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View Full Version : Jade Empire, wot it like?



Sketch
09-02-2012, 05:23 PM
Hey chaps,

So I'm generally a fan of Bioware's stuff but I've never played Jade Empire, apart from the Xbox demo, so long ago I can't even remember if it was any good. What are your thoughts/experiences with it? It's fairly cheap on Steam so I'd definitely consider picking it up. Cheers.

Althea
09-02-2012, 05:25 PM
It's pretty good. Really short, even shorter than KotOR, but quite fun.

It's not as in-depth or as broad as most of their games, but there's some good characters and.. uh... just buy it.

Wizardry
09-02-2012, 05:27 PM
I think out of all the supposed RPGs I've ever played, Jade Empire ranks somewhere near the very bottom. It's truly an awful game with terrible combat, a terrible character system, terrible level design and is full of little cut-scenes. Definitely not recommended.

CWalker
09-02-2012, 05:30 PM
It's pretty fun, but more of a beat em up than an RPG, truth be told :/

vinraith
09-02-2012, 05:31 PM
It's the Biowariest of Bioware "RPG's" The combat is 100% pure twitch action, the character development and stats are extremely minimal, the graphics are cinematic and the story is rich but linear. The cut scenes are numerous. If you like Bioware's "gun and conversation" style games, this is pretty much a "fists and conversation" title. If you're looking for something with any real openness, or any substantial RPG mechanics, look elsewhere.

Sketch
09-02-2012, 05:33 PM
Ah right, that sounds pretty good. I'm away from my PC so just have my laptop, so I'm not fussed about getting drawn in to something Skyrim-like. Hopefully it's not too demanding.

Fiyenyaa
09-02-2012, 06:53 PM
Jade Empire was pretty good, and as others have said it fits the mold of a Bioware game fairly typically. If you like Mass Effect, then unless you really don't want the kind of fantasy-China setting you'll like this.

Kadayi
09-02-2012, 07:38 PM
From what I can recall it's interesting enough, however thematically and stylistically it seemed to be an awful mishmash of a game in terms of cultural references. The developers couldn't seem to decide whether they were referencing Japan or China it seemed and flip flopped accordingly, on top of which they managed to make a hash job of everything by sexing the characters appearance up when it came to their clothing, which just didn't sit well with either aesthetic. They actually needed to go with a bit of reserve, and make it more about the characters as personalities, in the same way that good Asian cinema does.

I think perhaps if it was made now post DA & ME and facial technology it would probably be a better game, but they definitely needed to sort out their game world and make it distinctive rather than everything and the kitchen sink derivative.

archonsod
09-02-2012, 07:47 PM
The developers couldn't seem to decide whether they were referencing Japan or China it seemed and flip flopped accordingly, on top of which they managed to make a hash job of everything by sexing the characters appearance up when it came to their clothing, which just didn't sit well with either aesthetic. They actually needed to go with a bit of reserve, and make it more about the characters as personalities, in the same way that good Asian cinema does.


That's because they draw primarily from the HK martial arts flicks, with the odd nod to Seven Samurai. The setting in fact is pretty well done in that respect, the problem is the characters. It's pretty much the identikit irritating-but-cute / evil-and-sarky / gormless-hero NPCs they utilised in every game from that period.

SirKicksalot
09-02-2012, 07:48 PM
post

This is what made the game great for me. It's Bioware's best IMO. Still waiting for the sequel...

IDtenT
09-02-2012, 07:52 PM
It's better than ME and really the precursor for it.

Casimir Effect
09-02-2012, 09:58 PM
Hell of a lot of fun and it has John Cleese in it. The combat system isn't the most intricate in the world and pulls a few dickmoves every now and then, but it's surprisingly good fun to play with.

vecordae
09-02-2012, 10:26 PM
I had fun with it. It played better on a game pad than the keyboard, though.

Kadayi
09-02-2012, 10:31 PM
It's pretty much the identikit irritating-but-cute / evil-and-sarky / gormless-hero NPCs they utilised in every game from that period.

