Posted 09 November 2008 - 12:55 PM
Just got around to playing JE:SE again after a break from it and finished it.
Yep, this game was a kung fu epic version of KotOR with a dull combat system and better graphics. I thought KotOR was a nice enough RPG but not great, and I'd put JE:SE in the same boat. If you like KotOR you'll probably like JE:SE just fine.
The good: Atmosphere, graphics, story are all top notch. Amazing visuals, engrossing story, variety of solutions, interesting characters. Towards the end of the game you get to play briefly as two of your henchmen, which is pretty cool.
The bad: Combat, linear, no exploration. the combat system is really tedious from top to bottom. It's pretty to look at, but other than that I thought it was horrible. You could be walking along a path and enter combat. Suddenly, you can't run down the path, you are locked into a box on the path by invisible walls. Guess kiting your opponents is not the kung fu way. On top of this combat is a button-mashfest. The game is really linear. There are side quests around, but the game spoon feeds the main quest to you. Find the gold flag on your map and go there. Complete the task set before you (which may take a bit of exploring) and then go to the next gold flag on your map. No real exploration. Every location and map pretty much exists to further the main quest. This is not a big dynamic world to explore, it is a point A to point B journey. This made the game feel 'small' to me. While the story was epic, I never believed that it was happening across a vast empire. Just seemed like the village you start at was next door to the big city you end up in.
I guess I'd give it 4/5, but not because the game is a solid 4/5 but rather because part of the game is amazing and part is really disappointing. The graphics and story are 5/5. Music and voice acting are 5/5. Combat is 2/5. Linear game play is 2/5. Scope of game (world size, exploration, etc.) is 3/5.
For the record, while it had some occasional crashes are several odd graphical anomalies (like the black letterbox bands turning grey or getting stripes in them) that didn't really effect game play, the Cider conversion was roughly as stable as the non-Cider Fable was. I liked the fact that it was a DL game and so required no CD check. I've grown to hate CD checks.
I'd feel it was a worthwhile purchase.