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Default Venetica - Review @ Games Radar

January 27th, 2011, 00:28
Venetica continues a run of low console review scores, with Games Radar expressing frustration and handing down a score of 2/10 ("Broken"):
At times it seems like every aspect of Venetica was designed to infuriate the player. There are dialog trees, for example, but the text of each branch is too small to read. You can't pick up loot or open doors without unequipping your weapon. A gigantic red border blocks out half the screen when your health is low. The map is tough to navigate without causing a headache. The voice acting is annoying. The dialog is poorly written. The controls are clunky. Sometimes the whole thing feels like one big practical joke.
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January 27th, 2011, 00:28
It's frustrating that so many press outlets are reviewing the console version of Venetica, as it seems that this version has issues that don't exist (or at least not to the same extent) on the PC version. Granted, the developers shouldn't have even bothered with making a console version if they lacked the time or manpower to make a proper game comparable to the PC version, but if reviewers had played the PC version instead of the 360 port, I would imagine that the negativity would be lessened quite a bit. Then again, because Venetica is a low-budget title and cannot compete from an aesthetics or tech standpoint with other slightly similar games with larger budgets, I doubt this game would be given an objective chance with press outlets who seem to have an inherent bias towards anything new that is created by a lesser-known developer.
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January 27th, 2011, 01:51
I had my problems with the console version, too, but many of his quoted complaints aren't accurate —

Dialog text is "too small to read" — not for me it wasn't (I'm viewing on a normal HDTV, nothing huge or fancy). Maybe he needs new glasses.

"You can't pick up loot or open doors without unequipping your weapon" — not true, you simply press the left bumper. Not sure how he missed that.

"A gigantic red border blocks out half the screen when your health is low" — not true. Most of the time when your health sags, there is no red indicator at all, and only when your health is dangerously low does it start to appear (sort of as a "hey, wake up" signal). Even then, it's on the periphery and I hardly noticed it. The only point where it would be consuming "half the screen" is when you are about a second from death — at which point you really don't need a good view of your surroundings but instead should be fumbling frantically through your inventory for a health potion.

The map is tough to navigate without causing a headache — agree with that.

The voice acting is annoying — I didn't find it to be.

The dialog is poorly written — well, yes.

The controls are clunky — I agree with that.

Although Venetica's port had a lot of technical issues, the reason I eventually gave up on it was because it was too confined to a fairly linear, mostly normal-looking city. I like RPGs where you can adventure outdoors, and there was too much indoors here — corridors, backtracking across the same city blocks, opening and closing doors (load screens each time), and seeing the same characters and environments over and over again. I remember in Chapter 2 of Risen, feeling very "cooped up" when confined to the city — I had the urge to jump the city walls and hightail it to the wilderness. I don't like hanging around cities in RPGs much — I stop there for chat, supplies, quest resolution, etc., but when that's all done, I want to hit the open road.

I knew Venetica was a city-based RPG, but I guess I'd never really played one before. It was a lesson in how little I enjoy being cooped up in a city environment for long hours.

Anyhow, 2 out of 10 is unfair, even on the console, and he is mistaken about some fairly obvious aspects of the game, leading me to believe he just blew through it without paying much attention.

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Last edited by Anderson; January 27th, 2011 at 02:04.
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January 27th, 2011, 02:25
Originally Posted by Anderson View Post

