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Sierra or Lucasarts
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Author:  hetfieldrawks [ Mon May 04, 2009 12:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Sierra or Lucasarts

I realize this is probably not the best website to ask this at (given it's a website that remakes old Sierra games), but which company do you think is superior? Here's some food for thought before you throw your answer out there:

Sierra: Gabriel Knight, King's Quest, Quest for Glory, Police Quest, Space Quest, Leisure Suit Larry, Freddy Pharkas, Gobliiins, Camelot, Longbow, Codename: ICEMAN (which is their worst game, IMO) to name some big ones

Lucasarts: Monkey Island, Grim Fandango, Loom, Full Throttle, Indiana Jones, Maniac Mansion, Day of the Tentacle, Zak McKracken, Sam and Max Hit the Road

Obviously Sierra has the quantity, but are Lucasarts games better quality overall? What do you think?

Lets hear it guys!

Author:  DrJones [ Mon May 04, 2009 1:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sierra or Lucasarts

You can find this exact discussion in the polls forum. :)

And it's Infocom all the way.

Author:  Lambonius [ Mon May 04, 2009 5:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sierra or Lucasarts

Such a tough choice. A carefully chosen mixture of the two (with a few outside additions) would make up my definitive adventure game Best-Of list.

In terms of overall quality across all games and series though, I'd have to say Lucasarts edges out Sierra, in my opinion. Lucasarts games were generally better-written, less buggy, and overall more humorous (if they were supposed to be comedies) than anything that Sierra ever released. Sierra had its moments though. To me it's like comparing that single-disc album that you always listen to from start to finish with that double-disc album where you skip through half the songs to get to the real gems.

Author:  Broomie [ Tue May 05, 2009 12:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Sierra or Lucasarts

I'd have to agree with Lamb, here. I love Sierra adventure games, hell why would I be remaking them if otherwise? But when comparing the two I personally enjoyed Lucsarts games more! Grim Fandango, Monkey Island series, Day of the Tentacle, Loom, Full Throttle, Sam n Max! Man, they were some awesome adventure games. Grim Fandango remains to be the best game I've ever played. Loved every minute of it, except for that damn safe puzzle when you need to free Meche.

It's kinda like comparing apples and oranges, you might love both but you always prefer the other's one taste when it comes down to it.

Author:  Lambonius [ Tue May 05, 2009 2:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Sierra or Lucasarts

Broomie, I like how we both gave a small paragraph explaining our choice and then ended with a similar abstract analogy. Lol. ;)

Author:  MusicallyInspired [ Tue May 05, 2009 2:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Sierra or Lucasarts

LucasArts seems to appeal to a broader audience while Sierra seems to appeal mostly to hardcore adventurers only....maybe because of the more serious tones in more of the Sierra games than LA's....or the fact that Sierra has (many) brutal deaths and you're hard-pressed to find an easy death in an LA adventure.

I'm not sure which I prefer...but Space Quest is my ultimate favourite adventure series ever and it's Sierra so I'll have to say Sierra.

Author:  Quest For Glory Fan [ Thu May 07, 2009 9:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Sierra or Lucasarts

ah the age old question. Lucas Arts for me would win except for two simple series. Quest for Glory and Gabriel Knight. The humour is less in your face in Sierra but it's more obscure which I enjoy more. Sierra jokes seem to surprise me more. When I play a Lucas game sometimes I'll look at items in game expecting jokes.

Author:  Boogeyman [ Fri May 08, 2009 9:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Sierra or Lucasarts

MusicallyInspired wrote:
LucasArts seems to appeal to a broader audience while Sierra seems to appeal mostly to hardcore adventurers only....maybe because of the more serious tones in more of the Sierra games than LA's....or the fact that Sierra has (many) brutal deaths and you're hard-pressed to find an easy death in an LA adventure.

I'm not sure which I prefer...but Space Quest is my ultimate favourite adventure series ever and it's Sierra so I'll have to say Sierra.

On the other hand you aren't going to get permanantly stuck in a LucasArts game (unless you actually have the time and paitence to gamble away all your gold in MI2), or for that matter, in a Telltale game, with the notable exception of "Fright of the Bumblebees".

