Monday, February 26, 2007

Jade Empire's re-re-re release

I was one of the few that never had an original X-box. At the time I was quite happy with my PS2, and the only X-Box games I really wanted were Otogi and Jade Empire. I mangaged to borrow a friend's X-Box to play through a chunk of Jade Empire. Overall I feel that the game was put together very well and it was what Fable should have been. However, I never got the chance to complete the game. Needless to say I was thrilled when I heard that the game was getting a re-release on the PC. That is, until I saw the price. Buying the game in stores is $39.99 - if you'd prefer to download it via Steam, you can save a few dollars and pick it up for $35.95.

Honestly, both of these prices are ridiculous. The game itself is two years old and has already had 2 incarnations - the original version, and the 'Limited Edition' preorder version. The second version had a new character and a new weapon. You can pick up that version used for $12.99. Yep, 13 bucks.

BioWare's excuse for charging so much for version 3.0 of a game is this:

* Customizable, intuitive controls including support for game-pads and keyboard/mouse
* Increased graphics resolutions and new visual effects
* New monsters and enemies
* New fighting styles
* Improved combat AI and difficulty levels
* New world map interface

Now, the first 'bonus' is laughable. I should hope that the pc version can be played with a keyboard and mouse. The second and third and negotiable.

New graphics are fine, if your computer can render them properly. New enemies are just the same old enemies with a new skin stuck on them.

As far as I understand, the new fighting style (Rhino) is only available through pre-order of the game. I hope I'm mistaken with this one because new styles are always intesting.

The AI difficulty has most likely been raised due to complaints that the game was too short. So, instead of adding real content, make the player do a level grind instead. Riiiiiight.

New World Map: Ok, sounds good, but I don't recall the last map system being all that awful.

40 dollars is simply too much for a two year old game that's been polished up a bit. Even thirty dollars I can understand - I personally was hoping for a bargain price due to the age of the game. Hiking the price back up with marginal upgrades is just stupid, especially with a PC version. You're asking people to pirate it at this point.

As for me, I waited two years for it, it won't be so much longer before it makes it's way to the $19.99 shelf at the local Wal-Mart.


Just to be fair, here is Jade Empire's Official site:
Jade Empire Special Edition

1 comment:

Sharp said...

You forgot the link to Jade Empire's website.

I really must get back to playing that game some day. You can borrow it if you can get your hands on an X-Box again.