Although Venetica's port had a lot of technical issues, the reason I eventually gave up on it was because it was too confined to a fairly linear, mostly normal-looking city. I like RPGs where you can adventure outdoors, and there was too much indoors here — corridors, backtracking across the same city blocks, opening and closing doors (load screens each time), and seeing the same characters and environments over and over again. I remember in Chapter 2 of Risen, feeling very "cooped up" when confined to the city — I had the urge to jump the city walls and hightail it to the wilderness. I don't like hanging around cities in RPGs much — I stop there for chat, supplies, quest resolution, etc., but when that's all done, I want to hit the open road.
Yeah, I know where you're coming from. Similar to your description of Chapter 2 in Risen, my least favorite part of The Witcher was the large portion of the game that took place in Vezima. I made sort of a "mini-review" on Venetica in some other thread a while ago and the focus on being confined to the city was my biggest complaint for this otherwise charming (if a bit simple) game. I really wish that they had made more "wilderness" areas to explore, similar to the first area of the game in the mountains but bigger. The few "wilderness" areas of the game were pretty fun to explore, and I think if this game had been built around these outdoor areas instead of city areas, Venetica would have been a lot more fun because it was an entertaining game overall. I just really don't like being in cities for these types of games, as it is rare when exploring a city is done in a way that is fun and immersive.
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January 27th, 2011, 04:30
Dialog text is "too small to read" — not for me it wasn't (I'm viewing on a normal HDTV, nothing huge or fancy). Maybe he needs new glasses.
Or maybe he's playing on a CRT television?
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January 27th, 2011, 09:34
Originally Posted by Anderson View Post
"You can't pick up loot or open doors without unequipping your weapon" — not true, you simply press the left bumper. Not sure how he missed that.
He must've been is such a great hurry, that learning something as simple as the controls of the game were too much for him. He wants instant gratification! NOW!

Regarding not picking up items when weapon is equipped. I've read similar complaints before and I don't understand why this is such a big issue to the console crowd. How streamlined does a game have to be to be tolerable nowdays? So I must press a button and watch a very short animation before picking up loot, so what?!

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January 27th, 2011, 12:54
Seems like they needed some game-destroying, 2-outta-10, review. Ah, the heady days of DailyRadar and quality news…

@Lurking Grue
That item picking thing is a terrible design flaw and has nothing to do with consoles/streamlining.
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January 27th, 2011, 13:50
Originally Posted by Lurking Grue View Post
Regarding not picking up items when weapon is equipped. I've read similar complaints before and I don't understand why this is such a big issue to the console crowd. How streamlined does a game have to be to be tolerable nowdays? So I must press a button and watch a very short animation before picking up loot, so what?!
It would've been pretty annoying, if I had to do it each time. Put away weapon, pick stuff up, re-draw weapon. It's not just a single animation, but hundreds of pauses for unequpping/reequipping during the course of a game, every time you want to pick something up, open a chest, open a door, etc. I think Risen's port was like this, if I remember right. It's not a deal-breaker, but over the whole course of a game, it can get tiresome.

As I mentioned, though, Venetica's port doesn't really have this problem.

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January 27th, 2011, 14:04
Originally Posted by Nerevarine View Post
I really wish that they had made more "wilderness" areas to explore, similar to the first area of the game in the mountains but bigger. The few "wilderness" areas of the game were pretty fun to explore, and I think if this game had been built around these outdoor areas instead of city areas, Venetica would have been a lot more fun because it was an entertaining game overall. I just really don't like being in cities for these types of games, as it is rare when exploring a city is done in a way that is fun and immersive.
Agree. I enjoyed the first bit, where you were wandering in the forest and small rural areas. I know the developers wanted to focus on Venice itself, and I was interested in the city at first, but after a dozen hours there, I grew very tired of it. When I'd unlock a new area (e.g., Arsenal District), my reaction was not "oh goodie, a new place to explore," but "eh, another area of the city." I would've at least preferred a few interludes in the wilderness, to break up the monotony.

I'm not blaming the game, though, really. I knew what I was getting into. I had read in advance that the game took place mostly in Venice. I hadn't played an RPG confined to a city before, so I didn't know how I'd react.

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January 27th, 2011, 15:45
I'd not be surprised if they hadn't - as a developer - no experience with open areas at all … And thus wanted to avoid that.

If you look at what gme Deck 13 did before Venetica, you can only find Adventure games. Closed areas, mostly towns.

I'd even think of Venice just bing a consequence of their game-building knowledge, so to say. It is nothing but a huge town …

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
Last edited by Alrik Fassbauer; January 28th, 2011 at 12:27.
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January 27th, 2011, 18:55
I see. That makes sense.

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