Jun 26, 2012Very beautiful game with interesting story. For me it didn't quite live up to the hype. It was slightly frustrating to play (I am a seasoned adventure fan), with puzzles that sometimes felt contrived and a lot of time spent watching the character walk slowly around the screen. I am nit-picking though. It's in the middle of the first league which is, for me, topped by Culpa Inata, Azrael's Tear, the Last Express, and The Longest Journey.… Expand
Nov 14, 2013The original Syberia was one of the great classic adventure games. A must play for any point-n-click fan and more so for anyone thinking about picking up Syberia II as this game isn't a standalone story, but rather a direct continuation of the first which left us on a cliffhanger. And since the two games are so technically similar (very minor resolution/game-engine improvements in the sequel) there is really no reason to skip the first. So DON'T DO IT :)
Anyways if you loved the first the second shouldn't disappoint as it faithfully continues and completes the original story. The familiar cast of characters are all back, new ones are added (even a villain of sorts), the locations (we finally get to Syberia!), voice work, dialogue, and length (~12hrs?) are all on par with the original. There is even quite the plot twist involving one of the main characters that genuinely surprised me. And oh, the cell phone this time around has taken on a reduced role which I greatly welcomed as it tended to get a little annoying in the first.
As for puzzle aficionados they aren't exactly this game's strong suit (though I guess the same could be said of the original Syberia.) There are a few good ones like the plane and the large ivory flute (a Myst-like puzzle), but there are also quite a few duds. In fact, some could hardly be categorized as puzzles at all but rather blatant time fillers that involve you walking down a linear path, picking up an item at the dead end, only to have to backtrack the same linear path to the beginning just to click a button to proceed. That's not a puzzle, that's not adding to the story or gameplay, and it certainly isn't fun. Its just pointless. Others lacked sufficient clues forcing upon you a trial-and-error method to complete them. Not the worst thing ever, but when some of these same trial-and-error puzzles were accompanied by either long walks or having to sit through deliberately drawn out character animation sequences with repetitive voice overs it quickly got annoying (I'm looking at you fishing puzzle!).
But, perhaps most frustrating for me was this game seems to have introduced a progression through dialogue tree system that I don't recall being in the first (or maybe it was more subtlety done?). Its not enough to talk to people with the same keyword once, or twice, but sometimes three times just to advance the story. I literally talked to everyone in an area then spent 20+ minutes just pixel hunting, backtracking, scratching my head with a puzzle thinking I missed something; talked to everyone a second time, repeated the pixel hunt, only to remained bewildered and in the end find out it wasn't a puzzle at all that was preventing my advance, but rather it was because I didn't badger all the NPCs with the same keywords a 3rd time! Arrrg!
These things don't ruin the game. Not even close, but they did sour me enough that I will always remember the original Syberia more fondly. Final score: 7.5/10… Expand
Sep 22, 2012This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I've been playing video games for over 30 years. 've played every kind of game imaginable. I started playing adventure games back in the days of text adventures (and I STILL enjoy a good text-based game). So I'm not new to adventure games. I'm a big fan of the Sam and Max games. I also am not new to games that are long on plot and short on action. Dear Esther is a game I really enjoyed, even though a lot of other people described it, amusingly, as "Walking: The Game."
What I'm trying to say is that I'm not some CoD player who accidentally bought Syberia II thinking it was a Russian FPS game. I knew what I was expecting.
First: the good. The graphics are beautiful. I admit that. But, it's also a huge problem, and I'll get to that in a second. Second: there were a couple of cut scenes that were beautiful, in particular as the Ark is leaving the native village, and there was a storm on the horizon that was pretty. And that pretty much ends the good points.
The bad? OMG, where do I start? First of all, like the original Syberia, I had a very difficult time getting into this game because the creators of this game, apparently, have never left their mothers' basements. They have no CLUE about engineering, physics, sciences. It was freaking irritating, like being beaten over the head with a book the entire time I was playing. Torches in an ice cave? A coal tender on a wind-up train (okay, that was kind of explained later, but honestly, the reasons behind it could totally have been written out of the script and not missed. It just didn't work.) The tin woodman. OMG. An oil can? Are you serious? And let me ask you this: what, exactly, was causing C3PO to move? Because there was nothing in the Tin Woodman besides a heart. How did he walk? How did he talk? How did he reason? Evil spirits? Jungles in the far Arctic coast of Russia. Explain that to me. When have there EVER been jungles there? Cutting something with a narwhale tusk? Really? Rain? In the Arctic. Rain? Flowers?
But the prize winners? Okay, the train car run by a DOG SEAL in a giant hamster wheel (and I'm not freaking kidding, though I wish I were) and it CATCHES UP to our high-speed wind-up train. Catches Up. Really?
