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Thread: Jade Empire

  1. #1

    Default Jade Empire

    We had a thread somewhere but it's not on the first two pages, so it's both old and lost.

    Has anyone played this yet? Opinions? It's the latest Bioware RPG; xbox only though. I know there are a lot of bioware and RPG fans here, although not all of them have an xbox.

    Bioware are good, the few previews I checked sounded promising, reviews are predictably ecstatic, the setting is different to the usual run of the mill, but I'm a doubtful amphibian. I don't buy into hype, and I'm not sure what to make of this real time combat system thing; it sounds rather like KOTOR meets ninja gaiden. Since you can only choose from premade characters I'm rather concerned about the character customisation aspect. I'm also a tad sceptical about how good the plot and characterisation is; the bit of reading I have done has suggested KOTOR is far superior in this regard.

    At the moment I'm leaning more to 'rent if I have time and feel like it'. Which usually means I never do quite have time because something else always seems far more interesting or important.
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  2. #2
    Urwendur Ūrībźl Senior Member Mouzafphaerre's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jade Empire

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    What's it about? Any links? Is it related to China?
    -
    Ja mata Tosa Inu-sama, Hore Tore, Adrian II, Sigurd, Fragony

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    Robot Unicorn Member Kekvit Irae's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jade Empire

    Personally, KOTOR is the product of what would have happened if Daikatana and Ultima 9 had a bastard child. I was unimpressed with the they they did d20 Star Wars using the NWN engine. I felt like it lacked something, and that something was fun.
    "KOTOR is far superior [to Jade Empire]" says to me "avoid Jade Empire like the plague". I do hope everyone's wrong :/

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    Robot Unicorn Member Kekvit Irae's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jade Empire

    Quote Originally Posted by Mouzafphaerre
    -
    What's it about? Any links? Is it related to China?
    -
    http://jade.bioware.com/

  5. #5

    Default Re: Jade Empire

    I think you're the first person in this forum to say you didn't like KOTOR, kekvitirae. It went down very well with the sizeable RPG crowd here, as did the sequel.

    What is Jade Empire? For those who know of Bioware's work all that needs to be said is that this is their latest work and first game after the original KOTOR.

    For those who don't know Bioware: It's a role playing game, aiming at telling a story rather than dungeon crawling, made by a company with a repuation for excellence. It has an oriental theme, just a generic 'oriental' rather than a specific variety or historically/culturally accurate one. It's got magic in it, and martial arts of the 'mystic' variety. It's supposed to be another of Bioware's typical RPGs, meaning plot and character heavy, two different paths for good and evil along with moral choices etc, some humour, a pinch of romance, exploring, side quests, hidden doodads, high production values. The 'twist' here is the combat system; it's realtime and the player is in control, just like an action game (or so I gather).
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    Urwendur Ūrībźl Senior Member Mouzafphaerre's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jade Empire

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    Thank you dames. Looks like a fine game.
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  7. #7
    Robot Unicorn Member Kekvit Irae's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jade Empire

    Quote Originally Posted by frogbeastegg
    I think you're the first person in this forum to say you didn't like KOTOR, kekvitirae. It went down very well with the sizeable RPG crowd here, as did the sequel.
    I played it for about half a day and then uninstalled it. I enjoy NWN, but Star Wars d20 using the very same engine just isnt my cup of tea. The battles felt tedious and the cities felt empty and unattractive. I feel no desire to continue playing it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Senior Member econ21's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jade Empire

    I found the gamespot.com review and especially their game guide quite informative. I don't have an X-box, so I was just seeing what I was missing. It sounds like it is a little more of an action game in terms of the combat, but still has some of the good characters and conversation that we expect from Bioware. I am a great Bioware fan, but it did not sound like I was missing something as good as KOTOR and so I am not cursing Bill Gates and the general unfairness of life. I'd still buy it in a flash if it comes out for the PC, though.

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    Member Senior Member Proletariat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jade Empire

    Quote Originally Posted by kekvitirae
    I played it for about half a day and then uninstalled it. I enjoy NWN, but Star Wars d20 using the very same engine just isnt my cup of tea. The battles felt tedious and the cities felt empty and unattractive. I feel no desire to continue playing it.

    I disliked KOTOR as well, but not for the same reasons. The roleplaying choices in KOTOR were so shallow I couldn't take the game seriously. I still played it all the way through, but after reading the thread about it on here I was very dissappointed.

    Dark side option: "I will kill all you sniveling orphans!"

