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Jade Empire review

AT A GLANCE
  • It genuinely feels gorgeous and epic
  • Fun sidequests flow into the main story
  • Lush environments
  • Combat doesn't encourage mixing styles
  • Partners are unballanced
  • Short skirts = yay ; Short game = boo

The combat system, for example, blows away anything in a galaxy far, far away. Jade Empire throws you into battle with just one companion at a time (chosen from a nine-slot roster) and gives you over two dozen bare-handed martial arts, magic, and weapon styles. They can be upgraded over time, and you can have any four equipped at any given moment, switching between them with a single tap of the d-pad. You even get bonus points for beginning a combo with one style and finishing it with another.

This actually becomes a dilemma; almost every style is intriguing, but once you've spent a fair amount of points upgrading a few of the early styles, you'll feel penalized for switching to new ones. Granted, when they enable such awesome powers as the ability to freeze enemies solid; transform into a flaming, horse demon; or wield a sword as gracefully as that chick in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, you'll still make time to try out as many as possible. But it would have been nice if upgrade points were re-assignable or just more plentiful, so we didn't feel like we'd forever lost the chance to upgrade one skill every time we beefed up another.

More Info

Release date: Apr 12 2005 - Xbox (US)
Apr 22 2005 - Xbox (UK)
Available Platforms: Xbox
Genre: Role Playing
Published by: Microsoft
Developed by: BioWare
ESRB Rating:
Mature: Blood and Gore

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