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Tantrix: I played it and I didn't think it sucked. I thought it was one of the best C&P-Adventures I ever played. It was innovative and had really nice ideas. Then again, I wasn't that of a PC player back in 1999 so I don't have the nostalgia bias with it and my game never crashed on my Comp.
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hedwards: I agree, I played through a pirated copy because at that time I couldn't find a legit version. I liked it so much that when I saw it on gog I snapped it up. Bugs aside, it's a really gripping game, the first time I played it, I was pretty much only playing it.

My main gripe is that the game is too short, I played through it in like 2 days, but I found the whole thing to be quite well thought out and compelling. But then again, I didn't spend a lot of time nitpicking the game play choices.
Well put on both counts. I also enjoyed the whole experience years ago when I played the game (picked it up on a whim in the store - Circuit City - shows my age I guess).... bought on GOG, but haven't played it again yet so I hope no bugs.
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hedwards: I agree, I played through a pirated copy because at that time I couldn't find a legit version. I liked it so much that when I saw it on gog I snapped it up. Bugs aside, it's a really gripping game, the first time I played it, I was pretty much only playing it.

My main gripe is that the game is too short, I played through it in like 2 days, but I found the whole thing to be quite well thought out and compelling. But then again, I didn't spend a lot of time nitpicking the game play choices.
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rjspring: Well put on both counts. I also enjoyed the whole experience years ago when I played the game (picked it up on a whim in the store - Circuit City - shows my age I guess).... bought on GOG, but haven't played it again yet so I hope no bugs.
Take a look through the subforum, I think the main problem seems to be that it works reasonably well with the latest patches on a single core processor, something about moving to multicore caused it start misbehaving. Some games of that vintage seem to have issues with that sort of thing.
Just finished the game. I agree that the Aztec level was rather bad, and the walking space of everyone except the cyclops was way too slow. However I still loved the game. Even though I found the final ending slightly underwhelming (was expecting a much larger conspiracy), I thought it was a pretty good twist that even the asylum turned out to be nothing more then a hallucination.
First two levels were great, setting a very creepy and mysterious tone. The next few levels were pretty meh, but still sort of creepy, and forgivable if the story had picked back up. The cyclops level is what really lost me, but I was hoping the game would get back to business after that level was over. The morgue was mediocre, but fine for a gateway level. However, once I was transported to the aztec level, I knew I was done with the game. I have no interest in playing through any more levels in a game that can't make up its mind wtf it wants to be. Glad some folks liked it, I simply didn't.
I disagree. I think it is a good old game.

I do agree that the developers must have run out of creative steam on the endgame levels, overall.

If you've seen one psychological horror story in any media in the past 80 years, you probably saw the ending coming from the end of Chapter 2. But I enjoy that kind of story anyway.
Post edited December 15, 2011 by Tesschu
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Tesschu: If you've seen one psychological horror story in any media in the past 80 years, you probably saw the ending coming from the end of Chapter 2. But I enjoy that kind of story anyway.
Same here. :) The overall story is one huge cliché but it didn't keep Sanitarium from being one of the best gaming experiences I've ever had.
Post edited April 16, 2012 by F4LL0UT
I've recently finished this game and liked it, but I was expecting it to be much better experience.
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Chihaya: I finally finished Sanitarium for the first time in 12 years. I had played with my friend's copy 12 years ago and only played the first three chapters, wondering how it would have ended countless times.

Now that I've completed it I can't help being underwhelmed. This is clear that the designers wanted to make a game with the surreal atmosphere of Jacob's Ladder but without any of the writing skills and coherence to go with it. The first two chapters are the best parts of the game, and then it goes progressively downhill from there.
Well I couldn't disagree more. I thought the writing was superb, and coherent through all the chapters. The story is not incoherent. The presentation of the story is. And that was a great artistic and design decision. Maybe you just didn't get it? There are a lot of subtle details which, if understood correctly, build up to a rich experience of the peculiar way reality and fiction, past and present are mixed in the mind of the protagonist.

Sure, Aztec chapter had some annoying elements, but which chapter didn't? I wished for an ability to run, for example.
But you said it yourself, it disappointed you after 12 years. Seriously, could anything live up to expectations and nostalgia nourished for so long? :)

I played the game for the first time ever just a month ago (when I discovered it on GoG), and finished it in two sittings. Did someone mention the term cliche? I don't think it means what you think it means :D
This game has me a throe of mixed feelings the first time I beat it and thought about it, from genuine suspense and crepiness of the carnival level and children level all the way to wtf how do aztecs get involved. I get it, it was all a psychodelic hallucination from the drugs in a hospital and got wierder as the story progressed but when the antagonist was revealed it was all a big turn off from the story and felt like I made a journey for nothing. I still dont know how i feel about it. Does any else feel the same way?
Sorry for necroing this thread, but I finished the game yesterday and share most of the sentiments of the OP. Although I didn't think the game was overall that terrible, it was just terribly mediocre- writing, puzzles, atmosphere, story, I found all of these lacking.

I did enjoy the game, however, up until the cyclops part, at which point the game just fell apart. I understand that Grimwall was a comic that Max had read as a child, but that was a very weak excuse to link such an obscure level to the events in his career. The previous two levels had a much stronger connection to his personal life and to his pursuit for the cure for DNAV. I suppose the Aztec level did make some sense in the context of the game, even if the explanation for it was very vague and the writers had clearly ran out of creativity by this time. The level itself was uninspired and boring, not to mention that I find depicting ancient cultures who have no connection to Germanic languages as speakers of English rather silly and a bit corny. The Gauntlet I found alright actually, but then they just had to wrap the whole thing up with a very cheesy "boss fight", which really made the whole thing look incredibly immature for a game that tried very hard to present itself as a serious psycho-horror drama.

The story was easily predictable and there was no big surprise or revelation at the end which was strengthened by the fact that Max and Morgan were cardboard cutouts of a "good guy" and a "bad guy". The CGI movies that kept popping up all the time really broke the flow of the game as well.

The puzzles were alright, all of them were rather easy compared to most of the games in the genre, which was fine with me, as I can enjoy an adventure without mind-bending puzzles, but none of them had much novelty to them either, even compared to other games from that era.

All-in-all, I would not recommend this game to anyone. In my book Silent Hill 2 remains the most ambitious psychological horror game.
Post edited January 05, 2013 by szablev
Well, I just finished it today. You guys have made most of the points I would make already. I enjoyed it, but as other have mentioned, the navigation was a real pain in the ass. It had me sighing when I was walking around. It got to the point that I just wanted to finish the game so I used a walkthrough. To avoid that damn crawling around everywhere. I'm also pretty shitty at P&C adventure games.

I enjoyed the story for the most part. Yeah, there were a few "what the hell?" moments, particularly with the cyclops level. It wasn't just that it was "weird," as I had allowed myself to expect it, but it as if the whole tone shifted. In hindsight, I realize what they were doing, of course, but it still felt jarring and silly. I actually found the Aztec stuff okay by comparison to the sci-fi level. All in all, if I have a buddy looking for a decent, classic adventure game I'd recommend it with some caveats. 7/10 for me.