    Light side option: "I will not kill all you sniveling orphans and I will give you some cash, too!"

    Neutral option: "I may kill you all later but I may come back and give you cash!"

    I still had fun playing it, but I was expecting a NWN killer, I guess.


    I'm really interested in Jade Empire. I am in love with the genre, mainly. Everytime I watch Hero or Crouching Tiger again it makes me almost wanna buy an X-Box. But like Kekvitirae said, if it makes KOTOR look amazing I prolly should just stay away.

    On a side note, can anyone recommend any other good RPGs that have the Hero/Crouching Tiger/Jade Empire genre down?

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    Unpatched Member hrvojej's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jade Empire

    Quote Originally Posted by kekvitirae
    I played it for about half a day and then uninstalled it. I enjoy NWN, but Star Wars d20 using the very same engine just isnt my cup of tea. The battles felt tedious and the cities felt empty and unattractive. I feel no desire to continue playing it.
    My feelings and actions exactly, plus it felt kinda shallow as well. And I actually bought the game only after I read the raving reviews in this very forum...
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  11. #11
    Sovereign of Soy Member Lehesu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jade Empire

    Jade Empire is fun. However, I bet most of you will think the RPG elements have been "watered" down. No inventory, per se, only three main attributes, only one non-controllable follower at a time. The game is also pretty easy on the normal setting (at least so far).

    That being said, I really love the game. The combat is so much better than KOTOR, the graphics are better, and it hardly lags at all. The game is polished and the storyline so far is pretty good.
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    ###### of the Smurfs Member pyhhricvictory's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jade Empire

    I like the game but the RPG parts of the charachter development have been dumbed down a bit. There is no inventory and the only thing that can upgrade your charachter is a single amulet that has three spots for gems on it. It is a good story though.

    I really think that it is what the new version of KOTOR will probably be based on when it is released. It seemed strikingly similar.
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  13. #13
    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jade Empire

    Quote Originally Posted by kekvitirae
    Personally, KOTOR is the product of what would have happened if Daikatana and Ultima 9 had a bastard child. I was unimpressed with the they they did d20 Star Wars using the NWN engine. I felt like it lacked something, and that something was fun.
    I love KOTOR and KOTOR2, but it isn't the gameplay that keeps you going but the story, so I kind of agree. But it is all so class I don't really care about the total lack of challenge, especially the second is way to easy even on hard. Cool characters and epic story make them what they are.

  14. #14
    Scruffy Looking Nerf Herder Member Steppe Merc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jade Empire

    Grr. So many heretics against KOTOR!



    It is characters and story, not gameplay driven., as Fragony said. I think this game is opposite, though I haven't played it, so I don't know.

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  15. #15

    Default Re: Jade Empire

    Hated KOTOR as well, that much I uninstalled it after about 3 hours and gave the game away.

    I'm currently playing EQ2 at the minute and I like it a lot, was thinking of WoW but don't want to be paying for 2 games at the same time especially such time consuming games.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Jade Empire

    I liked KOTOR for the story and characters; the actual gameplay itself didn't matter much. I play RPGs mostly for those two things; it's why MMORPGs never appeal to me. For the same reason I actually liked the fact the game was easy; it meant I could follow the plot and natter with my characters without getting stuck. That's not everyone's cup of tea though, and the beginning was the second worst part of the game. The worst was the end; boring, endless combat and a 30 second cutscene.

    I might rent JE then; I'm still a bit sceptical about the combat, no matter how much I read about it. If it's easy it is more likely I will be able to complete it within a 3 day rental.
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    Member Member Thoros of Myr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jade Empire

    KOTOR was OK. The main thing they did with it was the presentation...everything was very slick and well produced. I thought the story & gameplay were average. I'm not the biggest Star Wars fan though so that probly has something to do with it. I think I quit after about 10 hours.

    For me games are about gameplay first, everything else second. Occasionally a game comes along in which the other parts are so good that I can overlook the gameplay to some extent, but not often.

    Kind of in the same way that movies seldom measure up to their book counterpart, games aren't that great for telling a truly rousing story IMHO. But there are a few exceptions. Really if the gameplay is uninteresting it doesen't matter how good the story is, it won't have the same impact.

