Reviewed by Downtown Jimmy
July 26th 2004
Introduction:Climax Studio's Sudeki is finally in gamers hand around the globe. Sudeki brings a high level of action blended into standardized role playing foundations.
The Game:Sudeki the UK born RPG gives us all the elements you would expect in a role playing game and progresses into new territory with a real time fighting system. I really didn't know what to expect with Sudeki, all I knew was I've been waiting on this game for some time. My first thoughts as I ventured into Sudeki were ok, this game is cool, but it feels a little dull. That was until I met up with the second of four party members of Sudeki, Ailisha.
Ailisha is cover girl for the Sudeki, and besides her perfect polygon construct I found that Sudeki wasn't going to just turn out like I expected. You can instantly imagine how the characters are going to develop, but what I didn't expect is to be blasting away in first person mode with Ailisha's assortment of magical staffs; I was hooked. Sudeki is marked as an action RPG, and now I understand. If you're growing bored of turn-based, wait to click fighting systems in RPG's, Sudeki is here to cure your blues.
In the world of Sudeki you will play the main character Tal, the hero soon later you will be grouped with three other characters. Ailisha the blue haired magic user that I already mentioned, another female with deadly claws named Buki, and the scientific wiz-kid Elco. The four will have to take on the evil and cleanse the land... No surprises there. Each character can be easy switched between using the 'black' button, and since they each have their specific roles the combat and exploring the game keeps the players interest.
Are there any problems with Sudeki? Sure every game has its lows and highs. One draw backs in Sudeki is the limited dialog options with NPCs. There are no branching paths and you'll be restricted to one or two options. Also another common dilemma to most RPG is the linear story path, besides character customization you'll have to stick to the formula they give you. It's typical, but since the Xbox has two popular RPG's that are really let you choose your own destiny, Knights of the Old Republic and Morrowind, some might expect the same experience. Other than that minor aspect Sudeki is an almost perfect experience. I might have to say there is more action in Sudeki then RPG elements, but they're both balanced well.
The character customization as I mentioned just touches the bases of the characters and you'll be able to raise stats, and change you is weapons and armor. You'll also be able to attach magical runes to your equipment which will give bonuses to certain aspects. There is a lot of freedom in this section and most weapons will have two slots for customization. It reminded me a bit of the Dark Cloud [ps2] spectrum upgrades. Each of the four also has different abilities that will help overcome obstacles. Tal can move large objects like boxes out of the way, Ailisha can view hidden areas, Buki can climb up walls with a set of claws that would make Wolverine jealous and lastly there is Elco who powers up his golden football jet pack to reach un-walkable areas.
Sudeki does run a little short compared for RPG standards, since the completion time is around 20hrs. But other RPG games don't have this much action. The battles last longer than most RPG's and Sudeki keeps the pace moving along. Sudeki is a action RPG masterpiece and i'm sure you'll find Sudeki to be a satisfying experience.
Graphics & Sound:Sudeki is a beautiful game, from the lush environments to the impact of the weapons. With a statement made between the light and dark, or good and evil, Sudeki has a flavor all its own. The good worlds are vibrant and full of life, while the other realms like the Shadow World is filled with dark colours and demonic designs. The levels are excellent, and there isn't a second that there isn't something to see in Sudeki. The four main characters are skillfully animated, as well as the enemies and various animal type creatures throughout the game. Battles are a sight to behold, especially when using your special skill attacks. Climax put allot into presentation of Sudeki, and it shows. Sudeki has a solid foundation graphically with a flash coated covering.
The sound is outstanding in Sudeki, even more so in 5.1 dolby. If you haven't picked up a surround sound system, you're really missing part of the Xbox experience. Save your cash! and pick one up. The background music is full of life, either with its ambient sounds or the arpeggio soft guitar. Musically Sudeki has a welcoming worm touch which in seconds can turn into impassioned epic battle march orchestrations. Sudeki has a wide range of voice over talent going into the game, which gives the universe of Sudeki a expansive feel. The voices work uses a wide range of different accentuations and really give the game its own feel. Although as I said the dialog is short, at least it's good. Heck, most traditional RPG's just have text, text and more text. I'm glad Sudeki strayed away from that path.
Innovation:Sudeki has a good numbers of innovative aspects; and the most notable on is in the way combat is handled. The ranged characters Ailisha and Elco operate like the average FPS title, blasting away in first person. The two hand to hand characters Tali and clawed up Buki operate like a 3 rd person game with a new type of combo system. The combo system works by using various combinations of the X & A button while fighting. The bottom the character hub will have 3 empty spaces that fill up every time you press an attack button, if you have the right combo and speed of input, the characters will perform some very cool maneuvers.
The combat also involves magic or skill strikes in Sudeki. To use these you actually pop up a small menu while in combat; the menu pauses the action, but once you pick your skill the action resumes in slow motion until the skill is activated. It's pretty wild and fits perfectly without loosing the flow of combat. Brilliance in the part of Climax studios. Learning these combat systems is fun in Sudeki, and it really brings more life into the battles. Sudeki would have worked well as an action game, which helps it, success as a fresh new action RPG.
Mojo:Note: Downtown Jimmy has some strange and bizarre attraction to blue haired characters. With that said you know the mojo is going to be out of the roof in Sudeki. The sway of digital characters can sometimes happen, and if you've played Tomb Raider you know what I mean. Uh, now besides the woman of Sudeki, their is some amazing combat sequences to experience in the game. I loved Elco's blasters and crushing those demonic spirits with Buki's razors. Its great how Sudeki doesn't wimp out on us with its characters, and they become a team that could rival any others. The mojo is on another level in Sudeki, even without the posh princess.
Lowdown:The general overall feeling in Sudeki is one of familiar ground with a good variety of quests to accomplish using a strong cast of characters. Sudeki tries a new path and gives us real time combat instead of the normal turn-based style which works. Sudeki plays like an eastern role-playing game, with western combat ideas. The best of both worlds you could say, but you'll need to judge that for yourself. Sudeki is defiantly worth the money.
Gameplay: 9, Graphics/Sound: 10, Innovation: 9, Mojo: 8. Final: 9