Don't get me wrong: This is a marvelous game boasting the smoothest, most sophisticated and enjoyable action world I've ever had the pleasure of visiting; yet it is also cursed with the worst, unforgivably insane system for saving the game in the history of computer gaming, and this is a serious flaw.

Michel Ancel, its creator, does not even know the real purpose of the Game Save, which is to give the PLAYER the ability to take a break whenever HE (yeah, yeah, s/he) needs or wants to. Instead, Ancel is the first designer in history to put this ability in the hands of a game's CHARACTER, who is forced to run around -- in her world, mind you -- looking for a MACHINE that has the power to suspend time, supposedly whenever SHE wants or needs a break, which is NEVER! She doesn't even need to eat, sleep, or go potty, f'crissake; but when I want or have to quit playing for a while, I have to push her around until she finds a completely incongruous MACHINE that has nothing to do with her or her world, in order for ME to stop playing IN MY WORLD (in which such a creator who has suffered such a loss of touch with reality is known as a "schizo").

On top of this, there's even one place where Ancel has gone wacko with his "Jade-just-died-and-has-to-return-to-an-earlier-point-in-the-battle" gimmick. This occurs where there's two rotating killer beams she must run and crouch through before tumbling over more beams and under the closing door. Get killed here and you're diabolically propelled back to -- not just the beginning of the ordeal -- but instead all the way back to grabbing the pearl and kicking ten (count 'em, TEN) of those stupid pocket-change boxes.

As if all this were not bad enough, Ancel has elected to make some of his save machines either inaccessible or unavailable right in the middle of a long series of exceedingly difficult trials/battles, so that when I become frustrated, exhausted, or just plain late for dinner I have no other choice but to quit the game -- a curse for which I am doomed, upon returning, to suffer through seemingly endless reruns of cut scenes and step-retracings in order to get back to the tedious section I couldn't bear earlier.

One can only imagine what poor Jade must be thinking the entire game, which is undoubtedly along the lines of, "Why do I have to keep running around to these huge dvd machines to do some task called 'Save'? Save what? -- my entire life up to this point in time? Why would I want to do that? I experience no benefit whatsoever from doing this crazy thing. I hit 'Save'; nothing happens to me or my world; and I'm right back to standing in front of this humongous dvd machine, exactly as I was before "saving" something I know absolutely nothing about. What an idiotic waste of time and energy."

Jade, I couldn't agree more.