Solid RPG titles have been few and far between for the Xbox. With the exception of Knights Of The Old Republic and Morrowind, most titles have lacked that certain something to make it a satisfying title with great replay value. This is where Sudeki comes into the picture. Breaking free from the mould of other RPGs, Sudeki brings something fresh to the table in the form of an engrossing storyline and a different style of combat.
Yielding a definitive a Japanese anime look, the story begins with a long but amazing intro. Set in a fantasy realm known as Haskilia, the world is literally split into two parts, darkness and light. An evil race known as the Aklorians have descended upon their world and decided to wreak havoc upon the simpletons that occupy it. You control a band of four adventurers who must join forces to search for some missing crystals, needed to power a protective shield to ward off the intruders.
Each character features certain strengths and abilities that must be used in conjunction with each other for success. Anyone who has played any sort of traditional role playing game (RPG) will instantly recognise the format of the "hit points", spells and levelling-up attributes. The featured characters include Tal the swordsman, Ailish the princess magician, Buki the monk and Elco the scientist. You can switch between characters on the fly once they have been added to the troop, but they may only be selectable if the story permits.
Sudeki is an action-based RPG, meaning that the title leans towards a beat-up style with button combos. That's right, no turn-based combat mode! This translates to a fresh playable experience which doesn't get bogged down by the intricacies of other titles of its ilk. During the other times where there is no combat involved, you are free to spend your time exploring the surrounding areas and talk to the NPCs (Non Playable Characters) for extra information. The conversations are somewhat scripted, with the NPCs only offering the same iterations.
The level design is extremely large and very detailed. Even though there is an exploratory feel about the title, the gameplay is somewhat linear and some of the hardcore RPG gamers may feel disappointed. The title takes take a while to get up and running but the storyline becomes a lot more interesting in the second half, so it is worth sticking it out. Environmental effects and audio add that nice touch, but some of the level interactivity seemed to be a bit static also.
The combat and storyline alone are a great reason to pick up this title. Not a fan of all RPG titles, I was pleasantly surprised with Sudeki. The button-bashing fun combined with quality visuals makes for an interesting and compelling game. Definitely worth a look.
SCORE CARD:Visuals: Beautiful Japanese anime style
Gameplay: Free-roaming and slick combat mode
Publisher: Climax Studios