Nibiru fresh review...

Posted by: Tomer

Nibiru fresh review... - 01/29/08 05:49 PM

Hi! I finished Nibiru a few hours ago and sat directly to write my opinion on it. I'd appreciate any feedbacks!

I enjoyed the game, generally, but not overwhelmingly...
It started out very poorly I think. Without an opening movie, nothing impressive - only some chats between Martin and his uncle.
That's weird, because usually games try to "brag" and look as impressive as they can at the beginning. That's a sickness really, since many games I know have holes in their plots as the story develops, a clear sign for a pressing dead-line, or shortage of money.
In Nibiru, it was quite the opposite, funny enough! No cut-scenes, no fancy rides, hardly any exposition to the characters...
In the beginning I didn't enjoy the game so much. I thought it was rather plain, the main character bored me, and I didn't relate to the story. However, as the game evolved - especially after the german mines - I became more and more fond of Martin and his quest.
The Mayan area was definitelly the most enjoyable - I enjoyed the puzzles and the atmosphere there.

The graphics were fine. I didn't like the animations at all though - the fact that Martin didn't run, for example, when he lights the dynamite - was really weird. Also, as I've said, hardly any movies or cut-scenes in good graphics - movies I know many gamers enjoy. I just finished Still Life, and this game pales next to it, at least movie-wise.
What I really didn't like about the game is it's lack of music. From time to time you'd hear a certain mayan flute, or some bass - but it was akward and irreleavent. I think the game would be much better off with more music and life to it.

The dialogs were so-so. Not quite as realistic as you'd expect. I also didn't like the fact that I'm not controlling the dialog at all.

The voice-overs were kinda annoying. Martin's grew on me, eventually, though I thought he lacks character. All the german-prague-frace voice overs were horribly done I think. They were sooooo exaggerated.The "bad guys" sounded as though they're chocking on their accents.
Also, there were some very strange, out of place accents along the game, such as that begger behind the hotel in France, who had an irish (I think!) accent or something. Whatever it was - it was definitelly not French! It doesn't make sense that every person Martin encounters in Mexico, French and Germany knows Enligh by heart!
If you'd ask me, I'd rather have all the characters who are not English (or American), and don't know English, speak their own native tounge, and to either have subtitles if Martin understands the language, or have nothing if he doesn't (and obviously find an alternative way of getting information needed). If you, as a player, do understand, it just adds...
In Gabriel Knight 2, for example, there are people who hardly know English, and therefore they speak half English-half German (like that meat-seller on the main street, or the priest in the church in Rittersberg). I know it's poetic license and all, but it wrecks the immersion for me.

The puzzles were good enough for their kind, but nothing too impressive. All the puzzles were very focused and not original. Whether it was sliders you need to move to make way for a golden slider (a game I liked to play when I was little), or matching coloumns of colors on a circlish pattern - it all seemed random, like they just googled for puzzles and found some ideas. One exception would be the mayan numbers puzzle, which was nice:
Click to reveal..
I did enter the sum of both numbers, eventually, but I'm not sure why smile. I tried average, difference, and lastly - sum, and it worked smile

That's the exact opposite from puzzles I really adore, that are integral with the plot and story of the game. Examples are of course most of the Mysts (especially 2 and 4), and also Gabriel Knight 3 (Le Serpent Rouge puzzles), and of course many more.
The inventory-based puzzles were fine, but I never really liked the whole inventory concept. A few itmes are fine, but I always found it a bit silly that you can pick up anything you see and put it in your pocket.

The lack of freedom in the game also bugged me. Rarely you have more than 2 screens to explore at a certain period. It's so much easier (and therefore less complex and less intruiging) to design a game like this - in such a linear way. It takes much more effort to build a game that enables you to visit many places at once. For example - I had a map. I always wanted to travel from a spot to another but of course I can't cause "I better look around smoe more". This also makes it very hard to not use hints when you're stuck, because when you're stuck looking for a safe code or something, you have nothing else to do, to "clear your mind in". Also, it makes the puzzle itself obviously a lot easier, because you know the answer lies just around you, and I don't consider this an adventage.

