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Azurik by Microsoft Azurik
by Microsoft

Platform: Xbox
ESRB Rating: Teen
ASIN: B00005NZ1L

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• 3rd-person, 3D action/adventure game
• Assume the role of an apprentice Lore Guardian named Azurik
• Intense hand-to-hand combat
• Amazing seamless environments
• Elements of adventure, console-style action, and story-based RPG The design document for Azurik, the first role-playing game released on the Xbox game system, must have read like a recipe: take all the ingredients of a good console RPG (third-person view, tons of combat, a freaky little world to adventure in, and a world-threatening evil to defeat), mix in the role-playing stock of Zelda with the spicy action of Soul Reaver 2, and you get Azurik. But, while this game has all the elements to satisfy the hunger of Xbox role players, it comes off as somewhat half-baked.

The denizens of the planet Perathia are blue-skinned and wear what looks like Aztec warrior garb. To be sure, this is a strange game with an offbeat story line that pits the young warrior Azurik against an enemy who, through a massive battle, has shattered the elements that power the world into tiny gems. Azurik must quest for these gems, fighting evil creatures with his massive two-bladed axe-staff and solving puzzles to achieve his objective and restore the world. The gems represent earth, air, fire, and water; the game's massive and generally well-designed levels follow that theme as well.

The graphics are up to the task and often impress. Specifically the monsters and the game's sense of scale: rooms and some of the boss monsters are enormous. The special effects are good, particularly the weapon effects, but this is also the first Xbox game to feature some minor graphics glitches that indicate the game wasn't as polished as you'd expect from the company that also brought you the console.

The real problems with Azurik involve the unresponsive controls, which suffer from a tiny but noticeable amount of lag. Azurik looks cool while swinging his weapon, but you'll never feel in complete control. Since combat is 90 percent of this game, poor combat control is a serious flaw. Also the controls aren't customizable at all. You'd think with the hard drive space they could easily offer this option, but instead you're stuck with the default controls: A for jab, B for a sweep attack, and Y for jump. The trigger is used for special magical attacks involving the gems you'll pick up.

Azurik isn't a bad game, but it's a shame that its main flaws (control and options) are due to problems that could have been corrected with a little more development time. --Bob Andrews

A unique, blue hero
Quirky story
Great level design

Poor controls
Some graphics glitches Product Description: In Azurik: Rise of Perathia
--a third-person, 3-D action-adventure game designed to showcase the capabilities of the Xbox
--you assume the role of a young apprentice Lore Guardian named Azurik.
Sworn to protect the sacred elements --fire, water, earth, and air
--you must stop an apocalyptic prophecy that threatens to condemn your world to destruction. Featuring intense hand-to-hand combat, intuitive puzzles, amazing seamless environments, and vast exploration, Azurik combines the best of three genres by including ample doses of epic adventure, fast console-style action, and intriguing story-based RPG gameplay.

Customer Reviews:
Buttered Toast!, September 30, 2002
Reviewer: A gamer from Parker, Colorado USA
This game is pretty cool when you plop it into the CD tray of your Xbox. Purdy graphics and neat flashes that make you say "OOO" and "AAhh". The game plays really good and the controls are easy to learn and use for the ~75 hours your gunna be hooked.

You start out as an over-grown smurf with a big pointy stick. The "elemental discs" that hold the world together are shattered and blast off to the 4 major areas of the world. Your teacher is killed in the process and some ugly dude takes over. In a nutshell, your quest is to gather all them disc thingys and avenge your mentor's death.

It is alot funner(is that even a word?) than it sounds. You find things(its been a while since i've played) that give you magical powers. The powers are Earth, Fire, Water, and Air. Sounds cool? Get this,
Earth+Air=Dust Storm
Neat, huh?
There's more...
Earth+Fire+Water=Purple Energy Shield
Fire+Water+Air=Lightning Shield
Water+Air+Earth=Ice Shield
Air+Earth+Fire=Purple Energy Ka-Pow Staff
Earth+Fire+Water+Air=Big power nova thing that kills everything.
Phew.... So many things to chose from.
THAT'S what your armed with when you travel throughout the world looking for the shattered discs.

