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#950651 - 04/17/14 05:14 PM Moebius
oldmariner Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 01/29/07
Posts: 1380
MOEBIUS: EMPIRE RISING
By Pinkerton Road Studio Gog version

I thought I’d throw in my two cents with a useful, I hope, game player review. As in previous ‘opinions’, I leave it up to the reader to decide if this game is for you. The focus here will be on how the game works. Are there mechanical problems? Does it run smooth or loaded with bugs? What are the graphics like? Do you need to be a joystick gymnasts to navigate or can anyone work the mouse? Things like that is what I focus on.

Visually, this game looks very good. Everything is clear, easy to see and navigate. I thought the character's movements were awkward in presentation, though they looked good. They moved around reminiscent of mechanical robots. That’s rather harsh, it’s more accurate to say their movement is not all that fluid. I got used to it after a bit finding it not to be a major distraction.

The interface is somewhat off putting though again, it is not something to hammer it over. What I found clumsy is use of Rector’s cell phone. On the upper right hand corner your inventory icon appears. The graphic is of whatever the character is carrying ready for use. Clicking on it brings up a panel showing the entire inventory. With this panel you can interact with all possessions. There are take, examine, and look icons enabling you to explore items you are carrying.

This leads me to using the phone which you do a lot. In any game I can recall opening your inventory and clicking on the phone either through look, examine or some other tool enables you to operate your phone. Not in this case. No manual comes with this download. At least there is none that I found. To operate the phone you push your letter (P) on the keyboard. A screen pops up enabling you to interact with the phone.

I read in Mag’s walk through these instructions, “At bottom of game screen are the menu, save and play buttons. At top left of screen a pull out bar shows: in game menu icon, cellphone, map and hotspots target icon. Below the icons is the Chapter in play and the game play score.”

My version is the Gog download. Nothing appeared at the bottom of the screen. Could it have been my video settings? I used the game default so I doubt it. What suggests the issue may be more than a simple video setting is the other feature Mag points to. At the top left of the screen a pull out bar shows. In my case that showed, sometimes. More often than not there was nothing there. I am only pointing this out in case you experience what I did. Mag is ninety nine percent right with all the marvelous things she does for us here. Mag, I’m not picking on you. If you run into this you can reach Saves, Quit, etc by hitting the escape key.

An important question is, Are there mechanical problems? I found a few minor issues but nothing to pull your hair out. When trying to interact with your inventory sometimes you had to click on the implement tools, look, take and so on a second or third time to activate it. Your items appear dull when not activated. They light up when you can interact. Sometimes it takes a bit to do that. I found the biggest culprit was when I attempted to merge two items to create a multiple tool such as connecting a rope to a hook. Often it did not reveal visually that your mixing was successful. I surprised to hear Rector say, “Now I have a,” or something like it telling you that the new item is created. Prior to his saying so, I was still trying to connect the things. So if they don’t light up click again.

There is annoying issue when you cannot take an object until you know you need it. The hand icon is there to pick it up but our boy refuses. Then he gets on a plane to fly to another city only to discover he needs it. So picture Rector talking to someone learning he needs an item. He leaves to get on a plane fly home, pick it up and return. The good news is the people he was talking to did not notice he flew across country then came back without missing a beat. I can understand not picking up something you don’t know you need but to this extent? Consider one scene where Mr. Walker hired as a body guard and is going into a questionable meeting decides not to pick up his weapon. He finds out he needs it and has to return for it. It is little things like this that could have been handled better. What body guard goes into a possible confrontation unarmed?

Do you need to be a joystick gymnasts to navigate or can anyone work the mouse? The answer is point and click with peaceful relaxation. There are a couple places where you can get killed. They are not exactly timed puzzles or scenes. They just require paying attention. If you get killed there is a try again button. Be warned it takes you back prior to a point where you did some prep. In other words you may be forced to reset the scene before your retry. Such as picking up a few objects or whatever.

Does it run smoothly or is it loaded with bugs? My Gog version ran smoothly without crashes or sputtering. In that regard the game apprised itself well. I cannot speak for the DRM loaded other versions as those additions are the cause of most mechanical problems.

