How am I supposed to write a nitpick post about this game? It’s like, yeah this supermodel and I went out last night. We ate at a five-star restaurant and then we went back to her house. I played Guitar Hero on her PS3 while she played backup for me on a real, actual guitar, on which she is a virtuoso. But then she didn’t have any of the bonus packs for the game and I was tired of all the original songs so I just went home. Still, as I have noted before, complaining about videogames is part of what I do here, and I refuse to be denied my pleasure because the game doesn’t have anything worth complaining about.
The nitpicks, in no particular order:
It doesn’t make sense the Jia had the last part of the amulet. Wouldn’t she have given it to the Emperor? They had ready access to airships and he was keen on getting it.
I really would have liked to be able to change clothes or customize my character. Since part of the plot takes place in pre-rendered cutscenes, the character had to remain static in order to match the pre-rendered stuff. Now that the game has been ported to the PC, (and thus we are no longer limited to television resolution) the pre-animated stuff isn’t that much better looking than the game itself. Some might argue that the realtime stuff looks better. It’s certainly crisper. Still, it would have been fairly expensive to change this for the PC and I don’t fault Bioware at all. I just… you know, wish.
In KOTOR you could have two companions at a time. This seemed like a perfect number to me. Some games allow larger parties, and that gets too crowded. Jade Empire takes this down to one companion at a time, which means your friends rarely get the chance to talk to each other. I kind of miss that dynamic.
There are a few minor bugs. When moving to a new area, sometimes the camera ends up facing straight down. A quick save & load fixes this without losing any progress, and the bug is pretty rare, but I hope they fix it all the same. Once in a while a patch of fog will blink in and out of view, which is distracting. Other than these few hiccups, the game is flawless. I never saw any broken / buggy quests.
But my biggest lament is that I wish there was more of it. A single play-through takes between twenty and twenty-five hours. Sure, you will probably go through it more than once, but I felt like the game needed a longer first act. I would have liked to spend another hour or so in Two Rivers and the surrounding area. However, if given the choice between short and perfect (Jade Empire) or long and unfinished (Oblivion, Neverwinter Nights 2) there isn’t any debate. I’ll take the shorter experience every single time. Still, I wouldn’t have minded if the game just padded things out with a little more combat, just to stretch out the experience ladder a bit. And while we’re asking the genie for more wishes, I would have liked another town between Tien’s Landing and the Imperial City.
Yeah, this is a pathetic list of nitpicks, and it makes me seem sort of petty for even bringing them up. Still, this is what you get when you put out an excellent game: The thing is nearly unassailable.
A look back at Star Trek, from the Original Series to the Abrams Reboot.
Batman: Arkham City
A look back at one of my favorite games. The gameplay was stellar, but the underlying story was clumsy and oddly constructed.
Grand Theft Railroad
Grand Theft Auto is a lousy, cheating jerk of a game.
WAY back in 2005, I wrote about a D&D campaign I was running. The campaign is still there, in the bottom-most strata of the archives.
The Best of 2016
My picks for what was important, awesome, or worth talking about in 2016.