View Full Version : Jade Empire

09-07-2005, 21:32
I just played through it, and I must say I was kinda disappointed. I can't pin-point it, but where kotor 1 had me start up a new game immediately after I finished it, Jade Empire just didn't do it for me. I think it's the lack of customization options for you character and the rail-roading of the game that puts me off. It's an ok story, with a nice biowaresque twist, all in all a solid x-box rpg, but still it's not quite up there with the kotor's.

Did anyone else play it?



09-07-2005, 22:30
... Huh?!

Sorry. But, that's all that comes to mind. As of right now, I'm actually playing the game. And I'm loving it just as much as I loved it the first time around, if not more due to experience with the system.

I guess it's the 'attempting to appeal to the casual gamer and not the rpg geeks' nature of the game that makes it a little turn off for some. For the record, I'm posting *as* a roleplay geek. I do pen and paper, I've played every Bioware game to date, heck, I spent a year roleplaying on a Persistant World in the Neverwinter Nights engine, and I can honestly say this game is probably the best I've ever played.

The storyline, I thought was pretty darn cool. The real time combat engine, which felt a lot more enjoyable than the 'chore' combat of Fable (but I don't want this thread to turn into a 'Fable r0x! Fable sux!', so the less about that, the better). And I felt it dealt with a lot of the annoying features of RPG's pretty well (e.g. 'inventory'. gawd. I hate having to go through my stuff and weed out what to sell, etc). I agree about the customisation though. It could have been a little deeper. But for the most part, it's pretty solid (covers speachcraft things, covers speed, magic, strength and the all-round useful 'focus').

There are plenty of options for mini-quests along the length of the game, too. Not to mention all those mini games to unlock (if only I could have seen the look on my own face when I was piloting the flying machine Galaga-style!).

I guess the slightly simpler system doesn't really appeal to everyone. Nor will the real time engine. And don't get me started on the ancient oriental theme (although, before Jade Empire, I recently acquired a passion for video games involving martial arts, so that REALLY appealed to me).

All in all though. I really liked the story. The theme. The combat. The style. Everything. I could safely say Jade Empire is probably one of my favorite games of all time. Heck. I stayed up 'till 7AM in the morning to finish the game. And once it was done, I put my hand over to the console to press the open disc tray button, but before my finger made contact, I pulled it away and started the game over from the very beginning immediately.

Very few games have even had that kind of effect on me. Not even KoTOR.

10-07-2005, 12:13
I'll be honest, I really enjoyed the game. I quite like the combat style (although I definitely prefer the more tactical system from the KotOR games), I loved the story (nice plot twist, a few cool secrets to spice up the story of the group members), I liked the universe (and honestly it's a shame that there is not more of it *crosses fingers for JE2). The theme fit perfectly with my ignorant's view of medieval mythical China...
I have played it through four times now. The first time, as a way to discover the story, the second time to discover all the secrets, the third time as a bad guy (oh my... some of the best dialogues are in there, especially confrontations with party members :evilgrin: ), and a fourth time as a femal character (just to see the flip side of things).
I even played through certain parts of the games even more to get all the romance combinations...

All in all it is an excellent game, too short unfortunately(but then it's my fault I shouldn't have played through it in three or so days...), but it does not live up to the original KotOR.
Mind you, like I said before, it does not make it a bad game, quite the contrary, it's just that maybe the divine surprise that was KotOR for me (I did not follow the hype around that game, picked it in my local game store with some apprehension and played through it in three days and two nights. I basically did nothing else, including sleep).
It is just that for me, KotOR is a genre reference. RPGs to come will be measured to it in terms of story (the plot twist, the plot twist, need I say more), gameplay and everything else. It is difficult to live up to a legend, but then Jade Empire is different. The focus is on martial arts, so I did not mind the idea that you did not have much equipment, after all what's the use of a sword and armour when you can slow down time, when your palms can shatter stone and steel and when you can throw balls of fire or ice from your hands...

However I will agree with you on one account PiD, the linearity of the game. You dont have the freedom you had in KotOR (although you're the rail-roading is relatively well done, because of the sense of urgency of your mission).

On the matter of RPGs, one can only hope that the next THQ 40k game will be a RPG. And if they could get Bioware to do it (here is hoping), then we'd probably have an incredible RPG on our hands...
Let's just hope we won't end up with some stupid Marine centered, squad oriented FPS... :rolleyes: :eyebrows:

11-07-2005, 11:26
Maybe it's the simplicity of things. My favourite game for the x-box so far (excluding the kotors) is Ninja Gaiden, and although it's not fair to compare the combat system to that, I still feel that the combat system in JE is too simplistic. And repetetive. I found my self changing styles just to get some fun outta the combat, because with a little positioning, you can basically beat all comers with the A-A-A, jump behind, power attack. Rince and repeat.

I don't know, maybe I was too hyped up for this game.

Also, when it comes to interaction, I've found that it really doesn't matter much if you invest in the three different conversation skills here. You always get there in the end anyway. Also when it comes to the gem stones (A +1 body is the same as +10 intimidation score so why bother with gems that gives you a bonus to the conversations skills over attribute bonuses?) I think they could have dived deeper into the whole customisation business with the gems (along the lines of the Final Fantasy series).

Oh, and moral choices? Open fist=light side, Closed Fist=darkside. Sure you get the chance to preach the Philosophy behind the Close fist way, but with the same result as the "Give me all your money, peasant" option.

But, hey, it beat Fable (which was way too hyped up).



11-07-2005, 11:35
Having played though Kotor (the first one) two times and just having started Jade Empire, I can't help but notice the formulaic (sp?) similarities between the two.
If you played them, you know what I'm talking about, so I will not be scampering into spoiler country. ;)

And as for Fable: I had just made it past the initial battle with the wasps, and then I got sidetracked. So I really can't comment on that.

So many games, so little time...

11-07-2005, 11:45
Well, don't let my ramblings distract you from any enjoyment. Even though I was a bit negative in my comments, they are still solid rpgs for the x-box in their own right.



11-07-2005, 14:23
Oh, I agree. :)

It's probably when the novelty has worn off, that certain follow-up games will attract a certain "meh"-feeling.

13-07-2005, 09:56
I still feel that the combat system in JE is too simplistic. And repetetive. I found my self changing styles just to get some fun outta the combat, because with a little positioning, you can basically beat all comers with the A-A-A, jump behind, power attack. Rince and repeat.

This is not a counter-argument for it, just questioning, did you try out all the 'harmonic combo' things? I could never manage to get them to work..

13-07-2005, 10:19
Yeah, I did. And I'm gonna explore it furher with different combos (Hey, I'm not bashing the game, I'm having a go at a replay as closed fist now, but I'm getting frustrated with the agonising slow white daemon style). I only pulled off the one that turns your enemy to stone, then breaks him with the next punch with the "light side" character.