The parts of the world that you go through are just as strange as the last. The fire realm has alot of lava, fire, and things exploding. The water realm has fish, whirlpools, ice, and plenty of.... water. The air realm has moving platforms that are the only thing keeping you from falling into the vast expance of nothing below you. Finally, the earth realm has strange machines that are plowing through the huge subterranean levels of the world. There are some more but I will let you find them for yourself.

The game has plenty of enemies that respawn when you go away so your entertained unlike Morrowind's exaustable supply. The enemies themselves are great. Huge rock golems that plod around with little scavenger things that scurry about the golem's feet trying to find food. When you are that food source, the scavengers will swarm you, trying to take your attention away from the golem getting ready to bash your head in. You're probably going to be fumbling around trying to think of what type of attack would work best on the rock golem as the smaller monsters hack away at your shins. The game is full of those split-second dilemas that keep you on your toes.

The downsides to the game are that the graphics aren't as good as some of the other Xbox games but its nothing to cry about. Also, some people may find the game a bit repetitive when your running back and forth. There aren't any real bosses, which I really hated. The last enemy isn't very threatening looking but he puts up a good fight.

The music and sound effects aren't all that great either... Hmmmm...Its more of an ambience instead of music.

Once you beat the game, It's over. Not much replay value.
There are a bunch of cheats for it but if you use them, the fun is gone.

I would recommend buying it, but maybe after the price drops a few more dollars.

In conclusion;
A good plot, ok graphics, good special effects, fun while it lasts.
4 stars...

Beautifully made, July 2, 2002
Reviewer: Azeri from somewhere, colorado
i love this game...though i own many other wonderful games this one still stays at the top as my are great even the music is dont have to follow any certain order. all you have to do is restore the i say with other 5 star rated games have fun!!!

Not so solid, but a run for your money, June 14, 2002
Reviewer: Manuel Sosa from Oakland, CA.
I have heard a lot said about Azurik, some negative, others positive, mostly ngative. I just want to make a few things clear, this here is a GOOD game, it shouldn't be overlooked by Action/Adventure fans, oh, there's sort of a RPG feel, but in the long run,it's just not there. I have played this game a lot, twice just for the run, the others for the feel, I love the feel, it's true action for your hands. Yes the controls are hard to get, well actually, the buttons on the controller are colored as the elements in the game, so it's easy to get the element right in the heat of battle. Fast hands develope better skils at element triggering. So, here is the overall scoop, a good game at a good price and many hours glued to your tv screen. A better pick than Oddworld, Genma, and Obi-Won. Pick it up, or rent it.

A good game, June 4, 2002
Reviewer: XtrM
This is a good game. Has nice graphics average sound...but...AWESOME gameplay. This is one of the funnest games ive played and if not for the average graphics and sounds, it would have got a 5-star rating. It may take a while to get into, but finding new places, getting new powers, unlocking secrets, and fighting kick-a bossess make it a fair competiter. I believe people dont put enough time into this game. Like i said it takes a while but this ends up into a nice box. The story line begins at a tower, where the 6 (?) realms meet. There are 2 lore gaurdains left, Azurik and (can't remember name...dammit). The lore gaurdian that isn't Azurik is possed by the Death Realm leader and is driven to take the Death Realm disk and destroy the others. This is a very long game so expect long game time. I think it takes around 75 hours to beat. wow. I still hav't won but im close.

beware, June 3, 2002
Reviewer: choam_inc
what looks like a decent strategy game was
rushed into production with pretty backgrounds
so they had nice screen shots...
This game controls as well as a rabid badger
on a leash.. in the worst sense possible..
appaling control...
pointless plot...
endless annoying areas that you must visit and
revisit to get anything done.... Stay Away.

azurik-save your money, May 7, 2002
Reviewer: A gamer
dont buy this, wait for better games, save your money...linear gameplay, annoying enemies take to long to kill and regenerate when you die or reload from save, with cheats its better cause you can save anywhere, but its still [hard]...

Azurik is Great, May 3, 2002
Reviewer: Dale from Mississippi
Before i bought this game, I wasnt sure how good it would be. But let me tell you that this game is frickin awesome. You'll get used to the controls in minutes. The graphics for this game are unbelievable. The gameplay is good. You can explore the entire world once you get the four elements which is not hard to do. And this game is promised to last you for a long time. I've had the game for about three weeks and I'm still in the first portion of the game. And the reason is not that its hard to play, its just fun to explore places and the game is long. If your looking for a game to really get your money worth and play for a long time, buy Azurik.

