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Author Topic: This Just In: Jade Empire Sucks  (Read 3974 times)
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ATB
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« on: August 15, 2005, 12:45:32 PM »

So I come off of a 13 week hiatus from gaming (due in large part, methinks, to this lackluster title which I started just before the break) and have a need to finish my backlog before buying my heart's desire (Pirates!)  so I fire up this game.

I quit after just arriving at the Imperial City because the lack of inspiration, boring story, lack of emotional connection to my character or any of the regular halmarks of a typical Bioware RPG.  So now I'm plowing through it just to finish it and get my 'money out of it'.

It's agony.

All the quests are 'fed exy', my party interaction is shallow and uninspired, the story meanders along without any real punch and even the combat has gotten boring.

Ugh.  This game has made any future releases from Bioware wait and sees (unless they do KoTor 3).

Progress Check, with spoiler:

Spoiler for Hiden:
I just arrived at the Emperor's Palace and he's found out I'm a Spirit Monk. A huge battle commences with an endless stream of enemies. How far until this chore is over? How many more hours of gaming are left?


Right now I rate the game a C-.
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DiamondDecision
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« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2005, 01:07:33 PM »

I feel exactly the same way.  I don't know what it was about Jade Empire, but it just flat suxed.  

A real let down from a company that never lets you down.

I keep waiting for Bioware to do a Baldur's Gate gate for the Xbox, I might even come out of retirement to play that!
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« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2005, 01:52:03 PM »

I felt the same way ATB.  I never thought I'd see the day when a Bioware game made me feel absolutely zero connection to the characters, but this one managed it.  Add in the lame story, so-so graphics, and dull combat system, and you've got yourself a dud.
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« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2005, 02:35:57 PM »

Same feeling here and I believe I'm about in the same spot.  The biggest issue for me is that it's essentially an action game with the "strategy" of changing customized styles (reminds me a little of the new Mortal Kombat).  I know I probably just hit bad coincidences, but I've also had it lock up on me twice and have had to replay significant portions.  I've been whittling down my backlog and I ony have a couple left, but I just can't get excited to get back in to this one.  I think it's going to go towards my 360 preorder.
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« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2005, 02:46:54 PM »

Jade Empire sucks...I totally blew $50 on that one all THANKS TO RAGE.  THANKS RAGE FOR THE *CHOO* *CHOO* *CACHOO* HYPE TRAIN  :twisted:
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« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2005, 03:04:32 PM »

Surprisingly enough, I felt the same way myself. And I stopped playing in the Imperial City as well.

I think Jade Empire is the best example of what happens when you follow the "how to create an RPG" recipe step by step. It was all too formulaic, and lacked any soul.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2005, 03:50:54 PM »

Count me in as another who agrees.  Only Bioware game I've ever disliked.  It seemed very uninspired to me.  I thought the unique setting was largely wasted since 80% of the quests could have been inserted into any bog-standard medieval RPG by only changing the names.  

And for all of the complaints about the cutscene length in Xenosaga and its ilk, I thought the conversations in Jade Empire were far more difficult to sit through.  

Finally, the entire good-evil mechanic is hosed.  The game makes a point early on that the way of the Closed Fist isn't necessarilly evil but damn if almost all of the Closed Fist options were pure unadulterated evil.  

For all of the flack that KOTOR 2 gets, I don't think Jade Empire can hold a candle to it.
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« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2005, 04:06:40 PM »

Quote from: "Kevin Grey"
For all of the flack that KOTOR 2 gets, I don't think Jade Empire can hold a candle to it.


While we're on the subject KOTOR2 suxed pretty bad  as well.  Really enjoyed KOTOR1, but the sequel was just awful.

What's with Bioware anyway?  How about a delicious Baldur's Gate sequel for crying out loud????????????
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« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2005, 04:09:16 PM »

Count me as one of the people that think you are all freaken insane.
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« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2005, 04:17:19 PM »

I personally loved Jade Empire, different strokes for different folks I guess.
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Roguetad
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« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2005, 05:43:59 PM »

I enjoyed it, but I can appreciate the bad quest design and slow-pacing comments.  I think the Chinese mythology setting made up for some of the negatives for me.  While Kotor 1 & 2 had their share of boring fed ex quests, Jade Empire seemed to have more.

I played through JE twice, and found myself skipping the side quests, or just sticking to the main storyline quests the second time.  While I really liked JE, the pacing is rough for the first half of the game.  But, I had the same opinion of Kotor 1 also.  The cast of characters is ok, but doesn't really get too deep (other than a cool love triangle that develops later in the story - if you're playing a male).  The pacing picks up considerably the latter half of the game.
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« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2005, 06:08:51 PM »

Quote from: "DiamondDecision"
Quote from: "Kevin Grey"
For all of the flack that KOTOR 2 gets, I don't think Jade Empire can hold a candle to it.


