Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Review of Madpea's "Buried"
By Kiirya Lii
As far as easter-egg hunts go, Buried is one of the best, and one of the worst of the genre. You begin as an amateur geocacher ... using GPS coordinates to hunt down little trinkets and doodads for sport and entertainment ... just like the protagonist of our story. Introducing Lily Morano, an famous author who got a little too invested in geocaching ... and is now missing. Her husband Joshua Morano is offering anyone who can find her a whopping $500,000.
That's where you come in. After forking over the 300L for the HUD, which that alone is difficult enough to understand until you realize it's an overhead view of the entire mesh of the sim. Then you embark on a mysterious adventure ... or so you think. The first clue is an interesting find. You wonder around the isle until you come upon some clues that lead you to Lilys iPad. (Lilypad, for those who miss the joke.) After some decent voice acting and an interesting plot twist, you're suddenly teleported to a shop.
At this shop, you're likely to spend anywhere from twenty minutes to a couple hours searching for a tiny geo capsule whose only purpose is to give you a tiny sense of immersion. As one player put it, whose name will be left out to protect anonymity, "Thrusting people into a resource-intensive sim without any indication of what they're supposed to be looking for? Genius."
After a few of these you start to realize the story is more of an afterthought while advertising and exposure is the true point of this whole game. You just paid someone to tell you buy items.
"But Kiirya!" you say, "There are prizes!" Yes! I tell you, albeit a bit sarcastically, Have you seen them? For the amount of work involved with finding just a FEW capsules, let alone TWENTY-FIVE, I personally feel the end does not justify the means. From what I understand, on each "level", shop and sim owners had the say on where they would hide the capsule. Some were very clever, others were like finding a purple elephant in a white room.
This lack of consistency in ascending or descending difficulty is another reason I am not fond of this game. Besides the progressing story, you don't feel like you're making any progress. By capsule six, you feel more like a parent observing their child's magic trick for the thousandth time and less like a rising geocacher on the adventure of a lifetime. The coordination required for this game non existent. One would assume they didn't communicate much during the development stage.
The games saving grace comes in the form of friendly faces sharing your adventure. The madpea group the you join in correlation with starting the game is filled with wonderful, helpful and willing people. In fact I believe it's safe to assume that without this group, a large majority of players simply wouldn't progress enough to find the encouragement to keep playing until the end. This game is infuriating, welcoming, annoying, and wonderful. Regardless of my obvious negative opinions of the game, I would STILL recommend you go out and get it, if for nothing else other than the wonderful community you encounter while embarking on this adventure.