Interesting but flawed games

Of the Tabletop, and other, lesser varieties.

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Interesting but flawed games

Postby gingermrkettle » Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:46 pm UTC

Sort of coming from the top ten thread, there are those games that aren't solid classics but which have interesting aspects. Apologies if this has been done before, and give me a kicking if so, but here is a starter for 10:

Hybrid Heaven

Fairly ordinary gameplay and the enhanced graphics mode did a good impression of a picture gallery, but the enemy character design was good in a seriously disturbed kind of way (the horse-human hybrid early on is a properly gruesome example), I did not see the plot twist coming and the method of learning new moves made me laugh (SMACK "Ah, so that's how you do that move. Thanks for the tuition. Ow").

Oh, and playing it on 9/11 then cutting from the menu screen to the news footage was a bit of a shock.

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Re: Interesting but flawed games

Postby thecommabandit » Mon Feb 07, 2011 7:13 pm UTC

Alpha Protocol. For each thing it got right, it got about two wrong. It was alternately entertaining and frustrating, the frustration usually as a result of the poorly-designed and cartoonish combat conflicting with the well-done conversations and social mechanics and intriguing story as well as pretty entertaining hacking minigames. It could have been so much more...

BioShock. Sub-par gameplay and slightly dodgy graphics for the age it was released, but some absolutely phenomenal concepts and one of the most clever instances of gameplay and story intertwining that I've ever seen. It was worth it for that single, crystallising moment of terrifying clarity.
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Re: Interesting but flawed games

Postby Minchandre » Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:26 pm UTC

Psychonauts. Awesome story, concept, and art bogged down by annoying controls (in a game which sometimes acts as a precision platformer), and probably the worst camera I've ever encountered.

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Re: Interesting but flawed games

Postby Amnesiasoft » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:57 am UTC

Minchandre wrote:bogged down by annoying controls (in a game which sometimes acts as a precision platformer)

I've... never understood this one. I had no issue playing through the game using a mouse and keyboard...

As for my contribution: Deadly Premonition. An Xbox 360 game that looks like an Xbox game in places, has some pretty not so great controls (Yay RE tank controls!) and a strange like for unlimited spawns of enemies in tight corridors and the inability to walk over corpses.

But then you ignore all of that because of the crazy attention to details (Real time weapon switching beard growing!). The really well written and interesting characters, and the fairly entertaining plot. And even... THE SINNER'S SANDWICH!

It also has the most amazing soundtrack for a horror game... ever. Seriously, go buy it. It's the best $20 I ever spent on an Xbox 360 game.

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Re: Interesting but flawed games

Postby headprogrammingczar » Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:30 am UTC

What the fresh hell was that? I gotta play this game, just to see what insane context brought about that sandwich.
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Re: Interesting but flawed games

Postby Magnanimous » Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:33 am UTC

Spore. Just... Spore. :(

I'd like to second Bioshock, but point out that most of my complaints were fixed in the sequel. If only we could squish the two games into one.

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Re: Interesting but flawed games

Postby Amnesiasoft » Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:58 am UTC

headprogrammingczar wrote:What the fresh hell was that? I gotta play this game, just to see what insane context brought about that sandwich.

It's Twin Peaks the video game done by Japanese people.

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Re: Interesting but flawed games

Postby SurgicalSteel » Tue Feb 08, 2011 5:33 pm UTC

All of my complaints about BioShock were alleviated when I played it on the 360 instead of the PC. The controls are much better.
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Re: Interesting but flawed games

Postby Xanthir » Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:16 pm UTC

Advent Rising. It has the most fun and natural-feeling implementation of telekinesis I've ever experienced. I have never had so much fun throwing people off catwalks with my mind, or bashing them into walls over and over again until they stop moving.

However, they blatantly planned for a trilogy which never occurred, so the one game they did create (a) introduces a ton of powers in the latter third of the game that you don't get enough time with to really enjoy, and (b) has a shitty ending.

Still, though, the telekinesis is amazing, the battles are well-plotted, and the game as a whole is fun and challenging.
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Re: Interesting but flawed games

Postby Technical Ben » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:23 pm UTC

Magnanimous wrote:Spore. Just... Spore. :(

...


