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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Puzzle Quest: Galactrix - Review @ Gamespot

Default Puzzle Quest: Galactrix - Review @ Gamespot

March 6th, 2009, 18:08
Gamespot is much less taken with Infinitive Interactive's recent entry in the Puzzle Quest series, Galactrix,than most of the reviews we've seen so far, scoring the game as 'mediocre' at 5.5/10:
Like its predecessor, Puzzle Quest: Galactrix is a role-playing game of sorts in which turn-based battles play out on something resembling a Bejeweled board. Galactrix takes Puzzle Quest out of its original fantasy setting into the realm of sci-fi and, at first glance, it appears to retain and improve on much of what made the first game great. The new hexagonal playing field with variable gravity initially feel like an exciting innovation, but ultimately they're the game's undoing because blind luck now plays much too big a part in determining the outcome of almost every encounter…
…When you're not doing battle against space pirates or any of the other factions that inhabit the Galactrix universe, you're using the same hexagonal playing field to unlock leapgates between solar systems, as well as crafting items, mining asteroids, and even haggling with shopkeepers. In short, you spend almost all of your time doing the same thing. Every activity has its own set of rules…but they all feel very similar, and most suffer from the same dependence on luck that the battles do.
The lack of gameplay variety would be easier to stomach if there was a compelling story to justify the time that you spend navigating the huge galactic map and doing battle with most of the races that you encounter, but you won't find one here.
Conclusion:
Puzzle Quest: Galactrix should have been every bit as special as its predecessor, but whereas that game's randomness was only a mild irritation when it worked against you, here it ruins the game regardless of whether or not you're losing. It's true that not every battle is decided on luck, but enough of them are that frustration will set in before you're even close to investing the tens of hours that it takes to get through the story.
More information.

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March 6th, 2009, 18:08
Don't usually comment first on my own newsbits, but this review seems slightly out of line with most others, and somehow expecting this game to have an epic storyline seems out of key with what the series does best, which is not exactly world class dialogue a la Planescape. . He also seems really upset about how your character is too opportunistic, a-moral and 'a jerk.'

I haven't played it yet, though—still, strange review. Anyone who's playing the game agree?

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March 6th, 2009, 18:13
Not played the game but the thing that jumps out from the bit quoted is his anger at the excessive randomness of the game. Judging by the differences with other reviewers at first glance it seems like he's just not worked out the system and is calling it randomness and slating the game for it.
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March 6th, 2009, 18:16
While luck certainly plays into the game more than the original, I'm not sure it's as dominant as the reviewer states. As you get more experienced and "see the board" better, you realize that push and pull make a huge difference. Taking full advantage of that, you can increase your chances of getting beneficial drops as well as decrease the AI's chances of doing the same.

At the moment, my biggest complaint is with the gate hacking—you lose far too much time watching matches clear out, particularly with cascades. I had a cascade take 10 seconds without getting any matches of the color I needed. That's a lot of time to lose, sitting and waiting for your chance to do something.

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March 6th, 2009, 18:16
I only use gamespot now for see Screen Shots, after all that happened there, i can trust gamespot doing reviws anymore….
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March 6th, 2009, 18:19
Well, many's the time I've slammed the mouse down in disgust with Puzzle Quest so I understand the frustration, but that randomness also used to occasionally work in one's one favor, too, so it was overall something of a wash.

Perhaps in this game, adding as it does so many ways to slide in the gems, it isn't balanced as well. I would think you could still figure out a strategy, though.

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March 6th, 2009, 18:22
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
While luck certainly plays into the game more than the original, I'm not sure it's as dominant as the reviewer states. As you get more experienced and "see the board" better, you realize that push and pull make a huge difference. Taking full advantage of that, you can increase your chances of getting beneficial drops as well as decrease the AI's chances of doing the same.
Yeah, that's what I was trying to say.

At the moment, my biggest complaint is with the gate hacking—you lose far too much time watching matches clear out, particularly with cascades. I had a cascade take 10 seconds without getting any matches of the color I needed. That's a lot of time to lose, sitting and waiting for your chance to do something.
I found that to be the case in the demo as well, dte and I was hoping the leapgate thing would be a little less omnipresent.

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March 6th, 2009, 18:37
I have the game and it is a great diversion, very similar to the first. Can't say agree with this review at all…I would give it a solid 8 if not more.
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March 6th, 2009, 20:15
Yes, I agree. This review feels more like a child not getting his toys. I found PQ:G as random as PQ. Did he actually play the game for more than a few minutes? Was it too complex for him to handle? The reviewer certainly gives off the same vibe one is getting used to over at GameSpot these days. Sure, the game's not perfect (which is?) and there are some things in PQ:G that could have been done differently but for me it's a great game overall. Oh and personally I love the hacking minigame, though I think it could be a bit more rewarding.

What I don't get is why so many people seem to expect a straight sequel here. It's more like Wing Commander / Strike Commander, Star Wars / Ewoks, Police Quest / Space Quest / King's Quest or Oblivion / Fallout 3 (well, yes, okay, those are basically just different GUIs ). It always seemed to be more like a mature cousin than the younger brother.

On a side note, I found the following over at the official forums:

The Direct2Drive Top 10: Week of February 27

1. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II
2. Puzzle Quest Galactrix
3. Drakensang: The Dark Eye
4. Rome: Total War Gold Edition
5. Defense Grid: The Awakening
6. Tom Clancys EndWar
7. Mass Effect
8. Fallout 3
9. Empire: Total War (Pre-Order with FREE Game)
10. F.E.A.R. 2 Project Origin
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March 6th, 2009, 20:41
Well, I did comment on the demo that the games does feel strange for a reason. While I haven't gotten far in the full version of the game, I kinda like it more than I did the demo. I know, this time the AI is way better than me in playing the puzzle, mostly since I still haven't got used to the mechanic of it and gems are dropping in all the wrong direction to the one I thought they would, but there are way more things to do that don't have an opponent. Like mining, crafting, the omnipresent hacking, bartering and so. The AI in PQ was a bit annoying, since it almost all the time knew exactly what gems would be dropping down, and the game itself did get a bit tedious almost everything had an opponent, not to mention the numerous wandering monsters.

Gate hacking is a bit annoying, true, mostly since I hate timed anythings, but it's fun in it's own way. I find it quite satisfying to finally manage to crack down a particularly annoying gate after a couple of attempts. Also, it does help a bit in the mastering of the puzzle, since there is no opponent in it.

Overall, while I do find a couple of things in Galactrix a bit annoying, like the story does seem a bit bland (but then again, so was the one in PQ, and frankly I never expected a true RPG style story), not to mention the companion characters - them I find (so far) quite annoying, Galactrix does seem like a solid title, not to mention it does deserve some brownie points for the space opera setting. We don't get that much of it these days
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