Keen 3: best and worst, in personal terms?

Discussion and analysis of graphics, story, levels, and so on.
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EricMushroomWilson
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Keen 3: best and worst, in personal terms?

Post by EricMushroomWilson » Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:22 pm

We all know that Keen 3 was rushed. Many levels, to varying degrees, simply aren't finished. There's been a lot of talk about it over time, but I'd like to "zoom out" a little.
-When you play Keen 3, which levels do you enjoy playing the most? Which frustrate you the most?
-Are there levels you tend to avoid even bothering with because they just don't feel complete? Are there ones you like enough to usually seek out?
-How well designed do you think the secret level is designed? Do you tend to play it or not?
- Are your favourite/least favourite levels generally ones that block Keen's path until he completes them, or the ones that he can walk past without entering?

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VikingBoyBilly
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Post by VikingBoyBilly » Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:54 pm

I make it a self-imposed rule to beat every level before finishing the game, so Keen 3 is pretty tough. I thought it was a weird decision to put the guide to decoding SGA in the second to last level of keen 3. When you've pretty much beaten the trilogy already, the only use you get out of learning SGA is playing the trilogy over again.

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Flaose
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Post by Flaose » Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:37 pm

While writing the walkthrough for my Keen FAQ, by and far the most frustrating level for me was Fort Vorta Bella (despite what the KeenWiki may say). It may be short, but having to grab the blue key, and then jump across 1-tile platforms over water while being assaulted by Grunts, Youths, and and lasers (with the added bonus of having absolutely no safe place to stand) is completely unfair. I despise this level with a passion. My favorite levels are the Vorticon "cities", especially New Vorticon and Valden Park, as it's the closest the game gets to delivering on the promise of 'richly-detailed Vorticon society' promised in the Keen 1 previews that got me so excited as a kid.

EricMushroomWilson
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Post by EricMushroomWilson » Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:22 pm

Generally I tend to play it intending to explore and complete as many levels as I can, and then eventually give up after tons of frustrating deaths, to be honest.

Hece
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Post by Hece » Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:14 pm

It's one of my favourite Keens. Best, and most rewarding thing was probably translating SGA. Two words, other letters you need to solve yourself = AWESOME.

And I just like it the most. Or Keen 4.

levellass
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Post by levellass » Tue May 08, 2012 11:16 am

On that note, how many used the 1:1 SGA translation, and who decoded it using the snippets they found during the levels? I was most annoyed to find an easy translation after I had gone to all the work of working things out the hard way.

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XkyRauh
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Post by XkyRauh » Sat May 12, 2012 6:15 pm

Flaose wrote:While writing the walkthrough for my Keen FAQ, by and far the most frustrating level for me was Fort Vorta Bella (despite what the KeenWiki may say). It may be short, but having to grab the blue key, and then jump across 1-tile platforms over water while being assaulted by Grunts, Youths, and and lasers (with the added bonus of having absolutely no safe place to stand) is completely unfair. I despise this level with a passion. My favorite levels are the Vorticon "cities", especially New Vorticon and Valden Park, as it's the closest the game gets to delivering on the promise of 'richly-detailed Vorticon society' promised in the Keen 1 previews that got me so excited as a kid.
You know, this is exactly my gut response, practically verbatim. The level that immediately comes to mind as "unfair and poorly designed" is this one, even if I didn't know its name off-hand. :)
My favorite levels are similarly the ones that gave the impression of being living, breathing spaces actually in-use by Vorticon society at large.

EricMushroomWilson
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Post by EricMushroomWilson » Wed May 16, 2012 12:45 pm

XkyRauh wrote:
Flaose wrote:While writing the walkthrough for my Keen FAQ, by and far the most frustrating level for me was Fort Vorta Bella (despite what the KeenWiki may say). It may be short, but having to grab the blue key, and then jump across 1-tile platforms over water while being assaulted by Grunts, Youths, and and lasers (with the added bonus of having absolutely no safe place to stand) is completely unfair. I despise this level with a passion. My favorite levels are the Vorticon "cities", especially New Vorticon and Valden Park, as it's the closest the game gets to delivering on the promise of 'richly-detailed Vorticon society' promised in the Keen 1 previews that got me so excited as a kid.
You know, this is exactly my gut response, practically verbatim. The level that immediately comes to mind as "unfair and poorly designed" is this one, even if I didn't know its name off-hand. :)
My favorite levels are similarly the ones that gave the impression of being living, breathing spaces actually in-use by Vorticon society at large.
Yeah, the levels with worldbuilding details too them. Love me some worldbuilding.

Bernie
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Post by Bernie » Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:54 pm

imo i think the dumbest thng about this keen is that you only have to play 3 levels to finish the whole game.

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Post by levellass » Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:25 am

Once you figure it out, yes. But you have to explore first and discover that fact. If you force the player to play levels out of necessity rather than curiosity you risk the game becoming less exploratory and more of a grind.

In Keen 9 you *want* to find all the levels, all the unique uses of things, even if you don;t have to. In Biomenace you just go through one level after another. (It is possible to make Keen Galaxy work the same way.)

Bernie
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Post by Bernie » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:01 am

levellass wrote:Once you figure it out, yes. But you have to explore first and discover that fact. If you force the player to play levels out of necessity rather than curiosity you risk the game becoming less exploratory and more of a grind.
yeah, but its still dodgey imo- i mean, 3 levels :/ maybe have half the levels atleast.

In Biomenace you just go through one level after another. (It is possible to make Keen Galaxy work the same way.)
oh im sure it is, you patching genius you ;)

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Post by Vatnos » Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:44 pm

levellass wrote:Once you figure it out, yes. But you have to explore first and discover that fact. If you force the player to play levels out of necessity rather than curiosity you risk the game becoming less exploratory and more of a grind.

In Keen 9 you *want* to find all the levels, all the unique uses of things, even if you don;t have to. In Biomenace you just go through one level after another. (It is possible to make Keen Galaxy work the same way.)
As a kid, when I was 8, I found the last island in Keen 3 well before I beat many of the levels. I did end up doing every level eventually, and I'd beaten about half of them by that point. The layout of the islands and the order of the teleporters isn't great. Maybe if it had been that you needed to beat several levels to unlock the teleporter to go to the boss island, then it would make more sense.

I think Keen 4 probably has the best combination of exploratory wandering and clear objectives with what you're looking for out of the games. Once you know where all the Guardians are you can skip a third of the levels and speed run the game, but there's still a lot of game left in a barebones run. That's the way it should be. Keen 2 is my favorite of the Vorticon trilogy, and it's about the same in that regard. Still have to play at least half the game once you know everything.

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Post by lemm » Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:05 am

One of the areas on the map looks like a wang, so the game's got that.

levellass
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Post by levellass » Fri Mar 07, 2014 8:52 am

Truly it was ahead of its time.

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