|
Your continuous donations keep RPGWatch running!
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Jade Empire - Special Edition Preview @ Hooked Gamers

Default Jade Empire - Special Edition Preview @ Hooked Gamers

December 11th, 2006, 21:28
Hooked Gamers has kicked up a preview of BioWare's upcoming Jade Empire PC release:
As one would expect after a two-year hiatus the graphics have been given a tinkering, to take advantage of the platform swap. Over 300 textures have been remodelled, and the resolution has been increased to 1600x1200. Though the characters have not been remodelled themselves, the attention paid to the graphics engine is set to assure players of constant frame rates and smooth game play, especially during moments citing dozens of on-screen enemies or more - a procedure more suited to the PC.
More information.
Dhruin is offline

Dhruin

Dhruin's Avatar
SasqWatch
Super Moderator
RPGWatch Team

#1

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 11,967

Default 

December 11th, 2006, 21:28
Jade Empire didn't seem to score as high on average as KotOR though I will propably give this a try if it at least tries to be an RPG.
Acleacius is offline

Acleacius

SasqWatch

#2

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,493

Default 

December 12th, 2006, 01:40
Not my type of game!! PASS!!!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

Editor@RPGWatch
Corwin is offline

Corwin

Corwin's Avatar
On The Razorblade of Life
RPGWatch Team

#3

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 10,400
Send a message via Skype™ to Corwin

Default 

December 12th, 2006, 06:21
I really don't know anything about it, what turns you away from it?
I better read a review or two then if it's not good.
Acleacius is offline

Acleacius

SasqWatch

#4

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,493

Default 

December 12th, 2006, 06:38
For me, JE was one of the - if not THE - most entertaining game(s) of [insert year of publication here]. If you liked movies like 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon', 'Assassin', 'Hero' and 'House of Flying Daggers', you'll probably like JE.
As all more recent games (with the exception of the bugfests I put on hold until they go to the bargain bin) it's shortish and linear, but it's atmospheric, you can be of different alignment and have different endings. Character creation was not what they had promised it would be, but well, I'm not above picking a preset character out of a bunch… I've done it before. You could create your own, but you had to settle for the avatar of one of the prerolled chars.
The game had its cheesy moments, romantic moments, goofy moments, funny moments, sad moments… the whole palette. And as if I hadn't said it over and over again… I liked the romance options. A lot.
I'm not the 'ooh shiny' type, so I don't put my heart's blood into graphics, but if you can get a more polished edition, why not? I certainly would if I had the time to play.

Semper HiFi!
Motto of the 54th Groove Bde.
Last edited by Jaz; December 12th, 2006 at 07:11. Reason: Myrthos liked it, too.
Jaz is offline

Jaz

Jaz's Avatar
SC-2201
Super Moderator
RPGWatch Team

#5

Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 3,328

Default 

December 12th, 2006, 06:57
Thanks for that info, very useful.
Acleacius is offline

Acleacius

SasqWatch

#6

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,493

Default 

December 12th, 2006, 07:22
Some more info: you'll garner a following and thus have a party at some point, but you'll be able to adventure and fight with only one of your fellows. You can swap companions at any time at the party's meeting place, though. Another point which might be a turnoff for some is the fact that once you gain a certain skill/spell, you're virtually invincible… but you have that in a plethora of other games as well (and you won't get this spell/skill at the start, anyway).
Choosing your personal ending is, as with so many other games, resolved towards the end (a minus for replayability), but the romance options, on the other hand, need more careful planning, so I found my self replaying the game several times not for the different endings or different alignments but for the different romance options (three for male characters, two for females - ones again we've been neglected, boohoo… but I still won't complain ).

Semper HiFi!
Motto of the 54th Groove Bde.
Jaz is offline

Jaz

Jaz's Avatar
SC-2201
Super Moderator
RPGWatch Team

#7

Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 3,328

Default 

December 12th, 2006, 20:53
Ahh nice, well it certianly sounds worth trying.
I scanned a review but was unclear if its only martial arts h2h or are there weapons too?
Are the Romances similar to the KotOR?