Author:  DrJones [ Fri May 08, 2009 10:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Sierra or Lucasarts

Boogeyman wrote:
On the other hand you aren't going to get permanantly stuck in a LucasArts game (unless you actually have the time and paitence to gamble away all your gold in MI2), or for that matter, in a Telltale game, with the notable exception of "Fright of the Bumblebees".
I thought the money problem was in MI1, not MI2. Also, I think I read somewhere that you can become stuck in the second act of MI1 by skipping the purchase of the treasure map on the first act. Also, both Maniac Mansion and Zak McKraken had dead-ends.

Author:  Brainiac [ Fri May 08, 2009 12:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sierra or Lucasarts

DrJones wrote:
I thought the money problem was in MI1, not MI2. Also, I think I read somewhere that you can become stuck in the second act of MI1 by skipping the purchase of the treasure map on the first act. Also, both Maniac Mansion and Zak McKraken had dead-ends.

I don't recall a money problem in MI1. You only use cash to purchase things - there are no (typically) losing propositions like the gambling wheel in MI2. As far as MM and ZM, you can also die. They're the proto-Lucas games, the titles that they had before they changed their basic thinking of game design to be less restrictive to the player and also move away from the Sierra-style.

The treasure map is irrelevant to the second chapter except in one case. I managed to get stuck in MI1 by throwing every burnable item into the cooking pot on the ship without having bought the treasure map. Without any way to light the cannon with a flaming mass, you're stuck. I think that may depend on the version, though.

Author:  Broomie [ Fri May 08, 2009 12:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sierra or Lucasarts

Don't forget you can drown in Monkey Island if you stay underwater for 10 minutes.

I've never tried it in MI2 though when you're swimming in the sea looking for the monkey head. You know what? I'm going to play MI2 right now! I had the Booty Island party theme stuck in my head all day.

Author:  Brainiac [ Fri May 08, 2009 3:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sierra or Lucasarts

Broomie wrote:
Don't forget you can drown in Monkey Island if you stay underwater for 10 minutes.

I've never tried it in MI2 though when you're swimming in the sea looking for the monkey head.

I know about the only death in all of Monkey Island. It's not really a dead end, though.

As far as MI2, I tried that once. Guybrush heads straight for air if you wait the full ten minutes. I think he even leaves the figurehead behind since he's not tied to it like with the Idol of Many Hands.

Author:  2dgamers [ Sat May 09, 2009 3:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Sierra or Lucasarts

This is a hard question to answer. It's like comparing apples to apples. Sierra On-line created so many more games than LucasArts... but the ratio of good games seems to be pretty even-steven.

I'd say it was a tie. I can't, truthfully in good conscience, decide which is the better adventure game design company.

Author:  Blackthorne519 [ Sun May 10, 2009 6:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sierra or Lucasarts

For me, it comes down to simply liking the games - not the company. I love the King's Quest, Space Quest, and Quest For Glory series (as well as many others in the Sierra catalog) and I love The Monkey Island Games, Sam and Max Hit The Road, and Indiana Jones and the Fate Of Atlantis.

I'd say, honestly, it's more about the ERA of gaming for me - I love the computer games that were made between 1988-1994. After '94, all of the creativity and effort went into producing 3D and FPS games, and the whole notion of computer gaming shifted. It happens - I like than I can still enjoy those games, though.


Bt

Author:  Lambonius [ Mon May 11, 2009 12:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Sierra or Lucasarts

Blackthorne519 wrote:
I'd say, honestly, it's more about the ERA of gaming for me


Very true. Amazing non-adventure games like X-Wing, Tie Fighter, Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe, Wolfenstein 3D, Doom 1 & 2, Duke Nukem 3D, etc. took up as much of my young life as any of the aforementioned classic adventures. I wonder if it has more to do with the AGE at which one experiences gaming--like, young kids now are going to look back fondly on their Bioshocks and Mass Effects as the "golden era" of video gaming, because those are the games they played during their formative years.

Author:  2dgamers [ Mon Jul 06, 2009 5:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Sierra or Lucasarts

Lambonius wrote:
like, young kids now are going to look back fondly on their Bioshocks and Mass Effects as the "golden era" of video gaming, because those are the games they played during their formative years.

That statement is so true!

Kids these days, (between 10 - 28 years old,) see the classics in a different way. Most are 3D engined-based.