  18. #18
    Member Senior Member Proletariat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jade Empire

    Quote Originally Posted by frogbeastegg
    I liked KOTOR for the story and characters; the actual gameplay itself didn't matter much. I play RPGs mostly for those two things; it's why MMORPGs never appeal to me. For the same reason I actually liked the fact the game was easy; it meant I could follow the plot and natter with my characters without getting stuck. That's not everyone's cup of tea though, and the beginning was the second worst part of the game.
    That's definately my cup of tea, as well. What did you think about the choices presented to you as far as roleplaying light or dark? That's what made that game seem very mediocre to me.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Jade Empire

    Quote Originally Posted by frogbeastegg
    I might rent JE then; I'm still a bit sceptical about the combat, no matter how much I read about it. If it's easy it is more likely I will be able to complete it within a 3 day rental.
    Well the combat in the game was tricky at first, but it's really simple once you get the hang of it..
    Also, the story is really nice and the npc's are well written too.
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  20. #20

    Default Re: Jade Empire

    Quote Originally Posted by Proletariat
    That's definately my cup of tea, as well. What did you think about the choices presented to you as far as roleplaying light or dark? That's what made that game seem very mediocre to me.
    The choices were not great but I have seen much worse, including one (hmm, I have memories of several games like this actually ... now what where they called ...?) game which literally just said:
    1. Good
    2. Evil
    After that KOTOR seems very sophisiticated

    I felt the choices were better than in most other Bioware RPGs, but not as good as Planescape Torment. Torment is one of very few games which seems to handle the good/evil dialogue choices well, and even that had its share of "Evil: I'm going to pull your eyes out!!! / Good: I am going to give you all my money; bless you for being so tragically poor simply so I can help you."

    It's also better than games like most JRPGs, where you are never really offered any choice at all.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member Senior Member econ21's Avatar
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    But the Star Wars setting is rather a black and white universe, though, isn't it? It really does not get much black and white than Darth Vader vs Obi Wan Kenobi. So I am not sure it's the setting for morally ambivalent choices. However, I agree KOTOR 1 did seem a little infantile in some of the evil options and dialogue (although that does not bother me much as I'm not interesting role-playing evil).

    I liked KOTOR 2 better in terms of the moral choices. They were still fairly black and white, but Kreia muddied the water rather nicely and the overall "Empire Strikes Back" darkness of the atmosphere made doing the right thing feel more important. Even the Jedi in KOTOR 2 were far from the Yoda/Obi Wan paradigms.

    The stand-out story/role-playing things for me in KOTOR 1 were (a) the Bastilla character/romance; (b) the Revan story. I guess it may be a guy thing, but flirting with Bastilla was a hoot - even my nine year old son enjoyed teasing her, and he thinks girls and kissing are disgusting. As an example of story-telling, I am not sure the Revan plot has been bettered in a CRPG. (Well, except by the System Shock 2 backstory as told through audiologs).

  22. #22
    Sovereign of Soy Member Lehesu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jade Empire

    Jade Empire has a very fun combat system. With just under 30 styles to learn, the game packs a lot of replayability in the combat department. Those who didn't really like the "detached" gameplay in KOTOR might like the oppurtunity to take more control in combat. The combat also has that "kick-ass" effect that only an over-the-top martial arts game can create.

    Bioware has not skimped on story, either. Jade Empire features a large amount of NPC text (all of which is voiced) and also features a smattering of books and scrolls throughout the game that will give you more history on the Empire. The allied characters are...interesting, and Jade Empire packs more humor than KOTOR I and II combined (although I haven't seen anything akin to HK-47 yet). You have the oppurtunity to talk to all of your allies to pump them for information on their background. Their is also a romantic companion connection like in KOTOR.

    Unfortunantly, as interesting as allies may be in advancing the plot, in combat, they are pretty lackluster. Since you have no direct control over allies, (unlike in KOTOR) your henchman use an A.I. script that is mediocre to bad. However, many of the characters have a support mode that will buff your skills while removing themselves as targets (they won't get attacked and cannot attack). The support modes often help quite a bit, but it relegates the supporting cast to supporting (3!) the storyline, rather than taking a more active role in the combat.
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    Robot Unicorn Member Kekvit Irae's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jade Empire

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Appleton
    But the Star Wars setting is rather a black and white universe, though, isn't it?
    Only if you are a Jedi/Sith, in which case you are either good or you are evil. There is no middle-ground. Non-Force Sensitive people, however, have a wide range of views. Han Solo, for example, would be considered on the lighter side of grey. Jaba the Hutt would be kinda evil (darkish grey), but not as evil as, let's say, ordering the Death Star to blow up a populated planet.