OT
Btw saw your listing of LoLs in the best of RPGs, since everyone was making a list and without one I didn't want to post in that thread, but wanted to say I had lots of fun with those, especially GoD.
Acleacius is offline

Acleacius

SasqWatch

#8

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,493

Default 

December 13th, 2006, 00:01
Those movies aren't really my thing and I'm pretty dubious about JE…but I'll get it to see where BioWare is going these days. It's interesting that this title went from 9.9 at IGN to a sense of "Meh" on the 'net in a short period.

-= RPGWatch =-
Dhruin is offline

Dhruin

Dhruin's Avatar
SasqWatch
Super Moderator
RPGWatch Team

#9

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 11,967

Default 

December 13th, 2006, 00:20
Acleacius: There are weapons (several different types) and there are definitely romances. The weapons aren't like an inventory system, though — finding a weapon gives you a style, and you can improve with that style.

Dhruin: Speaking as somebody who didn't work on the game, I loved the writing, I loved the art, I loved the story, I loved the movies, and it didn't feel like quite enough of a roleplaying game. I feel like I can say that because everyone in the company is saying that — that's what the designers were asked to make (a game light enough on hardcore RP elements to let action gamers pick it up). They did that, and while it's sold fairly well, it wasn't a massive hit at least in part because it wasn't action-y enough for action people or RP-ish enough for RP people. There wasn't enough crunchy customization, and there weren't enough side quests. There are a lot of good reasons for it, which mostly boil down to:

1) Art is expensive, and art for side quests is the first thing to get cut when budget stuff happens.
2) VO-dialogue and more complex NPC reactions (changing emotions, gestures, etc) make conversations more labor-intensive, which in turn make conversation-based side-quests more expensive.

That is in NO WAY an attempt to dissuade anyone from buying it. Like I said, I loved the writing and the story. There's some awesome art. There are some beautiful moments. Just buy it expecting a solid 25-30-hour game with a strong main story and some good choices and great moments instead of a 100-hour side-quest marathon.
PatrickWeekes is offline

PatrickWeekes

Sentinel

#10

Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 261

Default 

December 13th, 2006, 01:01
Thanks for the insider view Patrick. Between you and Jaz, I think our readers have a pretty good feel for the game!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

Editor@RPGWatch
Corwin is offline

Corwin

Corwin's Avatar
On The Razorblade of Life
RPGWatch Team

#11

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 10,400
Send a message via Skype™ to Corwin

Default 

December 13th, 2006, 01:03
What I found most disappointing in JE is the very limited scope of the game and its linearity; perhaps I shouldnt have felt that way, since JE came after KotOR but Bio really put the emphasis on how they were creating a complete (un)original world, even going so far as building an entire langage, etc., and that's what attracted me to the game — besides the different setting. But you experience next to nothing of that; and the point of the flying machine is really to keep you on track towards your goal, which is the Imperial City, so that you're participating in an interactive movie more than playing a game. (BG2 had a somewhat similar slant, however by forcing you to amass a large sum of money to continue the main quest, the devs gave you a free hand to explore and do lots of quests.) In the first Act you meet a character that bluntly states that travelling to the Imperial City by any other means than the flying machine would take weeks, so that's out and you hop aboard that metal and wood insect. And when you do get to the Imperial City, if you go out of the gate, you get to see the entire map of China — I mean the Jade Empire —, and there's a grand total of two locations on that vast landscape, the Imperial City, where you are, and the place you came from. Can you tell I expected more from this game ?
So, Patrick, if you dont mind my adressing you directly, you'll understand if I'm a bit skeptical about Mass Effect's similar claims of a huge universe we'll be able to explore freely.
Cormac is offline

Cormac

Sentinel

#12

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 405

Default 

December 13th, 2006, 01:07
Thanks for the comments, Patrick. I'll be honest and say I carry a bias of sorts because martial arts and Asian themes just don't do it for me…no particular reason; I just never "got" it.

BioWare aside, the issues of intersecting genres (will a particular title appeal to fans of Genre 1 + Genre 2…or neither?) and the cost of asset generation are constant bugbears for the cRPG community. There isn't a solution, other than to understand it is increasingly difficult for AAA developers to address our particular wants.

Anyway, it may well turn out that I'll enjoy the game once I actually play it. Who knows?

