Good concept, great looks, but too short and fairly shallow.

User Rating: 7.5 | Sudeki PC
I haven't played the XBox version, but from what I can tell it's a pretty faithful port.

Sudeki is colourful, the music fits the bill, and the game is overall fun to play. Sudeki's maps are actually cunningly disguised long paths which don't branch much, but unlike some games (Castlevania Curse of Darkness) the areas don't look boxy at all. Thank the wide open design and good use of long distance vistas to prevent the player from feeling penned in.

You start off with one character, and meet your companions after a bit of traipsing around by yourself. Switching between characters is accomplished via a next/previous mechanism, which (unfortunately) can get confusing in the heat of combat. There's not too much you can do with inventory and equipment, the game handles most of the tedium for you, so you're pretty much limited to weapon selection, what runes to inscribe on them, and which skills to pull off in battle. Simplicity isn't necessarily bad, although Sudeki is too easy to master leaving you with the impression that there ought to be more stuff to play around with. At least it's a good sort of flaw.

Progression is also fairly limited, with only a skillpoint to distribute each level. Unlockable skills also share the same skillpoint pool, although there's not too many skills. Too, since combat is in realtime, a dextrous player can take advantage of the AI's inability to duplicate a human's hit-and-run maneuvering. Although to be fair this isn't just a Sudeki limitation; you can run backwards from the enemy while shooting at them in just about any FPS game engine.

The story is simple and uncluttered, so if you're looking for a good read this isn't it. It's not too bad though, and truth be told it's one less worry for you. NPCs are pretty much forgettable, unfortunately. This is really more of a fighting game with RPG elements rather than the other way around.

If Sudeki were larger; if there were branching skill trees which you could customize; if the game lasted longer - it would actually be better. Sudeki's flaws aren't too bad, it's just that it's a fairly short romp. Sure, there are some annoyances that could use fixing - character selection for one - but overall it's a pretty decent game.