Epic Martials Arts Adventure
The Jade Empire has withstood coutless attacks, but the greatest threats come from within. As a master of the martial arts, will you restore this ancient land to it's former glory, or crush it beneath your heel?
• Immersive storyline inspired by the myths and legends of ancient China.
• Real-time combat with dozens of fighting styles that blend martials arts, waepons and magic.
• Spectacular effects, lush environments, and details charatcers.
• Players: 1
• In-Game Dolby Digital
It is not often I feel inspired to give a Total-10 score, but I feel that Jade Empire really has earned it. Since I didn't actually have an xbox console, and just borrow one of a mate when the need arises, I had to wait a few days before I could plug this in and play. In the meantime I went wandering cyberspace for more details about the game. What I saw impressed me, so that when the time came for me to sit down with the 2.25l bottle of coke and some eyedrops to counter the sore eyes prolonged exposure to TVs give me... I was expected great things.
I was not disappointed.
After 4 EXTREMELY late nights in a row, I was getting pretty good at whupping pirate / bandit butts, and was well on my way to being a master in The Way of the Open Hand. (More on that later) However, I just could not seem to get past a certain area, due to an annoying habit of dying JUST before my opponent keeled over. His parting shot stomped me as well... if I could just get a tiny bit of a health boost before I walked into the fight... then my mate sent me a TXT letting me know he was about to collect his console in about 3 hours time.
DAGNABBIT! I was hooked, how could I be without this game? I had played enough to get a general idea of it, but not enough to really 'know' what the game was like... what to do what to do... JOY! The local EBGames store had a sale, and Xbox consoles finally fell below $250 each... off I went... I finally owned a console! So, get it home, set it up, and into Jade Empire... 14 hours later and I had discovered so much more by being forced to start from the beginning again! Lots of extras hidden where I just plain ignored them the first time around... crafty!
OK, so more specifics... the game has an integral 'Your choices now will determine your fate later' system, very similar to that first showcased in Fable, and with a definitely steep learning curve similar to that found in Sudeki, this game has some very challenging decisions to make. You are continually presented with a variety of interactive dialog options, some show compassion and courtesy (The Way of the Open Hand), others are fairly neutral, some highlight greed, arrogance and aggression (The Way of the Closed Hand)... which options you choose determine your alignment, and thus who will deal with you, who won't, and what you can learn.
You can play the middle-road, pick some nice and some naughty, but you will find you never get the chance to really shine if you do. To really see how far you can stretch your character, you have to choose... naughty or nice, one or the other. However, that doesn't mean you won't get anywhere at all if you walk the middle road... far from it. The story requires you to move with the plot, but the finer details will be determined by your 'attitude' during interaction scenarios.
Overall, this game has really, REALLY hooked me, and I look forward to many a butt-whoopin' until I beat it... which could be quite a way off, the way I play. Remember to keep doing REGULAR GameSaves, as the autosaves come in strange and irregular places. And be sure to be nosey, there are many good things hidden behind buildings, in barrels and vases and chests, etc.
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