Well the westernizing didn't benefit it for sure because it removed any sense of nuance, but the everything and the kitchen sink approach to ticking all the eastern tropes didn't help matters. The game would of been better if it had followed one line of thinking, rather attempting to be everything and all things.


This is what made the game great for me. It's Bioware's best IMO. Still waiting for the sequel...

Kicks do you perhaps want to elaborate as to why exactly? I'm not really offering an out in my post, so saying 'that's what made it great for me' isn't really a counter. I'm interested in hearing your perspective, but it's got to be more than 'I disagree with you'.


It's better than ME and really the precursor for it.

I'd say they are probably on the same level in a lot of ways. ME1 had a lot of flaws, but the characters were a lot more engaging I found. I played through Jade Empire twice and I couldn't tell you the name of one NPC companion truth be told (there was a princess that I'm certain of), however ME1...Wrex, Liara, Ashley, Kaiden (aka dead meat), Garrius & Tali.

IDtenT
09-02-2012, 11:55 PM
I'd say they are probably on the same level in a lot of ways. ME1 had a lot of flaws, but the characters were a lot more engaging I found. I played through Jade Empire twice and I couldn't tell you the name of one NPC companion truth be told (there was a princess that I'm certain of), however ME1...Wrex, Liara, Ashley, Kaiden (aka dead meat), Garrius & Tali.
I don't care for characters in my video games. They're all shit, doesn't matter how "good" they are. If I wanted to strike up a conversation I'd invite a friend over, who will produce much better responses. With that out of the way, the gameplay of JE is superior to ME, imho.

Drake Sigar
10-02-2012, 12:10 AM
It's not good.

Icarus
10-02-2012, 12:10 AM
I enjoyed it. It's basically the KOTOR engine with the turn based shenanigans stripped out and some real time chop-socky action laid in. As said above, it's very much a Bioware game. You can practically draw a line starting at Baldur's Gate, going through KOTOR and ending at Mass Effect, and Jade Empire would be exactly halfway along it.

On the whole I'd definitely recommend it at Steam prices. I paid full XBox price when it came out and had a lot of fun with it.

Pros:

The combat is still pretty good, but I'd say that a gamepad is pretty essential; I played it on the big black XBox so can't attest so mouse and keyboard.
The music is excellent. I liked it enough to seek out and buy the official soundtrack CD.
The writing, particularly some of the party members (Black Whirlwind and Kang in particular) is highly chuckle-worthy.
John Cleese.
The voice acting as a whole is quite solid, with admittedly a couple of exceptions.
Character creation is quite comprehensive, with six body types available (three male, three female), all of whom have animations for every weapon and martial art style, so if you want to give the light female body type the slow-but-powerful fighting style or have a beefy looking male who darts around like a wasp, you can.

Cons:

The shitty bullet-hell-wannabe air travel minigame can die in a supernova made entirely of syphilis.
If you're one of those bad, wrong and terrible human beings who don't like Jennifer Hale's voice, I'm very sorry but she's in this game too.
If you've played a Bioware game in between Baldur's Gate and Mass Effect, you'll recognise the tropes used here.
Whatever main character you pick suffers from KOTOR plastic-face syndrome with maybe three facial expressions and no voice acting.
Some of the NPCs are very blandly written and frankly boring.
If you don't like semi-cartoony styling on NPCs and monsters, there are quite a few outlandish looking enemies.

Miker
10-02-2012, 12:36 AM
I played it on the original Xbox, and I more or less agree with what Icarus said above. I found the combat to be a bit dull, but then again, I didn't experiment much with the different styles. I think you'd have much more fun with combat if you tried to vary your styles instead of sticking to the most effective one, as I did. I will say that I really liked the story for what it was. The twists and turns weren't that surprising, but I felt like it did a great job in keeping me playing and finding out what comes next.

Skalpadda
10-02-2012, 02:02 AM
It's not great but it has it's moments and the setting and martial arts focus are different enough to feel refreshing. Certainly worth it for cheaps if you want to play through a Bioware adventure.

Oh, and the style that stuns enemies with electricity (can't remember the name) is totally overpowered.

