The Sudeki Review Page.

After receiving the world of Sudeki as a gift, the god Tetsu grew lonely, and from himself, was created a brother, Heigou. But the brother went to the dark side and in the battle that took place against him, Heigou split Sudeki into 2 which became the worlds of Haskilia and Akloria. The scientist, Elco, has begun creating a magic shield with special crystal towers for the kingdom of Illumina. What with all the Aklorian forces invading the lands, his aim is to protect his fellow people and the Queen. Unfortunately he is unaware of what the crystal towers are doing, and what the Queen really wants them for. After travelling to Shadani-Mo to gather another crystal for Elco’s towers, you end up at a teleporter that sends you to the Realm Of Shadows. In a search to find a way back home, you discover that you need to acquire the Navigation Stone that works the teleporter. This then leads you to Farex Lore, the greatest warrior of the anthropomorphs, and protector of the stone. Long dead, his spirit however still has not rested, and you must get past him to get the stone. Once in your possesion, travel is quick between both worlds of Sudeki, and various areas of each.
Sudeki is developed by Climax for Microsoft Game Studios. I’m not sure if that’s the same Climax that did Dark Saviour on the Saturn, or if they’re related to Climax Graphics who did Blue Stinger on the Dreamcast, or what, so if anyone knows, let me know. Somehow I think they’re a different company. Anyhoo, history aside, the game is excellent. It’s been coming for some time now, and finally got released around the 11th of August (2004). Graphically, the game is outstanding, with words like lush, awe inspiring and beautiful to describe it, and it certainly shows, being written specifically & exclusively for the XBOX. It’s not overly serious, but not totally cartoon like either. Some of it seems remindful of styling aimed at a younger audience, yet when you see the shower of blood and guts that fly out of your enemies, it shows that it is aimed at an older crowd. It’s been classified as M 15+ on the box for medium level animated violence, incase anyone’s wondering. Character detail is superb, as are the landscapes, with smooth curves, and well defined objects. The sound is clear, and voices are easy to listen to as well, which is a plus. Added to that, you can also read the subtitles incase you missed something.
As in all good RPGs, there’s a myriad of enemies, and each one has it’s own strengths and weaknesses. In some instances you can be facing quite a large number of baddies at any one time, and if you’re on your own, you want to make sure that you take care of them efficiently. Having back up potions and what not is always vital. After taking on some of the nastier boss characters, you’ll soon learn where their strengths lie, and where their soft spots can be found.
Battles usually always occur when you move into certain areas, but places like towns generally don’t have any fighting involved. It mainly happens when you’re further out in the fields or the wilderness. If all characters are involved in facing enemies, you can change to any one of your friends, by pressing either the black or white buttons, and the character you were playing as will automatically start fighting for themself. Pressing Y during a battle causes time to slow down, and brings up a menu allowing you to crack off Spirit Strikes, adjust character A.I., use a potion etc. However you can still be hurt while this is happening, because it doesn’t stop things completely, so time is of the essence.
After killing enemies, or completing certain tasks, you’re rewarded with experience points (XP), which add up to increasing each character’s level. When you increase in level, you are given points that can be allocated to certain attributes. For instance, your Essence, Power, Skill, Health etc. It’s up to you how to distribute them, in order to mould your character to your liking, and what you feel is most important.
Pressing Start at any time outside of battles and cut scenes, brings up a menu which allows you to view the maps of the 3 main game areas, your item inventory, quest log, your advancements stats, options, valuables, enemy list and so forth. Assignment of up to 4 usable items can be made also on the digital d-pad as a quickshot system, so that you can easily guzzle down a bottle of potion in battle when you’re in the heat of the action. You just need to remember to keep your thumb off it, and on the analogue one at all other times, lest you accidently bump it and use something by mistake.
Weapon assignment is also of worthy note, because whatever you’ve got selected will be used by characters you’re not playing as in battle. Long range characters, Elco, Ailish & Alexine can change their weapon during battle by pressing the X button.
Throughout the game you’ll discover urns, barrels and chests that can be smashed or opened which usually contain goodies that you can use or sell off. Some may even contain weapons, so it’s wise to go looking around the entire area you’re in. In some situations, only certain characters can get to various areas. For instance Ailish may need to dispel something that is hidden magically, or something that is in the way, Buki may need to climb up a wall, Tal may need to push or pull something out of the way or Elco may need to fly over areas that are hard to get too. Sometimes team work is required too, or you may discover an area that you just can’t get to until later in the game when you come back.