This a million times.
For creativity, it's great. I could spend hours (and did) just making things. But for gameplay, it had none. Which is a pity, when you think of the other Sims. Even "The Sims" can be low on actual gameplay at times, but has massive amounts more than spore did. Sim city has so much depth, and can be toyed with. Where as, Spore gets really samey all the time. The best part of the gameplay was the cell stage. You did not spend enough time as a cell. The rest of the game comes down to "Rock, paper, Scissors". Then space becomes "press button to kill everything" and not much else.
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Re: Interesting but flawed games

Postby Soralin » Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:23 am UTC

Ascendancy. It was a nice 4x game, released a year or so before Master of Orion II. You could colonize various planets, build various structures on the surface, and in orbit, design and build your own ships and conquer other civilizations, etc. It had a nice tech tree, with a lot of interesting things that you could pick up, including a lot of stuff with unique effects, not just +1 over what you had before, but different things with different attributes and properties and such. A number of different species you could take, each with some unique trait or ability that they could do. Battles took place in the same systems where you move around and such, with warp points connecting them, and planetary orbital defenses and such could take part, if ships were close to them. And it had good music, and nice graphics for the time.

In general, it was quite an interesting game.. except that it had some of the worst AI ever, and no multiplayer option. There was some patch that was released later that you could use to improve the AI, but "improve" in this case seemed to just make it cheat much more, it still seemed to be as dumb as ever, and so if you lived long enough to get past the very early stages, it became just about as easy as before. It also had some issues with balance, that some of those interesting technologies could be used in overpowered ways, but given the lack of interesting opponents, that was more of a side issue.

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Re: Interesting but flawed games

Postby Chewbaccawacca » Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:02 am UTC

Let me just say that I absolutely loved Alan Wake (the "flashlight game"). It had fun gameplay, tight controls (for it's genre), and one of the absolute BEST written stories of any game in recent memory.

Honestly the only real complaint I had with it is the age old problem of becoming too powerful by the end of the game. I mean, you play as a writer for the sake of good things! I loved the moments of shear terror at the beginning when you're being chased around in the dark Pacific Northwest woods with nothing but a flashlight.

But in the end when you have so many weapons and what amounts to a grenade launcher (reminder: you are a WRITER), it just lost some of that allure that was making it great.

ACTUAL SPOILER:
Spoiler:
And that final fight with the Tornado? Pfff, it was basically just point and ERADICATE. Mannnn....


If they ever make a sequel, and I certainly hope they do, I really think it would help to not give the player so many weapons. It would also do well to have some sort of unkillable enemy. Something along the lines of the Hunter from Dead Space. That dude still gives my buddy nightmares.

Seriously. He wakes up screaming.
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Re: Interesting but flawed games

Postby Dark567 » Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:24 pm UTC

Dreamfall. An attempt to make a game very very plot driven, but at the same time when you do that, there isn't much of a game left. You just kinda move from one event to another and see how the plot unfolds.
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Re: Interesting but flawed games

Postby Amnesiasoft » Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:29 am UTC

Dark567 wrote:Dreamfall. An attempt to make a game very very plot driven, but at the same time when you do that, there isn't much of a game left. You just kinda move from one event to another and see how the plot unfolds.

I'm not entirely sure that's a result of it being so plot driven. The Longest Journey is pretty much just as plot driven, but manages to fit plenty of relatively well thought out puzzles (for an adventure game).

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Re: Interesting but flawed games

Postby Dark567 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:50 am UTC

Amnesiasoft wrote:
Dark567 wrote:Dreamfall. An attempt to make a game very very plot driven, but at the same time when you do that, there isn't much of a game left. You just kinda move from one event to another and see how the plot unfolds.

I'm not entirely sure that's a result of it being so plot driven. The Longest Journey is pretty much just as plot driven, but manages to fit plenty of relatively well thought out puzzles (for an adventure game).

The problem with puzzles, is that the player can get stuck, and then the plot takes a back seat to solving the puzzles. I get the feeling that the designers specifically wanted to avoid this, and basically wanted to turn the game into an "interactive story", in which you are just a participant in something that has already been authored.

I have kinda always wondered if there is a sort of diametric spectrum between game and authorship in video games. That the more options you give to a player, that the less you can control the plot to make it well developed.
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Re: Interesting but flawed games

Postby Menacing Spike » Mon Feb 14, 2011 5:19 pm UTC

Dark567 wrote:Dreamfall. An attempt to make a game very very plot driven, but at the same time when you do that, there isn't much of a game left. You just kinda move from one event to another and see how the plot unfolds.


