Forum Overview :: Reviews
Beat it, loved it, doing it again. by Funkula 04/26/2005, 7:04pm PDT
Only this time EEEVUL.

This is the first time I've been able to beat an RPG in one go. Most get set down after a while, never to be picked up again. KOTOR, one of the few I've managed to beat, took 3 attempts spread over a year to finish. This exception was partly due to its shortness (25 hrs, and I did damn near every side quest), partly due to determination not to stall out, but mostly due to the fact that this is a damn fun, engaging game.

Combat is a blast, although a bit breakable. It can be cheesed, particularly in one-on-one fights where the opponent is not immune to support styles, but it can be very fun if you make an effort to experiment w/ different styles and tactics.

The dialogue is well written and genuinely funny at times. Furthermore, the voice acting is brilliant and I actually let most people deliver their full lines even though I'd already finished reading them. John Cleese puts in an appearance as Sir Roderick Ponce von Fontlebottom the Magnificent Bastard, a loud foreigner that everyone else is too polite to beat the fuck out of, in probably the best scene in the entire game. Playing it a second time with opposite alignment is so far resulting in a lot of neat stuff that I missed the first time around.

The followers are all interesting and none are particularly annoying. They seem to interject a lot more than in KOTOR, although unfortunately you can only have one along at a time.

It has a mid-game twist that isn't telegraphed at all, yet is not nonsensical horseshit (what was that game where the world turned out to be a laptop or something?).

The system is too simplistic. Three attributes to allocate points to, with your combat pools (health, chi, focus) and social skills (charm, intuition, intimidation) purely derived from them. Upgrading styles is interesting, but due to the amount of points required you'll probably choose 4 or so to perfect, missing out on all the others.

It's a bit on the short side. Hints are dropped about a major trading city having lots of fun stuff to do in it, so I was expecting it to be an area. The only areas are Bumfuck Nowhere Villages #1 and 2, the Imperial City, and Climactic Showdown Venues #1 and 2. Actually, there's one more (optional) area that I missed, because I had no clue that past a certain point (entering a fortress, to be spoiler-vague) the entire game would take place on a rail. Still, I'm pretty sure it's a small area, and one more really major, sidequest infested city would have made it feel a bit more appropriate in length. As said, it's about 25 hrs (maybe 30 counting the area I missed), but I wouldn't have minded 40-45 in the slightest.

The light side/dark side stuff could have been worked on a bit more. There's a neat description of the Way of the Open Palm and the Way of the Closed Fist, but the game mostly doesn't live up to it. Open Palm is all the standard RPG/Star Wars good guy shit, but Closed Fist is supposedly all about strength as the supreme virtue and improving others by forcing them to rely on themselves. Yet, most Closed Fist points in the game come from acting like an asshole or extorting money, just like in KOTOR. There are a few magnificent moments where it shines through, like giving a recently enslaved girl a knife and telling her to either kill her master or live as a slave. Overall though, it seems to focus on petty rather than grand evil yet again.

Overall, I think the game is a definite purchase. It is the most engaging RPG I've ever played, and ranks as one of the best.
review request: Jade Empire by FABIO 04/26/2005, 2:32am PDT NEW
    Imagine NBA Jam and Tetris NT by Phillipino Dance Instructor 04/26/2005, 3:19am PDT NEW
    Completely awesome in every respect. by bink 04/26/2005, 7:15am PDT NEW
        Odyssey engine. by Fussbett 04/26/2005, 1:54pm PDT NEW
            You're right, my bad. NT by bink 04/26/2005, 3:57pm PDT NEW
        Now how about a review from a non-crazy? NT by Caltrops 04/26/2005, 2:27pm PDT NEW
        Re: Completely awesome in every respect. by Andrew 04/26/2005, 6:18pm PDT NEW
            Beat it, loved it, doing it again. by Funkula 04/26/2005, 7:04pm PDT NEW
    Riffing off of Funkula here, but yeah, it's great with a few major problems by curst 04/26/2005, 8:06pm PDT NEW
        Re: Riffing off of Funkula here, but yeah, it's great with a few major problems by Wacky Willy 04/27/2005, 9:37am PDT NEW
    Sounds like bink was right on target here NT by Weyoun Voidbringer 04/28/2005, 5:11am PDT NEW
        Maybe it was some sort of "insane insight." Ah, hah, hah, hah. NT by bink 04/29/2005, 12:12am PDT NEW
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