Monday, 14 January 2008

"My stamps! You ruined my stamps! Not to mention five years of therapy!"

This has been rattling around in the back of my head for some time now, eagerly jostling for space amongst the unwanted hentai images and bank robbery schemes. Thankfully, it has found it's way to the front, allowing me to present you with a small, but loving tribute to all things Tim Schafer and Double Fine.
We can thank Tim for the sublime Day of The Tentacle, Grim Fandango and Psychonauts. I hang my head in shame to say that I have never played the latter, but am making every effort to, in order to hype myself up for his latest game - Brütal Legend. I spent a big chunk of my childhood playing the classic Lucasarts point and click adventures, and have recently revisited DOTT, to find that it had lost none of its charm and that I get more of the jokes now. What amazes me about his games is how aesthetically pleasing they still look and how I feel the same comfort from their jokes as I do with Monty Python or The Young Ones.

I'll be honest, I wasn't even aware that Psychonauts was a Schafer game until a few weeks ago, which might explain why I overlooked it for so long. Like I said though, I fully intend to pick it up now, in order to whet my appetite for his next output.

I won't bore you with the details of Brütal Legend because in all fairness, they're pretty thin on the ground, and I'd be needlessly stretching them out. It stars Jack Black, and seems to take on board his fondness for the blurring of Nordic Mythology and the history of Metal. Imagine a Tenacious D game, without the other guy, or acoustic guitars and remember that Tim Schafer is in charge, to make sure that it doesn't simply become a Black vanity project. It seems, more than anything, to be a healthy meeting of minds. It's a third person action brawler and it has Lemmy as the voice of your motorbike. What more needs to be said? Follow the links to read more.

It's hard to communicate why I love Schafer's games so much. The fact that they trace back to my childhood, and were some of my earliest gaming experiences certainly help. But they also seem to have a timeless sense of character, fantastic dialogue and more than anything, distinctive personalities. I urge you all to explore the world of double fine. Please check out the amusing mini-games available on their site and pick up whatever titles you can that carry the name Tim Schafer.

The original Lucasarts games can be played on your XP PC using emulation software known as Scumm VM. It's free and you can get it here:
You can probably torrent the games if you don't have them or can't find them on eBay. But, you didn't hear that from me, right? Psychonauts is available as part of XBOX Live's XBOX originals downloads, or in bargain bins across the land. You'll have to beat me there first though.
The Faux-Bot

No comments: