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Posted by endaround

@hailinel said:

@arbitrarywater said:

@rowr: You shuddup and play a real RPG that isn't short and/or broken.

@endaround: Is Xenosaga just a bunch of anime crazy weirdness? Because I wonder how much of that I could tolerate before strangling the nearest humanoid. Then again, I played Valkyria Chronicles II, and that's about as terrible anime as games can get.

It's not anime craziness as much as it is sci-fi with heavy gnostic thematics, as is part of the standard when it comes to a Tetsuya Takahashi RPG.

Yeah it doesn't have the VC2 weird dissonance of school comedy with military battles and ethnic cleansing. It has gnostic themes and the cypunkish idea of what does it meant to be alive.

Posted by Hailinel

@rowr: You shuddup and play a real RPG that isn't short and/or broken.

@endaround: Is Xenosaga just a bunch of anime crazy weirdness? Because I wonder how much of that I could tolerate before strangling the nearest humanoid. Then again, I played Valkyria Chronicles II, and that's about as terrible anime as games can get.

It's not anime craziness as much as it is sci-fi with heavy gnostic thematics, as is part of the standard when it comes to a Tetsuya Takahashi RPG.

Edited by ArbitraryWater

@rowr said:

Edit = Ugh, I just read the rest of everything you have written thus far in this thread, and in fact forget it. I've read enough to catch the swarmy overprivileged teenage gamer attitude or something, and I don't want to have anything more to do with this.

Yep. Because I take issue with this game's myriad of problems, I'm a swarmy overpriviledged teenage gamer. Opinions are funny things, aren't they?

Edited by Rowr

@arbitrarywater said:

@rowr: You shuddup and play a real RPG that isn't short and/or broken.

@endaround: Is Xenosaga just a bunch of anime crazy weirdness? Because I wonder how much of that I could tolerate before strangling the nearest humanoid. Then again, I played Valkyria Chronicles II, and that's about as terrible anime as games can get.

Well maybe try playing it like a Bioware RPG should be played, take your time and savour it, explore around a bit, play the sidequests, enjoy the characters. Don't just rush through it and then whine about it's datedness. Or is that the point of whatever this "play semi old games" thing is?

I don't remember this game being "broken" in any way so i don't know what you are talking about there. What are you even defining as an RPG?

Man do you even lift?

Edit = Ugh, I just read the rest of everything you have written thus far in this thread, and in fact forget it. I've read enough to catch the swarmy overprivileged teenage gamer attitude or something, and I don't want to have anything more to do with this.

Posted by ArbitraryWater

@rowr: You shuddup and play a real RPG that isn't short and/or broken.

@endaround: Is Xenosaga just a bunch of anime crazy weirdness? Because I wonder how much of that I could tolerate before strangling the nearest humanoid. Then again, I played Valkyria Chronicles II, and that's about as terrible anime as games can get.

Posted by Rowr

Shutup Jade Empire is great.

pfft questionable quality, get out of here.

Posted by endaround

Jade Empire started the hope for a "real" Bioware game that eventually lead to DA:O. That said, there are parts of Jade empire that are fine. But the combat was never great (hey your character can jump but no one else can!).

And I told you to do the Xenosaga trilogoy, don't blame me!

Posted by bgdiner

I loved this game back in 2005, but, as you said, this was probably because I was still obsessed with KOTOR at the time. I'm aching for a replay of the game, just not sure I can find the time. I suppose in light of everything that's come since 2005 Jade Empire is merely a KOTOR-esque game, as opposed to its own thing, but hell, I love it.

Edited by Raven10

Wait did people actually not guess that your Master was the villain the minute he appeared on screen? Like within seconds of him talking I was like, "Well I can see where this is going..." At the time I thought the game was okay. 3rd person combat of that sort wasn't quite as polished then as it is today so it didn't feel too bad. But, yea, I honestly couldn't see people liking it today. I did appreciate in both that game and KOTOR that you could really choose to be evil. A lot of games with that choice pretty much make evil mean you are an asshole but you still save the day. This game actually let you be truly evil which was a nice change of pace.

