So, in my slow but steady way, I'm about eight hours into Jade Empire. (I just met a Fox and an Elephant, and don't yet have a Flyer, if that helps any.) I continue to like Bioware's approach to overcomplicated dialogue trees. I think the game looks pretty, and has lots of flavor, character, hop-ba, etc.
But I kind of hate the combat system. It's sort of a half-assed Dead or Alive. My ability to succeed at the game is directly related to my ability to learn how to twitch, and two battles against comporable foes can go wildly differently depending on how successful I was at jamming the "block" button. The combo system feels unresponsive compared to an actual fighting game, as do power attacks or whatever they're called; it feels like I get punished for not waiting long enough for the next "turn" to come around, even though I get no advantage from whatever secret "turns" might lurk under the covers.
I know there are subtleties of the style/combo system that I'm missing, but the game isn't really helping me out with that either. I hate not being able to save in the middle of combat, or even to have the option to replay a combat from the start if I fail. I can't get immersed at all, because at any moment I might suddenly fail because I didn't forsee a combat, and so died horribly and instantly.
I liked KOTOR. Two companions. Ability to pause and pick my next action, or to twitch it up. Lightsabers.
I like the "actions on timers, so it's kind of turn-like" approach MMORPGs have, too; and there, there's usually enough options to make combat as easy or hard as you want it to be. Sure, I can grind with a small number of my powers, but against a skilled opponent, I have to master all of my potential counters and responses. I also like that MMORPGs are balanced so that dying isn't a "full stop" kind of experience.
I should just get over myself and set the combat to easy, already. 12:46:08 PM ()