Author Archives: Bruiser

What can you tell me about Voodoo?

Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers 20th-anniversary edition

I’m going to suggest playing a game with glaring, nasty flaws that are inexcusable in every year that it was relevant.

1993’s Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers uses New Orleans as a backdrop for horror and mystery with Southern Gothic flavor. You play Gabriel Knight, a busted fiction author and proprietor of a rare bookstore in the French Quarter. Together with the research assistant you constantly sexually harass, you set out on a path to solving a series of murders in 1993 and discover your twisted origins.

 In 2014, it got a facelift with an HD remaster, which is the version I played. Gabriel Knight was a great adventure game, to begin with, and the 2014 version builds on that by removing the pixel hunting rampant in the original version. The voice acting was overhauled from the ground up, and the original cast is sorely missed. I mean, get a load of this cast: Tim Curry, Mark Hamill, Michael Dorn, Leah Remini… It’s a shame they couldn’t clean the audio up because I want to play Tim Curry, grilling Worf about Voodoo Murder. The new voice acting is pretty good, for what it’s worth.

The story is great, the graphics are (of course) a huge improvement of over the original, but the entire experience is marred by character dialog; specifically, Gabriel’s.

Holy shit, y’all, this is pretty bad. Gabe leers at every female character and straight-up sexually harasses every single one. More often than not, he strikes out for comedy’s sake- but it simply doesn’t have a place in 2020, 2014, or even in 1994 when the game was initially released. It crosses the line in the first 30 seconds of the game and just keeps on truckin’ into the egregious. I get where we’re supposed to be going with this… a guy who just can’t get lucky. But other games manage to accomplish this without calling a female cop “sweetie” and talking about how she fills out her uniform (yes, seriously). It’s a script cut right out of the early ’90s and slapped into a modern point-and-click adventure.

BIG OOF

Why didn’t they change this part of the dialog? The sexist comments don’t progress the story and only make the main character an unsympathetic creep. It boggles my mind that a studio would expend the resources on rebuilding a game from the ground up but fail to fix or even recognize the worst part about it. Someone could argue that it’s a period piece, and it’s part of the character’s DNA, but… oof. You can do it without having him two steps from whipping his dick out at the beginning of every conversation.

If you can see past that, then you’ll find a great adventure game. Both the original and 20th-anniversary edition can be found cheap on GOG, and are both definitely worth checking out.

The great Trek Game Review

This Train is bound for glory, this train…

We’re planning an episode of our award winning Podcast (Trek by the Numbers) that deals exclusively with classic Trek games! And in order to do that, yours truly has to play through them.

Oh my.

We’re going to start with Star Trek: Star Fleet Academy. Reviews and maybe some LP’s will be posted here as a companion to the podcast episode which will come later. So watch this space for the hottest takes on 30 year old Star Trek games.

That’s very much what I want.

Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars

We’ll always have Paris…

When you look up lists of point and click adventures to play and write about for your blog that no one reads, the Broken Sword series is a name that keeps popping up. I have to admit that I had never heard of the game and, $5.99 on GOG later, I was ready to rectify that. And boy am I glad that I did.

1996 Me would have died.

We’re going to be playing through the Director’s Cut version of the game (the only version of the first game available on GOG or Steam). In doing research on this game, I found out that it was available on every platform… I’m not joking- this game is like the DOOM of point and click adventure games. When it came out, it was available for Windows, Mac, Playstation, GBA, Palm OS, and Windows Mobile.

Told you.

Upon launching, there are three things that set this title apart from your typical 90’s point and click. The first thing that strikes you is the quality of animation. The character animations during cut scenes are the same kinds you would find in an episode of Archer. In game animation uses a cartoon style to create a smooth, visually appealing environment that your character lives in.

The second thing you’ll notice is the quality of voice acting. I’m a huge voice acting nerd, and bad voice acting takes me right out of a game. A notable example for 90’s point and clicks would be “Flight of the Amazon Queen” which is being played currently for a review. You combine this with the excellent score from composer Barrington Pheloung, you’re in for a great time.

…Lana??

The game opens up with the Nico receiving an invitation from a french media mogul who may or may not have known her father. After doing some reading, it appears that this prologue section is only found in the Director’s Cut version of the game. All other versions pick up with the main character George Stobbart, and American Tourist that survives a terrorist attack perpetrated by a costumed assassin. What ensues is an adventure for the ages as George and Nico solve try to outwit the costume killer and get dragged into a conspiracy with the Knights Templar.

If you’re one of the 8 people who haven’t checked this game out, you really need to. It’s a great introduction to the point and click genre.

Broken Sword is available on GOG, Steam, PalmOS, Windows CE, and Gucci SmartToilet.

3 Years Later…

I get an automated email once a year informing me that my domain has auto-renewed and thanking me for my business. I decided to log in for the first time since 2016 and take a look.

Eeesh.

At the time of that post, I was about to quit my dead end and abusive job and go back to finish my bachelor’s degree. Since then, I’ve graduated, moved to an entirely different area, and am halfway through graduate school. Oh, and we also started a podcast. Life has gotten infinitely better since then, and I’ve rediscovered this site. As for the old posts, I’m not going to take them down. I think if you look at those, you can see the makings of our podcast… kinda? It’s hard to quantify. I’m most proud of the Be A Better Person videos. Hopefully we can do more.


I want to do something more with this site. I think I want to talk about life and use my love for gaming as a framing device. Stupid? Maybe. Overdone? Definitely. But I don’t care. This one is for me. On the off chance that people show up and start reading, then okay.

Jesus, I need a new header image.

Let us Pray: Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II

It’s times like these that I remember my papaw’s words. He said to me, “Son, you’ve got to know when to hold ’em. Know when to fold ’em. Know when to stop trying to make indie point and click games interesting. Know when to run.”

It is with a heavy heart that I announce the abandonment of the Blackwell Legacy LP. I tried to make it funny and interesting- but I just don’t have the chops for it.

With that being said, Laz (and maybe a special guest!) and I are currently working on an LP for Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II. The FMV sequences are what really make this game a National Treasure. Here’s our trailer for it:

8 pages of notes and only two Jeff Lynne jokes…

We put up the first video for our new series yesterday, and it honestly did way better than I expected. So well, in fact, that we started work on our 2nd video (which should be finished by Friday). It’s always been easy for me to start new projects, but actually finishing them is a different matter entirely. And maybe that’s something you can relate to…

I always seem to get really excited about the next big thing, start working on it, and almost immediately drop it. Right now, for example, I’m staring at 7 posts in the drafts folder. At home, I’ve got scale models stacked up, and un-assembled from when that was going to be my thing. Walking through my storage unit is like walking through a mass grave of half finished ideas and hobbies that never got off the ground.

I don’t know if this is going to take off, or if it’s going to end up like so many other [thing’s I wanted to do]. The only thing I know is- right now, here today, I’m excited to make more riffs with my friends. I’m happy writing jokes and helping to put something together that I think is going to be really cool. I’ve got 8 pages of notes and only two Jeff Lynne jokes- and that’s good enough for me. God willing and Jesus tarries, that’ll be good enough for you too.