-= RPGWatch =-
Dhruin is offline

Dhruin

Dhruin's Avatar
SasqWatch
Super Moderator
RPGWatch Team

#13

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 11,967

Default 

December 13th, 2006, 02:37
PatrickWeekes, thanks.
I have enjoyed Asian Martial Arts movies for about 20 years, though I am no expert.
After seeing a very young (19?) Jackie Chan in Cannon Ball run I was hooked.
Certianly not his best performance, his humor (secretly watching p0rn while his mentor was sleeping) and sheer flexablity left me jawdropped, certinaly a shock after mostly being exposed to Good Guys wear Black in the US.

"That is in NO WAY an attempt to dissuade anyone from buying it"
Don't worry I love learning about games and understood it as educational.

Cormac
I think you have some great points, though I find I can put aside freedom for a good story, sounds like how many people felt about Redemption.
Many people were disapointed it was linear and limited in the scope of clan choices.
Its easy for us fans to want more, but I guess thats part what Patrick meant.

I tried to like Redemption for what it did give me, at the time I found what it did was done very well.
I loved the acting, story and massive amouts of choice on develping Disiplines and Attriubtes, not only that it was the only Vampire game and by extension the best.

I mentioned Redemption in this context as I have come to think much of the inspiration Bioware used in KotOR, could have possible been from the interactive ingame dialogues.
I know many of you have a more broad knowledge of games and formats, so my question is can anyone think of a game that did Ingame cutscenes with interactive dialogues before Redemption?

Thanks.
Acleacius is offline

Acleacius

SasqWatch

#14

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,493

Default 

December 13th, 2006, 03:19
Originally Posted by Cormac View Post
So, Patrick, if you dont mind my adressing you directly, you'll understand if I'm a bit skeptical about Mass Effect's similar claims of a huge universe we'll be able to explore freely.
Definitely understandable. My only answer — the best one that I can realistically give (since the PR guys have already said stuff like "Your galaxy map shows thousands of planets, and you can visit them all!" and then the programmers wiped the Mountain Dew off their keyboards) is to say that nobody at the company liked opening up a worldmap and seeing two locations. The decisions that needed to be made for that not to happen again have been made. M.E. may not have as many worlds as you want (freely? gah. no. really, no. there are worlds. they get unlocked. you can go to them. plots happen. but it's not Oblivion.), but it's gonna be a lot bigger than KotOR.

And none of that is bad, really. Every game is a step forward, and every game is a stab in the dark — how much better can we make the character expressions, and what will it cost us? How many levels can we make if they look decent? How about if they look great? How about if they look photorealistic? Because we've leaped from engine to engine (and iterated so heavily within engines, comparing JE to NWN), it's never been possible to concretely say, "Okay, making a level THIS big takes THAT long." And that almost always means that we overreach and have to cut stuff later.

The up side of that is that every game has a deeper experience than its predecessor, though, and not just in terms of art. Jade was our first foray into arcade-RPG, and it had some of the most complex dialogue out there — there are options at the end based on who's romanced and who's evil and who's been killed that we'd never have bothered to do in earlier games.

What's cool now is looking at how we're getting better at estimating the number of levels we can make in a reasonable time. Nobody liked losing the side plots in Jade, and going forward, you're not gonna see that again.

Like I said elsewhere, the BioWare goal, inasmuch as one peon understands it, is not "Mandatory 100 Hour Game", and it's also not "30 hours and you've seen everything". It's "20-30 hours to play the critpath, and a LOT of side stuff so that explorers are happy."
PatrickWeekes is offline

PatrickWeekes

Sentinel

#15

Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 261

Default 

December 13th, 2006, 05:17
OK, question!! If I just take the crit path, my char should not develop as far in say 30 hours as a char who attempts all the side quests for say 80 hours. Now, here's the question- what will be the difference in experience for me and/or my char by the end game? Will the final 'boss' battle be too easy because I'm now a much higher level, or would it have been too hard at the lower level? I'm hoping it won't be similar to another unmentioned game, where you could complete everything at level 1 if you so chose!! What's the trade off the company is considering? Thanks!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

Editor@RPGWatch
Corwin is offline

Corwin

Corwin's Avatar
On The Razorblade of Life
RPGWatch Team

#16

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 10,400
Send a message via Skype™ to Corwin

Default 

December 13th, 2006, 06:47
Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
OK, question!! If I just take the crit path, my char should not develop as far in say 30 hours as a char who attempts all the side quests for say 80 hours. Now, here's the question- what will be the difference in experience for me and/or my char by the end game? Will the final 'boss' battle be too easy because I'm now a much higher level, or would it have been too hard at the lower level? I'm hoping it won't be similar to another unmentioned game, where you could complete everything at level 1 if you so chose!! What's the trade off the company is considering? Thanks!!
As I understand it, it varies from game to game. Some games have a "It's as hard as it is" philosophy (I believe Hordes was like this), where if you do all the side content, the end bosses are a fair bit easier than if you get there as fast as you can.

