I kind of gathered the negatives of the review to write my thoughts on them. The review left me with a bitter taste while the game actually left me with a happy feeling and this saddens me a bit.
Though the 3D character models are also fairly well done, especially the main characters, they don't really get to show off their full potential due to a lack of animation and close-ups.
While playing I missed close-ups of conversations with lip-sync and acting from the characters.This would make it a much better game.
...creepy 3D head shot of the character speaking, with no facial animation beyond basic lip sync.
It was a bit creepy.It was obviously used as a easy replacement to close-ups of conversations which would have required a lot more work.It kind of reminded me of gk1 dialog interface though there it had somehow worked better.
Budget may have been an issue and these cut scenes are certainly better than nothing, but they often miss their mark, particularly considering the dramatic story moments they're meant to communicate.
I actually think that with this kind of drawings a lot more emotion can be brought in than with 3d animation.3d can work in very high budget productions but I can't recall of a game where the emotions conveyed(is this the right word??) by the 3d models really worked for me.
Of course it's questionable whether it can work without animation and lip-syncing.In my opinion everything is possible,art has no limits in what you can or cannot do.Of course whether it will or not work in the end depends on how well you conceive what you do and how much work you put on it.
For me it worked well at points and from what I saw the first cut scenes had a lot more work in them than later in the game.The meeting of David and Sam had extra layers of work(refined shadows and much more polishing) on the drawings.
Overall it sure needed more work and thought(probably time is the right word here)and it could really be art.I really appreciate the direction and feel anything hand-drawn is much more warm and lively than 3d.(except if it's pixar of course but something like that needs endless hours of work)
The diaries have tabs to navigate from chapter to chapter, but to find a specific comment you have to click through each page within a chapter, which is tedious enough to make it impractical.
Really can't tell why this was left like that although that kind of makes it a diary(even thought diaries don't really have records of conversations in such a way)
The book itself is pretty cheesy, with the trick descriptions reading as if they were written specifically for those moments in the game, rather than being legitimate source material that Sam must creatively apply to the situations she's in.
I was often left wondering why Sam couldn't have taken a less circuitous route to get what she wanted.
I was obviously decided that the magic tricks would replace story driven puzzles in the game which could actually be good if any thought was involved in doing the tricks.
The only times I got really stuck, it was because I'd missed a hotspot or minor interaction that triggered the next scene. In fact, this is one thing Gray Matter gets very wrong. There are far too many instances of the game artificially progressing—or failing to progress—based on the assumption that the player will look at items or visit locations in a specific order.
I was kind of lucky here,I never got stuck somewhere with the added help of the interface such as the color scheme in the map.I felt things progressed in a logical way.
These are design and programming faults that along with other things makes you think whether dtp really wanted to release the game now or they were just pressed to.Of course gray matter was in the works for years so my guess is that behind the scenes things where not really going all those years.
Updates will fix some bugs hopefully I guess.
In spite of an awkward instance of product placement, when David recalls listening to their CD with Laura
This can be seen that way I guess but David thinking that they were listening to The Scarlet Furies that day feels quite natural to me.I can remember of a good time with a girl and remember that we were listening to Massive Attack.Much more so with David who is trying to remember every little detail of his time with Laura.
Voice performances range from excellent to awful.
...some of her lines are a tad too enthusiastic for her jaded persona... ("The Daedalus Club London! I will get there!")
Everyone has things that is a "tad too enthusiastic" about.It goes with her age and shows something about her character.Also this is something she is thinking.
(Edited by theozero at 10:26 pm on Jan. 1, 2011)
some of my music http://alonetone.com/theokouroumlis/tracks