Edited by ArbitraryWater

@mikkaq: I can see the parts of that game that bled into Mass Effect's design, being bioware's first action RPG and their first game in an original setting. Both have clunky, unsatisfying combat and a myriad of weird technical issues, but I feel like Mass Effect actually backs up its ambitions (in terms of both world-building and scope), though I'll trade that raw ambition for the more razor-focused and less painful to play stylings of Mass Effect 2 any day.

@swordcery:

You made your point well enough. I'm not going to pretend that KotOR isn't an overrated, watered-down, mass-market friendly RPG, but I do know that it's the reason I play these kinds of games in the first place, and that's a pretty powerful thing. Nostalgia's a funny thing.

@triviaman09:

While I'm all for RPGs that are content to be shorter, I feel like Jade Empire aims for a larger scale and scope than is actually presented, like if you cut two of the four destinations out of any given Bioware game (Planets, Grey Warden Treaties, etc). When you consider that this was their first game after KotOR made them famous, I don't think it unfair to criticize the part where it's about half as long on first playthrough, because it isn't a more crafted or focused experience.

@encephalon: Are you secretly Chris Avellone? I'd play that game.

Also, in case any of you wanted to know: Chrono Cross is still hella weird.

Posted by TheSoldier89

It's been 7 or 8 years since I played Jade Empire start to finish. I enjoyed it those days and I have been trying to update my perspective on it for some time. Sure in retrospect the combat is can be repetitive but the biggest draw of the game was the unique location and interesting characters. Now again I need to update my view on the game but I recall a degree of linear game play. That being said a lot of rpgs of that era including KOTOR suffered from some narrowness. But I don't recall (again this was at the time) Jade Empire being hindered by its more focused path. Now don't get me wrong Jade Empire wasn't a perfect game. The combat was at times far too and the only way to make the game a fun challenge was to have it on the hardest setting. And sure the Open Palm/Closed Fist path more or less boiled down to good/bad path but it was interesting to see Bioware take a left turn. I enjoyed the interesting albeit cliche' filled plot and relationships you devolve with the supporting characters. And as much I as I liked talking to Henpecked Hou hearing the drunken debacles of Black Whirlwind were priceless. But every one is entitled to their opinion and I feel had ArbitraryWater played Jade Empire when it was new he could have found likable qualities. But I will hand to you ArbitraryWater I enjoyed the read and yes the game would have been a lot cooler had John Cleese been in the game a bit longer. Plus I cannot fault you in trying the game first instead of dismissing the game completely.

Posted by OurSin_360

I played Jade Empire when it first came out and i loved it back then, no clue if it would stand up to today's standards but it was great at the time. All the moral stuff was new and still fresh at the time, of course it's been pretty much perfected by now but most Rpg stories were linear still. The combat wasn't great, but it felt refreshing since it wasn't the typical turn based and it tried to be innovative with the martial arts.

I think i may try and get a copy and play again, possibly on the pc since my xbox 1 died long ago

Posted by MikkaQ

I have a soft spot in my heart for this game. The art is awesome and it's a pretty unique concept for an RPG, basically being Monk Class: The Game. Switching fighting styles and seeing different animations for them was THE SHIT. I loved it. The combat itself wasn't amazing, but it was back when Bioware's RPG elements were dominant and dice rolls happened on-screen, so you kinda need to forgive it a little.

You're right about the length though. I think the ambition of the game exceeded the power of the platforms it was coming out on. Mass Effect felt like an expansion of the concepts they explored in Jade Empire. In that sense, I like it as some kind of weird experiment that lead to Mass Effect.

Posted by Swordcery

Jade Empire is actually my favorite Bioware game, while I find KOTOR to be an over-rated mess. This is probably for the same reason you don't like JE. You didn't play it when it was new. I first attempted KOTOR a couple years after it's release, only to have my XBOX: The First, blue screen. The guy at GameStop said I was the 3rd person to bring in an XBOX, that week, to say KOTOR killed it. This scared me off from finishing it till 2011. JE, on the other hand, is one of my favorite games on the XBOX. Otogi 1&2, Halo 2 and Escape From Butcher Bay rounding out my top 5. I can admit my love of that game mainly comes from it simply trying something different. Also, I grew up watching(and still love) Marital-Arts movies and any attempt to bring this setting to an RPG is destined for bias, from me(Sleeping Dogs was my 2012 GOTY). I won't tell you you're wrong, or even try to explain my love for a game I haven't played in 8 years. I would recommend a second playthrough, as I have beaten JE 3 times and can definitely say I enjoyed it way more playing open-palm. But hey, preference is subjective. I'm just glad new people are still playing Jade Empire. (Sorry if I rambled. I'm celebrating Ryan's wedding with a bottle or Pinot Noir.)

