i]To get this at the review list - I am reposting this review by Skully as a separate thread
Here you go[/i]
Orginally posted on the Adventure Game Discussion Forum (on March 5th):
Ripley's Believe it or Not: The Riddle of Master Lu, released in 1995 by Sanctuary Woods. This game had one of the most well-developed stories I’ve seen in a while in an adventure game. Mixing fiction with historical fact, the creators gave us an engrossing plot, using (mostly) believable characterizations coupled with excellent voice acting (I thought it was weird that almost none of the actor’s voices were used, but instead were dubbed by others) and well-placed humor. (Although there was one strange plot hole: It seems Ripley couldn’t keep enough money in his bank account to pay his electric bill, yet he had enough cash to fly from Germany to NYC just to pick up a turtle and then fly back to Germany again.) The animation is very good (but I feel it suffered from a lack of close-ups), and the booklet included with the game was a real gem, giving us some history of Robert Ripley and letting us know which of the oddities in the game were real. This is also the first game I’ve played when your character can actually get chastised or even killed for picking up every item that isn't nailed down! That certainly added an interesting twist to your adventure.
But................ I did NOT like this game!
What sets apart a good adventure game from a good movie is the interactive experience of solving the puzzles for our character. Quite early in the game, the only way to get a needed soldier’s hat from someone who did not speak English was to trade her for it with a picture of Ripley in his war uniform. Did this make any sense to anyone? Why in the world would this woman trade a hat that belonged to her deceased husband for a picture of total stranger?! That clued me in that this would be one of those “throw every inventory item at every situation and see what sticks” kind of games. This was also made apparent in the Baron’s secret lab, when you had to fill the glass jar with water. I had an awful time down there because the w/t I was using neglected to mention that I needed to remove the faucet pipe from the sink before I attached it the hose. It really shouldn’t matter which end of the hose the pipe was attached to. In fact, I should have been able to just hold the jar under the faucet to fill it up before I placed it on the lever key. That puzzle was needlessly finicky. (And really – did the Baron go through that rigmarole every time he left his lab?!)
To think that the guard at the temple was fooled by a paper band from a cigar was absurd. And was there a pattern to the prayer wheel puzzle? I gave each monk the wheel for the prayer he was studying, but when that got me nowhere, I again consulted the w/t. The solution seemed random to me. Did I miss something there?
And, oh, that maze!
A number of deadly bugs in the game: I could not talk to the gardener at the Ace of Spades castle while he was trimming the bush in front – the game would freeze every time (although I could talk to him when he was in other locations). During the rescue scene of Dr. Twelvetrees on Easter Island, the background music was really, really, really LOUD! It totally drowned out the dialogue. And I never got to see the final scene of the game because it kept crashing on me (many thanks to Scout for letting me know what happened!)
Unless you’ve got a lot of patience for illogical puzzles, I do not recommend playing this game without a good w/t firmly in hand, but it is worth a look-see just for the intriguing story.