Jade Empire™: Special Edition
Gameplay 9
Graphics 7
Sound 8

Having long been an Xbox exclusive Jade Empire finally makes it onto computers with some nice added extras. It might not be as in depth as your average computer rpg, but it’s still a blast to play especially if you favor combat over puzzle solving.

Gameplay: Interesting storyline and entertaining combat.

Graphics: Not the best, but pretty good.

Sound: Some nice voice overs and effects

Summary 8.0 Great
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

Jade Empire™: Special Edition

Developer: BioWare Corporation | Publisher: BioWare Corporation, Electronic Arts |Release Date: 2007 | Genre: Action / RPG | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Like Fable before it, Jade Empire is another X-Box exclusive that finally made it’s way onto computer, and made up for the long wait with some extra content. Made by Bioware, who brought us such classics as the Baldur’s Gate and Neverwinter Nights series, you can be sure that Jade Empire has an interesting story to tell. You start the game as a young fighter training under Master Li in the small town of Two Rivers. It seems that fate as always has a lot more in store for you and it’s not long before you’re on a mission to find your kidnapped master while recruited all kinds of allies along the way. Things don’t stay this simple for long either and by the end of the game you’ll have experienced all the plot twists and turns that Bioware games are famous for. Without wanting to give anything away, I can safely assure you that there are more than enough surprises in store for you to keep you hooked right to the end.

Instead of the usual fantasy or science fiction setting, Jade Empire instead goes for a very oriental look that sets it apart from the rest. This means you’ll be facing off against ninjas, bandits, assassins, golems and all manner of mythological Japanese monsters. The game also has some very lush surroundings and although it’s a console conversion I couldn’t help but be impressed at some of the locations. Each area is packed with color and detail and even with everything cranked up the game still ran very smoothly on even a mid range computer.

Gameplay is a bit more action oriented than the usual computer fare, so puzzle fans might be a little disappointed that their cerebral matter isn’t tested more. Combat is a joy to behold though, as you are capable of a variety of different fighting styles and all kinds of combos and special moves. You can only have one companion at your side at a time, so pick carefully which one will complement you best in a given situation as they each have their own specialties. In typical Bioware fashion each character also has their own back story and you can become quite attached to your companions. Apart from all the combat you can also take to the skies in certain sections for some top down shooting action, but since computer players taste differ from their console brethren you can opt to give these sections a miss if your reflexes aren’t up to scratch.

The audio is also very nice with the usual top notch voice overs found in most Bioware games. One of the reasons that the game is so huge is that virtually every character has full speech, so you don’t have to worry about reading too much. The audio is also suitably oriental sounding and sound effects are very good. You can play the game quite easily with a keyboard even though it’s a console conversion and I had no problem pulling off all the moves and combos with ease. Overall the game was very polished and I encountered no bugs apart from a little glitch sometimes where the camera went a bit screwy but this was rectified easily by just saving and reloading.

If you prefer your role playing games fast paced and action packed then Jade Empire is just what you’re looking for. With a variety of different character types, each of which can be customized further with different styles and weapons, this is a game that can keep you hooked for a long time. It might have taken its sweet time to be released on computer, but it was definitely worth the wait.

*Review originally published December 2007.

System Requirements

  • Windows XP
  • Pentium 4 1.8 GHz or AMD Athlon 1800XP
  • 512MB RAM
  • 8 GB Free HD Space
  • DirectX 9.0
  • NVIDIA GeForce 6200 or ATI 9500 or better (Shader Model 2.0 required)
  • 100% DirectX 9.0 compatible sound card and drivers.
  • 3 GHz Intel Pentium 4 or equivalent processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • DirectX 9.0 February 2006
  • ATI X600 series, NVIDIA GeForce 6800 series, or higher recommended.

Related posts

Gryphon Knight Epic

Gryphon Knight Epic

With only eight levels it doesn’t take very long to complete Gryphon Knight Epic, but the game is certainly enjoyable while it lasts. It doesn’t have the speed or overwhelming odds of a bullet hell shooter, but the slower pace still provides a challenge. Add to that the beautiful pixel art visuals and you have a game that all retro fans will enjoy. Gameplay: The pace is a bit slower than modern side scrolling shooters, but still challenging and enjoyable. Graphics: Beautiful pixel art visuals with detailed backgrounds and tons of enemy variety. Sound: Not bad, but not exactly memorable either.

Drifting Lands

Drifting Lands

From big bosses and swarms of enemies to screens filled with bullets and explosions, Drifting Lands offers everything fans expect from the side scrolling shooter genre. However, it goes one step further by also merging it with some action-RPG elements that will keep you coming back for more in a bid to customize your ship to the max. It starts out a little slow, but thanks to multiple difficulty grades, the intensity of the action quickly ramps up. Anyone with an itchy trigger finger looking for a shooter that has a bit more replay value than usual shouldn’t at the very least try out the free demo. Gameplay: A little overwhelming at times, but at least you are eased into things quite gently. Graphics: Detailed and colorful, especially for a side scrolling shooter, but very few truly jaw-dropping set pieces. Sound: The sound effects lack a little punch, but the soundtrack is as varied as it is rocking.

Pixel Puzzles 2: Space

Pixel Puzzles 2: Space

Pixel Puzzles 2: Space retains all the elements that made the previous titles so much fun, but continues to refine the successful formula. The interface is better than ever before and the ability to tackle any puzzle without unlocking is also very welcome. The space theme is yet another great match for the genre and once again there are hours of addictive fun to be had with this title. If you are a fan of jigsaw puzzles then this is not to be missed. Gameplay: Same great jigsaw puzzle gameplay, but with an improved interface. Graphics: Casual enough to work on virtually any hardware, but the space theme is great. Sound: Unobtrusive and very relaxing.

WazHack

WazHack

Wazhack is a game that kept us busy for hours, most of which was spent dying and retrying. It is a very difficult game, but with a good strategy and plenty of luck you will get far. The permanent death ensures that you stay on your toes at all times, and the procedural levels ensure plenty of replay value. There is also a wealth of characters to choose from, each with their own unique skills and weaknesses. Gameplay: A strategic dungeon crawler, that is tough as nails, but very rewarding. Graphics: The rendered backgrounds and 3D character models make for an interesting mix. Sound: Subtle enough that you can play the game for hours without the music becoming annoying.

The Sagara Family

The Sagara Family

This game features the usual unlikely storyline of a male character ending up in a house full of females but it does provide a bit more substance than usual. There are quite a few branching storylines and a multitude of endings so the replay value is quite high. If you are a fan of the genre and don't mind the whole family incest angle, then this title ticks all the right boxes. Gameplay: The usual limitations of the genre, but with plenty of storyline branches. Graphics: Not bad. Sound: Includes plenty of sound effects as well as both Japanese and English voice overs.

Spirit of War

Spirit of War

Turn-based strategy titles that are based on the First World War aren’t exactly known for their accessibility, especially when there are hexes involved, but Spirit of War manages to buck this trend. It has a wealth of units, plenty of maps and the skirmishes are quite addictive. Thanks to the lengthy solo campaign as well as the inclusion of hotseat multiplayer the game definitely provides value for money. There are a couple of niggles that prevent it from scoring higher, but overall I really enjoyed this title. Gameplay: A nice selection of different units and gameplay that is very accessible to newcomers. Graphics: Nothing too extravagant, but still has plenty of neat touches. Sound: Unobtrusive music and decent sound effects.

Leave a comment

twelve − three =