Posted by triviaman09

The combat was never great, but I really loved Jade Empire back in the day and completed it multiple times. Though it's no longer as visually impressive as it was back then, I think the art design holds up. The quest lines and characters, which hewed darker than KOTOR due to the game's 'M' rating while remaining unmistakably Bioware, are also memorable and after KOTOR it was nice to see Bioware branch out and craft its own very unique and cool world. I also don't think the fact that it's "linear" and "only 12 hours" should necessarily be held against it. 12 hours is a long time. Do we really need every single RPG to be 20 hours or longer? Do we need every RPG to let us do things in whatever kind of arbitrary way we want? To each his own, but I think there is room for more focused, crafted experiences in this genre.

While other RPGs have undoubtedly surpassed it in every way and the combat was simplistic even for its time, I still have fond memories of Jade Empire and I still think it's a great game. I think it's a shame that Bioware hasn't revisited this universe yet, but at least we got the DA franchise out of them instead.

Edited by LikeaMetaphor

I'd have to disagree about the Open Palm/Closed Fist morality system. It can, for the most part, be played as evil or good; unfortunately, some of the decisions in the game get too grandiose, like the Water Dragon example, that it becomes mostly "SAVE KITTEN" versus "MURDER KITTEN."

There are a few moments, however, that made it stand out a bit more - or, at least, conversation options that give it the appearance of depth. There are a few quests where you can proceed along the Open Palm option for quite a time, only to subvert it at the last moment to get more Close Fist points for more closely approaching self-interest/survival of the fittest than you would through a straight-up evil option.

One side quest has you saving prisoners from the Death's Hand (or whatever the evil dude faction is). You can just kill them all in the beginning for some evil points... or you can lead them outside and then force them to fight you/each other for their survival. The former is evil; the latter is instituting the survival of the fittest philosophy that the Way of the Closed Fist to a greater degree.

Options like that, where you can have "evil" options outside of just killing everyone or being a bad dude, endear the game to me. Unfortunately, the Open Palm+ options are usually just, "Nah, I don't need a reward, 'cus I'm hella virtuous." But I agree on all your other points.

Edited by Mento

Aw heck, you really did play this game (and beat it and blog it in an amazingly fast turnaround). It's the only BioWare game I haven't played too, though given your appraisal I'm not exactly enthused to jump into it any time soon. At least not with all these other irons in the fire.

Chrono Cross next, huh. Good luck with that. I'll still struggle with Rhythm Heaven Fever and adore/hate it in equal turns until I'm finally free of it, all the while dimly trying to recall a time when I found video games fun. Ah, Summer.

Moderator
Edited by KentonClay

I'd really love to see a Jade Empire 2, but I doubt that will happen.

The original game felt rushed in many ways (The small number of areas in-game combined with how much time people spend talking about places that you never end up visiting should send some warning signals, to start.) but I really loved the world they built. The visuals, setting, and the general tone really set it apart from most other RPGs, and the "open palm, closed fist" mechanic had the potential to be far more interesting than it ended up being. (Though, the generally whimsical tone may have seemed at odds with any sort of legitimately nuanced moral choice system)

It was indeed sucky in many respects, but I'd love to see someone take another crack at it.

Edited by Sparky_Buzzsaw

@arbitrarywater: i did like Dragon Age II, but in that case, it was the narrow setting and world-building that hurt the game. So... Maybe throw in the best of both? Hmmm.

Moderator
Posted by Hunter5024

@hunter5024 said:

You write blogs fast dude.

I'm still looking for work and not taking any classes this semester, and until one of my applications comes back I don't really have much else to do. Ok, that's a lie. I could try desperately to socialize with individuals in my housing complex, harass my roommates when they get done with their jobs, possibly look for a few more employment opportunities, but... eh. I watched Monsters' University on thursday. It was ok. Not great. Sort of like Jade Empire.

Sounds like we're in pretty much identical circumstances. Man I should blog more.

