If you like this post check out my past Aging Gamer article on HD Remakes.
When I was younger I missed out on all the great FMV games on the PC. I had an Apple IIe and Dad wasn’t about to upgrade a computer that was still fulfilling its duties in the late 80’s and 90’s. I never got to play some of the greats like Wing Commander III, The 7th Guest, The 11th Hour and Phantasmagoria. In this day and age I doubt I’ll ever be able to some of those of greats, I don’t fully understand emulation yet and I don’t have an old school PC anymore. I’m sad that I’m missing out on this great era of games, but thankfully some developers have decided to make FMV games relevant again, and I’m loving it.
Xbox Live always has some amazing sales and I decided to pick up The Bunker a few months back, I had heard great things about it but never pulled the trigger. I finally pulled it when the game was on sale for like five dollars and I’ve not regretted it. Yes the game was insanely short and probably wasn’t worth the full price of entry, but for five bucks I was pretty happy. I beat the game in one sitting and enjoyed my few hours with it, it was cheaper than a movie ticket and I got more entertainment value from it than I would in a movie theater. The Bunker was kind of a physiological thriller which was amazing to watch; however I missed the campiness that the 90’s FMV’s were said to have. The Bunker is a serious take on the end of the world and what some people will do to survive, I don’t think I even giggled while I played this title.
Once I completed this game I went out on a hunt for other “newer” FMV’s that may be on sale as well on the Xbox Store. I found quite a few out there, some that were made by the developers of The Bunker and which were just as good as that title. Late Shift, The Shape-shifting Detective and The Infectious Madness of Dr. Dekker. These game are all very entertaining, not campy and actually keep you engrossed in them. Dr. Dekker is a very interesting game where you’re investigating a murder and have to ask the right questions to find out who the murderer is. Just think L.A. Noire, but without the super outlandish “tells.” These new FMV’s make me want companies to develop more of this top notch entertainment, however, they can also be done very poorly.
The Quiet Man, no not the amazing John Wayne movie, but the Square Enix take on the FMV genre was a hot pile of trash sadly. Square was obviously trying something new, but to no avail, for a majority of the game you cannot hear the dialogue or the music well, I’m assuming this is what it would be like if a fish was watching me game. Then after you beat the game, Square would allow you a patch that would fix the audio, which is very weird. The fighting mechanics are bad and the game can be beaten in one sitting. It is sad that such a poor FMV would come from Square. The Quiet Man seems to be a throwaway game which is disappointing, more people probably heard about this game because it is Square Enix while the prior mentioned, amazing FMV’s had little to no news buzz. Should Square have nailed this FMV, they may have ushered in a completely new FMV craze. Unfortunately, they dropped the ball.
F and the fact that there are some pretty great actors in it. I’m thinking that if I want to play quality FMV’s I have to either time travel back to the 80’s and 90’s and play them on their proper computers. I could also find some ports or emulators of the classic ones and enjoy them like that. Or I could play the few that I have now and be thankful I have them to play. Not too much for this Aging Gamer to do when it comes to FMV’s. Let’s pour one out for this lost genre.
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