Nalano
10-02-2012, 02:39 AM
It's fun, it's funny and I liked it. Especially the celestial bureaucracy. You make ethereal clerks cry.

nayon
10-02-2012, 02:45 AM
The characterization in every Bioware game is bad, at least this one doesn't hold the pretense of being good.

The world design is pretty good, and the plot has stuff going for it. The combat is pretty challenging at the highest level, and it's one of the few games that I finished on the hardest New Game+ difficulty. I think it's worth playing at least once, which is not something I can say about many games nowadays.

Of course, this was made around the KotoR era, so expect the technical limitations of those games, like lack of voice acting and proper animation.

Moraven
10-02-2012, 03:10 AM
Was fun from what I remember of it. Still need to beat it someday.

Ignorant Texan
10-02-2012, 03:32 AM
I agree with all the positive comments. JE was the last game Bioware made as an independent studio, it is the game BioWare wanted to make(original IP) and it is the Docs' baby all the way. Whenever it comes up, they always say they'd love to make a sequel.

I know it is considered heresy to say this, but I prefer it to ME and DA. As Nolano says, there is quite a bit of humor in JE.

Update:AFAIK, it is one of the first AAA-releases(the other being Fable) where male same-sex romance was an option.

Chevy
10-02-2012, 03:39 AM
It's fun, it's funny and I liked it. Especially the celestial bureaucracy. You make ethereal clerks cry.

Sums it up perfectly. It is a good game. Worth a play for sure.

Miker
10-02-2012, 04:14 AM
Came in to add this: flaming horse demons are still bullshit.

Juan Carlo
10-02-2012, 04:33 AM
I liked it fine. Story wise, its pretty much your typical Bioware game. The only thing different is really just the combat--which some people hated, but I actually kind of liked. It's not as smooth as something like "Arkham Asylum," but it works fine.

It never goes on sale on steam anymore, but I think it's worth the 15 it sells for. Or better yet, just get it off Amazon for cheaper.

SirKicksalot
10-02-2012, 04:53 AM
Kicks do you perhaps want to elaborate as to why exactly? I'm not really offering an out in my post, so saying 'that's what made it great for me' isn't really a counter. I'm interested in hearing your perspective, but it's got to be more than 'I disagree with you'.


I'm not a fan of Asian stories, movies, even most games. I often admire their craft and I respect their culture, but most Asian... products are simply not for me.
However I would gladly watch shaolins kicking ass all day long. I like weird creatures. I like pretty colours. I have a basic knowledge of Asian myths and a good knowledge of Asian history (parents being history teachers, I had access to a lot of stuff about the culture and history of the continent).

So you see, I liked that Bioware took everything that's cool about the Sinosphere and threw away all the fat. I suppose for a fan of that cultural area the game is either retarded or downright blasphemous. For me, it's just cool. Colourful, creative, fun. I'm not bothered by its lack of respect, catering to stereotypes, "inaccuracies". It's a glorious hodge-podge of everything cool about Asia. It really feels like the team had fun making it, imagination going wild. This lack of restraint makes it shine - there's so much weirdness and variety, when they could've taken the Dragon Age route of sticking close to its source of inspiration. Jade Empire as a pure wuxia game would be boring. Jade Empire as a carnival of Asia-inspired weirdness - that's awesome.

Bonus points for making the references to real history and places less obvious and also more interesting than in Dragon Age, by the way.

Wizardry
10-02-2012, 06:00 AM
Update:AFAIK, it is one of the first AAA-releases(the other being Fable) where male same-sex romance was an option.
Nah, Ultima VI. But if you don't count prostitution as a romance (and rightly so) then Temple of Elemental Evil.

Nalano
10-02-2012, 06:05 AM
Nah, Ultima VI. But if you don't count prostitution as a romance (and rightly so) then Temple of Elemental Evil.

He said a AAA title.

Ignorant Texan
10-02-2012, 06:20 AM
Nah, Ultima VI. But if you don't count prostitution as a romance (and rightly so) then Temple of Elemental Evil.