I'd give it 7/10.
Thanks for reading, maybe it helps someone smile
And thanks for the guys who helped me on the hints forum!

Tomer.
Posted by: BrownEyedTigre

Re: Nibiru fresh review... - 01/29/08 05:53 PM

Thanks for letting us know how you liked the game. Good review!

Ana wave
Posted by: looney4labs

Re: Nibiru fresh review... - 01/29/08 06:11 PM

Thanks Tomer. That one is in my "one the computer waiting to be played" pile puppy
Posted by: Phoebe

Re: Nibiru fresh review... - 01/29/08 06:17 PM

Tomer nice review.
Posted by: chrissie

Re: Nibiru fresh review... - 01/30/08 01:42 PM

Thanks Tomer for your interesting review! smile

I really liked the game myself - I do prefer games weighted with inventory type puzzles (I don't mind about the ridiculousness of what's carried around - I call it artistic license lol) but if the game includes other types of puzzles I prefer THEM to be in context & logical & I don't like too many!! The only thing that spoilt the game for me was the ending - I found it very disappointing! Up until then I found the story very engaging - for me the story is the driving force!

But, I really enjoyed & found it enlightening reading an opinion of the game from someone looking at it from a different point of view! praise
Posted by: Tomer

Re: Nibiru fresh review... - 01/30/08 03:47 PM

No need to bow, I'm happy you enjoyed it smile

And yeah, when I said "poetic license" I meant "artistic license". smile I agree it's legitimate, but I still find it rather pointless.
In any case you end up trying all of your inventory items on all the hot spots when you're stuck - what's that supposed to prove?
Posted by: looney4labs

Re: Nibiru fresh review... - 01/30/08 04:03 PM

That's why I'm glad there are a wide variety of adventure game types. Something for all of us wave
Posted by: Becky

Re: Nibiru fresh review... - 01/31/08 07:22 AM

Nice review! I agree that Martin's character doesn't "jump off the screen" at first, but as you spend time with him, you grow to like him.

I liked the Prague environments a lot. Some of the accents were of the "how Hollywood thinks Europeans talk" type. lol

Why can't an Irish begger see the sites and travel through Europe?
Posted by: Tomer

Re: Nibiru fresh review... - 01/31/08 04:28 PM

Well, I guess she can... I just wonder whether that was the purpose smile
Posted by: Becky

Re: Nibiru fresh review... - 01/31/08 05:20 PM

They probably just wanted to give the begger a distinctive "voice" and didn't think too hard about the circumstances.

I also remember a mysterious blonde man in black who shows up for a brief time (I think in a warehouse) and then you never see him again. I wondered about that too.
Posted by: jedi valius

Re: Nibiru fresh review... - 03/24/08 02:39 PM

I just began playing this game today...interesting to see this review. So far I really like the game because it's really a kind of game I like. I also enjoy inventory puzzles. Tomer: did you find the inventory puzzles logical or did you often end up trying all your inventory items on the hot spots?
Posted by: jedi valius

Niburu puzzle puzzling? - 03/30/08 03:03 PM

I have just stopped playing this game right now, because a certain puzzle buffled me and kind of shocked me to be honest...it was there when
Click to reveal..
in the german mines, we have to open the secret door. After blasting the door with explosive, a crevice opens up but the door does not open,
so there I got stuck. I really did not know what to do and had to look the walkthrough. I did what was told in the walkthrough but saw no sense in it at all!
Click to reveal..
I had to lure a rat out of the rat hole to tie it up to the explosive, put it in the crevice and the door opened? First of all, what does the rat have to do with opening the door? How does that help making the explosive more effective? And second, I found it quite disturbing to kill a poor innocent rat. It was quite a macabre puzzle and it has put me off playing the game any further...
Any comments on this are welcome and any explanations helpful as I did like the game until now, but now I am not sure I'll finish it.
Posted by: Becky

