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Sword of Jade: Parallel Dreams vs. JSH357
Sword of Jade: Parallel Dreams
RPGCreations
V.S.
JSH357
Play Time: 16 hours and 0 minutes
Review # 21 for JSH357
Them's Fightin' Words
    Sword of Jade has been out for about five years now, and although it's certainly showing signs of age, it's still one of the more impressive games made for the engine.
Graphics
    It's kind of hard to deny that the game looks good, at least from a technical standpoint. It has visual effects unseen (some even since) in the OHR otherwise, and this was before slices and custom menus came about. I don't care for the furry style, but it's pulled off about as nicely as it can be, and personally I think SOJ looks a lot more subtle and clean than some of the more popular furry-style OHR games.  
Storyline
    While it's certainly pretentious and not going to appeal to every player, SOJ is a well-written game with great attention to editing and a consistent theme that actually works within the confines of its world. It's one of the only OHR games that can claim that, for better or worse.

Unfortunately the creators seem to be under the delusion that some of the characters are more entertaining to read than they actually are (Mi'La being the primary example here). I don't think it's too significant of a problem, and I did like Dogero's character arc.
 
Gameplay
    The mechanics are fairly average in the scope of all video games, but might seem unique in the context of the engine in a vacuum. There are lots of side quests, and the Jade Countdown is an interesting concept that is ultimately somewhat pointless since it doesn't last for the entire game. I found the true ending almost impossible to figure out using only in-game clues, but maybe that's just me.  
  Battle
    The battles are fairly entertaining and make good use of the CTR stat, though they aren't particularly challenging or special. Actually, it's kind of interesting how so much of the system heavily utilizes the extra stat as a gimmick, and I can't even think of anything else that differentiates the game.  
  Map Design
    Maps are pretty well handled, if a bit too big sometimes.  
  Balance
    Pretty standard, but never horribly bad. There are lots of different attacks and strategies that are viable.  
Music
    Probably my biggest complaint about this game is that the soundtrack is too average, but I mean, they were effectively stuck with BAM at the time it was released so I suppose it's not all bad.  
Enjoyment
    Part of me wants to hate on this for feeling like propaganda, but I can't deny that I did enjoy playing it to completion, unlike many more popular OHR RPGs.  
Final Blows
    Overall, Sword of Jade is certainly in the top tier of OHRRPGCE games. As of my writing this, it is the game to beat in terms of completion and attention to detail.


Final Scores
Graphics: 9/10.0
Not much to whine about here.
Storyline: 6.5/10.0
Hate most of the dialogue, but the story is pretty good.
Gameplay: 6/10.0
It's enough to carry you through, but I started just running from battles and wanting to move on with it later on.
Music: 4.5/10.0
Not the best on the engine really.
Enjoyment: 7/10.0
Certainly a satisfying experience if you put forth the effort.
Overall Grade: B-
Final Thoughts
    Impressive, even though it's marred by some obnoxious directorial decisions.  


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