Riven: The Sequel to Myst Review

I believe the developers of Riven did the best job they could porting this game over to the PlayStation

I have a confession to make: I liked Myst. Yes, I'm one of those people who actually bought and played the game the entire way through (with a little help from a strategy guide, of course).

Riven offers up the same style of gameplay as Myst: You wander around an unknown world trying to solve small puzzles in order to eventually solve the big puzzle of the game. Some of the puzzles make a lot of sense; others are nearly impossible to break.

Whether you like Riven will be a highly personal matter. Myst and Riven are games that the gaming press loves to hate, sort of the same way that the New Yorker magazine is bound to dismiss this summer's movie blockbuster Godzilla as inane fluff. Each gamer seems to either love or hate these two games for deeply personal reasons, and if you loved Myst you should definitely give Riven a try.

However, if at all possible, get thee to a PC to do it, because the PlayStation version of Riven just doesn't measure up to the PC game. I doubt that this is the fault of the game's developers; this is just one game that pushes the graphics envelope of the PlayStation a bit further than it is capable of stretching. As a consequence, the luscious landscapes and hauntingly beautiful scenery that make your jaw drop while playing Riven on the PC are reduced to dithered landscapes that lack clarity. Specifically, many of the video sequences are particularly disappointing in their lack of clarity.

Beyond the disappointing graphics, Riven suffers from long load times, which can really put a damper on your desire to simply explore. And unfortunately, the control pad isn't a very efficient device to navigate this game; if you have access to a PlayStation mouse, I highly recommend you use it to play Riven.

On the bright side, Riven's sounds have made it over from the PC and help lend atmosphere to the game.

All in all, I believe the developers of Riven did the best job they could porting this game over to the PlayStation, and if you don't have access to a PC, this version of Riven is adequate, but just that. Playing Riven on the PlayStation is sort of like watching Star Wars on a 13'' TV; you'll get the point but you're definitely missing something.

The Good

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The Bad

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