Re: Niburu puzzle puzzling? - 03/30/08 07:32 PM

Jedi -- you are not the only person shocked by that particular part of the game. There is nothing else in the game like that, as far as I remember -- though the end
Click to reveal..
does have something of a violent climax
(though not involving innocent rats!).
Posted by: jedi valius

Re: Niburu puzzle puzzling? - 03/31/08 03:52 AM

Thanks Becky for your reply. I am still left with a bitter taste in my mouth after that puzzle, so I sort of dislike the game now because of that...anyway I think I'll finish it anyway. However
Click to reveal..
why would a rat increase the power of the explosive in the first place? Why not just pick up two explosives and stick them in the crevice? It sure was big enough! I just thought all other puzzles had been logical and understandable until this one...
Posted by: Becky

Re: Niburu puzzle puzzling? - 03/31/08 10:15 AM

Jedi -- it's been a long time since I played this one, but I remember thinking
Click to reveal..
that the rat could get into a position either within or on the other side of the wall that couldn't be reached any other way. Of course, this assumes that the rat will go right where it is supposed to -- very unlikely in real life, but not unlikely (I suppose) in a game.
Posted by: jedi valius

Re: Niburu puzzle puzzling? - 03/31/08 12:19 PM

Hi Becky, yes I thought about the the position being important too, even though
Click to reveal..
he actually specifically mentions that the explosive was not powerful enough which I guess did not hint to the position of the explosive being important
. Anyway very weird puzzle! Makes you wonder what they were thinking when they made it! hehe
Posted by: Iva

Re: Niburu puzzle puzzling? - 03/31/08 07:09 PM

Hi, I liked the game and as I remember
Click to reveal..
the rat served as a sort of living conductor to increase the power of the explosive,
though I don't remember whether it was said in the game or I read it in a walkthrough, cause I was stuck there for some time too
Posted by: Mad

Re: Niburu puzzle puzzling? - 03/31/08 09:33 PM

Hi smile

Understanding the way the mind of a developer works can be a very frustrating affair so I gave up on that many years ago lol

When I play a game, I try everything conceivable or not conceivable that I can think of to solve the puzzles .... and sometimes I get lucky .... but I nearly always enjoy myself hugely wink

EDIT :
oops Forgot to say thank you for the review, Tomer, shame on me !!

Cheers.

Mad devilchili
Posted by: Tomer

Re: Niburu puzzle puzzling? - 04/03/08 12:14 PM

Jedi, I'm sorry for not responding, I haven't read this topic for a while.
You asked me whether I thought the inventory puzzles made sense or not. I guess most of them did, but not in a terribly obvious way. There were many moment of "ah yeah, makes sense that works", but still, I remember other moments I thought other ideas could work as well.
I'm not a big fan of inventory puzzles anyway, but that's really my own taste. I have no problem with a nice, clean inventory, without junk and weird things. It makes much more sense to me that the character would carry a few important items such as a notebook, a knife, and some artifacts of course (but he has to have a bag, or some other exuse for carrying everything! otherwise it just looks bad in my eyes).

And you guys are most welcome for the interview - I wanted to post it and share my thoughts!

Click to reveal..
p.s. I totally agree poor rat puzzle! I really didn't like it, nor did I get the logic of it. He didn't even say "poor rat", when he died. He simply ran, got the door open, and continued.
That's just an expression for the lack interest in Martin's character. He was almost always very straight-forward thinking, very squarish.

I too felt sorry for the mouse smile
Posted by: Jehane

Re: Niburu puzzle puzzling? - 04/17/08 06:12 AM

That puzzle was probably the most illogical one I ever had to do. I still don't get why it was there at all, even though the notion that
Click to reveal..
the rat served to transport the explosives to a specific part of the crevice
does make sense, somehow. But I would have never thought of that myself; I didn't even solve this puzzle myself because it was so over the top that I didn't think of it and had to consult a walkthrough.

