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Jaybird

Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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4 Responses

  1. Avatar Brandon Berg says:

    When I was in fifth or sixth grade, I remember being impressed by a game I played during a weekly trip to the school computer lab, but I never learned the title. Unlike most edutainment games, which were thinly-veiled math or reading drills, this one has more of an adventure format that involved walking around and collecting items. Not Sierra quality, but more interesting than First Man on the Moon.

    I’ve made a few failed attempts over the years to figure out what it was, but this weekend I finally figured it out. It was Think Quick, by The Learning Company, which I probably should have figured out by its graphical similarity to Robot Odyssey.

    I gave the main quest a quick playthrough. It’s aimed at younger age bracket, so while neither as difficult or as interesting as Robot Odyssey, or as much fun as I remembered thinking it would be (you don’t actually use the items to solve puzzles) it holds up surprisingly well for 80s edutainment.

    There’s also a second, “expert” quest which seems promising given that the first one had some nontrivial puzzles. 6/10, would wax nostalgic again.

    Also about halfway through the first Witcher for the first time. There are elements of a good game here, but it needs streamlining. I’m spending way too much time running around and dealing with inventory management.Report

    • Avatar DavidTC says:

      The Witcher is one of those games that needs, for lack of a better word, ‘segmenting’ better. Past a certain point, it seems to get bogged down with way too many things to do, and you find yourself running around all over the place.

      I mean, I appreciate the size, but the areas should be a bit more self-contained. I’ve got to suggest that games shouldn’t give simple ‘deliver a letter’ quests that require players to walk ten minutes, and then ten minutes back. Oh, so exciting.

      And *because* the game does stuff like that, you sort just wander around trying to collect everything in one area before going somewhere else, but now you’re wasting even *more* time.

      It’s just…gah. What an annoying game design.

      I say this all from a half-remembered attempt to play the game a few years ago, though.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        Is there fast travel?

        One of the things that the Batman city-sized games did to deal with this issue was to make travel positively fun and gorgeous. You’re flying. It’s downright pleasant to get from this part of the map to that one. (And, of course, if needs be you can fast travel.)Report

        • Avatar DavidTC says:

          You *eventually* get access to fast travel about halfway through the game, but it’s of the form ‘Make your way to the teleporter and then teleport to another teleporter’.

          I.e., it lets you skip the map areas *between* the current map and the map you want to go to. Of course, it’s countered by the fact that the map exits are usually easy to get to (Being the roads.) whereas the teleporters are often off in some random location.

          And on top of that, the real problem is that the maps are *huge* and have large barriers in them, and often are crowded. So just getting to an exit/teleporter takes five minutes.

          You know how in most RPGs, when you run around outside buildings, and then go into them, the proportions don’t match? Like from the outside, a house seems to be about 25 feet long, but you get inside, and it’s clearly about 75?

          I’m actually somewhat convinced they didn’t do that on the Witcher. Oh, time to exit the town, let me run literally four city blocks.Report