Elco means business with his gun at the ready.
Zooming up high to Illumina Castle. This is all done in realtime too! Feel that XBOX power!
Elco dashing through Lusica’s Garden to save his wife, Tilly.
Checking out the pretty trees
New Brightwater
Ailish at Transentia

Graphics: Amazing! The geometry and attention to detail is top of the line, and the overall styling seems to have a unique theme to it. Awesome looking shadows, top notch lighting, spiffy motion blurring and out of focus effects and some excellent water also. Nice fat textures, and very well designed levels. Definitely award winning stuff. Very, very drooly! Easily one of the best looking games there is. This is up there with the likes of Halo, Racing Evoluzione, and the new Unreal games. There’s many a time when you just want to stop & look at the scenery. Yum. 98%
Animation:
The character animation, both PC and NPC is right on the money. I’ve taken note especially of the exceptional animation on people that you talk with. Not only do they use gestures, and change expression, but their eyes look off to various other places, so that they don’t appear to be staring at you all the time. Despite that it doesn’t appear to use the 60Hz mode, everything is very fluid in the way that it moves, and that goes for the overall frame rate too. Sometimes you’ll encounter some image tearing, but the frame rate is always smooth, no matter what there is on screen. Watching Ailish run along can be mesmerising at times also. ;-) 94%
Sound:
Superb. A wide variety of fantastic footstep noises, plus great background and battle effects. Elco’s range of guns are beefy, as are Ailish’s staffs, and Buki and Tal’s blade noises are sweet as well. Clear speech, and good mood setting music. Nothing to fault here. 99%
Playability:
Not exactly hard core, as such, but challenging anyway. It’s probably less difficult the 2nd time round. Easy to get into, and customisable controls make things fit nicely to your own gaming style. Sweet. 88%
Lastability:
Very, very addictive, but a bit short compared to other games of this genre. No where near as long as The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind, or even Skies Of Arcadia and Shenmue, but still most captivating none the less. Deserves another few plays anyway. 89%
Overall:
The waiting paid off. I really like this game, and I’ve taken to it well. It’s fun to play, has a good story line, and memorable characters. Perhaps it could’ve been a bit longer, and the game environment might’ve benefitted from being bigger, but I do feel that I easily got my money’s worth for it. 92%

Soundtrack Comments:

If you’re into the game, and you liked the style of music that it features, you may want to check out the cool soundtrack CD. Like nearly every game soundtrack it’s not available in Australia, but you should be able to find places on the Internet where you can purchase it from. I picked mine up from Red Eye Records in Sydney, and it only cost $32.98 ($33 rounded up of course,) which was a pretty good price for what you get. The audio CD has 13 tracks, despite it listing 14 on the back of the box (— Transentia - Elco’s home doesn’t exist on there —) and the bonus DVD has the game trailer which was shown at E3, the opening movie, a cool bonus movie, the behind the scenes stuff, extra galleries, game credits and very very knarly stuff to view on your computer, including videos and artwork. You also get some excellent poster images, some of which are over 7000 × 5000 pixels in size. Just the sort of thing if you want to print your own poster size images. Presuming you have a printer than can handle big paper. I want to find a professional printer than can print some out on poster size paper, ’cos that would be so-o-o-o cool! You’ll also find great screenshots on the DVD of in game graphics with picture resolutions of 2560 × 1920 pixels — 4 times the size of what you’d get from the XBOX on a standard T.V. Plus you’ll also find the character profile Adobe Acrobat files to read up on, which are also featured in the official Sudeki Fansite Kit from Microsoft.
In the behind the scenes video, various game artists and creators take you behind the scenes of how characters were created, textured and animated in Maya, as well as the scenery, particle effects and more. The team feel that they have exploited the XBOX’s power further than what’s been done before, with a very successful result. The DVD is compatible with the PAL XBOX, which suggests it has no region protection, so you should be fine getting a copy if you so wish. All in all, very atmospheric, unique music which I found to be an excellent buy, especially with the bonus DVD.