By the way, what did you guys think of the ending? It's been a while since I played the game but I remember that the ending has left me puzzled and confused and, yes, a little angry because there were many questions left unanswered (as in Black Mirror). Overall, I thought the story was a bit thin; it did sound interesting but I would have liked more background information on the 12th planet.
Another thing: Did your copies feature a swastika in the tunnels? Because mine (German) didn't - for some reason or other it was censored or rather replaced by another symbol which I found quite confusing. After all, these were Nazi tunnels, right? But maybe they had to change it for the German market - Germans and Austrians still tend to react when it comes to Nazis smile
Posted by: Tomer

Re: Niburu puzzle puzzling? - 04/17/08 03:56 PM

Jehane - my version *did* have swqastikas in the mines, and also:
Click to reveal..
on a certain puzzle in the mines, where you have to create a shape of it
.
Funny they didn't include that on your version!
Posted by: Jehane

Re: Niburu puzzle puzzling? - 04/18/08 09:58 AM

As I said, it's probably because I own the German version and Germany (Austria as well) is pretty strict as far as swastikas are concerned. Also, Germany is exceptionally strict when it comes to censoring games and movies - especially games that are meant for a younger audience. Currently, they have a heated debate going on in Germany whether or not to prohibit "killer games" (= first person shooters). Also, you won't find certain zombie movies in Germany - at least not in an uncut version, and if you want to play certain ego-shooters, people/zombies are frequently substituted by robots/aliens/monsters. Instead of red blood, you get green or black blood and so on.

So I think these restrictions might be a reason why the swastikas in the German version of NiBiRu were omitted - after all, this is a game suitable for ages 12 and up (it say so on the box) and God forbid that the kids would take a look at a swastika, they might just turn into Nazis just like everybody playing shooter games turns into a killer *irony off* No, I don't like Germany's system of censorship but on the other hand, I don't live there grin
Posted by: looney4labs

Re: Niburu puzzle puzzling? - 04/18/08 10:52 AM

Jehane, I think we had this discussion a while back when the game first came out. wave
Posted by: Tomer

Re: Niburu puzzle puzzling? - 04/19/08 08:47 AM

Well, I think that's pretty much an example for how laws act without almost any logic.
It's not the mere existence of the symbol that threatens the youth, but the values behind it. Censorship is probably the worst way to deal with these traumas - it just gives one the need and urge to rebel against it.
Posted by: looney4labs

Re: Niburu puzzle puzzling? - 04/19/08 08:51 AM

Tomer, that may well be true, but that is outside the scope of this forum.

Let's get back to the game. wave
Posted by: oldmariner

Re: Niburu puzzle puzzling? - 04/28/08 03:02 PM

I just finished this game because it was part of the Adventure Company's cheap package. I first played it some time ago and seeing it included in this collection, I simply shrugged and said, "what do you expect for this price?"

My reaction to the first play obviously was not one of high regard. However, I was pleasantly surprised the second time around. Perhaps it was because of a succession of clunkers this one looked so good. The voice acting was not great but consider the guy in Black Mirror. Now that was bad, very bad. In Black Mirror the guy was so flat and completely lacking in emotion. He ended every conversation with the same stupid remark, something like "I think I'll go now" It reminded me of a stupid Partridge Family disco song. What about the guy in Operation Wintersun? Are we to believe that you can place a novice in a life threatening situation, for an entire game, and the guy's affect is flat? There was no emotion in his voice none at all. You expect the guy has to be scared out of his mind. Perhaps 007 could react that way. For him it is just business as usual. So in that regard Martin did just fine. The accents were lame but then again if they hired a real actor to read the lines with emotion we couldn't afford the game.

As for the lack of music. Not an issue I don't need to hear music while I am exploring a lost temple or poking through an abandoned mine. I have walked miles through mountains and forest and not once was there a band around playing theme music. special effects, the sound of creaking boards? Yes that happens in life and those were done fairly well.

The puzzles were ok we already discussed the maiming of varmits and that was beyond ridiculous when a few extra explosives would have done the job. As far as sticking a shovel down your jeans that has always been part of adventuring. It is forgivable as every game does that. Where is the brave developer who hands their character a backpack? It would be nice to see that, once.

