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Posted on Sep 17, 2007 in Electronic Games, Front Page Features

Jade Empire: Special Edition Review

By Ryan Stepalavich

What was really unfortunate in Jade Empire: Special Edition was the second half to the moniker – Special Edition. Indeed, the gamer would be hard-pressed to find much different between the Xbox version and the PC "special" version. There are small tweaks and changes, such as a handful of added enemies, some new fighting styles that will unlikely be used, and a world map, but these additions are insufficient to maintain the interest of a gamer that owns or has played the original Jade Empire. Indeed, especially for Xbox players, Jade Empire: Special Edition suffers from very slight replay value, perchance to explore Bioware’s penchant multiple endings, but no more. Often the gamer will strive to achieve a certain ending – good, bad, or neutral – and will find that a single act after hours of grinding in a certain direction can actually flip the character from one end of the spectrum to the polar opposite. This makes trying to explore the branching storyline a very tedious affair, and has the risk of turning the player off completely before finishing Jade Empire a second time.


Make no mistake, Jade Empire is certainly an experience to be had for gamers of all styles from RPG fanatic to fighter aficionado, as there’s a little something for everyone buried within the tomes of quality storyline and unique game play mechanics. However, if the gamer in question has already played Jade Empire on the Xbox from beginning to end, and everywhere in between, then Jade Empire: Special Edition is certainly not a good buy to be had. To such a gamer, the translation is a disappointing one. Rough controls, blurry FMV sequences and a lack of "new" things within will turn off even the most die-hard Jade Empire fan. But, for everyone else, dig in. It is one heck of a ride.


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