Return to the planet where Station X39 was lost, but this time as a new character to see a different side of things to come. It has been twenty years since the events that unfolded with Station X39, and many evil plans are coming close to completion. Play as Ross Corman and Leigh Stronard as they infiltrate Neell Rutta, home to an entire legion of Imperial forces, a luxurious resort for the rich and famous, and last but not least, the final resting place for the device from Station X39.
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What is there purpose of the Imperials on this planet? Do they actually know why they are there? Who is leading them? Discover the truth for yourself and play The Jade Project.
~ The Second part in a three-part series, continuing the Station X39 saga.
~ Storm troopers aren't your friends. Let them shoot first, and it could be the last thing you ever do!
~ Early decisions in the story could affect events later in Part 3.
~ An epic storyline with twists and turns!
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Playability – 2
On the positive side, the game had no noticeable bugs or errors. On a more negative note, the game play seemed somewhat dumb-ed down and rather repetitious. The lack of options in combat makes the fighting seem more of a chore than an interesting tactical confrontation. The basic crux of combat seems to be a simple mathematical computation. If you have enough health, you’ll win. If you don’t, then you’ll lose. The combat, in short, is way too predictable and watered-down to be as good an experience as it could be.
But one of the glaring problems is the inordinate number of cutscenes this game has. While well executed, they seem only to serve to break apart the already tepid combat sequences and create for a somewhat disjointed and frustratingly slow pace for the overall campaign (As short as it is). In my opinion, breaking up the action into small bits with small nuggets of plot is not the most enjoyable of gameplay contrivances.
A final note must be made on the length of the campaign. While comprising more scenarios then the prequel, the structure of the campaign doesn't encourage the replayability of X39. In addition to that, the campaign is short enough as it is, making a disappointingly small gameplay experience.
Balance - 4
Balance is good, despite the cheap combat system. The enemies are neither too easy, nor too arduous to defeat. Only a few of the battles are worth remembering to any degree. The “boss fight” with the Acklay comes readily to mind. Using an interesting and intuitive switch system, requiring precise timing, you slay the beast. Tragically, this is the exception for the Jade Project, rather than the rule. The enemies are generally well laid out, although occasionally they seem a bit stronger than they should be, especially the strike mechs which are dotted throughout the landscape.
Creativity – 3
The game seemed rather derivative and recycled, like the most mediocre parts of a variety of superior campaigns had been stitched together, creating an altogether Frankenstein like construction. It seems almost like the author couldn't decide precisely what genre he wanted to stay with. Like a man trying to serve two masters, it does a poor job at both. Although the game include conversations, which are always good in an RPG, they are much too sparse to add much more then a hint of flavor. Another problem is the dearth of unused and underrepresented features. A ready example is the “respect” system. Gaining and losing respect with people is a novel idea, and could have been implemented excellently. However, playing through the campaign, it did not appear to have any significant impact on the course of the campaign.
Map Design – 5
As always, the map design is top-notch and you shall be hard pressed to find better. Several neat effects and tricks are used here. Notably and, to my knowledge, appearing for the first time, was the excellently thought out “water lapping on the shore.” It looked very realistic and was a clever use of terrain.
The maps were spacious and well laid out, believably so, The enemies (such as they are) are scattered about in an appropriate fashion which maintains a proper atmosphere and setting, both in terms of gameplay and general realism.
Story\Instructions – 3
The story and instructions are a mixed bag. While well written, the story does not live up to the eerie and peculiar mystery of its predecessor, Station X39. Hopefully, since this is part 2 of a three part story, the third part shall wrap everything up, because so far, still much of the plot remains murky and in some areas incomprehensible. (By this I mean, the Jade Project and it’s predecessor).
The instructions can sometimes be vague or even non-existent. Instructions may not be at all clear about what objective you have. Once, you will not even receive an objective at all, necessitating your pointless meandering about the map until you blindly stumble upon the correct path.
The Jade Project is a slightly misshapen successor to its much superior predecessor. Lacking the eerier mystery of Station X39 and continuing with its rather vapid combat, it simply doesn’t measure up to its reputation. While certainly worth a download, the Jade Project is far from what the hype and anticipation would lead us to believe.
[Edited on 05/17/06 @ 11:10 AM]
The Jade Project, is the critically acclaimed sequel to Station X39. Will it live up to the hype, and the shadow of the first campaign in the trilogy?
The playability, while subtle, was excellent. I found no bugs, and was awe-struck by the utter coolness of the campaign. I found that the gameplay was very similar to that of acclaimed "Shadows of the Empire" by The Vampire Slayer, but with a twist, which gives the creativity a boost. While it's still a hack'n'slash, it remains with it's dignity due to the implications of difficulty, and puzzle work. The puzzles were deffinately past-stellar, and required much thinking to be accomplished, and to finish the campaign. All in all, a great accomplice of the previous campaign in the series.
The balance in the campaign was VERY good. While retaining difficulty, as mentioned above it was also somewhat easy. When he says to get the first shot off, he MEANS it. Otherwise your character will come plumetting to the ground in all GB fashion. The puzzles remained challenging, and had my character die many times (DAMN YOU FIRST DATA CUBE!). All in all, a major improvement from the previous campaign in the series.
The campaign, while very much like "Shadows of the Empires", it's gameplay is twisted in the terms that you have low health, and are required to get the first shot off, constantly keeping you worried about health, and enemies. The storyline taps into the Orignal Trilogy's "Empire Strikes Back" quiet a bit, with references to the Carbon Freezing Chamber, to Darth Vader's very own "All to easy.". This is excellent work, and a worthy accomplise of the previous campaign in the series. (BTW, nice Flat Chested Woman scene. :p)
Map Design: 5
Very intriguing. The map design is subtle, and very interesting. It always made me feel like there was something odd about the planet, and "Site X39". I only wished that there was more variety in the terrains, and that some parts of the metal weren't grass one. Overall I worthy companion of the mod-hungry Station-X39.
Damn I hate you. The storyline was VERY good, and always made me feel like I was watching some kind of interactive Star Wars film. While the storyline was excellent, some instructions were left out of the objectives menu, and therefore required alot of trial and error. I specifcally noted standing at the door two puzzle in "A Day at the Beach" for 5 minutes, trying to figure out what the hell to do. Overall, it's a good addition to the X39 storyline, but I really do with the intructions were better.
Bravo lad, bravo. An EXCELLENT addition to the X39 trilogy, and a worthy component of Cold Fusion. :)
[Edited on 07/20/06 @ 05:42 PM]
No complaints here. This did not have the glitches that made the Station X39 SE so un-playable, which was nice.
This was good. All you had to do was wait around to heal so that Ross wouldn't die when he was fighting the next group of stormtroopers. On the opposite side, if you didn't wait to heal, you'd get killed. Pretty self-explanatory.
It was good for the most part, but it wasn't as good as Station X39. This seemed more like a bridge between Station X39 and Shattered Promise, as it didn't really elaborate on Onimova's device.
Map Design: 5
(Insert Map Design analysis here)
This seemed more to focus on the story of Ross and Leigh than what happened at Station X39. While I liked it, it seemed rather straight-forward, without the urge to replay it like Station X39 and Shattered Promise. Instructions could've been updated every now and then as well.
Good, but ts predecessor and successor are better.