Electric Playground LogoSony Reviews


Myst
developed by
Cyan
published by
Sunsoft/Psygnosis
for
PlayStation


November 5, 1996

Okay, I'll admit it, I'm one of those people who slagged Myst when it first came out for the PC and the Mac. I bought the original CD-ROM when I picked up my LC-630 Macintosh and I didn't ever really get into the "game". I found the monotony of waiting for my 8 Meg computer to load up another still image (albeit a beautiful still image) of the fantasy world of Myst unbearable. I chalked it up to the fact I'm just not that kind of game player. And then I shelved my $50 disc and never plopped it into the tray again.

Well, now that Psygnosis has sent us a PlayStation version of the game, I thought it might be time to see if my initial aversion to Myst was purely because of my computer's technical limitations. The Saturn version of Myst has been sitting untouched for months because, truthfully, nobody has wanted to devote time to such a boring title.

Without further adieu, let's get into the Playground's first official dissection of one of the world's best selling games of all time, Robyn and Rand Miller's epic Myst.

For those two people unfamiliar with the basic setup of Myst, I'll explain it to you. The game plays out in first person. You move a little cursor around the screen as you explore a strange new world one frame at a time. Along the way you flick a lot of switches, press a bunch of buttons, watch some quicktime movies and read a lot of boring books. The idea here is that this game represents just how slow and plodding real life adventuring can be. It is the type of game that viewers of the Antique Road Show might really get into. (Hey, I like that show-ed.) I can also imagine Kevin Spacey's character from the movie Seven having the time of his life in this game.

Get the picture?

Actually, that's all you get in Myst. Pictures. Lots of ‘em. Like a CG slide show, beautiful images of Myst's mystical island flash by at the speed of snore. The images are nice to look at but I'm confident that if you took a swing by the Louvre online, you'd find it more fulfilling.

The PlayStation version of the game has just been released but, if you can believe this, the PSX port is much worse than the Saturn's, which has been out for a year!

The PlayStation version is plagued by an incomprehensibly small window to play the game in and intolerably slow CD access times. The Saturn version is grainier but the images are larger and load up quicker.

Sound for both games is pretty much equal. The music of Myst has always been one of its key components. Cellos are so rarely used in computer games and the use of them here really adds to the atmosphere. In fact, had this title just been a real new age slide show with this groovy new age music, I probably would have dug the thing a bit more.

I think you can probably guess how I feel about Myst's game play. I'm not against thinking through an adventure; I'm against sleeping through one. Myst has never worked for me but obviously a lot of people love it. If you're absolutely compelled to try it, please do me a favor and rent before you buy. And then drop me a thought, I'm curious to hear what you think of the game.

Myst for PlayStation..................................5 out of 10

Victor Lucas

Thought Drop

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