Two weeks and 43 hours of gaming later and I have finally done in the big bad guy and righted the wrongs of the Jade Empire World. The picture is me and my buddy (I'm the pretty one :) ) tackling a bunch of stone demons in the penultimate fight, a battle that took me longer to overcome than the final boss himself.
Great game and the story telling doesn't let up until the very end. I even came to terms somewhat with the combat system in the latter half of the game. The difficulty of the encounters ramps up nicely and there are far fewer easy matches in the closing chapters. This in turn gives greater scope for exploring the variety of skills available. You need to abandon your rpg mindset though. You cannot really focus on any line of skills, all have their uses and you need to pick the best skills for the job you are doing regardless of your characters specialisation. The manic button mashing never really lets up and the movement and attack buttons continue to get hammered in every battle.