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Bioware's Weakest Game
Jade Empire is a frustrating game, while it arguably processes their strongest story (save one Dethroning Moment Of Suck near the end), full of Xanatos Gambits, interesting twists, an inspired villain, and a unique amongst games art design, everything else is either mind numbingly average or....lame.

Combat: Unsatisfying, each style consists of one combo and one strong attack, despite being able to map four styles to the D-Pad, the feelings of repetition sink in fast as the rate of encounters is very high, and the variety of enemies is low, the feedback from attacks is non-existent, feeling like you're brushing a feather against a rhino, on top of that, the lousy camera makes it difficult to determine how far away you are from enemies, and on top of THAT, the majority of combat becomes a cake-walk when you nab Mirabelle.

Dialogue: For this game, Bioware decided to try and step away from the "Pure as a recently cleaned angel or as evil as Satan himself when he's in a bad mood" style of morality, instead going for more different shades of good morality as seen in Mass Effect, unfortunately, it seems the writers mistook this to mean "Make them more black and white than ever before" since all the Closed Fist dialogue is so Stupid Evil it makes my eyes hurt just looking at it, while there's no option for different ways of saying things outside these two moralities. In addition, the normal dialogue throughout the game is very stilted, with everyone speaking exactly the same, and sounding nothing like any human would speak.

Characters: The most disappointing part of the game, it's usually a sure fire bet that if nothing else, Bioware's characters will be up to scratch, so it's a shock when all the characters here turn out to have little to no personality, with waaaay too many characters to fit into a 13 hour game, the writing team clearly stretched themselves too thin and it shows, with limited backstories and either cookie cutter or non existent persona's, coupled with weak voice acting from people who should be doing better jobs, and it's unlikely you'll care about any of them, not even that little girl who speaks like an adult.

Overall: Great story, shame about everything else.
So...uh...you didn't talk about the story at all...

By the way, what was the Dethroning Moment Of Suck?
comment #8439 Rebochan 4th Jul 11
Lack of word space, and I suck pretty bad at describing it, as for the DMOS....

(From my own DMOS entry) Jade Empire has a pretty big one, all game other characters have reported seeing a flaw in your fighter's style, The reason for this is that Master Li purposely put one in that he could exploit later on to kill you, after roughly 12 hours of gameplay, with all this build up and foreshadowing, you finally kill the Emperor who you've been lead to believe was the real villain, and how does the scene where Li betrays you pan out? With your techiques being quickly exploited in a fight and him defeating you? Nope, you get distracted by something shiny and he kills you without anything save your attention span being exploited

comment #8797 lorddaddyfunk 21st Jul 11
I played this game for over an hour before coming to check it out on here. Your review listed everything that underwhelmed me so far, and it doesn't look like it'll improve. Thank you for saving me from playing any more of this game.
comment #10961 delspencerdeltorro 22nd Oct 11 (edited by: delspencerdeltorro)
I mostly agree with you on the issues of the gameplay, but what you call a DMOS, I thought was a brilliant scene. I will admit that I wish the flaw was better explained than just being an Informed Attribute. But Master Li's betrayal is actually pretty well foreshadowed, and the Plot Twist holds up in retrospect.
comment #11468 DoctorWorm 20th Nov 11
I partially agree about the morality; the game turned out to be more good and evil than was advertised. However, the description of that is over-simplifying it, as there are some Closed Fist options that actually come close to promoting self-reliance (such as asking Fuyao if she can fight for her freedom).

Your comments on the characters provided no specific examples to back up your statements. Similarly, your combat paragraph was overly general). I also disagree with both points; the characters, from the party members (such as Sagacious Zu) and the people you meet on your quest (such as the gravedigger) have varied and interesting personalities, and different enemies require different tactics (particularly Elephant Demons).

The review could use some proofreading; while it isn't up to the completely absurd extremes of some fan fiction, the paragraph about combat was a long run-on sentence.

And the flaw can be implied to be letting down your guard around people outside of combat; the only people who notice this flaw seem to be people who are on good or at least neutral terms with you. There's a definite Rewatch Bonus in seeing how much of the Water Dragon's dialogue is subtly referring to the plot twist; for example, as she points out, if you lost to Sun Hai, Li's plan would fall apart.
comment #13806 Valiona 12th Apr 12
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