X-Play

Season 3 Episode 45

Jade Empire, Polarium, Tork and more!

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Aired Weekdays 6:30 PM May 09, 2005 on G4
9.2
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Jade Empire, Polarium, Tork and more!
AIRED:
On tonight's episode of X-Play, we review Jade Empire. With the exception of the Final Fantasy franchise, Americans have taken to RPGs like cats to a swimming pool. BioWare is probably more aware of this than anyone. Even after receiving numerous Game of the Year honors back in 2003, its stellar Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic didn't exactly set the sales charts on fire. So now the fabled developer is back at it with Jade Empire, a simplified, action-oriented RPG that it's hoping will find a wider audience.

It seems inevitable that the games that make the best use of the DS touch screen are puzzle games. Yoshi’s Touch and Go is a solid start, and Polarium takes the Tetris-derivative genre to a new and different, if not completely satisfying, level. This block-destroying puzzler uses only the stylus as a means of control, and despite knee jerk comparisons, bears only passing resemblance to the PSP’s top notch block dropping game, Lumines.

The selection of Xbox platformers may be thinner than the fuzz on Matt Lauer’s scalp, so any new title in the genre is cause for celebration. Tork: Prehistoric Punk (surprise, surprise--a cave dude with ‘tude) was formally announced by Microsoft at 2002’s E3. The anticipated release date? Spring 2003. Much, or perhaps not much, has happened since that unveiling, as Tork was placed on Microsoft’s endangered species list before publisher Ubisoft rescued it from development limbo. Released at a budget-friendly price nearly two years after its anticipated release date, would Tork prove the suits at Microsoft wrong? Or were Microsoft’s “primal” instincts correct?moreless
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