What about the story, is it any good? It is a story driven game which offers an interesting twist. One must be willing to suspend their view of reality. Jensen makes a point of claiming this is not about reincarnation. It is about people who have identical attributes, personalities and goals as a famous person of the past. Our hero has to find a person who emulates one of these in the present. She claims this is the Moebius Theory. Phoenix Online offers a explanation of this theory on their website. Ok fine, it sounds like if one is reliving the life of a historical figure doing the same things with the same goals denying it is reincarnation is a stretch.

Regarding this game toss the entire Moebuis/reincarnation theory. Completely disregard it as Jensen Created an intriguing story that can entertain if you can accept Harry Potter without witches. Rector, is not an endearing character. In fact if he were your neighbor you’d likely avoid him. There is nothing warm and fuzzy about this guy. Let’s say he is an anti-hero. Walker, who you sometimes get to play is rather a typical military tough guy. Probably more likeable than our hero.

The puzzles are slightly different somewhat akin to what they did with Gray Matter without the annoying need to stop and get additional inventory. I thought the assessment puzzles were well done. They require no more than reasoning out your answers. There is a sliding picture puzzle, and of course the familiar figure out the password puzzle. I found the need to blow things up in one puzzle quite unique. It is point and click third person with a lot of items to explore. Of course the Jensen end game big puzzle is present. This one comes in form of a maze from H– –. There is one rather ill explained puzzle within the maze featuring revolving pictures. You can click away for a long time before you suddenly get there. I’m not sure I figured that one out yet but I got there and there was no rush.

Voice acting is good with not a lot of talking required. All in all it is an entertaining game if you do not over analyze. The conversations tend to lean a bit toward sexual innuendo but there is little to offend. I’d say in conclusion it’s a long way from Gabriel Knight. Gabe and Gracie have no need to feel threatened this game will replace them. On the other hand it’s a lot better than some of the recent games.

*EDIT*

I left out one of my pet peeves. Where are the @*!# bloody saves hidden?

It really, really annoys me game producers can't agree upon where to place the saves folder. This one took me hours to find. I tried every search term imaginable and Windows search could not locate saves no matter what. Hard headed persistence managed to locate them. As a public service here is where the Gog version hid them in Windows 7. There is no point in keeping this info from you. After all what good is a review if it does not give you useful information?

Saves Folder Path

C:\Documents and settings\ User name\ AppData\Local Low\ Phoenix Online Studios\ Moebius


Edited by oldmariner (04/19/14 01:44 PM)

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#950653 - 04/17/14 05:28 PM Re: Moebius [Re: oldmariner]
Marian Offline
Moderator
True Blue Boomer

Registered: 07/04/00
Posts: 20176
Loc: near Yosemite in California
Thank you for the review, oldmariner; it did offer a lot of useful information, and I'm sure others will find it useful as well. wave

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#950655 - 04/17/14 05:30 PM Re: Moebius [Re: oldmariner]
Rushes Offline
The Three Pipe Moderator
True Blue Boomer

Registered: 07/10/05
Posts: 23755
Loc: UK
Thanks for your thoughts, oldmariner. thumbsup Glad you enjoyed the game.
_________________________
"Bleat, Watson -- unmitigated bleat!" ~ Sherlock Holmes

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#950736 - 04/18/14 05:55 AM Re: Moebius [Re: Rushes]
Mad Offline
True Blue Boomer

Registered: 11/21/00
Posts: 23409
Loc: United Kingdom
Thanks, oldmariner, that was a well thought out and helpful review !! thumbsup
_________________________
Time : The Most Precious Commodity

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#950930 - 04/19/14 04:01 AM Re: Moebius [Re: oldmariner]
chrissie Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 01/15/05
Posts: 4403
Loc: london uk
Thanks for an interesting review oldmariner! thumbsup

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#950933 - 04/19/14 04:56 AM Re: Moebius [Re: oldmariner]
Callista Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 04/06/12
Posts: 57
Loc: Singleton, Australia
I agree with you entirely about your review I finished the game a week ago. having not played the Gabriel Knight series, I could not compare the 2 games. When I saw MaG's walkthrough yesterday, I queried the Inventory at the bottom of the page too. On rechecking today, the inventory was shown to be on the right hand side of the screen. I was just about to email her privately on that matter but you beat me to it. I would strongly recommend Moebius to all players. Best game out for a while.

