on 11 August 2005
This is simply a fantastic game that balances fantastic gameplay with awesome graphics, well rounded characters and a great musical score. The combat system, which would look complex to the uninitiated, I'm sure, builds up gradually and smoothly so that when you get to the real tough baddies you are ready for some top stomping. The cut scenes also look great and really help the plot to evolve, which incidentally has a fantastice twist to it.
I've played it through twice now without getting bored and I'm sure there are still a couple of side plots that I haven't discovered. Believe the hype, this game is that good, okay it doesn't have the freedom of Morrowind/Fable but this is the tiniest of gripe and shouldn't put you off in any way.
Jade Empire is a great adventure game with RPG elements. In the game, you take control of a martial arts student as they complete their training and embark on the typical epic quest to save the world associated with this genre; along the way you will partake in much exploration, dialogue, combat and some puzzle solving.
Jade Empire, by Bioware standards, is a very streamlined game; you do not have to control much in terms of leveling up and equipment (In Jade Empire you only have to bother about weaponry and bonus gems for your amulet!). Unfortunately, this will disappoint many Bioware fans expecting another KoTOR game, and with the reams of dialogue, it won't tap into the major market of gamers who just want mindless action. There are also various other problems which prevent Jade Empire from reaching the lofty heights of KoTOR: It is too short, weighing in at about 20 hours; there is not quite enough time to become attached to the characters or the world, and so a lot of the weight of teh story is lost in translation. You are also unlikely to feel as gripped as you may have been by KoTOR, though Bioware would always face the challenge without such a recognisable universe to draw on: everyone knows what a Jedi is, but following the idea of the Water Dragon and Chinese morality is somewhat harder for a western audience. Also, the new real time fighting system has its flaws; it looks cool, and when you're used to it, it works well. However, it is possible to get through teh game using a handful of styles and very basic tactics, so you could get bored by the end of the game.
However, there are a lot of great points to the game making it worthy of a 5 star score IMO. The combat, for all it lacks in depth, does offer a lot of exciting styles and harmonic combos. Most of hte time, it does the job, and occasionally you will create an excellent and thoroughly enjoyable fight sequence.
The characters, despite rather strange names ('Sagacious Zu', 'Furious Ming') are, on the whole, very interesting and add greatly to the game, though you can only take one partner along with you at any one time, so you lose a lot of the banter between characters (such as that between Mission and Bastila on Taris in KoTOR). The enemies are often very interesting; both from an artistic and gameplay point of view too. The world itself has some utterly beautiful areas. The architecture, graphics and scenery can be stunning, and the art direction is gorgeous. It's thoroughly enjoyable to run through a lot of the areas in Jade Empire. The adventure and story itself is also of a very high standard, however, the lack of length in the game makes a lot of this feel rushed as you do not grow so attached to the characters. Had the story been given another 10 or 20 hours to unfold, the revelations and twists in the tale would have had far more impact and made far more sense. Finally, there are some excellent set pieces in the game, particularly a major showpiece near the end.
Overall, Jade Empire is an excellent adventure title. It is an excellent stepping stone into Bioware style RPGs if KoTOR or Baldur's Gate on PC seem a little daunting, Bioware fans will probably be disappointed by its simplicity, and it's not nearly long enough, nor does it have enough areas. For all of these failings, the game is of the highest quality. It is beautiful, the storyline is interesting, there is plenty of minor comedy throughout (John Cleese's cameo is excellent!), the thousands of lines of dialogue are pretty much all well acted, the gameplay packs a punch and it can get very addictive.
It is not really an option to miss this game if you like adventure titles at all; it is great fun, despite its various failings, and I have great hopes for the promised Jade Empire 2!
on 7 July 2005
I can't believe how anyone says this game is average, because it is NOT. It's an absolutely amazing piece of art, it is much more than a simple game, it's a whole expirience. One of the main handicaps of most games is the poor script, flat charecters - not in here. The story is deep enough, the charecters quite complex - and by half of the game they really become your friends (or enemies). I really like RPG's and many of hardcore RPG'ers complain about a somewhat "too-simple" combat system, I do not agree, it can be complex, and... gosh... it IS stylish !
The difficulty is one of the most well balanced I've seen in ages (and I buy a LOT of video games), the graphics are fluid, the script is very, very interresting, the combat moves are soooo sexy... . So why just 4 stars, I'll tell you: A very, very poor limited edition this is! The "making-of" video quality, looks like a screener taken from a P2P network, the content, well - no comment. So if you want my advise: stick to the regular edition, the only thing you'll miss is this sort of feeling, of beeing cheated.
on 8 April 2007
There are no spoilers in this review.
I've been playing Bioware RPGs since Baldur's Gate and I must say this is the best one yet! Set in a mythical far East world with magic and combat "styles" instead of weapons. This is the first Bioware game I've seen with a realtime combat system and it is implemented perfectly, adding an extra dimension of strategy and challenge to the genre.
The support characters are interesting, but didn't bring their own missions... I am still debating with myself if this is a good or a bad thing. Typically Bioware games give each support character a side mission which distracts from the main game. Not adding side missions to each of them kept things focused, but reduced playing time and depth of the supports.