It still had action based combat. However, it was linear as fuck.

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Re: Interesting but flawed games

Postby Jessica » Mon Feb 14, 2011 5:39 pm UTC

I loved Ascendancy when I was younger. The lack of multiplayer for me was never a big issue (I don't do multiplayer too much) but yeah, the AI was dumb as a sack of bricks. Loved that game

Bioshock's flaws weren't too bad for me. I enjoyed it enough.

lets see - Black and white: God I wish it worked. I wish it worked so much.
Personally, I found evil genius suffered from the problem. The interface, the difficulty... all problematic. But, the game would be so awesome...
shoot... there are others that I can't think of right now.
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Re: Interesting but flawed games

Postby Dark567 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 5:47 pm UTC

Jessica wrote:lets see - Black and white: God I wish it worked. I wish it worked so much.
That had to be the most disappointing game ever. It was so hyped, it came out to rave reviews and you got to play god! Than I played it and it was like "this is it?" It was terrible. It is probably the only time I played a game and seriously wanted to go to the developer and demand my money back. I have the exact opposite reaction to this game as I do to Dreamfall(sounds terrible, but actually pretty good), B&W sounds like it would be awesome but is just so god damn lame.

I guess since then most reviewers have revised their views, Gamespy considers it the single most overrated game ever.
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Yakk wrote:The question the thought experiment I posted is aimed at answering: When falling in a black hole, do you see the entire universe's future history train-car into your ass, or not?

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Re: Interesting but flawed games

Postby dbsmith » Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:10 am UTC

Heavy Rain. 'nuff said?

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Re: Interesting but flawed games

Postby Antimony-120 » Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:40 am UTC

dbsmith wrote:Heavy Rain. 'nuff said?


No, not enough said. I have never played it, and besides recalling the name don't really remember much about it. So for those of us who haven't played the game (which will be most people who read the thread) please elaborate.

Also, the white room I already commented on another thread (Top Ten Games) that I thought it was really good, but the voice acting...god. The voice acting. Not good in a horror game when the voice just sounds...bored.
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Re: Interesting but flawed games

Postby guale » Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:55 pm UTC

How about Overlord? Great game, funny, witty, but sweeping those minions is just so damn clumsy.

Dark567 wrote:
Jessica wrote:lets see - Black and white: God I wish it worked. I wish it worked so much.
That had to be the most disappointing game ever. It was so hyped, it came out to rave reviews and you got to play god! Than I played it and it was like "this is it?" It was terrible. It is probably the only time I played a game and seriously wanted to go to the developer and demand my money back. I have the exact opposite reaction to this game as I do to Dreamfall(sounds terrible, but actually pretty good), B&W sounds like it would be awesome but is just so god damn lame.

I guess since then most reviewers have revised their views, Gamespy considers it the single most overrated game ever.

Really? I've never thought of Black & White as flawed, I've always just thought of it as a great game. I guess part of that is that I was never exposed to the overhype about it.

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Re: Interesting but flawed games

Postby Endless Mike » Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:54 pm UTC

Antimony-120 wrote:
dbsmith wrote:Heavy Rain. 'nuff said?

No, not enough said. I have never played it, and besides recalling the name don't really remember much about it. So for those of us who haven't played the game (which will be most people who read the thread) please elaborate.

I can elaborate! Gameplay is extremely limited: it's basically quick-time event after quick-time event. It's very story-driven, but the story has holes as wide as the Grand Canyon and actively hides things from the player. (There is a scene where the player character at the moment does things off-screen.) The character models, while good and nicely animated, are pretty deep into Uncanny Valley territory.

All that said, it is an interesting game, and succeeds at its goal pretty well, but has some pretty glaring flaws.

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Re: Interesting but flawed games

Postby psion » Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:06 pm UTC

Endless Mike wrote:I can elaborate! Gameplay is extremely limited: it's basically quick-time event after quick-time event. It's very story-driven, but the story has holes as wide as the Grand Canyon and actively hides things from the player. (There is a scene where the player character at the moment does things off-screen.)

