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Summary+1 to Coktel for finally spelling Goblins right
The GoodThere is a rule within the gaming industry itself which states that if you are going to make a series of games, you've got to be consistent with the title. Those wacky French guys from Coktel Vision made up their own rule when they invented the Gobliiins series: change the number of i's in the title so that it matches the number of protagonists you can control in the game, but leave the number of the sequel alone. So, in Gobliiins there were three protagonists, while in Gobliins 2, there were two.
So we are up to the third game, which features only one protagonist in the game (hence the singular “i” in the title). You play Blount, a chirpy fellow who works for the “Goblins News”. Blount is looking to score an interview with Queen Xina and King Bodd, two rulers who are trying to find their way through the Foliander maze in search of the Jewel of the World, and use it to crush the opposing team. But during his journey, strange things happen. Blount is attacked by a werewolf and he finds himself with two personas. Now he has to make the best of both worlds somehow.
The disk version of the game contains copy protection much in the same vein as Gobliins 2, so if you've played that game already you should be familiar with it. Before you can play the game, you are asked to refer to the grid, naming the color that corresponds with the grid reference. I think this method of protection is quite creative, and it reminds me of the one in Jet Set Willy.
Goblins 3 looks and feels like its predecessor, with a series of icons appearing as you move the mouse cursor near the top of the screen. Almost everything you do can be performed by clicking the left mouse button, while the inventory can be pulled up with the right mouse button. There are a couple of differences though, such as the inventory being displayed as pictures instead of words. Also, and each location in the game is too big to fit on a single screens and you have to drag the mouse all the way to the right to see more.
Goblins 3 consists of 18 screens in which you have to perform a series of tasks to progress through the game. You can go around trying anything, using inventory items on everything, to see if it works. If that's not possible, Blount will do something like get the item out, toss it into the air, catch it, then put it back in his pocket. Otherwise, you'll see Blount carry out the action. A cut-scene can be viewed after a certain number of screens.
To me, Goblins 3 is the best game in the series, for one reason alone. And that is the ability to control other characters in the game. Blount will eventually meet other characters, and the two have to work together to solve the puzzles each screen contains. Just five minutes into the game, you will see Chump the parrot hiding somewhere in the ship. The way he hops around the screen is cute. None of these characters can store any objects, so it is up to Chump to get objects and use them on others.
While the second game has a dark yellow theme, Goblins 3 has a blue theme to it. The interface (the icons and inventory in particular) have a blue background, and most of the backdrops have blue gradients. The title screen looks impressive, and the inventory stands out against the blue background, since it is represented as pictures, not words. The characters look detailed and have smooth animations. Some of the hand-painted backgrounds look stunning as well. The map consists of all the locations in the game world and the characters you meet in a specific location. Everything looks stunning against the blue background.
The soundtrack is excellent, especially the piece that plays while you are in the alchemist's lab. I can still remember it to this day. Some of the soundtracks for one screen gets reused in another. The effects are up to par with the second game, with every character speaking gibberish.
Goblins 3 has plenty of humor in it, and just about everything you do in the game will, more often than not, be quite amusing. The highlight is getting Blount into trouble to the point where he curses the player. The best part for me is just listening to the character gibberish, with my favorite kind coming from Korin, the attractive woman you meet near the middle of the game.
The CD-ROM version of Goblins 3 is available for users with a CD drive, and there are a ton of features on it, such as a introduction (missing in the disk version, probably because it aws too big to fit on a floppy) and extended cut-scenes. The normal Sound Blaster music is replaced by several audio tracks. Having played this version already, I expected a reused soundtrack from the first and second games. I was quite surprised that this was not the case at all, but a soundtrack that blends in with the screen you're on. Finally, some of Blount's gibberish gets translated into English.
The BadThere is nothing wrong with the game itself, but I can see two things wrong with the setup program. Why have an option to change the graphics mode if it is disabled. Also, in the CD version, you have InterSound MDO and Soundblaster as audio options. I thought that Soundblaster would be the normal music you get in the disk version, while MDO would be all the audio tracks. In fact, there is no difference at all.
The Bottom LineSo in conclusion, Goblins 3 is the best game in the series, mainly because it introduces secondary characters you can control to get things done in the game. The graphics and sound is excellent, and the humor is on par with the first two games. The CD version of the game contains several enhancements, which makes this version worth buying if you own a CD drive.
All three games were released in three consecutive years, and each one takes away a protagonist. Having said that, I wasn't surprised that there were no more games after 1993. That all changed years late, when there was finally a Gobliiins 4, which features (you guessed it) three protagonists. The game is in 3D though, so it hasn't got the charm of this game.