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Publisher: MacPlay    Genre: Adventure & RPG
Min OS X: Any Version    CPU: G3 @ 300 MHz    RAM: 64 MB

May 13, 2002 | Christopher Paretti

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Once upon a time, there were two brothers named Robyn and Rand. After years of inspiration from rich fictional literature, they decided to create a computer game. Of course, their undertaking could not be like anything that had come before. It had to envelop a player with a lush environment in the game, as well as frustrate the hell out of them with complex puzzles. In the end, after years of work and a bit of blue screening, Myst was born.

Myst is simply a classic Mac game. Not only is it one of the highest sold Mac games ever, it was also rendered completely on Apple computers. While the game displayed some of the most detailed 3D rendered scenes to date, it maintained a simplistic and immersive feel by using the mouse as the sole controller. Unlike many other titles on the market, the Miller brothers decided to also do away with "lives" in their game. While journeying through the land of Myst your character will never step on a mine, be tagged by a stray dart, or even get a paper cut. All of these aspects combined with an intriguing story line, and one of the richest soundscapes to date, encouraged over 3 million computer users to flip open their wallets.

While Myst was an overwhelming success, it was not exactly how Robyn and Rand had dreamed it should be. However, their ultimate vision for the game was not possible on the personal computers of the early 90's. This is where realMYST comes into play. This remake allows for actual real-time 3D movement, while the original was a series of rendered stills linked together. As this obviously makes Myst more advanced, it also alters a very successful formula created in the original. So, should you try to make a good thing better?

When you travel through the first linking book, and into the revamped island of MYST, the updated graphics are noticeable instantly. All of the scenery and buildings look fantastic, flaunting the new 32-bit color. Small touches, like the rippling water in the sea, butterflies that flutter into view, and the transitions from day to night are especially attractive. Watching dusk appear for the first time really makes you wish it was an available feature in the original.

Eye candy aside, the first person perspective in MYST has radically changed. You may now move in full circles and pan your view to wherever you choose in real time. This speeds up gameplay dramatically, as you float over the landscape at a pretty rapid pace. While this is a great concept for this type of a game, it fails in a few areas. The 3D movement in realMYST is certainly the biggest change and probably the most intriguing feature. However, with almost every computer user having experienced a first person shooter, the movement in MYST is quite disappointing. The viewpoint you are given in this game is basically a free-floating camera with restrictions on where it can glide. It is so un-natural; it really takes away from the immersion in the adventure. I would have loved to see a view-bob that created the illusion of walking. With so much detail put into the buildings and the puzzles, it's sad to see a perspective resembling the vantage point of a hovering midget.


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