Author:  Angelus3K [ Fri Jul 10, 2009 4:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sierra or Lucasarts

Blackthorne519 wrote:
For me, it comes down to simply liking the games - not the company. I love the King's Quest, Space Quest, and Quest For Glory series (as well as many others in the Sierra catalog) and I love The Monkey Island Games, Sam and Max Hit The Road, and Indiana Jones and the Fate Of Atlantis.

I'd say, honestly, it's more about the ERA of gaming for me - I love the computer games that were made between 1988-1994. After '94, all of the creativity and effort went into producing 3D and FPS games, and the whole notion of computer gaming shifted. It happens - I like than I can still enjoy those games, though.


Bt



Spot on Bt, agree with you there like.

Author:  Quest For Glory Fan [ Sat Jul 11, 2009 11:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sierra or Lucasarts

A Best off from Both companies if you will just so you know what I compare when I think of the two companies.

Sierra: Quest For Glory1-5, Gabriel Knight 1, Space Quest (1, 4 and 5), Police Quest 1 and 3, Kings Quest 5 and 6.

Lucas Arts: Sam and Max, Day of the Tentacle, Monkey Island 1-3, and Tim Schafer titles, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis

Graphically, year by year Lucas Arts always looked smoother and had an art style that stayed extremely consistent. Writing wise I've already said that I prefer Sierra's semi hidden wit/wordplay to the usual in your face wit of games like Sam and Max or Monkey Island. I notice that all the games I've listed in my best off are post parser and in VGA or higher. This is probably because I'm bad at adventure games in general and I find the gui game play much easier. Although Lucas Arts does deserve credit for it's cheeky in game references to other franchises/games, the prize ultimately goes to Sierra for me simply because there's more of it. Let's say I really enjoy Full Throttle (which I do) about an hour after installing/getting it to run in XP/fixing whatever other problems I get with these old games, I'm completely finished the game with nothing left to do. At least when I loved a Space Quest game there was always more of it to have and for the most part kept the same style of wit that kept me coming back. To me the Lucas Arts library is full of one hit wonders (excluding Monkey Island which only had one failure) where Sierra had entire catalogues of quality adventures. I could spend a little time getting drawn into a world that I may like more than a Sierra game but at the end of the day I have 5 times as many games from Sierra to play from a title on average and thus Sierra has given me 5 times as much gameplay. I could love Saints row 2 (which I beat in a rental) but I'd rather play the lengthier but ultimately worse Grand Theft Auto IV. Still there's enough time to play them all and that's exactly what I'll do. The list I wrote at the top is identical to my "must replay in between Episodes of Tales of Monkey Island" list.

Author:  pbpb33 [ Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Sierra or Lucasarts

Sierra games always seemed more complex, had more dialogue, were often longer, pushed the envelope more in terms of technology. There is no question that Sierra was the company that consistently pioneered new developments. And, at least until the early to mid-1990's, their games were as polished as any. When it comes to sheer amount of original music and achievement in graphics, Sierra wins hands down.

LucasArts games were usually less ambitious technologically, but sometimes they had crisper pacing. Also, LucasArts had nowhere near the amount of text and clever responses to various combinations of actions the gamer might try. In this sense, LucasArts gameplay was a bit limiting whenever the player tried something outside the intended line of gameplay. Whereas Sierra games often literally created worlds to explore, LucasArts games' settings sometimes had the feeling of being nothing but static, fake sets, if that makes any sense. Still, though there was far less writing/text/dialogue (and, of course, no narration) in LucasArts titles, that succintness and relative small amount of text might have allowed them to better focus on what dialogue there was and to make sure it was consistently polished.

Verdict: Sierra, of course!

Author:  ElvesBrew [ Wed Nov 11, 2009 7:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sierra or Lucasarts

This is such a complicated task, trying to quantify and catagorize the efforts of the two best adventure game developers, trying to determine which is best.

I think Lucas Arts gets a slight edge in variety or uniqueness. Where Lucas Arts was innovative and would bounce from a fanstasy world of music in Loom, to a pirate loving nerd in Monkey Island, and a salesman for afterlife travel plans in Grim Fandango : Sierra would take a winning formula and with tongue in cheek "Quest anything that moved".

You could buy a quest of kings, a quest of space, quest for glory, a quest of police and when you found one you liked you could buy it over and over with quest 1, quest 2, and quest n+1. ;) Now I know that most of the quest titles were vastly different from one another but still, there was a formula at work ( for a long time a winning formula too ). As a whole though I think Lucas was more innovative.

