Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Jade Empire (XBox)

Game Informer gave this title "Game of the Month" a few issues ago. GI was right on the money on with "Splinter Cell" (Xbox), "God of War" (PS2), and "Resident Evil 4" (NGC). On a side note, give the latter 2 titles a LOW replay value. I really think Chaos Theory (Xbox) deserved a 10. I played it more than the other two.

Anyway, I was under the impression that Jade Empire would be somewhat of a brawler/fighter, such as Ninja Gaiden but mixed with some strategy.

Well, I was completely wrong. This is a strategy game with limited brawler/fighting capabilities. This had a huge impact on my opinion of the game, which isn't positive.

The animation seems a bit jittery at times, but it isn't bad (this was expected). The controls leave much to be desired, but they are functional. Conversation in the game is mostly voiced, but can be lengthy and useless.

The developer did change up the game by adding weak puzzle and shooter elements early in the game. This helps, but not enough to keep me interested.

I have never been into strategy games because I feel they lack the intensity available in the other genres. However, I do enjoy RPGs which contain elements of strategy but not so much as to make the game annoying. The stories are usually compelling as well. I must say that Jade Empire has some very interesting stories, but the game doesn't drive me to learn more.

Honestly, I couldn't stand to play it more than a few hours. I haven't touched it for a week, and I doubt I will go back to it.

However, I think if the developer cleaned up the game and added more fighting abilities early on that were a little faster, I think the game would be a hit. Hopefully we'll see this in Jade Empire 2, if that's ever to be.

Put the Ninja Gaiden I was looking for in Jade Empire's style of game and I'll be a happy camper.