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February 21st, 2007, 05:25
IGN is the first site to jump the release and get an early review of BioWare's Jade Empire Special Edition out the door. It's a much more realistic article than their silly initial Xbox review (9.9/10), which they basically acknowledge in the conclusion. The score this time is 8.6/10 and here's part of that summary:
While it's apparently quite easy for a good RPG to turn the heads of our console editors and leave them gasping for superlatives, the fact is that the RPG market on the PC is considerably more competitive. Add in the fact that Jade Empire is nearly two years old and it's not hard to understand that the PC version isn't quite the revelation that it was on the Xbox.
That said, Jade Empire is an instantly captivating experience for any action RPG fan who hasn't yet played it on the Xbox. The characters, settings and storyline are filled with fantastic details and the whole game is dripping with atmosphere. There are always meaningful and interesting choices to make throughout the game and a wide range of combat styles to explore. On the other hand, the linear missions tend to simplify the "good" and "bad" morality system and you'll need to focus on just a few combat styles in order to stay alive.
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February 21st, 2007, 05:25
Can someone explain the focusing only on a few styles?

I am a little confused, is there some point system where, you get 30 points over the course of the game to put in 20 different styles and each of the 20 styles has 5 levels of mastery?

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February 21st, 2007, 05:53
Something like that, yeah. You get points, and the different abilities for each style cost progressively more. At lower levels, you're choosing "Do I do more damage, or do I increase my speed?" At higher levels, you've got enough points to max stuff out pretty quickly, but you still have to make some choices.

When I played, I maxed out one martial style (Legendary Strike), one weapon style (the Staff), and one support style (Storm Dragon). I also maxed out Spirit Thief. As I recall, I didn't have a ton of points left over after all that, although I had sunk SOME points into styles that I didn't end up using much of later (Heavenly Wave and Ice Shard, as well as the transformation styles).

You CAN spread points across a bunch of different styles of the same type (magic, martial, support, weapon), but it's not usually worth it -- you need to be good at one of each style to get by easily. (You can get by a lot of the game with fewer styles, but certain monsters are immune to certain styles, so you'll have much harder fights if you have to switch over to a style you've put no points into.)
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February 21st, 2007, 16:09
I think that the 9.9 reviews were a reason for somewhat of a backlash against the game … everyone I talk to says it is a good game and worth playing but over-rated based on the XBOX reviews.
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February 21st, 2007, 16:34
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
I think that the 9.9 reviews were a reason for somewhat of a backlash against the game … everyone I talk to says it is a good game and worth playing but over-rated based on the XBOX reviews.
As I've said before my take on the Xbox version game:
Great story and setting
Ridiculously easy gameplay (even on highest difficulty)
Very linear
Character development system very light and choices largely inconsequential

I played the game all the way through and for the most part enjoyed it. However, looking back on the experience I felt like I had simply played through a very well done adventure game and/or read a good story/comic. Definitely did not ultimately scratch my rpg itch.

Not really sure what they changed in the PC version, but I find it hard to believe that they could really alter the core game mechanics and presentation that much. So go ahead and play, but just don't let your expectations (or review scores) exceed what the game actually is.




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February 21st, 2007, 21:22
Awesome review. The reviewer manages to mention Oblivion only once.
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