View Full Version : Anachronox

04-14-2009, 02:01 PM
I have joked a few times about how this is the best JRPG ever released, but really, I'm serious.

Which is odd, seeing as how this is one of the funniest games I've ever seen.

But enough introductions, lets get to the meat of the issue! Review. Preview? What are these threads anyway?


Ironically, this game is advertised on the back of the second and third hardest games to pronounce released by Ion Storm (Diakatana and Deus Ex, both of whom came with pronunciation keys).

What is this game? Anachronox. Its a mush up of Anachronism (From Another Time) and Noxious (Poison). So it means: Poison from Another Time.

And its the name of where this game takes place!

And it is an indication of just how weird this game can get!

Anachronox starts off with one of the finest introductions to a sci-fi universe ever: With a slow, loving pan from space to a space station to Sender One, a colossal sphere studded Sender Spikes (Which are what people use to travel through hyperspace). Then in through one of the Spikes and into the center of Sender One.

Where we see...Anachronox.

Imagine a Rubix Cube. Now imagine it is shaped like something slightly more...roundy than a cube. Like, say, a sphere. A Rubix Sphere.

Now instead of colored tiles, lets imagine that there are buildings and streets all over the place, shifting and moving around as the Rubix Sphere shifts around.

That's sorta like Anachronox. Now just make it designed by someone out of their fragging skull on drugs, throw the laws of gravity out of the window, and populate it with races that range from the goofy to the strange, and we got Anachronox.

And so, the camera continues to zoom in and in till we see a small, seedy bar.

And above this bar?

There is an office.

And in this office?

There is a man.

He's like Harrison Ford (played by Nathan Fillion)

This man is our...ahem..."Hero". And his name is Sylvester Botticelli, or Sly Boots for short. He's a daring man of action, a Private Investigator. Who is getting the shit beaten out of him.

After a quick trip out of his office window, Sly is given an ultimatum by the very short gangster who gave him a lesson in pugilistic facial rearrangement: Give Detta the Money, or else I'm coming back with a chainsaw.

Seems Sly owes a gangster some cash. And so, the quest begins...Find Boots a Job!

And so we are introduced to two features that make Anachronox immediately stand out.

The first is, of course, the AMAZING voice acting and general direction of the cinimatics. See, this game was being made with the Quake 2 engine and, though it tried as hard as possible to push the Q2 engine beyond its limits, it was still almost half a decade old by this point.

So, they said, "Okay, we can't look better than any of the other games...what CAN we do?"

Well, someone said, We can just have the single BEST cinimatics ever seen!

And Anachronox delivers with cinimatics that could easily play in theaters (If they...were rendered on something other than the Quake 2 engine). They're well directed, cleverly staged, with lots of inventive camera work and steller writing.

The cinimatics were SO good that someone took them, edited them into a movie, and put it up on the internet and it won multiple awards!

And, of course, the cinimatics all convey an amazing story, but more on that later.

The second feature that pops out is the Life Cursor and all that it implies.

See, Sly has a secretary named Fatima Doohan. She's been dead for four months and is kinda grumpy about the whole thing. Sly had her digitized into his Life Cursor, and she does...pretty much the same job that she did before she was killed.

Poke fun of Sly, keep track of his work/jobs/quests, and provide aid when necessary.

And she lives in his Life Cursor. What is a life Cursor?

Well, imagine a PDA that flies around and projects holograms. That's a Life Cursor.

Yes, this game has a physical representation of the mouse cursor, flying around and poking people in the face.

And yes, if you keep poking someone in the face, they get annoyed at you.

This shows two awesome things about Anacrhonox: Its sense of humor and the way it seamlessly blends game play with storytelling.

Save Points? Small critters named Timefinders that grant good luck.

Magic Spells? <removed for spoilers>

The game even has an in universe explanation for why unimportant people say the same comments over and over when you talk to them!

It is this combination of humor, storytelling, and creativity that combine to turn the cinimatics from merely "Well done technically" to "F***ing Amazing!"

And, as I mentioned before, the steller voice acting.

So, I don't want to talk too much about the plot after the intro...so I'll just toss off a few random snippets.

An entire cinematic about the party, lost in space on a small space ship, trying to not drive eachother insane by playing 20 questions. Hilarity ensues.
An entire space ship devoted to comic book super villainy.
A female heroic character who is dressed in a skimpy outfit for a perfectly logical and easily explainable reason. (She's a stripper)
A magic system that is based entirely off of bugs. Delicious bugs.
A seemingly pointless fetch quest that actually has a f***ing point!
Lots of inventive and clever minigames.
Did I mention the stripper already?
So, Anachronox is hard to find now a days. You can snag it off E-bay, or Amazon (Though I would suggest boycotting Amazon till they get their heads out of their asses).

But, really, if you like sci-fi, you'll like this game.

If you like RPGs, you'll like this game.

If you like GAMES, you'll like this game!

Go check it out! That's an order!