Other games have total scaling, so yeah, like in Oblivion, the arena is just as hard at level 20 as at level 5.

In Jade, frankly, there isn't enough side content to change things much one way or the other. You're gonna be somewhere in the 20s when you finish the game, unless you do something crazy like go to the ghost-spawning points with your most-XP-for-ghosts amulet on and whack ghosts for 100 hours. You're welcome to do that, and you'll be, uh, much higher. In Jade, it wasn't even that much of a deal, because by level 20, you'd already max'd out the martial style you wanted, the support style you wanted, and either the magic or transformation style you wanted, based on points spent. So any points beyond that point were just to broaden your horizons… and the extra health or chi is pretty minor in the last fight, all things considered.

The in-between point I like is graduated scaling, where, to use D&D as an example, if you do the end boss at level 10, he's level 15, but if you do him at level 15, he's only level 18. He scales up, but you still get a reward for doing the side stuff.

(And let's be honest here. Your reward for doing the side stuff isn't really "being able to finish the game". If that's the reward, then it's not really side stuff. It's critpath stuff of which you have to do a certain amount. The reward for doing side quests is exploring the world, getting a few more hours' worth of entertainment, and maybe running into some challenges that weren't appropriate for the critpath (too hard, too niche as far as puzzles go, too touchy a subject for a critpath roleplaying plot). So our side quests are never gonna give rewards as good as in the critpath — and I think that's a good thing. If they did, they'd be effectively critpath, and then in short order they WOULD be critpath, so that nobody would miss them and not be able to finish the game.)
PatrickWeekes is offline

PatrickWeekes

Sentinel

#17

Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 261

Default 

December 13th, 2006, 07:00
Hearing about all the evolutions in process, dialoged and story complexities plus engine improvements is very exciting.
Even considering if we PC gamers still have to wait a year or two as with KotOR, JE and if it's 2008-9 before we see ME, each release's evolution still exceeds most current if not all RPGs by the time we get them.
So in this case being relegated to second tier is still very encouraging.

Could you mention something about the control scheme for PC version of JE?
KotOR was the first time I ever played a port and the only serious problem I had with it was even after 3 patches we still couldn't set our own keys as desired.
I hope that at least some of you guys are PC gamers or at least were and possibly understand how being forced to use someone else’s control scheme can be annoying.
This iis in refernece to setting the mouse controls, since I might not have been clear.


Thanks for your time.
Acleacius is offline

Acleacius

SasqWatch

#18

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,493

Default 

December 13th, 2006, 08:06
Thanks Patrick. Does Bioware support your preferred mechanism?

If God said it, then that settles it!!

Editor@RPGWatch
Corwin is offline

Corwin

Corwin's Avatar
On The Razorblade of Life
RPGWatch Team

#19

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 10,400
Send a message via Skype™ to Corwin

Default 

December 13th, 2006, 17:41
Originally Posted by Acleacius View Post
Could you mention something about the control scheme for PC version of JE?
I profoundly couldn't.

All I've got is the word from the GUI guys saying that they like it better than they liked the XBox version. I don't know what that means, and I probably won't know before you do yourself (assuming you get the game).

And for the record, I didn't have an Xbox until Jade Empire came out. I didn't have a PS2 until my wife discovered Guitar Hero. Despite my current proliferation of consoles, I think of myself as primarily a PC gamer.

Since my name will be in the credits for Mass Effect, I'm gonna have to get myself a 360, though. Not being able to play a game you've got stuff in is… well, my ego couldn't take it.

Corwin: Here's hoping.
PatrickWeekes is offline

PatrickWeekes

Sentinel

#20

Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 261
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Jade Empire - Special Edition Preview @ Hooked Gamers
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT +2. The time now is 07:18.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright by RPGWatch