I did state that was as far as I know. ToEE was released in 2003, Fable in 2004, JE in 2005, so I think my statement is still valid.

Kadayi
10-02-2012, 10:37 AM
I don't care for characters in my video games. They're all shit, doesn't matter how "good" they are.

Kind of missing the point of Bioware RPGs in the first place then tbh.

Casimir Effect
10-02-2012, 10:57 AM
Came in to add this: flaming horse demons are still bullshit.
Preaching to the converted. Fuck those guys.

Wizardry
10-02-2012, 04:36 PM
Kind of missing the point of Bioware RPGs in the first place then tbh.
Baldur's Gate isn't about "characters".


He said a AAA title.
Those were AAA titles.

Sketch
10-02-2012, 05:02 PM
Not a happy chappy are we?

I think I'll pick this up, I was one of the few who got some entertainment from DA2, so I'll probably get on with this. I like the idea of an RPG with a slightly quicker pace in combat. 8.99 isn't so bad either.

Ignorant Texan
10-02-2012, 05:05 PM
... 8.99 isn't so bad either.

Where did you find it for that price? Amazon?

khaz
10-02-2012, 05:08 PM
As mentioned earlier, it is also rather funny in places and like Kicks I found the game world rather cool.

Sketch
10-02-2012, 05:10 PM
It's that price on the Steam (UK) store.

Kadayi
10-02-2012, 05:23 PM
Baldur's Gate isn't about "characters".

Baldurs gate was also a long time ago.

Ignorant Texan
10-02-2012, 05:23 PM
It's that price on the Steam (UK) store.

Ah, ok. Forgive my provincialism, for when I saw 8.99 without the monetary sign, I immediately assumed you were talking USD.

Sketch
10-02-2012, 05:26 PM
Ah I see! For what it's worth it's probably available from Amazon for a similar price in USD.

equatorian
10-02-2012, 05:35 PM
The setting is wuxia as imagined by Canadians, so it came off as somewhat simplistic and jarring to me as someone who grew up watching/reading wuxia. Not to say that wuxia is the stuff of great resonating complexity, but they tend to be a little bit less....fairy tale than that.

Maybe that's what it is. A fairy tale set in the Orient, with a fairly interesting plot twist in between. That said, the environments and monsters are quite well-designed.

I thought the writing flips-flops for a bit. They try to go for style, but couldn't decide if they want to keep it simple or not. The characters are a mixed bag, though they're similar to KOTOR in a way if you like that game. The generic ones were generica exemplified, the interesting ones were quirky and lovable, although meaningful character interaction is spaced further than KOTOR.

The game system is fun if you like Action RPGs. I actually enjoyed it a lot, and it could get quite challenging on higher difficulties.

Overall, I enjoyed it, liked it for quite a bit, would give it a B and would get the sequel if one is ever made.

Ignorant Texan
10-02-2012, 05:37 PM
Ah I see! For what it's worth it's probably available from Amazon for a similar price in USD.

JE is currently cheapest from Steam(14.99USD), once you take shipping into account. Your OP got me searching for the lowest price. I may take a trip to the local used book chain, for they have a number of shrink-wrapped games from jobbers.

Tuco
11-02-2012, 11:21 AM
I remember it as absolutely awful, and the combat system was a broken, exploitable mess.
Probably the worst RPG from Bioware, and that comes from someone who isn't even exceedingly fond of their other games.

Theblazeuk
11-02-2012, 04:39 PM
I liked it. Loved the byzantine metaphysical world they ripped off eastern (rather than the usual western) mythologies especially.

Hartford688
11-02-2012, 06:06 PM
Yes, fun game, nice change from the usual venues. Not the best Bioware ever, but generally fairly solid with some very good moments. Very much worth a go if you enjoy other Bioware type RPGs.

arathain
11-02-2012, 06:54 PM
It's fun. The combat starts off feeling pretty clumsy, but improves steadily as the game progresses, and you dump points into your styles and acquire more to switch between. It's colourful and different to the norm, so as long as you don't expect the moon on a stick it can be a lot of fun.