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Publisher: Viva Media    Genre: Adventure & RPG
Min OS X: 10.3    CPU: G4 @ 700 MHz    24x CD-ROM

May 10, 2006 | Michael Scarpelli

Click to enlarge

I have a thing for posting the main menu screen. Who knows why?
AGON: The Mysterious Codex is tricksey. Yes. It has secretses. What does it have in its development cycleses? Yes what? We wants it.

I'll tell you what: massive delays. And you don't wants them.

The Mysterious Project Timeline
The AGON series is meant to be a tale told across 14 chaptered releases. "Meant" being the operative term in that sentence. Episodic gaming is all the rage these days, with Valve's pending release of Half Life 2: Episode 1 and the upcoming SiN: Episodes for the PC. The concept behind serialized gaming is something that I, as a gamer and a busy young professional type, can really get behind. A 40 hour game experience sounds great in terms of value for me, but I'd much rather pay less in installments (though maybe more overall) to play shorter, bite-sized segments that my schedule can handle.

The problem with AGON is the crux of the problem with serialized play: Chapter 1 of AGON was released in September of 2003. Chapter 2 promptly followed suit in November of 2003, sticking to the two month release date progression that Private Moon Studios was reportedly aiming for. Episode 3 was released September 3, 2004, a full year after the original chapter. Episode 4 has, as of April of 2006, not been released. This means that, at the $10/chapter cost, many gamers have shelled out $30 to date (expecting to pay a full $140 for the series) and all they have gotten is an unfinished title. So far. The thot plickens.

AGON: The Mysterious Codex is a compilation of the first three chapters of the AGON saga: London Scene, Adventures in Lapland (No, that's not a porn title, much as you might want it to be) and Pirates of Madagascar. It's convenient to get all three chapters in one software package, especially since it doesn't appear the titles can be ordered individually from the Private Moon site as of this writing, but as I sat down to start playing the game, I was acutely aware that I would only be met by a disappointing cliffhanger when I was finished. Thrown into the mix is the fact that the compilation was released by Viva Media and not Private Moon. Viva Media informed me that Private Moon is still very much involved in the title, though, and the fourth episode (The Sword of Toledo) has an anticipated release date of fall 2006.

My skepticism rampages in spite of this assurance. A new distributor for Private Moon may mean good things, but there's a lengthy track record of delays looming in the background that is difficult to ignore. In fact, questions I sent in to Private Moon weeks ago are still sitting unanswered as of this writing, despite having been bounced to a couple sources at the studio.

However, gaming isn't about the ending. It's about the gaming (mathematical proof: gaming=gaming). That having been said, here's how it all goes down for AGON.


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