Space Quest 3

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  • Tijn
    Tijn
    Keymaster
    Podcaster
    #5392

    Ok so I hadn’t really planned this, but I dove straight into SQ3 after beating SQ2 yesterday and, well… I also finished that one now haha

    I can see why this game is a favourite among fans. There are several things which make this game stand out. Lots of fun pop culture references, lots of different places to go. It’s really cool you have your own ship for the first time to go where ever you want to go. It’s also perhaps the first game to have the complete Space Quest “lore” in place, with the Astro Chicken game and everything.

    It also looks & sounds fantastic, as this is the first entry in the series with sound card support. Also the first one to support point & click, although I hardly touched the mouse and used the same method of input as the previous games tbh

    So yeah, all in all pretty fantastic, this one. Looking forward to the next one!

    rnlf
    rnlf
    Keymaster
    Podcaster
    #5393

    Yeah, I played entirely without mouse. Too used to navigating with the cursor keys now.

    This one appears to have hardly any softlocks, which is great. You know immediately when you messed up. The art is brilliant, I’d almost say this is peak 8088 stuff.

    All in all this one was a lot of fun, even if half the game you don’t know what you’re supposed to do, which made me lack a bit of motivation to do on.

    I think this is the first one, that is beatable in a reasonable amount of time even without hints.

    Pix
    Pix
    Participant
    Podcaster
    #5394

    Did you guys find the encoded message in the astro chicken game? That’s where you got the main quest as such but it was really easy to miss. I know I never found it the first time.

    rnlf
    rnlf
    Keymaster
    Podcaster
    #5395

    No, I found it. But you can do a lot before knowing what or why you are doing it. You escape from the freighter, then you have three places to visit, which leaves you a bit in limbo for a while.

    Tijn
    Tijn
    Keymaster
    Podcaster
    #5396

    Yeah, I found it too. I thought you had to win at the Astro Chicken game, but actually I got the message after messing up repeatedly.

    watchful
    watchful
    Participant
    #5406

    It’s impressive how far they took the EGA graphics and so early on. Looks like first game was impressive for its time and second and third kept advancing it. At first I didn’t even realize this third game was EGA.

    Tijn
    Tijn
    Keymaster
    Podcaster
    #5422

    Yeah, this might be my favourite looking game in the whole series tbh. Although I personally am also very charmed by SQ2’s crude double-pixel AGI graphics.

    I don’t particularly mind the later VGA games either, I think it all looks fine and works well enough.

    But this “clean EGA” style of SQ3 definitely is very well done and looks amazing.

    TigerQuoll
    TigerQuoll
    Participant
    Podcaster
    #5433

    So after playing the first three games, this is my general impression:
    While the gameplay is definitely better in number 3, I like the story, atmosphere and “vibe” of the first two way better. I’ve always been a fan of star-wars-like, dirty, low-fi, lived-in space opera universes, and to me the chunkier graphics of the earlier games achieves this better. I do understand that this is totally my opinion, and I will admit I’m impressed by the quality of the EGA graphics in the 3rd game. I also appreciate that it now has proper music and sound (though I wish there could have been even more of it)

    Now for the bad:
    I’m probably on my own on this one, but I found the story, plot and setting of the 3rd game totally insufferable. The entire premise is based on a smug, self-referential in-joke, and we’re not given any actual in-game reason to care about the two dudes we’re supposed to rescue. It just feels completely un-earned that Wilco risks his life for two ungrateful strangers just because we as the audience know that they’re ham-fisted stand-ins for the game designers.
    The first two games, despite the occasional postmodern joke thrown in, felt earnest and sincere. Pirates of Pestulon on the other hand was just about the epitome of insincere, self-satisfied, ironically ironic post-post-modernism.

    (OK, re-reading that I realise I sound overly savage, hehe. But I stand by it. I do want to reiterate the gameplay was good and fresh with some great new ideas and there were some good locations and puzzles and sequences. It’s just the story and tone of the game taken as a whole that I don’t like.)

    Tijn
    Tijn
    Keymaster
    Podcaster
    #5434

    Haha, I think this is totally fair, TigerQuoll. It *is* all a big in-joke. It *doesn’t* make any narrative sense at all. But! Honestly… the fact this whole game is a big joke is kinda funny to me.

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