Sudeki (Xbox)

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Written by  :  kbmb (435)
Written on  :  Sep 01, 2004
Platform  :  Xbox
Rating  :  1.71 Stars1.71 Stars1.71 Stars1.71 Stars1.71 Stars

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A waste of time. Shows potential in so many areas, but little good ever comes of it.

The Good

What did I like about this game? Not much, I must say, which is sad because throughout the game there seems like so much more could have been done if only a little more time had been spent on it. A lot of things are hinted at, but nothing ever surfaces.

The intro is nice. It's a sort of shadow-puppet history lesson on the world(s) of Seduki with a nice rhythmic poem to go with it. The game thrusts you into the character of Tal, an apprentice knight of some sort, son of a drill sergeant or something. The world Tal lives in is very, very beautiful. The world is convincing enough while the graphics retaining a sort of...Warcraft-ish cartoon feel to it. I've heard this game compared to anime, but I don't really see it except in the eyes (see: "The Bad" below).

The game is very simplistic and very easy to get into. It's your standard console adventure/action/rpg fare: smash stuff to find money or healing potions, open random treasure chests to get more stuff, etc.

Combat is easy to figure out. You can do various combo moves, some more powerful than others. Using items in combat is fun, since it doesn't actually 'pause' the game while you do it, but rather slows time down. It slows it down enough for you to find and use the items you were looking for, but not so slow you can get up and use the bathroom while you do it. Two of the four main characters you can fight as have to fight in first-person, which has its own style of gameplay. You can switch weapons mid-combat, which can all have different strengths and weaknesses.

Weapon customization is very nice. You can imbue your weapon with various enchantments, like 'slow', 'weaken', 'poison', and so on. Some weapons have built-in enchantments, others have more enchantment slots. You could have a host of weapons, each with their own enchantments that you could switch in and out of during combat, making you one force to be reckoned with.

The world is a joy to wander around in. Many of the quests you undertake involve you traveling from one town to another, and the walk there is very nice. It's nice to just kind of sit back and look at the landscape around you. The other towns are unique enough not to look recycled, and there are tons of NPCs of various races to chit chat with.

The character Elco is a pretty cool guy. Frankly, I hated all the characters except Elco. The storyline picks up a bit towards the end, which, at least for a while, made the game worth playing.

The Bad

Ugh, but the game isn't worth playing. It's a waste of time and I wholefully regret spending fifty dollars on this load of crap. But where could I start?

Combat is about fifty percent of the game and it blows. It's either too easy or too hard. When it's too easy, you just have to keep using combo attacks over and over and over until the enemies die. When it's too hard, you usually have all four characters in battle at once, and while you fight the monsters your buddies seem to be committing sepuku. Keeping them alive is a chore, even when you change their AI settings.

The voice acting isn't too bad, but the quality of the sound and music is beyond awful. It sounds as though it were recorded in some kid's basement on his Counter-Strike microphone headset. And the volume goes up more than a few notches during cinematics, which I'm sure pissed off my upstairs neighbors.

The storyline goes nowhere until about halfway through the game, and even then while the storyline progresses, your actions don't. You spend your time hunting for these crystals and doing quests for various people to get them to trust you enough to let you do a different quest for them. It isn't until almost the very end that it finally comes together and you set out to do a quest that actually means something, by which time I really didn't care anymore. The sad thing is, the storyline actually IS interesting, and the game's lore IS interesting, but it just doesn't present itself until it's too late.

The characters are all uninteresting or stupid. There's the slut, the cat-slut, and then the main character, Tal, who isn't that annoying but there is so little depth to the guy (save for a cutscene halfway into the game in which he confronts his father...which like many of the game's promising moments, goes absolutely nowhere and contributes nothing to the game) and he doesn't say enough to be stupid, annoying, or interesting. Elco, on the other hand, is a cool character, and towards the end it was almost a reward to be spending so much time with him, but again, there just isn't enough THERE to make it worthwhile. He has a love interest, for instance, and while you hear about her a few times throughout the course of the game, she only shows up once for a very unthrilling escort mission.

Yeah, that's by far the worst part of the game: despite all its other flaws, it really could have been something with more depth. If the characters were more interesting, if the quests you went on had more meaning, if the storyline fleshed out more earlier in the game, it could have been better.

Graphics are pretty good throughout the game, but the faces look weird as hell. I'm not into anime, but last time I checked this wasn't anime. Unless 'anime' translates to "giant freaky eyeballs with massive pupils and enormous breasts".

The "puzzles" in this game are really annoyingly easy, too. Normally I hate block puzzles, but I was almost insulted by the simplicity of these. It's almost as though the developers had a block-puzzle quota to fill but knew how annoying block puzzles actually were so they just said 'fuck it' and left them half-finished. A good example of a Sudeki block puzzle involves about ten blocks to move around, but only two you actually have to move. It was more puzzling wondering why so many blocks were included in the puzzle at all.

Considering how annoyed with the game I was, by the time I reached the ending I wasn't very surprised to find it was just as bad as the rest of my experience with Sudeki was. You fight the big bad boss (after an almost hilariously useless ten minute-long cutscene) and then the credits roll. Which leaves a ton of questions unanswered. So what happened to the characters? What happened to the kingdom afterward? What about the mirrored worlds? Did the war end afterward? Did the light come back? It really makes the eleven hours I spent playing this game seem absolutely wasted.

The Bottom Line

A huge waste of time. Throughout the course of this game there are hints that there are greater things to come, but take it from me, there aren't. Uninteresting and/or annoying characters, a terrible combat system, stupid AI, kindergarten-level puzzles, terrible sound quality...oh, I could go on. Check out the 'screenshots' page -- you'll be experiencing the best the game has to offer and saving yourself fifty dollars.