  24. #24
    Scruffy Looking Nerf Herder Member Steppe Merc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jade Empire

    Even some force users aren't perfect... I mean, how many lies did Obi tell to Luke in order to have him fight Vader?

    The stand-out story/role-playing things for me in KOTOR 1 were (a) the Bastilla character/romance; (b) the Revan story. I guess it may be a guy thing, but flirting with Bastilla was a hoot - even my nine year old son enjoyed teasing her, and he thinks girls and kissing are disgusting. As an example of story-telling, I am not sure the Revan plot has been bettered in a CRPG.
    I strongly agree. That's the one thing I missed about KOTOR2. I liked Handmaiden and Visas, but Bastilla was way hotter and more fun to flirt with.

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  25. #25
    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jade Empire

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Appleton
    But the Star Wars setting is rather a black and white universe, though, isn't it? It really does not get much black and white than Darth Vader vs Obi Wan Kenobi. So I am not sure it's the setting for morally ambivalent choices. However, I agree KOTOR 1 did seem a little infantile in some of the evil options and dialogue (although that does not bother me much as I'm not interesting role-playing evil).

    I liked KOTOR 2 better in terms of the moral choices. They were still fairly black and white, but Kreia muddied the water rather nicely and the overall "Empire Strikes Back" darkness of the atmosphere made doing the right thing feel more important. Even the Jedi in KOTOR 2 were far from the Yoda/Obi Wan paradigms.

    The stand-out story/role-playing things for me in KOTOR 1 were (a) the Bastilla character/romance; (b) the Revan story. I guess it may be a guy thing, but flirting with Bastilla was a hoot - even my nine year old son enjoyed teasing her, and he thinks girls and kissing are disgusting. As an example of story-telling, I am not sure the Revan plot has been bettered in a CRPG. (Well, except by the System Shock 2 backstory as told through audiologs).
    Played KOTOR 4 times without knowing of the Bastilla thing. But KOTOR2 should have had a Mira romance, she looks so cute in the dancing uniform I got her.

  26. #26
    Member Senior Member Proletariat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jade Empire

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Appleton
    But the Star Wars setting is rather a black and white universe, though, isn't it? It really does not get much black and white than Darth Vader vs Obi Wan Kenobi. So I am not sure it's the setting for morally ambivalent choices. However, I agree KOTOR 1 did seem a little infantile in some of the evil options and dialogue (although that does not bother me much as I'm not interesting role-playing evil).
    Granted, I'm not a huge Star Wars fan, but the once or twice I saw the movies I got the impression that Vader was on the dark side mainly because he was impulsive and quick to anger as opposed to the pragmatic Jedi. I like roleplaying the evil people, but in KOTOR it got ridiculous at times.

    Even with the silly roleplaying, I still liked it enough where I think I'll check out part 2 sometime soon.

  27. #27
    Scruffy Looking Nerf Herder Member Steppe Merc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jade Empire

    2 I think is better, game and choice wise. You can influence your party members a lot more. So you can turn your party evil with you. The story wasn't as good, but I think it was better over all.

    "But if you should fall you fall alone,
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  28. #28

    Default Re: Jade Empire

    I picked up the regular version of JE today. So far I'm about 50 minutes in and I like everything, except the combat. It's boring, and rather limited. I find it hard to get into range to strike after dodging; I roll/flip to dodge and then have to slowly waddle in to try and attack, by which point the enemy has recovered. If I try and roll/flip into range I end up going past the enemy. Trying to go brute force and forget about the finess doging type stuff is not really my style. But hey; I'm still fighting bandits with my leaping tiger fast style character, and not all that much idea of what I'm doing. It might get better.

    On a more positive note I'm pleased to see the usual quality voice acting is present and correct. The world is simply very pretty, the music is really very good, and the production values are high as ever. I like the Oriental type flavour. I also like the open palm/closed fist concept; it's rather different to the usual good and evil idea.

    KOTORII had the potential to be a better game, but to me it fell short because it just was not finished. So many bits cut out, so many loose ends, so many bugs, so many simple errors like typos in the subtitles, so much brilliance tied up in a very clumsy and rushed ending. A few more months and this game would have been incredible, but it got pushed out early in time for Christmas. Gah!
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  29. #29
    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jade Empire

    KOTOR 2 feels rushed towards the end. It just doesn't make sense anymore, teammembers appear or disappear from your party without justification at all, which is a shame. When I was on Malachor I just wanted to be done with it, while in the first I was really looking forward to the final battle. It was still excellent, but it could have been better yes.

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