Edited by Encephalon

@arbitrarywater: Truly, Obsidian is the scrappy down-on-his-luck hero of the WRPG world.

In my imagination, Obsidian's Jade Empire 2 would be a Cold War drama between the Empire and wherever John Cleese comes from, which would be an encroaching colonial power. You would not be a callow youth who is also the Chosen One, but an experienced monk-diplomat in the Empire's service, equally skilled in the arts of pen and sword. The main villains would actually be extremists on the Imperial side, subverting expectations - although, like New Vegas, all factions would ultimately suck in their own special way - and their evil plan would be geopolitically motivated instead of just wantonly maniacal.

It would be fantastic. But it would score a few points too low on Metacritic, and no one would get bonuses.

Edited by ArbitraryWater

You write blogs fast dude.

I'm still looking for work and not taking any classes this semester, and until one of my applications comes back I don't really have much else to do. Ok, that's a lie. I could try desperately to socialize with individuals in my housing complex, harass my roommates when they get done with their jobs, possibly look for a few more employment opportunities, but... eh. I watched Monsters' University on thursday. It was ok. Not great. Sort of like Jade Empire.

Posted by Hunter5024

You write blogs fast dude.

Posted by ArbitraryWater

@arbitrarywater: Dammit. Now that you put the fantasy of an Obsidian sequel to Jade Empire in my head, I won't be able to get it out. It will just get subtler and better-written and more multilayered until I give it my GOTY award at the end of this year, forgetting that it doesn't exist.

I was joking before, but I seriously bet that game would be far better than whatever sequel Bioware was working on before it got scrapped. And don't forget the Aliens RPG that Obsidian was working on either. That got cancelled instead of Colonial Marines. Let that sink in a bit.

Edited by Encephalon

@arbitrarywater: Dammit. Now that you put the fantasy of an Obsidian sequel to Jade Empire in my head, I won't be able to get it out. It will just get subtler and better-written and more multilayered until I give it my GOTY award at the end of this year, forgetting that it doesn't exist.

Posted by Jeust

What about the main plot twist? For me that was the moment I was wowed!

I felt the game was the refinement culmination of the KOTOR gameplay. It was the next step.

There were some pretty interesting characters, like the villains, Henpecked Hou, Sagacious Zu and Kang the Mad. The background was also great.

Posted by Green_Incarnate

Ah, Jade Empire. It felt like Bioware was going a little too formulaic with this one. The plot twist seemed a little forced, especially directly after kotor, and the open/closed fist thing was just light/dark side all over again. It seems Bioware games always/mostly have terrible combat, and they just make it easy so hopefully you don't notice. I did like being able to change into a giant frog and fuck shit up, though. I still can't help but like this game, mostly for the setting and characters. Game definitely has its moments.

Posted by GERALTITUDE

I thought the bad guy was cool, that's my memory of the game mostly.

Posted by ArbitraryWater

@sparky_buzzsaw: If Obsidian was still making sequels to everyone else's games, I bet they'd do a pretty good job on a hypothetical Jade Empire 2. It would be nice for Bioware to mix up the formula they use for every one of their stories, but they did that and the result of their lower-stakes more personal story was Dragon Age II... And I'd rather play that game than Jade Empire.

@fateofnever: The voting was in this thread, and I'd say that almost 400 votes is a decent sample size. If I were to assign a rating to this game, I'd give it 3 stars, so I think you and I are on the same page. I'll also agree that the ending choice is pretty terrible, but not as terrible as the "neutral" ending if you decide to sacrifice yourself so your master can rule the empire unhindered. People give Mass Effect 3's ending a lot of crap, but they seem to have forgotten the precedent that existed, both in this and other Bioware games.

Edited by FateOfNever

I didn't vote for the game (I didn't even know there was voting!) but I can say that I appreciate the game.

I don't appreciate the main story, mind you. All the main plot hooks are pretty uninteresting. However, I can say that the setting itself is something that I really enjoyed. There are nowhere near enough Asia (not just talking about Japan here) inspired settings.

I enjoyed the combat system up until around the point where I got the paralyze strike... then I wished the rest of the game just let me skip all combat sequences because being able to stunlock just about every single enemy you ever encounter is awful design.

