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Forums > Submission Feedback > zippdementia's Myst review

This thread is in response to a review for Myst on the Miscellaneous. You are encouraged to view the review in a new window before reading this thread.

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Author: Lewis
Posted: March 17, 2010 (06:19 PM)
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You must be bloody bonkers!


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: March 17, 2010 (06:25 PM)
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Yes, sir!


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: randxian
Posted: March 18, 2010 (06:54 PM)
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LOL!


I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?


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Author: LowerStreetBlues
Posted: March 18, 2010 (10:42 PM)
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Is Windows '94 a clever jab or poor memory?


My message board signature!


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: March 18, 2010 (10:51 PM)
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Clever jab. Perhaps too obscure, though.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: jerec
Posted: March 19, 2010 (05:42 AM)
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Myst was a really humbling experience. Dad got it for his computer back in the day. I was young then, and not that much of a gamer yet, so I'd just wander around the island tinkering with things, never making any progress. Dad never made much progress either until he came home with a walkthrough he'd printed off the internet. He finished it then never went back.

I tried the game about 7 or 8 years ago, when I was a full-fledged gamer, thinking I could get through it without any walkthrough. But I didn't. Couldn't.

I think that's why people hate Myst. It's easier to hate it and call it a stupid game than just admit it DEFEATED you. I think if it was the only game you owned and you had all the time in the world, you'd be able to beat it. But back then I had Sim City 2000 and a bunch of other games that gave me instant gratification.

I keep thinking one day I'll play Myst, and solve it. But I know I never will.


I can avoid death by not having a life.


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Author: Lewis
Posted: March 19, 2010 (07:43 AM)
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It's easy to say the game is stupid and hateful, and not just that it defeated you, because its puzzle logic is so hopelessly ridiculous. A good adventure game gives you a clear goal, with the puzzle being in how you achieve that goal. Myst didn't give you goals. It just gave you levers and buttons, and no feedback as to what they were actually for until eventually you worked it out by mistake and the next bit of the story explained why you had to do that in the first place. Rubbish, unfair, backwards design.


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Author: Suskie
Posted: March 19, 2010 (08:14 AM)
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I'm gonna have to agree. I don't remember if I ever finished this game, but I did wind up using a guide extensively. Thing is, if a puzzle-oriented game is genuinely well designed, it makes me feel guilty for not having solved its riddles on my own after I've looked up the answers. Myst never gave me that. There were no "Oh, of course that's what I was supposed to do!" moments. Like Lewis said, all the game does is drop you in front of a bunch of levers and dials that make noises when you click on them.

I played Myst when I was much younger (it came free with my family's PC in, what, 1997?) and I think it's the primary reason I hate adventure games to this day. Though it's reassuring to see that plenty of the people who typically love this sort of thing acknowledge that Myst is crap.

On a side note, my mother likes this game.


You exist because we allow it. And you will end because we demand it.


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: March 19, 2010 (10:27 AM)
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My disdain for the game has nothing to do with being defeated. I didn't like Myst because it was brown. It didn't have the scrolling of a dungeoncrawler. There were no monster encounters. No interesting people to talk to. It's a very dull game that could only be redeemed by being an altogether different game.

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: March 19, 2010 (11:52 AM)
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I had no trouble with Myst.

Riven, on the other hand....


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: randxian
Posted: March 19, 2010 (05:41 PM)
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Maybe it's not the best video game of all time. Maybe it really isn't very good. Either way, I think some of you are missing the point.

The whole goal is to simply explore the island and enjoy the sights and sounds. Personally, I enjoyed the non-linear aspect and how you were able to explore the island at will, granted you could solve the problems. If I remember correctly, there is nothing stopping you from exploring the individual islands in any order you wish. The game is absolute freedom. No time limits. You are free to explore, experiment, and learn because you don't have to worry about dying. Sure, the game may not help you, but it doesn't punish you either.

If you get in too big of a hurry and only care about beating it, then yes, it's going to come off as a terrible game. If you take your time and enjoy everything it has to offer, then it's a unique gaming experience. The idea is to play with all the levers and buttons until it starts to eventaully make sense. Notice I said unique, not necessarily good. Personally, I think it's a good game, but I can understand why it may not be everybody's cup of tea.

Maybe it's just my personality. I don't like to hurry. I don't like overly stressful games. I like games that let the player fiddle around and experiment without consequences. Myst offers all that.


I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?


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Author: bloomer
Posted: March 19, 2010 (06:51 PM)
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Most people would say broadly that genres of games have improved over the history of videogaming from their earliest forms. Adventure games (IE solve a series of puzzles in a world to progress, not in real time, and without action) became very good very quickly in the very beginning. Then there was King's Quest, and then there was Myst, two mighty strides backwards in my book.

People aren't still making games like King's Quest, but they are still making games like Myst. It's interesting that a game this reviled for the kinds of reasons Suskie and Lewis mentioned, which is basically how I feel about it too, became a blueprint for the delivery of commercial adventure games. The games got a lot more beautiful than Myst, but the gameplay was permanently stymied. I played a bunch of those Lovecraft inspired point and clickers in the early noughties, and the graphics were awesome, and they should have had a bunch of forward propulsion, but they were vile and maddening to play.

King's Quest removed written English from the presentation of the gameworld, and Myst removed typed English as the means of interacting with it. Bizarrely, I don't think anyone has replaced those elements with things that work anywhere near as well. They solved a million conceptual problems to do with the transparency of the gameworld and the player's sense of agency and purpose, that anyone who has tediously dragged a mouse over a graphic looking for stupid hotspots or gettable items could appreciate.


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: March 19, 2010 (09:42 PM)
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Myst had a beauty all its own, though. As Randxian pointed out, it was a slow-me-down kind of beauty that let you look around at the worlds you ended up in and think... "what if?" For me it was the backyard treehouse I never had come to life... the mystery of the dry lake in the graveyard across the street made explorable... it was a chance to witness the imaginations of two brothers who sat down to make a game.

I've heard a lot of hate for Myst on this site, but everywhere else I go people still love it. It's one of the best selling games of all time, despite little advertisment, and has spawned many sequels that all went on to do well. Sales don't make a game great, but I think it's an indicator that there's more there than is being given credit.

I also think maybe you guys looked at it too much like something to be conquered... to be beaten. It was, and I know some people hate this, meant to be an experience. However cliche that may sound today, at the time it was nearly unheard of. That's what made Myst special.

Like today, some people love EXPERIENCE games... others... well... don't.

That said, if you don't have that feeling, that love, for the game... you never will. My review tries to capture that.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: randxian
Posted: March 20, 2010 (12:12 AM)
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I also think maybe you guys looked at it too much like something to be conquered... to be beaten. It was, and I know some people hate this, meant to be an experience.

Exactly. If you approach it with a "I must conquer this game" attitude, you simply won't get much out of it.

But I suppose given it is a completely different dynamic, it may not be for everyone.


I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?


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