Review by gamer_mht

"KOTOR goes realtime"

Jade Empire is an real time RPG where you take a role of an apprentice trying to save his or her master.

Graphics: 10

This is a very gorgeous game. Characters models are excellent and express expressions! The backround is high in detail and show where ever you are at to the fullest. This of course is become very standard on RPG's but is still very worth to note.

In-combat Gameplay: 5

This is were Jade Empire will falter, even though it isn't so bad that you will throw your controller down. Combat against regular enemies, your bandits, your pirates, etc. will not suffer from a slowdown, but at times against bosses usually a slow down will occur. This will frustrate you at times. Eventually after about a couple hours the enemies become a bit repetitive. Even though there are different monsters its basically: Slash, dodge, slash, magic, dodge, slash, kill, rinse and repeat. Other games have done this just as well like Tales of Symphonia and Fable. Also, this game is decently easy to beat and finishable in 17-25 hours depending on how many side quests you have done.

Out of Combat Gameplay: 8

This was pretty revolutionary when KOTOR was released that your dialogue to other characters and NPCs would effect gameplay. This is the same in this game so I guess I was expecting a bigger consequence for not going on one side or the other or an option to just be in the middle. Some event are only available for the close fist (dark side) and some for open palm (light side), but these are few and far between. And most of the options for going good or bad are beneficial if you actually go bad, mostly more silver. There also is a gem system where you equip to increase one stat and lower another or cannot receive an item from them. There's just too many of them and poor sorting makes it hard to find the one you want.

Story: 8

Save the world, discover you were betrayed, we have seen them all. I guess it would be hard for game developers to create a brand new story without offending some people. Still, the game is basically revolve around saving your master and at the same time saving the world, Gee how lucky! It isn't bad its pretty good.

Side quests: 10

Jade Empire is full of sidequests. These are actually pretty fun and the requirements are usually the same, killing someone to get something, but sometimes it has interesting stuff like preform in a drama picking one script to another, being in a debate, etc. There are the standard arena now where you fight people. This might be one of the strong points for Jade Empire.

Controls: 8

The controls are pretty good. 4-skill selector and heal and chi-power up with the black and white button. Easy to access. BUT!!!!! after you acquire more than four skills which you do quickly it becomes a pain in your rear end to switch to a different skill. Bioware realized it so it paused gameplay, but it took you out of the action and that can hurt you even more.

Sound: 8

The sound of a gun firing, metal hitting armor, people dying. It all sounds good and the music is pretty good. Not the best of course, but pretty good.

Pros:

+great graphics
+side quest are amazing
+out-of-combat gameplay is still good

Cons:
-repetitive gameplay
-only 17-25 hours of gameplay
-nothing revolutionary

Buy or Rent: I bought the game but beat it in 4 days. I guess you could go back and play on the different side. But of course rent it at least you might actually beat it to save 45 bucks and plus if you don't beat in five days Blockbuster has no late fees! :D

Overall: 8

Great game from Bioware and hopefully if and when they make a sequel they will improve on the gameplay and make the game a little longer. But everything else is top-notch


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 07/18/05


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