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#950995 - 04/19/14 01:47 PM Re: Moebius [Re: oldmariner]
oldmariner Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 01/29/07
Posts: 1380
Thanks guys for your kind comments. I added an edit to reveal the secret path to where your saves folder is hidden in Windows 7. That is where they are in the Gog version. I can't speak for the rest. If lucky all versions used the same place. That is not always true.

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#951006 - 04/19/14 02:31 PM Re: Moebius [Re: oldmariner]
traveler Online   content
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 3265
Loc: Rivellon
Tell you what, oldmariner, if someone created a website that contained nothing but the location of saves for games, people would be stampeding to it.
Nice work finding that!
thumbsup

Gil.
_________________________
"Best not to think about it. I don't want to fall to bits 'cos of excess existential thought."

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#951174 - 04/20/14 11:00 AM Re: Moebius [Re: oldmariner]
looney4labs Offline
GB Reviewer Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 42267
Loc: Alabama
thanks Oldmariner, always great to know what our members think of games. wave
_________________________
"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole."
-Roger Caras

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#951213 - 04/20/14 01:56 PM Re: Moebius [Re: oldmariner]
Jenny100 Offline
GB Reviewer Glitches Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 10/24/00
Posts: 35363
Loc: southeast USA
Originally Posted By: oldmariner
I left out one of my pet peeves. Where are the @*!# bloody saves hidden?

It really, really annoys me game producers can't agree upon where to place the saves folder. This one took me hours to find. I tried every search term imaginable and Windows search could not locate saves no matter what. Hard headed persistence managed to locate them. As a public service here is where the Gog version hid them in Windows 7. There is no point in keeping this info from you. After all what good is a review if it does not give you useful information?

Saves Folder Path

C:\Documents and settings\ User name\ AppData\Local Low\ Phoenix Online Studios\ Moebius


That's where they are using Windows 8.1 too -- at least with the GOG version.

I can only assume the saves end up there because that location is not blocked by some security "feature" of Windows. I don't fully understand why the game engine doesn't use the (My) Documents folder -- or the game folder itself, but maybe there's a problem because the save is created by the game and not by the user which prevents it from writing to the (My) Documents folder (at least on some computers). So given a choice between "hiding" the save in a subfolder of the AppData folder and having a certain percentage of gamers not able to save at all, whoever wrote the game engine chose to "hide" the save.

It seems "some subfolder of the AppData folder" is the "new My Documents" when it comes to game saves.

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#951217 - 04/20/14 02:05 PM Re: Moebius [Re: Jenny100]
traveler Online   content
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 3265
Loc: Rivellon
Originally Posted By: Jenny100
...maybe there's a problem because the save is created by the game and not by the user which prevents it from writing to the (My) Documents folder (at least on some computers). So given a choice between "hiding" the save in a subfolder of the AppData folder and having a certain percentage of gamers not able to save at all, whoever wrote the game engine chose to "hide" the save.

It seems "some subfolder of the AppData folder" is the "new My Documents" when it comes to game saves.


All of which could be avoided if they didn't have automatic saves and just let us decide for ourselves when to save a game.
Speaking of which, I clicked on Continue instead of Reload when I went back to the game at one point and it plopped me down at a point a good bit before where I had left off.
I went back to the menu and hit Reload.

Gil.
_________________________
"Best not to think about it. I don't want to fall to bits 'cos of excess existential thought."

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#951471 - 04/21/14 08:38 PM Re: Moebius [Re: traveler]
ipad_Lover Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 01/26/14
Posts: 140

I loved Gray Matter so I will eventually get this game too. My expectations are low after reading a few reviews.

But that may be a good thing if I really like the game.

I hope GK1 20th Aniv. edition is the spark we need here for Jane's new games.
_________________________
I love playing adventure games like Gemini Rue on my ipad mini and Gray Matter on my PC Netbook.


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#951482 - 04/21/14 11:31 PM Re: Moebius [Re: ipad_Lover]
oldmariner Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 01/29/07
Posts: 1380
Originally Posted By: ipad_Lover

I loved Gray Matter so I will eventually get this game too. My expectations are low after reading a few reviews.

But that may be a good thing if I really like the game.

I hope GK1 20th Aniv. edition is the spark we need here for Jane's new games.



