Jade Empire (2005)

Video Game  -  Action | Drama | Fantasy  -  12 April 2005 (USA)
8.8
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As an orphan you grew up in the Jade Empire under the care of a strict yet loving master,who runs a school for the training in martial and spiritual arts completely ignorant of your past ... See full summary »

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Title: Jade Empire (Video Game 2005)

Jade Empire (Video Game 2005) on IMDb 8.8/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jocelyn Ahlf ...
The Water Dragon (voice)
Victor Brandt ...
The Black Whirlwind / Additional Voices (voice)
...
Sky / Si Pat / Additional Voices (voice)
...
Sir Roderick (voice)
...
Henpecked Hou / Furious Ming / Additional Voices (voice)
...
Master Li (voice)
...
Sagacious Zu / Bladed Thesis / Thug / Slimy Merchant (voice)
...
Kang the Mad / Fortunate Puzzle (voice)
...
Gao the Lesser (voice)
Kim Mai Guest ...
Dawn Star / Additional Voices (voice)
...
Death's Hand / Prefect Jitong (voice)
Gord Marriott ...
Ya Zhen / Executioner Zogu / Old Wei / Additional Voices (voice)
...
Silk Fox / Princess Sun Lian (voice) (as Masasa)
Nicky Pugh ...
Wild Flower (voice)
...
Emperor Sun Hai / Abbot Song / The Keeper (voice)
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Storyline

As an orphan you grew up in the Jade Empire under the care of a strict yet loving master,who runs a school for the training in martial and spiritual arts completely ignorant of your past and what your future may hold. A seemingly innocent yet foolish act by a love-lorn student leads you on a dangerous path that takes you on travels throughout this stunning, mysterious land. As you try and make sense of what is happening increasingly you are faced with other-worldly, even undead creatures who test your mettle and skills to the utmost, this is a learning experience, each conflict hones your powers and may even pass onto you skills and attributes garnered from your defeated foes. Eventually perhaps you will have what it takes to face your destiny and the dark powers set against you in the Jade Empire. Written by Steve Page

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

12 April 2005 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Trivia

Sit through the credits for some funny exchanges between some of your followers. See more »

Connections

References The Princess Bride (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

"KOTOR"-Free Review
31 May 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I have never played "Knights of the Old Republic" so you won't find any comparisons to that game here. However, you will read the opinion of a pretty satisfied gamer.

First off--I love anything Chinese, be it food, films, or pseudo-Chinese video games. This is pseudo-Chinese in that it takes famous Hong Kong cinematic elements such as kung-fu and interesting character names yet for some reason shies away from actual Chinese culture. I have heard people complain about that, but it doesn't really bother me. I get a kick out of people calling themselves things like "Sun Li the Glorious Strategist" and being serious about it.

Pros (and there are several, in my opinion): The game is beautifully designed--the environments are often stunning and the character models look great. (Side track--doesn't Wu the Lotus Blossom look kinda Michelle Yeoh-like? Or is it just me?) Even the bad guys look marvelous. The demon-type villains are frightening yet wonderful to look at. Another pro is the nifty ability to stick your nose into everybody's business. In fact, you're practically required to. If you see someone crying, you just might earn some money by asking him or her why, and then settling their problems for them. You can take one of two routes in most of the situations. You can follow "The Way of the Open Palm" (which is what I'm doing, former Girl-Scout that I am) or you can be wicked and follow "The Way of the Closed Fist." Both are pretty self-explanatory and in the game it's almost painfully easy to distinguish which response goes with which path. I haven't yet ventured into evil, but it seems that choosing the other path could actually make for some pretty big gameplay differences. Another customizable feature is the conversation skill. You can choose to intimidate, charm, or just be intuitive. It's always fun to see how the person you're talking to reacts. And it gets better--bad guys react to different voice tones than good guys, which is expected.

The combat is touted as the central aspect of the game, since kung-fu has revealed itself to Americans has an art form. (Many people refer to "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" when talking about this game--it isn't that dull.) There are oodles of different styles to choose and they each fall under different headings--magic, martial arts, support, or weapons-based. It is essential to swap styles mid-fight, so consequently you can orchestrate some pretty showy fights with multiple stances. If you swap styles at the right time, you can dish out some serious damage. However, if your opponent is invulnerable to that style, you will accomplish nothing. Therefore, it's always good to try all styles on everything to see what hurts it most. You can swipe at ghosts with your sword 'til the cows come home but you won't make a dent in their health bars. You have to change styles and see what sends 'em reeling.

There is some great voice acting in this game as well. (Kim Mai Guest makes her appearance in it--she's in TONS of video games.) I think all of it is pretty good, as it usually fits the character, I didn't notice any repetition, and the dialogue is well-written. (And the characters words come very close to matching their lips.) I have noticed several laugh-out loud moments, usually when my character chose the wrong conversation style (I tried intuition and it didn't work).

The last pro--the Dragonfly minigame. It's a beautiful yet simple top-down shooter. You just shoot enemy flyers as they make elegant patterns around the screen.

Cons--Why does everyone insist on scratching his or her head when speaking with you? Is something going around? Every time you gain a follower they start the head-scratching. I guess it's a gesture to add realism, but nobody itches that much. Second (and this is a matter of opinion, it doesn't bother me), there is a gargantuan amount of dialogue, and lots of it is unskippable. The plot is very important to the game, and how are you going to move it along without saying anything? Taking on all the side quests adds a huge amount of dialogue, especially if you keep saying the wrong things. One con that seriously irritated me, but I can see why it's there. Everyone else talks on endlessly, but your character doesn't speak. I guess it's because four hundred times more recording would have been required to come up with all the answers your character can make. I just felt kind of distant from everyone else. (Actually, your character will yet out style changes during fights, but that's the only time you'll hear them.) The second-to-last con, and it's enough to annoy anybody, are the frequent load times. Quest fulfillments take ages. Your character can sprint through the whole game until you run into one of those load times. I don't guess it's too annoying, but I was afraid I'd forget who I was headed to see and what we were supposed to discuss. Last con, and it's inconsequential--The fake language created for the game. Only certain people speak it, and it seems to be pretty random. For instance, two people are having a conversation when you walk up. Speaking to one, you find that she speaks English. Chatting to the other reveals that they don't. What were they speaking in before you showed up? (Personally, I think the fake language could have been eschewed in favor of Mandarin Chinese. It has a fantasy sound to it and the developers could have saved some time--it was created ages ago.) All in all, a game easily recommended to almost anybody.


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