While we're on the subject KOTOR2 suxed pretty bad  as well.  Really enjoyed KOTOR1, but the sequel was just awful.

What's with Bioware anyway?  How about a delicious Baldur's Gate sequel for crying out loud????????????


Because A) I don't think they have the rights to D&D anymore, and even if they did, they've gone on record saying they want to develop their own properties rather than licensing them, and B) The Baldur's Gate story was pretty well wrapped up... there's nowhere to go, other than starting a whole new campaign with a new character.
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DiamondDecision
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« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2005, 06:11:45 PM »

Okay, how about anything in the Forgotten Realms universe then.

Let's face it, Bioware made a name for themselves with the Forgotten Realm games.  This stuff as of late is really warmed over leftovers at best.

Why not work out an agreement with Salvatore for a Drizzt Forgotten Realms game!  That would sell like the cure for cancer.

Quote from: "Laner"
Quote from: "DiamondDecision"
Quote from: "Kevin Grey"
For all of the flack that KOTOR 2 gets, I don't think Jade Empire can hold a candle to it.


While we're on the subject KOTOR2 suxed pretty bad  as well.  Really enjoyed KOTOR1, but the sequel was just awful.

What's with Bioware anyway?  How about a delicious Baldur's Gate sequel for crying out loud????????????


Because A) I don't think they have the rights to D&D anymore, and even if they did, they've gone on record saying they want to develop their own properties rather than licensing them, and B) The Baldur's Gate story was pretty well wrapped up... there's nowhere to go, other than starting a whole new campaign with a new character.
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« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2005, 06:25:20 PM »

Oh, Bioware.  How the mighty have fallen.

I used to love Bioware.  Baldur's Gate, and especially its expansion, were great.  Baldur's Gate 2 was pretty good too.

Then we got Neverwinter Nights' official campaign.  Ugh.  Boring, predictable, ugly, and uninspired.  My faith was shaken.  Badly.  Luckily the expansions were outsourced to studios with, you know, talent.

Next came KOTOR.  Star Wars fans creamed their pants.  But those of us who put good gameplay and story before the setting just didn't see what was so great.  It didn't help that the story was almost a carbon copy of the Baldur's Gate (2) tale.  Combat was atrocious, mechanics were imbalanced, characters were either obnoxious or repeats from Baldur's Gate (as much as I liked Canderous, let's face it, he was almost the same character as Sarevok from the BG2 expansion).

Most recently, Jade Empire.  Sounds like Bioware hasn't learned.

Bioware started to suck when they lost the checks and balances of Black Isle and Interplay.  Black Isle, the true geniuses of the former Black Isle/Bioware RPG machine under Interplay's aegis, were responsible for Fallout, Fallout 2, Icewind Dale and its expansion, Planescape Torment, and Icewind Dale 2 (which wasn't up to snuff because Interplay was in its death throes by the time it was released).  

Plus they were working on two 'secret' projects when they were shut down due to Interplay's demise -- Van Buren, aka, Fallout 3, rumored to be 90% done (pre-polishing) when Interplay pulled the plug in favor of the atrocious 'Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel'; and Jefferson, aka, Baldur's Gate 3.
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« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2005, 06:55:14 PM »

Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"
Then we got Neverwinter Nights' official campaign.  Ugh.  Boring, predictable, ugly, and uninspired.  My faith was shaken.  Badly.  Luckily the expansions were outsourced to studios with, you know, talent.


A tip of that hat to you.  I forgot about NWN.  That was not very good either.

I really have to hand it to you, that's a pretty decent analysis.  Is Black Isle the missing component nowadays?  You may be on to something!
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« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2005, 07:04:56 PM »

Is Obsidian enough of former Black Isle people to make Neverwinter Nights 2 a good game or no?
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« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2005, 08:17:16 PM »

I was swayed away from believing that Bioware had any talent as a developer by Joel Mathis on Gonegold. That man would bring up point after point about how poorly developed their games were, and how poor their engine's truly were and how weak their story telling was etc. etc.

I didn't want to believe him until I sat done and had many of the same revelations, much like LE, who has a well known abhorrence for KOTOR, and I couldn't agree more. They are getting up there with Rare as being a very Over-rated developer.
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« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2005, 08:43:22 PM »

Quote from: "AgtFox"
Is Obsidian enough of former Black Isle people to make Neverwinter Nights 2 a good game or no?
I'd say that largely depends on how much time and money Atari is willing to put into the project.  It was hard to judge KOTOR 2 because it was obviously rushed, after all.