As for quantity of major hits I think Sierra would be the clear winner but on the other hand they would also be the winner when it comes to the quantity of stinkers. That happens when you produce such a huge number of titles. Still Sierra put out more titles that I played and enjoyed than Lucas Arts did.

In the category of Best Adventure game, it's close, but I have to give it to "The Secret of Monkey Island" with a very close second choice of "Grim Fandango". I played Secret of Monkey Island right after it came out and at that time it simply amazed me. So Lucas gets best game.

I could go on with this score card and intellectually show how I think Lucas Arts beats out Sierra by a slim margin but gaming isn't just intellectual. It's a combination of intellect, emotion, and spirit and what have you and in the end it adds up to how much you enjoy playing a game.

While I think Lucas has a slight edge I know that I enjoyed the Sierra and Lucas Arts game libraries equally, and that alot. :D


EB

Author:  MusicallyInspired [ Fri Nov 13, 2009 12:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Sierra or Lucasarts

That's a good point, pbpb33. Sierra was always pioneering new technology and better/easier ways of doing things. The problem was they didn't have anything to compare their own work to and therefore made a few mistakes as a result...mistakes that LucasArts benefited from. LucasArts came right behind Sierra and improved the mold of everything Sierra made. Their games were definitely much more polished and enjoyable to play (this is proven by the fact that LA games appealed to a much wider audience than Sierra games did). Doesn't mean that the LA games were better, but they definitely had the advantage of learning from Sierra's mistakes. I don't really remember LucasArts pioneering anything in the adventure genre.

Author:  DrJones [ Fri Nov 13, 2009 9:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Sierra or Lucasarts

MusicallyInspired wrote:
I don't really remember LucasArts pioneering anything in the adventure genre.
Not dying in the game, the combat system in Indiana Jones 3, the multiple characters and cutscenes from Maniac Mansion, including the original Maniac Mansion in DOTT, and the multiple "paths" from Indiana Jones 4, from the top of my head.

Author:  gamecreator [ Fri Nov 13, 2009 5:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sierra or Lucasarts

MusicallyInspired wrote:
Sierra was always pioneering new technology and better/easier ways of doing things. The problem was they didn't have anything to compare their own work to and therefore made a few mistakes as a result...mistakes that LucasArts benefited from. LucasArts came right behind Sierra and improved the mold of everything Sierra made.
I don't think that's fair. For most of their adventure game-making days, Sierra and LucasArts were side by side. King's Quest was released 1984. Maniac Mansion was released 1987. After 1987, both Sierra and LucasArts had plenty of opportunities to "borrow" from each other. They simply each had their own style.

DrJones wrote:
Not dying in the game, the combat system in Indiana Jones 3, the multiple characters and cutscenes from Maniac Mansion, including the original Maniac Mansion in DOTT, and the multiple "paths" from Indiana Jones 4, from the top of my head.
LucasArts was also more flexible with experimenting with/redesigning their user interface.

Author:  MusicallyInspired [ Fri Nov 13, 2009 6:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sierra or Lucasarts

I still wouldn't call those things pioneered. Sierra still made the first high resolution EGA games, the first VGA games, the first SVGA games, the first Windows adventure interpreter, etc. Everything LucasArts did just seemed to be tweaking and coming up with better ways to deliver what already existed. The combat system doesn't really seem like anything very huge that was pioneered that progressed the genre at all.

To be fair, I'm not saying this is a bad thing by any means. It was a logical position for LucasArts to be in and it worked well for them. I'm just saying that Sierra was always the ones setting the standard mold....LucasArts were the ones breaking it and reshaping it into something a little more polished.

Author:  DrJones [ Sat Nov 14, 2009 11:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Sierra or Lucasarts

MusicallyInspired wrote:
To be fair, I'm not saying this is a bad thing by any means. It was a logical position for LucasArts to be in and it worked well for them. I'm just saying that Sierra was always the ones setting the standard mold....LucasArts were the ones breaking it and reshaping it into something a little more polished.
Unless I'm mistaken, LucasArts also had CD quality music tracks in their adventure games first, and the iMuse system was also quite cool. It might also be that they used soundblaster and adlib before Sierra, because the adlib option in Indy3 is really old.

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