My Really Really Really Really late review of Sudeki

December 22, 2009 at 2:55 am (Gaming) (, , , , , , , , )

Over the last week I acquired an original XBOX from my roommate who had upgraded to a 360 after a rather nasty break up. Her old man, the original XBOX, just wasn’t cutting it for her and once she realized she didn’t need him or his four non-reversible games I became even sloppier thirds. Not that I mind.

I brought him home with me over this obnoxiously long winter break and annoyingly had a [blink] moment when my mother asked me, quite seriously, if the XBOX console I now held in my hands was the new one: the 360. But that’s not the point. After some contemplation about which game to play, an epic battle between Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance and Sudeki, I settled on Sudeki and found myself battling ridiculous monsters, running in and out of 30 second story mode clips, switching between characters, and breaking pots and crates in severe acts of vandalism looking for healing potions. Not to mention the creators of Sudeki seemed to get a real kick out of sneaking half-assed puzzles every once in a blue moon.

At first I was wary of the graphics but then I realized, this is an ancient graphics card to go along with cruddy 2004 digital technology. (Though Demon Stone is an obvious exception because it had the developers of The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers going for it.) After I got past that revelation I was pleased with the bright colours, detailed scenery,  and the easy navigation of my primary character: Tal, a soldier with fierce daddie issues. At the beginning it may seem like a regular RPG game like Final Fantasy but as the game goes on the talking is minimal and mostly unnecessary with no menus and ‘proceed’ buttons in sight in order to get your fight on.

Speaking of fighting, the combat mode in Sudeki  is so easy it’s frustrating. Now I haven’t played a lot of games like it but the way of fighting is so simple my four-year old sister can do it. Seriously. The main moves are controlled by pressing the X and A buttons in groups of 3. If you press X and A in the right combos, for example A+A+A or X+X+A,  your character unleashes several devastating moves on any targeted enemy. However if you are in a horde of Aklorian soldiers for instance any attack from any other soldier other than the targeted may distract your character and the devastating blows become kitten-like scratches. Also the way you view your character during combat is determined by which character you’re playing. If playing as Tal or Buki you see them from an aerial view but if you’re playing either of the royal children such as Ailish or Elco it’s a first person reality check. You acquire each character depending on how far you are in the game and how they relate to the plot. You may play just one at any given point but you could also play two or three or all four at one time as is the case in the Shadow lands. You can switch up the characters by pressing the white or black buttons which is a good cycling system.

The weapons may be upgraded with etchings or runes but on their own they do stand a good chance against just about any enemy. However you might as well forget the Rookie sword with Tal once you get the Mojo. [Anyone else find that ironic?] I do find Buki’s claws, or rather Buki herself, to be a feminine copy of Wolverine not that I’m complaining. She does kick some serious butt even if her Spirit Strikes are lacking when compared to Ailish or Tal. Elco on the other hand annoys me with his presence. Even though he is a main player in the fact that he is building all the necessary workings to house the Shadani-Mo crystal he shouldn’t really be a playable character. His weapons, two pistols, are weak in comparison and he fits loosely in combat. The same could be said about Ailish and her combat weapons which are comprised of  two mage like wands that shoot magical bolts or shock the living heck out of opponents for about…two seconds. Her spirit strikes, if you have enough spirit power, are definitely worth using in a tight spot.

Like any fantasy game there are story modes that seem to appear out of nowhere but are interesting in dialogue and rather dire to your next quests, though if you miss a part it’s not hard to figure out.

Even though this game has kept me entertained for a total of 5 days now I do have my grievances. For instance saving is a royal pain. Pausing and saving is not an option. Instead after you come out of combat mode you have to scour the country side or current area for a book in a glowing tower. Sometimes that’s just not possible and you have to go through two or three combat areas in order to find it. The thing is, these glowing save towers are placed strategically at different chapters of the game. If you have to leave the game before you get to another chapter or checkpoint you have to go through the same area yet again in order to finish the checkpoint to save. Also if you just got through a difficult area in the game and you know there is a save tower past the last gate, you can go back and save but when going forward through the same area, since the game is forgettably linear, you may have to fight the same enemies over again. And you always know you’re in for a fight whenever there is a large empty area in front of you or you’ve come to a gate. A few hints as to when you’re going to fight is cool and all but the obviousness becomes obnoxious. Also the music is comparable to elevator music and most times I just found myself listening to the music I had stored on my laptop.  Not to mention there is no button that allows your character(s) to jump, an almost standard feature gamers have become acustome to. But then again there really isn’t a need for your character(s) to jump, you’ll just have to look longingly at those ledges as you run past them.

Despite everything that I’ve encountered that drive me up the wall when it comes to this game, Sudeki reminds me of a time where games were simpler and didn’t take a lot of flashy details to make things engaging. It’s a good game to keep your attention for a while and even though it has a pretty predictable plot line you become attached to the characters and their personal goals. You get to see a love story unfold, a warrior find her personal niche in the world, a brilliant scientist come to light and successful recognition, not to mention help a soldier come to terms that his general father will always be an egotistical asshole. So take the time to revisit your original XBOX that is either gathering dust or sitting in the pile of tech paraphernalia that you haven’t found time to sell on eBay, Craigslist, or even Gamestop yet and have some fun. Not to mention if you can get Sudeki on the cheap now. Consider this a trip of nostalgia that is also very recession friendly.

This game is rated M for Mature…aka those who can handle large breasts being barely held in by a metal brassiere and a slow sultry walk with only a slight touch of the left thumbstick. Yes, Ailish I’m talking about you,  scantily clad princess.

4 out of 5 stars


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