No good, April 23, 2002
Reviewer: martin martinez from albuquerque N.M
This game was by far the worst I have ever played. First off the whole idea of accumulating gems reminds you of sonic the hedgehog without the speed. The monsters are repetitive and boring. Your moves are repetitive and boring. Your quest to find key's and turn on switches is repetitive and boring. The only relief is the movie scenes which are great. Unless you want to play this game for 800 hours use a walkthrough. Some parts are imppossible to beat without cheats, although most the game is extremely easy.

Every bit a worthy addition to your Xbox game library, April 20, 2002
Reviewer: Joshua Whittington from Chicago, IL
I forced myself to play through the whole game before I wrote this review so I could know and tell the whole picture...I have no regrets for having spent my money on this game...For future reference, "Azurik" the game will be referred to as A:RoP and Azurik the character will be referred to as Azurik.

If I could describe A:RoP in a few words, it would be "Zelda meets Myst." It's much like Zelda in that you go to different places, fight different enemies, and recover items and abilities that let you progress further in the adventure. It's like Myst in that there is a great deal of emphasis placed on world exploration, the quest is not very linear, and the puzzles are creative and diverse.

The game has numerous strong points. The graphics are crisp, and the game excellently detailed (more so in some parts then even the divine Halo). You'll find yourself pausing the action just so you can look around and admire its beauty. The large worlds provide many entertaining hours of exploration. Some areas are downright dazzling, like the best of Myst brought to new life by the power of Xbox. The structure and function of the world is above average, too. You'll never be stuck anywhere with no way out (unless you use the save-anywhere cheat at a bad place) and there aren't any components that kill you cheaply. The game is stable with no real glitches I observed. Graphic slowdown only occurs in a certain few places in the game, and at no time does it cause survival problems for you.

The story is high-quality. The characters, though few, are developed subtly but deeply. Perathia has an extensive backstory all its own...It turns out that Perathia is actually a post-futuristic world, and this shows in certain parts of the realms whih otherwise wouldn't seem to fit in the world. The semi-linearity is fairly unique but can be frustrating when you can't find the one thing you need to advance to the next section of the game. Cutscenes enhance it along the way, and they make sense so you're not left asking what the heck just happened and what is it supposed to mean. The ending is spectacular and wraps everything up nicely.

The effects are an up-and-down story. The Axion (Azurik's weapon) has some of the best effects I've seen in any game. Lava, water, and gases are somewhat sub-par. Some of their effects are clearly dated while the best ones are only "pretty good." Azurik himself looks great, especially when wearing elemental armor, but his movements, well, they tend to suck. They're not very fluid and they look like they have frames missing. It's obvious that no motion capture was used for our blue hero. This is one of the main things that turns people off to the game, because it's the one thing that can pull you out of the immersiveness of the world and remind you that you're playing a video game. If he moved as good in-game as he did in the sequences it would greatly improve many reviewer ratings (probably even this one).

The enemies are well-designed and diverse. Their AI doesn't vary much, though. They won't attack you if you keep your distance, and they won't chase you very far. However, they have good teamwork when in groups, surrounding and pestering you and making it hard for you to get in a favorable position. The bosses rock; they look good, they move good, and they're challenging...Azurik starts out with no powers and it takes a couple hours of gameplay to get enough to make the game interesting...the game's focus is not solely on combat...A:RoP is more adventure than action. If you appreciate that fact then you will enjoy the game a lot more.

Bottom line: If you're looking for a purely action game like Onimusha, this is not quite your bag. If you're looking for Zelda on Xbox, look no further. Even if you don't like using your head to solve the Myst-like puzzles, there's always online walkthroughs :). If you appreciate an immersive game world, a compelling story, and a mental challenge, then the minor technical problems shouldn't be that much of an issue for you.

Azurik, March 19, 2002
Reviewer: A gamer from Opryland, Tn USA
I really enjoyed this game and the graphics are awesome. I like the adventure aspects of it and there are many tough areas to conquer. This game deserves more than it is getting. I would really recommend this game for the adventurer. I even want to go back and play it again to see all the stuff I missed just trying to get thru the game. I really hope they make another Azurik 2. I like all the elements in the game and the imagination that went into it. To the people who made this game I say Thanks for an Adventure in Games for the x-box and hope there will be more adventure games soon.

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