But the cake taker. The absolutely, jaw-dropping idiocy award goes to the penguins. Penguins. In the ARCTIC The FREAKING ARCTIC! ARE YOU FREAKING 12 YEARS OLD? There are no penguins in the Arctic. There have NEVER been penguins in the Arctic. No, they are not Auks. Don't give me that. They were penguins. Penguins. In the Arctic. OMG. That is the stupidest, most ignorant thing I've ever seen come from anybody who graduated from the 8th grade. Seriously. You should be ashamed.
Let's talk graphics. Brown and gray. How am I supposed to find a flower or a rock whatever it is I'm supposed to find when everything looks the same?
Like the original Syberia, this game is LOADED with wasted space. It's just walking from one place to another, to give us a feeling of scale. And that's where this game went wrong on gameplay. The faux 3d environments just don't work. What you needed was some cartoony 2d graphics and some short cuts. You needed some less realistic colors so that we could more easily see that there was an object or lever or fish bone that we were supposed to see and pick up. More clues. More clues to tell help us avoid the incessant trial and error of "Do I push this first or this one?" The ONE place where this worked okay was in the train engine where it made sense. I could use logic and puzzle it out by looking at how things were connected. Other place? Not so much. And don't get me started on the ice cave that looked like a mouth and the other that looked like ... well, I won't go there.
Fewer annoying cinematic interruptions would have been nice. Get rid of the spoken dialogue. Hearing that annoying woman say for the hundredth time "AH! It's STUCK!" Just grates on my nerves. Put in an unobtrusive noise to show the machine doesn't work. I'm a HUGE fan of escape the room games. I've never had a problem with trial and error in any other game: where the logic makes sense and I don't have to listen to annoying and repetitive dialogue.
The characters. There is not a single character who ISN'T selfish, petty, weak, or repugnant in some way. Except maybe the orphan girl Malka.
The native people? Are you serious? "Tooktoot, nice choo-choo!" You don't find a depiction of short, fat, gibberish-talking people "took-toot, took-toot" the least bit racist or offensive? Because I did.
Finally: the plot. Character arc, anyone? Anyone? The main character resolved NOTHING. She ended, literally, no where. Why was her boss chasing her anyway? The plot and conflicts all came to zero.… Expand
Feb 25, 2014Played: Feb 2014 PROS: + More cinematics + Voice acting better than episode I + Does not have the graphics problem episode I had with switching to windowed mode in-game CONS: - Story STILL does not go anywhere - Voice acting (English) still a bit silly REVIEW: Let’s be honest: if I hadn’t purchased Syberia II along with Syberia I as a super-cheap combo pack, I wouldn’t have bothered at all. Everything that is “good” about Syberia II is only relatively good when compared with the terrible Syberia I; there is nothing superlative about any facet of this game.
A good thing about this game is that it has more cinematics than its predecessor. A game that sells itself on story should have many movies, and there are some here. For a game released in 2004 the visuals are not bad, but they haven’t aged well at all and alone they shouldn’t induce you to buy this game. Furthermore, the voice acting won’t make you wince as often; as when intonation is way of or a word is mispronounced, but you will definitely notice strange moments in the dialogue.
The main draw of this game is supposed to be the “amazing story” but here is the problem: it never develops beyond the premise that your protagonist wants to help an old guy reach Syberia (and still features the intelligence-insulting idea that he couldn't have gotten there when he built the rails the first time).
In general, stories depend on the quality of conflict for their weight, and the weak opposition and half-sketched puzzles (either extremely easy or nonsensical due to total lack of clues) simply don’t contribute any to a satisfying conclusion. It’s more like you progress through a series of trivial events and the game stops. Even in its most pretentious moments trying to induce pathos, the characters never manage to be any more impactful than a mildly annoying fly at the dinner table.
So what should induce you to buy this game? I can only imagine it must be the inflated ratings it seems to be getting elsewhere (why I tried when both games together were $3). Don’t bother unless you have time to waste and the patience of Job for flimsy characters (slightly less) annoyingly voiced.
SPOILER PLOT COMPLAINT: One more thing I could leave off here-I couldn't believe it but the developers actually show you going so far north that you see Antarctic Emperor Penguins. Come on, were they complete idiots, or did they just think I'm one?… Expand
Dec 27, 2012One of my all-time favorite adventure games. It improves on the first game with improved graphics and better game mechanics, especially dialogue. The graphics are no longer cutting edge as of 2012, but they are very nice to look at and complement the story well. Like the first game, this is more of an interactive story than a puzzle game. The puzzles are fun, but they are not the focus of the game. Most of the puzzles are solvable without too much difficulty. I used the hints a few times when I got stuck. An adventure game vet will not need hints too often. I can recommend this game to anyone who likes adventure games.… Expand