Obsidian is Feargus Urquhart's faction of the former Black Isle, IIRC.  Tim Cain's faction formed Troika, made three well conceived but poorly executed games, then went out of business.  I'm pretty sure most of Black Isles' former employees went to either Obsidian or Troika, with maybe a few to Bioware and a few just leaving the industry completely.

The problem I see with NWN2 is that it's a f-ing fine line to walk when it comes to actually deciding what to do with it.  Obviously, you have to keep the 'sandbox' aspect of it, preferably with more options than the original, but then you're also expected to upgrade the graphics, scripting, interface, etc.  And you'll want to have at least 75% of the buildable content of NWN Platinum, or it'll get slammed for just being a graphical upgrade.

Then you've got the issue of backwards compatibility -- do you do it or not?  There's literally gigabytes of NWN modules and content out there -- do you add backwards compatibility, thus making NWN2 more like NWN2k6, or do you snub it, making NWN2 its own game but also making it look pretty barren on release when compared to NWN Platinum?

On top of all that, you've got the issue of the official campaign.  NWN's sucked.  Everyone expects NWN2 to have a stronger shipped campaign.  To fail in this would be crippling.

And finally, you have to churn out patches/upgrades/fixes frequently, just like Bioware did.  You'll be expected to get at least one expansion out -- ideally two -- which match the quality of NWN's.

All in all, a very tall order.  I'd argue it's too tall.

Either we'll see a solid-but-limited product that gets slammed for being nothing more than a graphical update for NWN (and really, that's all it is, aside from a slightly stronger official campaign and an update to 3.5e D&D rules); or we'll see a big, ambitious, buggy/rushed product, (along the lines of what would happen if Troika did NWN2), which is full of features and content and a rich offical campaign, except it doesn't work half the time and subsequent patches only fix a few things at a time.  It gets slammed for being a buggy wreck.

Of course there's a miniscule chance we'll see the best of both worlds, and a miniscule chance we'll see the worst.
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« Reply #18 on: August 15, 2005, 08:48:09 PM »

Quote from: "Roguetad"
I enjoyed it, but I can appreciate the bad quest design and slow-pacing comments.  I think the Chinese mythology setting made up for some of the negatives for me.  While Kotor 1 & 2 had their share of boring fed ex quests, Jade Empire seemed to have more.

I played through JE twice, and found myself skipping the side quests, or just sticking to the main storyline quests the second time.  While I really liked JE, the pacing is rough for the first half of the game.  But, I had the same opinion of Kotor 1 also.  The cast of characters is ok, but doesn't really get too deep (other than a cool love triangle that develops later in the story - if you're playing a male).  The pacing picks up considerably the latter half of the game.



That pretty well sums up the game for me.  It wasn't great but I enjoyed it because of the setting and the art.
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« Reply #19 on: August 15, 2005, 08:50:15 PM »

Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"
Black Isle, the true geniuses of the former Black Isle/Bioware RPG machine under Interplay's aegis, were responsible for Fallout, Fallout 2, Icewind Dale and its expansion, Planescape Torment, and Icewind Dale 2 (which wasn't up to snuff because Interplay was in its death throes by the time it was released).


wasn't gonna comment on this topic, but the mention of black isle always brings fond memories - not as beloved as, say, infocom or bullfrog, but pretty damn close. 'true geniuses', indeed...
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« Reply #20 on: August 15, 2005, 08:56:28 PM »

I agree, Jade Empire was pretty weak in every way.

As for Bioware being similar too Rare, well at least Bioware you know, puts games out in a timely fashion. Just saying.
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« Reply #21 on: August 15, 2005, 09:46:10 PM »

I haven't made it all the way through the game yet, though I have seen most of the game by watching friends play.  I enjoyed it, and once I can pry it back out of my friends hands I'll play through it.  Well and once I get out of training and into the school year so I can have time to play.

Both of my friends who have played through have finished it at least twice, they are both college girls for whatever that is worth.

As they say, people like different things.
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« Reply #22 on: August 15, 2005, 10:22:29 PM »

I haven't played Jade Empire, but a friend of mine really loved it. (shrugs)

I am really looking foreward to Dragon Age. The one thing that has always made me abandon the Bioware games is the damn AD&D ruleset. Sorry, but I always thought they never translated well into the CRPG world. I also always hated the spell memorization mechanic. I'm sure I'm in the minority there.

I actually really like KOTOR and NWN the most - and they are the only Bioware games I have managed to finish. I thought the D&D rules were more palatable with me only managing 2-3 characters. I've always felt NWN was underrated. I enjoyed the original campain quite a bit. (I liked it MUCH better than the Shadows expansion.) And the first 2 chapters of Hordes of the Underdark were freaking great. I didn't like the final chapter much.