Ipad, don't let negative "opinion" reviews effect your decision. I try to avoid telling anyone if they should like a game or not. What one person likes another does not. I try to focus upon if the game works or not and draw attention to mechanical problems. Things that prevent you from playing through. In this game's case it ran without fault. The only problems I found were trying to use the phone in my version was a pain. It did not work for me the way this "tool" operated in previous games. The answer is simple enough. all you need do is press the P key on your keyboard. The other one was the stated placement of the inventory and the other tools that were supposed to be at the bottom of the screen. For me the inventory was displayed in the upper right of the screen. The menu is found by hitting the ESC key.

I discussed this not to complain about the game but to alert others who may have the same issue. By reading the review, one could guess I rather enjoyed the game. Whether I liked it or not is of little importance, The fact that you can find where they buried the saves without tearing your hair out is more valuable to you than my opinion.

That fact that the actual game runs (at least on my Win 7) is more valuable to a reader than my opinion of the game itself.
I say little about the actual game avoiding opinion because we all like different things. Of, course I do say a little to make someone aware of what type of story it is. I found many are concerned if a game is point and click or keyboard controlled and if timed puzzles are included. Combat is another issue causing people problems which I often mention if it is present or not.

I really oppose "Opinion" reviews. They usually tell you more about the reviewer than the game. They are like sports announcers more interested is showing how clever they are than what's going on in the game. For instance I could review MYST and tear it apart making it sound awful simply because it's not my style of game. How does that do anyone any good? MYST is purely a great game but I do not like first person, no dialogue puzzle games. I like The Longest Journey. Those two games are legends and they are polar opposites of each other. Some people enjoy both types while others are on one side or the other.

Moebius, plays well, has a story that will hold most people's interest and a few pain in the neck mechanical problems that are not an issue if you know the alternative keys to push. I hope you found my review helpful. Whether or not it is a good game is up to you.



Edited by oldmariner (04/21/14 11:35 PM)

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#951515 - 04/22/14 07:22 AM Re: Moebius [Re: oldmariner]
ipad_Lover Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 01/26/14
Posts: 140

The game has a 58 rating on Metacritic and this is why my expectations are low:

http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/moebius-empire-rising

Your review is very helpful - and I read many reviews to decide when I get a game.

I am getting this game, but several games with stellar metacritic scores are in front of it.
_________________________
I love playing adventure games like Gemini Rue on my ipad mini and Gray Matter on my PC Netbook.


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#964928 - 06/27/14 04:07 PM Re: Moebius [Re: ipad_Lover]
oldmariner Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 01/29/07
Posts: 1380
Originally Posted By: ipad_Lover

The game has a 58 rating on Metacritic and this is why my expectations are low:

http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/moebius-empire-rising

Your review is very helpful - and I read many reviews to decide when I get a game.

I am getting this game, but several games with stellar metacritic scores are in front of it.


I am way late on this. When reading reviews you have to weigh the positions held by the reviewer. I checked the site you linked to and could hardly find an Adventure game discussed much less reviewed. That tells me there is a heavy preference toward first person shooters and action games. It is not the place for Adventure reviews.

The important thing here is when reviewing Adventure games they have to be measured against other Adventure games.

Historically, reviewers and gamers who gravitate to the types of games as listed on that site are not Adventure players. That is of course a general statement. It is true many enjoy both types of games but they are in a minority. Adventure games tend to be rather lame compared to shooters and action type games in the minds of most who prefer shooters etc. Of course the reverse is true regarding Adventure players and reviewers. It is not to say either is bad or not valid. A player's and reviewer's bias will have an impact on their evaluation. Again, that is not to say they are dissing the other genre, it is to say they lean toward their preference basing their opinion on the favored genre. A game like Moebius will seem rather slow compared to Warcraft.

When looking for reviews seek sites that specialize on the genre of the game in question. This game in particular should be judged against others of its type. In this way you can determine if it is something you'd enjoy. If you are familiar with Adventure classics then a measure against Gabriel Knight, Tex Murphy, Syberia and so on will better serve you.

Check out the reactions by Adventure Gamers regarding Broken Sword 4. A majority of Adventure players clobbered it in personal reviews and posted comments. For an action player it just might resonate as a darn good game because of the keyboard action Adventure players hate. The fighting and timed action scenes are geared more to those who like faster games. By nature Adventure games are slow point and click affairs where reflexes are not required. Essentially it was a failed hybrid that infuriated Adventure gamers and most likely did not thrill action players either. The game itself if you could get past the annoying features as viewed by Adventure players is pretty darn good.

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