I think you need to elaborate further. How does that differ from Fahrenheit? Or are we measuring hype to disappointment?

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Re: Interesting but flawed games

Postby Herra Monologi » Wed Feb 16, 2011 11:50 am UTC

Anybody have ever played game called "Tanktics"?

I only played the demo and never found the full game but it was quite fun. Quite hard puzzle biased game where you fly around with magnet microing things. Wasn't great but quite fascinating small game.

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Re: Interesting but flawed games

Postby Endless Mike » Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:10 pm UTC

psion wrote:
Endless Mike wrote:I can elaborate! Gameplay is extremely limited: it's basically quick-time event after quick-time event. It's very story-driven, but the story has holes as wide as the Grand Canyon and actively hides things from the player. (There is a scene where the player character at the moment does things off-screen.)

I think you need to elaborate further. How does that differ from Fahrenheit? Or are we measuring hype to disappointment?

I only played like a half hour of Fahrenheit, so I can't really comment. From what I did play, Heavy Rain was definitely more polished, though.

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Re: Interesting but flawed games

Postby mister k » Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:15 am UTC

Final fantasy 12. Theres some germs of good ideas here- the full combat system is not uninteresting, and the plot is pretty good (if we subtract the super duper whiny children), but bloody hell, that game does its best to hide its content, to the point where its the first Final Fantasy I had to give up on.

Black and White for sure, the concepts were terrific, but I actually wanted to be a good god and ended up being evil simply because my followers were morons who needed me to do everything for them. Also creature combat was silly (yay, I've killed your creature! Oh... he's back again... I guess I'll fight exactly the same fight 7 more times before this level is over?)
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Re: Interesting but flawed games

Postby psion » Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:50 pm UTC

Does anyone remember the creature being advertised for Black & White? I remember that everything I had read and seen about the game up until release made no mention of the creature, so that when I got my hands on the game I was actually kind of angry that it wasn't much more than a 3D Neopets or something.
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Re: Interesting but flawed games

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:22 pm UTC

Yeah, I remember the creature being advertised and talked about extensively, to the point where my understanding was that the creature was going to be powered by a learning AI strong enough that it'd eventually take over the day to day tasks leaving you to handle the bigger picture.

The reality being that you end up saddled with this .. thing.. that seemed to be needed by the game arbitrarily and was semi-useless. Sure, I trained mine to the point where it'd wander to enemy towns, dance a dance and get everyone involved and then fireball the bastards, wiping the town out, but still.. it never seemed smart.

And beating something to half-death every time it does something wrong seems a poor way to teach what you're being told is essentially a child.
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Re: Interesting but flawed games

Postby Endless Mike » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:30 pm UTC

Yeah, I definitely remember talk of the creature prior to release. And yeah, it was pretty dumb. That said, training him to fling villagers around was kind of fun, I guess.

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Re: Interesting but flawed games

Postby Amnesiasoft » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:54 pm UTC

It didn't help that the original release was bugged so your creature forgot everything when you loaded up a save.

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Re: Interesting but flawed games

Postby Shadic » Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:13 pm UTC

Both Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and Tactics Advance 2 were punished quite a bit by the law system. Especially in the second game, where the laws don't apply to the opponent, and can be triggered by one of your characters getting a critical hit. Yes, one of the few games where you can be punished for getting lucky. :|

There's cheats out to entirely disable the law system, and I'm tempted to do that, even though it'll screw with the balance of the game. I enjoyed the first game a lot because you were able to use the law system to restrict the computer's actions as well.

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Re: Interesting but flawed games

Postby Menacing Spike » Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:34 pm UTC

Shadic wrote:Both Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and Tactics Advance 2 were punished quite a bit by the law system. Especially in the second game, where the laws don't apply to the opponent, and can be triggered by one of your characters getting a critical hit. Yes, one of the few games where you can be punished for getting lucky. :|


Use magic!
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Re: Interesting but flawed games

Postby emceng » Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:42 pm UTC

FF13. It had amazing environments. The entire rest of the game is absolute, unmitigated shit.
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Re: Interesting but flawed games

Postby Dark567 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 7:16 pm UTC

emceng wrote:FF13. It had amazing environments. The entire rest of the game is absolute, unmitigated shit.

And here I was planning on buying a PS3 just so I can play it...

