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 (3rd person view, tons of combat, a freaky little world to adventure in and an 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. To be sure, this is a strange game with an offbeat storyline 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 games 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 games 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 wasnt as polished as youd 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 youll never feel in complete control. Since combat is 90 of this game, poor combat control is a serious flaw.
Also the controls arent customizable at all. Youd think with the hard drive space they could easily offer this option but instead youre stuck with the default controls: A for jab,.