Sunday, 21 November 2010

J is for....

Jade Empire


Set in ancient China Jade Empire is an action RPG that could turn out to be rather interesting and intriguing game. You start the game by being able to select from seven characters (four male and three female) each with different characteristics which are fast, strong, balanced and magic. After character selection you quickly work your way through a tutorial, choose your weapon and then it’s onto the game.

You start off by having to visit two people in the town which gives you a chance to wander around talking to people. When talking to people you get a list of questions to ask the character, don’t worry about what order to ask in or missing out on questions because as far as I was aware you could ask all of them from your list. Depending on how you answer though can have an impact on your character and game ending. After this it’s onto a battle with quite a few enemies including ghosts which are rather easy to defeat.

During battle you have three bars which are health, focus and chi. Health is self explanatory, focus is used for weapons style and chi is used for three reasons which are to replenish your health, to charge up a powerful strike to deal large damage or to be used when casting spells. Once used the bar will run down until you replenish it from either a fountain or from orbs dropped by defeated enemies. It does add an element to battles as you decide to top up low energy or risk trying to wipe out the enemies with powerful strikes.

Within the 15 minutes: Had defended the beach.

Will I play it again? Yes at some point.

James Pond 3: Operation Starfish


Like with Alex Kidd I have fond memories of playing the first James Pond game in the series and unfortunately like Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle for some reason I just couldn’t seem to get into this third instalment.

Like my write up of Galaxy Force II I’m really struggling to think of anything really positive or negative to say about the game. I think the main problem was that I just found it to be rather boring and by halfway through the 15 minutes I was already thinking about the next game to play.

So on to the game play. Well it’s your pretty standard platform game, this one being set on the moon which results in the levels being given cheese related names such as Garden of Edam and Camembert Canyon, it’s daft but can bring a small smile to the face. Your weapons can consist of items like cheese, shoes and dynamite but beyond that there is nothing new to rave about.

Within the 15 minutes: On the third level.

Will I play it again? Maybe at some point in the future.

Jungle Strike

Game Boy

I still to this day think that Desert Strike is a fun and enjoyable game, can the sequel Jungle Strike live up to its predecessor.

In a nutshell pretty much yes. The sequel doesn’t really seem to be any different from the first game with the developers seeming to take the route of if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, admittedly I didn’t get past the first level so it could be completely different later in the game but I very much doubt it in all honesty.

The game for me unfortunately had a few small niggling problems for me like the fact that I couldn’t seem to be able to pick up items or actually hit enemies and when I did they seemed to take quite a while to die. Overall it is a good game but I think I’ll most likely stick with the console version as despite loving to play on the Game Boy I feel that it is a game more suited to a TV.

Within the 15 minutes: Still on level one.

Will I play it again? Possibly but will most likely just stick with the console version.

Jurassic Park

Mega Drive

Completely different from the SNES game of the same name the Mega Drive version is a straight up platform game instead of the style of FPS.

Playing as either Dr. Grant or as a Velociraptor you have to make your way to the end of the level by killing either dinosaurs or humans depending on the character that you pick. Playing as Dr. Grant you get an array of weapons ranging from guns, darts and grenade style weapons. All do the same job of killing dinosaurs though some are kill quicker than others. Using the Raptor means that you can jump higher and have to kill humans by kicking or biting them but both objectives are the same.

The levels and game play take into account the differences between the two characters resulting in slightly different levels instead of just rehashing the levels which does make it not feel repetitive if you decide to complete the game with both characters. Whilst it doesn’t seem to be the greatest game in the world the fact that the levels are different gives it possible replay value.

Within the 15 minutes: Level one with Dr. Grant and level three with the Raptor.

Will I play it again? Maybe but possibly not.


  1. I'm a huge fan of the first two James Pond games, I can't believe I still haven't played the third one! :|

    I'm pretty sure it was Jade Empire I played briefly on a friend's Xbox. I remember now that I wanted to play it more, thanks for reminding me!

  2. I loved the first hour of Jade Empire, but I told myself I wouldn't play it until I'd completed KOTOR, which I still haven't done! I need to pull my finger out.

    Interesting to think back and see the vestiges of Bioware action RPG that would later flower into Mass Effect loveliness.

  3. I can't believe I sent you that copy of JE but still haven't played my own!

    As for Jurassic Park, I remember dying a lot in the game, mostly from falling down holes. I didn't get very far mind. My fave JP game is the one on PS1 (DNA Factor?) where you can play as a T-rex with 100 lives :)

  4. I really like the SNES version of Jurassic Park except for the massive failure of not being able to save.
    It's such a huge game and the inability to save means I've never completed it.

    It's nice to see that my blog is reminding people to play games. :-)