 3D?

The LucasArts games were made with love and programmed thoroughly. I mean, while many games in that era were difficult to set up, the LucasArts games usually scaled better with faster hardware and enjoyed patches for years, long after other manufacturers would have dropped similar games. Also, the philosophy of death-free play that encouraged explorative playing style without a gazillion load-attempt-reload. The LucasArts games still serve as an ideal that is difficult to reach for many productions even despite much larger costs.

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