Baldurs Gate 2 was definitely one great game - content wise. But, I have never been able to stick with it, because I get bogged down in all the crappy party micromanagement that drives me crazy.

Anyway, I am excited to see what Bioware does outside of the confines of the AD&D rules. (Although I am probably in the minority on that front as noted above.)
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« Reply #23 on: August 15, 2005, 10:57:27 PM »

Yeah Jade Empire didn't do it for me. Though I adored KOTOR II, easily one of my favorite PC rpgs. Maybe it was because it was the first time I didn't play a combat oriented character *shrugs*  Oh and NWN sucked!

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« Reply #24 on: August 15, 2005, 11:45:39 PM »

Well count me as another who liked the game. Not their best work but I enjoyed it. Bioware is still one of the few devs I'll buy a game if they're behind it without waiting for reviews or word of mouth.
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« Reply #25 on: August 16, 2005, 12:33:58 AM »

Huh, I never knew so many people hated the NWN official campaign.  I really enjoyed it.  :shrug:
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« Reply #26 on: August 16, 2005, 03:26:16 AM »

Geez, I have been trying to think about how to approach a respnose to this all day, but I am still not sure. Jade Empire I have not finished. I got about 8 hours in between studying, finals, papers, and then gave up at the beginning of the summer. The 8 hours I did play I enjoyed greatly. I thought the combat was excellent, but a couple of easy fixes short of being great. I thought the story was interesting, the characters compelling, the graphics good, the voice work excelllent, and I thought the game was fun. Unfortunately, I was a little put off by the agonizingly slow pacing early on and the long load times and frequent back and forth required for several quests. Either way, this is the top of my list for RPG's to play and I plan to restart it and play it all the way through in a few days, so I think I have liked what I have seen so far.

As for Bioware, really, I have liked just about every one of their games. Yes, the NWN campaign was uninspired, but I enjoyed it the first time through and the expansions were excellent. KOTOR1 was simply brilliant and KOTOR2 was a few months of polish short of brilliance itself. I am a big fan of the company and likely will be for a long time.

Don't get me wrong though-I agree with LE about one thing only really in his diatribe-Black Isle was a wonderful counterbalance and did make some of the most genius CRPG's we have ever seen.
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« Reply #27 on: August 16, 2005, 03:53:42 AM »

Quote from: "Rage"
I thought the combat was excellent, but a couple of easy fixes short of being great.


The combat was absolutely terrible.  Use some magic here and there, keep mashing the attack button unless the opponent blocks, then hit the "strong" attack.

To me, it felt uninspired and just not fun.
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« Reply #28 on: August 16, 2005, 04:04:07 AM »

I didnt like it either, and also stopped playing right after the Imperial City.

I didnt find the NPCs as engaging as BG2 or KOTOR and I was expecting them to be a stronger draw for me.

I also hated the combat. Not the fact that they were trying to make it more twitchy (although from my point of view, someone whose favorite genres are PC-RPGs and TB Strat games...I didnt like that either), but just the overall implementation.  There are like 2-3 styles that can easily own the fuck out of everything in the game (so what is the point of the other 15 or so?) and blocking isnt implemented very well.  In fact I never saw a point in doing it, just dodge.

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« Reply #29 on: August 28, 2005, 12:23:29 PM »

OK, I just finished Jade Empire last night.  I would give it a 7.5 out of 10.0.  I thought that the overall theme of man vs. nature was pretty good, but that all of the side quests were lame.  I also have to agree with the prior comments on fighting styles.  I think I ended up only using one martial style and one sword style for the last half of the game.  

I would have only given the game a 7.0, but thought that Dawn Star's commentary during the end credits was pretty funny.
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« Reply #30 on: August 29, 2005, 01:20:18 AM »

shhh quiet you guys!  if you keep up this talk, console rpgs will end up like sim / wargames on PCs!  

exec a) should we make a new flanker?

exec b) why bother, even if we make it able to jerk them off mid-flight, theyll bitch us out on every forum for not having a "left hand" option
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« Reply #31 on: August 29, 2005, 01:22:28 PM »

Quote from: "Doopri"
shhh quiet you guys!  if you keep up this talk, console rpgs will end up like sim / wargames on PCs!  

exec a) should we make a new flanker?

exec b) why bother, even if we make it able to jerk them off mid-flight, theyll bitch us out on every forum for not having a "left hand" option
As long as Japan doesn't sink into the ocean, console RPGs will thrive.
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« Reply #32 on: August 29, 2005, 07:29:07 PM »

Jade Empire was a great disappointment to me as well. I still consider Bioware one of my favorite all time developers, but in the future I will be more cautious about buying their new games.
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