Nibiru had a reasonable length and perhaps longer than many. consider Still Life that was cut real short and Overclocked to name a few. Then there are games like Keepsake who's only purpose is to throw a puzzle at you. It's entire story is told in a five minute cut scene at the end. I suppose they felt after all those puzzles you needed to know why you bothered. No Nibiru's story was fairly well done and more substantial than a lot of games.

Bottom line it was a pretty good game that compares well to what else is offered.

Posted by: Marian

Re: Nibiru fresh review... - 04/28/08 06:49 PM

I liked Nibiru pretty well, apart from two things: 1) that Rubik's Cube puzzle (without a WT I would have ended up then and there uninstalling the game); and 2) the ending (maybe it made sense to wiser minds than myself, but I didn't understand it and felt let down by it). wave
Posted by: Cue

Re: Nibiru fresh review... - 04/30/08 12:23 PM

I agree with a lot of the comments in the original review by Tomer. I recently finished playing NiBiRu, part of the Adventure Pack. You can't beat five games for $20 even if they aren't top-notch adventures. I found the game play frustrating at times and the solutions to some puzzles rather far fetched. Dialog triggers required you to visit an individual several times, without accomplishing anything else, before game play could continue. The two illogical head-beaters I didn't care for were...
Click to reveal..
1. Retrieving the documents from the server. I spent way too much time in the office carrying around the slip of paper in my pocket wondering what else I had to do to gain access to the document server. I had assumed I would have to enter the code on a keyboard but I kept getting the infernal message "I don't know what the code is". In desperation I stuck the paper on the machine and it worked!

2. The rat puzzle. I didn't realize I even needed a rat until I started putting inventory together and built the trap. I thought it was in poor taste to detonate this creature. I believe Martin said something like "He didn't feel a thing". From what I remember the rat served as transport through the crevice to some type of counterweight on the other side of the door.

In my opinion, the ending seemed to try to tie in the belief that alien life had a hand in early civilizations on Earth similar to the plot of the movie Stargate. How else could those pyramids be built? rolleyes
All in all, the game was enjoyable but I don't think I'll classify it as a "replayer".
Posted by: kiraalt

Re: Niburu puzzle puzzling? - 07/09/08 05:28 AM

I just finished this game yesterday. I agree with all the comments above. It was good, and worth playing, but not great. I was thankful for the walkthroughs! I found it hard to really like and empathize with our hero, Martin. The other characters didn't do much for me either and in some places I found them downright annoying! Many of the tasks and dialogue felt somewhat tedious to me. I think they could've done much more with developing the overall premise and storyline, which was intriguing. Would I ever replay it - (for me, that is the test of if I really liked it)? At this point, probably not. On a scale of 1-10 I would give this somewhere around a 7.
Posted by: looney4labs

Re: Niburu puzzle puzzling? - 07/09/08 04:26 PM

Kiraalt, what was it that made Martin hard to emphathize with?
Posted by: kiraalt

Re: Niburu puzzle puzzling? - 07/09/08 06:36 PM

Unlike Samuel in Black Mirror, I couldn't totally buy that he had any real deep personal motivation for helping his uncle and doing what he did. I felt at times he was gruff and abrasive. No offense to anyone - he just never won me completely over personally. I did feel bad for him at the end.
Posted by: looney4labs

Re: Niburu puzzle puzzling? - 07/10/08 11:08 AM

Ahh, thanks. Haven't played this one yet, but it always interests me why some characters are more appealing than others wave
Posted by: Mad

Re: Niburu puzzle puzzling? - 07/11/08 01:17 AM

Hi smile

Playing adventure games for me is a relaxation and a form of entertainment.

I don't actually expect too much logic or realism though, any more than I do when I watch a movie grin

So, for me, Niribu was yet another adventure game that I found to be immersive and thoroughly enjoyable thumbsup

Cheers.

Mad wave