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Preview By: Siou Choy

Developer:   Climax
Publisher:   Microsoft
Genre:   RPG
Est. Release:   1-6-04
Date Posted:  


While the Xbox has been duly noted for its superior graphics and generally excellent selection of games, there has always been one major flaw dampening its success: namely, a distinctly poor showing in the RPG department.  Till now, most RPG fans have had to settle for the comparatively rather inferior graphics of the PS2 as their system of choice.   But that long drought may be coming to an end at last, if Microsoft has anything to say about it. Along with UK based Climax, Gates and company will be looking to change gamers’ opinions with the release of Sudeki early next year.

Here’s the plot: Hikaria and Kuria are two worlds at war.  For the Japanese challenged, Hikaria is the world of light and brightness, while Kuria is a world of darkness.  Your party consists of four Hikarians brought together by their Empress Lusica, who wants you to assist in the creation of a machine that may very well give the Hikarians victory over Kuria.  To do this, you must travel to various locations throughout your world.  During your travels, the members of your party will discover some disturbing things about Hikaria that are generally hidden from the public eye…shades of the real world!  A refreshingly timely gaming paradigm, contrasting blind “patriotism” with the sordid reality behind the flag waving…

Your four-member team will consist of Tal (a “powerful warrior”), Ailish (a princess and a sorceress), Elco (a scientist who is also a gunslinger – are these people all-purpose or what?), and a shape-changing huntress named Buki.  The group will find out (like most of us, once we get out in the real world) that when it comes down to it, the only thing they can rely on is themselves, as they watch their little ivory towers torn apart by the harsh realities of deceit and betrayal.

Battle in Sudeki will be in real time, with a shift to slow motion when accessing menus or casting spells during battle.  While you only have the option of controlling one character during battles, you can switch characters at will with a press of a button.  Otherwise, the computer takes charge of the rest of your party, which you can preset to act in given patterns based on their particular skills.   Certain spells or items can be mapped to a particular button for quick access during battle.

There are a plethora of side quests, mini games, and secrets to discover in Sudeki.  Just to make sure you don’t miss the whole point, you also get an alternative ending from the “bad guy’s” point of view.   With a (apparently, since we haven’t played the game through yet…) demonstrable open-mindedness and devil’s advocacy to that level, it’s a safe bet which side of the sociopolitical fence Climax resides on.  

Graphically speaking, Sudeki appears to be shaping up quite nicely.  The character models draw heavily on anime-style character design and the environments appear to have a great amount of detail to them.  Climax seems to have fully utilized the powerful resources of Xbox technology in its lighting, particle, and reflection, all of which combine to create a very nice looking game.

Sudeki is expected for an early 2004 release on the Xbox.

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