Something I forgot to mention in yesterday’s review of Jade Empire, was the “Jade Empire In Style” mod. The main reason I didn’t discuss this was because the mod wasn’t really working at the time the review was up. I managed to get it working last night, and it seems to run fine now. So, you may be asking yourself: What’s so good about this mod? What makes it stand out from other mods for the game? Well, I’ll tell ya all about it!
While, it’s true that this mod hasn’t seen an update since 2011, it’s probably one of the best mods I have ever played in a Bioware game. As I stated in my review, you are a martial artist in this game. One of the big draws is that you can learn all these different and unique combat styles. This mod not only adds over 40 new styles, but new ways to learn said styles. You see, you can now pick up new fighting styles by simply beating your opponents in combat.
After trouncing an enemy, you’ll be sent to a shop where you can buy a fighting style for a small fraction of what you’d pay for it at the store. This allows you to really beef up your character early. In fact, I’d argue that the mod makes the game a bit too easy. For you see, the only way to get style points in this mod now is by doing well in combat. While that seems like a tall order, it’s not if you spam the front flip technique like a mad-man. It’s possible to pick up 3-4 style points with random mooks alone! This unfortunately lead to my character being extremely strong before I even left the starting village.
While it’s true that I’m only on the early portions of the game, it’s still a noticeable change from the earlier playthrough I did of the game. Regardless, I still appreciate the increased variety. The game also introduces talking animals, who basically let you tweak certain elements of the mod or the game. It lets you change how frequently you get style points, which is something I should’ve tinkered around with earlier. I literally just discovered you can do that as I was typing this! Not only that, but you can also complete tough challenges given to you by the talking animals. This will allow you to get some overpowered styles early on if you invest enough time and effort into getting them. The challenges are usually just you fighting a small group of enemies in the game.
The mod also introduces a crap ton of new gems that you can slot into your talisman. There are now “gem armor”, which work as makeshift armor and bestow certain bonuses upon you. I also like that most of the item shops have more stock in them. In the original game, each shop had like 5-8 things to buy. This made shopping there really pointless, as there were so few things to buy. It felt less from buying from a thriving shop, and more like ordering off a small menu at a restaurant. The mod populates the lists of the item shops much more, which is much appreciated.
Honestly, while I may have some gripes here or there about the mod, it’s worth checking out. It ends up improving the game quite a bit, and I feel its necessary if you’re going to play this game on PC. Is it perfect? No, but it does make the game even more enjoyable, despite its age. Its one of those mods that are simple in execution, but make the game more complex. It makes the reward system feel a lot like a later game called Dragon Ball Xenoverse, rewarding you with new moves the better you do. In short, if you’re playing Jade Empire in current day, then this mod is a must.