If I were to add any criticism about the main game, it would be that Bioware still have not got the good/evil, light/dark thing right yet. In fact they have it so wrong they may as well stop trying! Luckily it is not a main focus of this game and they use an "open palm/closed fist" system which allows the user to choose their specialist fighting style to align with their philosophy. This could have been executed better. I feel that if something like this is going to be in the game, it has to be the focus of the game, and the story needs to be as rich for either set of decisions... with much better benefits to choosing the "evil" path. Bioware should learn from the authors of Fable on this one, or leave it out entirely.
Unfortunately, Bioware have felt the need to throw in some really distracting mini-games. I hated these things in KOTOR and was really annoyed to see them show up again in Jade Empire. There is an R-Type style shooting game which is not part of the storyline at all, and actually seriously distracts from the main game... it doesn't even make any sense because your flying ship is flying the same colours as the enemy anyway so there is no need to fight them in the air. Sillyness!
on 21 November 2005
Many people would consider Knights of the Old Republic to be the best rpg of the Xbox, or perheps Morrowind.
But me? I think it to be Jade Empire. Personally the decision really wasn't that hard to make... the reasons? easy
First off, a bit of personal detail. I grew up in Korea, I am Korean so I think it lovely to see bioware going Asian with these historically fabled creatures.
Second, bioware for once did not have a preset story, in Baldurs Gate and KOTOR bioware used starwars and the forgotten realms as a setting, over here bioware had the freedom to create everything they wanted.
Basically, in this game you choose a character, this character will normally be a fast based character (finnesse fighter), a strong character (barbarian) or a magical character who uses chi.
You are a student under the guidance of Master Li, everybody in the school knows there is something special about you, by far the best student in the school Master Li is training you for something big. He has something extremely important to tell you.
Just when you are about to find out what it is he has to say some pirates attack the village. You and master Li have to fight the pirates.
Now master Li will tell you that you are a spirit monk, the last one to be living, Li was infact Sun Li the greatest strategist and saved you from death preparing you for a great voyage...
Thirdly, this game, made by one of the greatest game producers of all time, have once again got together an extremely deep, fun story which you can truly flow into.
Fourthly, the graphics, can you say anything other than, unbelievable? these graphics are simply put some of the best you will ever see on any console
Fifthly, the fighting style
So unique, for once bioware have allowed us to play games in real-time, this allows for a more fast flowing fun gameplay experience
what else can I say? this is simply put one of if not the best rpg on the XBOX
This game is in it's own right a unique game, pick a character or create one yourself embark yourself on an epic quest, trust me. You will not regret it
on 26 April 2005
It was good but could've been better. I completed it in two days and the similarities to the two Star Wars : KOTOR games are very very noticeable. At one point in the game it turned into fight, cut scene, fight, cut scene, fight, cutscene, dialogue, fight! With nothing to do. The loading screens are often and do take a while and once you reach a certain point in the game there is no going back to finish off your quests.
HOWEVER, this is a good game with a good plot that has a massive twist at what I thought was the end of the game. End of the game my ass I was only halfway through!!! The combat is fun and the interface is simple. The story is involving and the characters are really well thought out.
Two criticisms of the actual game though, it would've been nice to have stats on the fighting styles so you know if one is better than the other or are they all the same until you level them up... some hints please? And the followers, usage please? I did find usage for one of them in support mode but their combat skills are sorely laking. Red Dawn as a fighter is not very good but it's not like you have any control over leveling them up.
When you complete it, and you will quite quickly, LISTEN to the credits... brilliant...
"There are four lights"
on 1 December 2005
I had been told by so many people that I sould get this game, and that it was worth every penny.
So many people were right. This game is completely awsome. It's so deep! The graphics are pretty slick aswell, when you consider it's not a brand new game. There's a nice large selection of characters to choose from, and you can customise small things like name/statistics, etc. But the further you progress, the more stuff you find. You can update weapons and styles of fighting, and since leveling up takes quite a long time, every time you progress a level you feel a great sense of achievement.
So basically, the game is fantastic, mostly because of its depth. You can also change the difficulty if its a little too hard/easy for you. The only thing I might say that the game lacks is a propper inventory, like you'd find in most RPG's. But you can easily make do without. FANTASTIC!
on 7 November 2014
I played this through to completion and then bought this limited edition to play it again, still haven't opened it - it's a special occasion treat, for time indoors when I have nothing else planned, really looking forward to it and expecting that despite it's vintage it will remain a firm favourite among my Xbox titles 😊
on 13 September 2011
Jade Empire (Xbox)This is an [RPG]Roll Playing Game,i rate this game alongside Halo & Fable a long game to play but very fun & entertaining with a fair bit of interaction with caracters best played on the easiest setting to start untill you are familliar with the controls then you can always restart the game on a higher difficulty level to make it more challenging a very good game for those who don't just want to rush through a game & shoot everything that moves,a game where the right tools for the job applies.
on 23 May 2015
I am not going to spend long on this, but its a little gem of a game. It works on the 360 bc with minor graphics issues on one small bit of the game. Although there is admittedly not much difference in fighting given how many skills the game has, for which it has been critisized, it just does not detract enough from everything else, not least because the combat is fun anyway.
Great characters, plot and twist at the end which had me, environments, dialogue and John Cleese is in it.