I liked the *idea* behind the morality system. It failed, don't get me wrong, it turned into the binary "good" "evil" morality that we've been stuck with forever, but the idea of making morality more grey (you may be a good guy by rushing to everyone's aid constantly, except for the part where they then never learn to solve their own problems in any way...) is something I wish more games would experiment with. They screwed it up with this game, but, the general idea being there is nice in its own, albeit disappointing, way.

I do think some of the individual characters aren't too bad.

Some of the less important story scenes I enjoyed - such as

The restaurant of cannibals in the middle of the forest. That had a really good 'Asian Horror' vibe to it for me.

But other things are things that maybe it's a bit harsh to criticize it for at the time. For example; I hate the final choice of "be good or be evil." I understand that to a point developers always want to give you the choice, but I've always felt it's something that completely flies in the face of spending X number of hours playing the game a certain way up to that point. Maybe the idea is just that you can behave like a true deceitful villain and play the good guy up to the point that it serves your goals, but, I never really buy that. But whatever.

To summarize - the side characters were decent, the general setting is pretty great, and the combat was enjoyable up to a point and is something that could have been expanded upon in pretty great ways if a sequel had ever been made. The main character's story is pretty rote from beginning to end, the combat eventually gives you the tools to break it, and the morality system doesn't deliver on what it talks itself up to be and just becomes the black and white good/evil.

I still think it's a solid game though. Not like a 5 star game or anything, but, at least a 3 if not a 4. It's nowhere near bad enough to be 1 or 2 stars, which means that "hey, it's a pretty ok game you guys." in my book.

Edited by Sparky_Buzzsaw

Yeah, Jade Empire was a pretty mixed bag. I feel like they were on to something special, but the typical Bioware approach kind of put a damper on the excellent setting and the combat's potential. I wouldn't mind if they revisited the world at some point with the help/inspiration of companies more suited to creating a better combat system.

And at this point, I'm pretty much done with Bioware's "you are the good/neutral/evil chosen one... with buddies" mechanics. They need to figure out how to change that shit up. Dragon Age Origins got it more right than anything they've done before, but still, I want to see them try something new-ish and step out of their comfort zone.

Moderator
Posted by ArbitraryWater

@pyromagnestir: You're probably fine not playing this game if you've already gone this far without playing it. But also yes, it's really short by the standards of RPGs.

@fredchuckdave:

The people had spoken and I was mildly curious to see what this game had in store. That being said, the people who voted for Jade Empire are crazy and I'm still waiting for someone to come in and defend it. I still like almost every game Bioware has made, but I will admit that some of them are not great.

Edited by Fredchuckdave

You picked one of the worst games on the poll, huzzah. It does have an okay twist though, amusing how short it is isn't it? Note most Bioware games aren't great and Jade Empire is no exception to this rule.

Posted by pyromagnestir

Heh. I stopped playing when I got to the point where I figured out John Cleese wasn't going to be a party character. That's when the game lost me. I always meant to go back and finish it, but it's been, what, 6 or 7 years since that happened? I'm beginning to think I actually might not go back and finish the game...

Then again, if the whole game can be finished in 2 and a half hours I suppose it wouldn't take me that long to finish from the point I'm at, would it?

Posted by ArbitraryWater

Monarchy all the way, baby.

You voted too, so don't pretend you didn't participate in the democratic process.

Posted by Video_Game_King

Monarchy all the way, baby.

Posted by ArbitraryWater

Playing Jade Empire is a privilege, not a consequence.

In the sense that video games are a luxury item and I don't have to look at my prospective summer jobs as anything other than stepping stones towards whatever college-degree required employment I inevitably reach, yes it is a privilege to play Jade Empire.

In terms of me asking people what game I should play on the internet, yes, it's a consequence.

Edited by StarvingGamer

Playing Jade Empire is a privilege, not a consequence.

Edited by Wampa1

@arbitrarywater: John Cleese is the best thing about this game. I'm pretty bummed the GoG version works fine on modern machines, I already paid for it on steam and I don't even like it that much but the completionist in me is telling me to get it.

Posted by Encephalon

Yeah... I played Jade Empire last summer, and came out baffled as to why anyone would recommend it with any sort of fervor. Hopefully someone can make an impassioned case in its favor; I'd be genuinely interested in hearing what other people got out of it.