I thought it got pretty good reviews?
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Re: Interesting but flawed games

Postby emceng » Fri Feb 18, 2011 7:27 pm UTC

Dark567 wrote:
emceng wrote:FF13. It had amazing environments. The entire rest of the game is absolute, unmitigated shit.

And here I was planning on buying a PS3 just so I can play it...

I thought it got pretty good reviews?


Maybe a handful. It had so many issues: 1) It takes something like 40 hours to get to any sort of open world play. Up until that point it is completely on rails. You can't skip anything, or make any decisions as to who is in your party. 2) All but 1 character made me want severe physical harm to come to them, and any person who helped write them. 3) The story is told in a horribly disjointed way. There are cutscenes, and an information log. Half the time something is mentioned in a cutscene that you had never heard about before. Then you go in and get to read in your log what the cutscene just said, plus about 5 words, OR plus relevant story information that you needed before the cutscene. Plus, the story is a mess. It doesn't make sense, even if you read everything. 4) The combat is lame. It's nearly impossible to lose for the first 2+ hours. You get new abilities every 20-30 minutes, but don't get to fully use them. Most of the fights are short and boring. 5) The leveling up mechanics are pointless. No RPG customization, just choosing which upgrade to take for the next 5 minutes before you get a different upgrade. 6) Did I mention how annoying the characters are? One is named Hope - as in "I hope he dies a violent, painful death, then the game designers all get genital herpes that migrate to their brains".
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Re: Interesting but flawed games

Postby Midnight » Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:55 am UTC

Most games.

Most games have an interesting premise but make me bored quickly. Or they don't make me bored quickly but the premise fails to fascinate. There is, after all, a somewhat inverse correlation between polished playability and crazy new ideas.
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Re: Interesting but flawed games

Postby You, sir, name? » Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:26 pm UTC

Dark567 wrote:Dreamfall. An attempt to make a game very very plot driven, but at the same time when you do that, there isn't much of a game left. You just kinda move from one event to another and see how the plot unfolds.


TLJ was just as plot driven, and is one hell of a good game (if you enjoy puzzles). What it lacks in non-linearity it makes up for in length.

Dreamfall's biggest flaw was the poorly executed fighting element. Had executive meddling written all over it.
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Re: Interesting but flawed games

Postby LaserGuy » Sat Feb 26, 2011 8:31 am UTC

Maybe dating myself a bit here, but one that really stands out for me is Daggerfall. It had one of the best character creation systems of any RPG I've played, and a world that is almost stupidly big (15,000+ towns, and 750,000+ npcs, apparently), with an associated near-infinite multitude of quests and dungeons to do. Unfortunately, at release it was buggy to the point of being almost unplayable and unwinnable.

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Re: Interesting but flawed games

Postby Nova » Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:32 pm UTC

P.N.03

It had an interesting twist on third-person shooters. The point wasn't to simply kill everything in sight en route to the end boss, but rather to chain shooting and dodging (especially dodging, since Vanessa Z. Schneider was animated like a modern dancer) so that each room was cleared in the most efficient and stylish manner possible to maximize points. A timed combo meter which reset after each kill encouraged the player to keep moving and keep thinking. It was interesting and fun, to a point.

Sadly, the level design was staggeringly bland, and there were about five total enemy mob types, not counting bosses :cry:
Caffeine, hormones, and a thirst for vengeance.

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BlackSails
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Re: Interesting but flawed games

Postby BlackSails » Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:18 pm UTC

Nova wrote:P.N.03

It had an interesting twist on third-person shooters. The point wasn't to simply kill everything in sight en route to the end boss, but rather to chain shooting and dodging (especially dodging, since Vanessa Z. Schneider was animated like a modern dancer) so that each room was cleared in the most efficient and stylish manner possible to maximize points. A timed combo meter which reset after each kill encouraged the player to keep moving and keep thinking. It was interesting and fun, to a point.

Sadly, the level design was staggeringly bland, and there were about five total enemy mob types, not counting bosses :cry:


P.N.03 sold 10,000 copies in Japan and 13,000 in North America.[16]


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:



Jade Empire was a decent game, with a good story and neat world. However, it was also entirely without replay value (since all your choices are basically - "give money to the orphan" or "kick his dog" and none really impact the game other than possibly making some people leave your party) and even on hard, it was ridiculously easy.


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