:: RPG Source :: View Review :: Xenogears for Playstation
|Xenogears for Playstation|
|First off, what does this game feature:|
-- 9 playable characters each with their own 'gear'
-- More than 40 minutes of anime cutscenes
-- A variety of mini games and sidequests
-- Hybrid of 2d and 3d graphics
-- A mind blowing storyline
The graphics of this game are pretty decent considering Playstation 1. They are about on par with Final Fantasy 7, they are a little more blocky but at least to its credit it doesn't use prerendered background, which is good since that gives this game more freedom in camera controls and things of that nature. The battle special effects are nice, but, comparing again to FF7, definently aren't as impressive. 
Xenogears has a great soundtrack, that is all I have to say. Composed by a philharmonic orchestrator, the soundtrack easily has some of the most hum-friendly tunes in an rpg, but at the same time does have some quite good battle music that will keep you going. And there are some pretty decent sound effects too, they dont sound flat or staticy, they did a pretty good job on sampling them. And you can hear all of the sound effects in the game on the yggdrasil if you talk to that dolphin-ish guy, and you can hear different game soundtracks at jukeboxes all around, which is a plus if you wanna hear a particular song. 
As I mentioned before, this storyline is VERY intense. It is a little slow at the beginning but once you are about 10 or so hours into it you will definently start to feel it. But I will tell you basically what's going on (that won't be a spoiler). You play as the main character, Fei Fong Wong, a young adult who has lived in the village of Lahan for the last 3 years, who was accepted into the village as a child, as he apparently was carried there by a masked man. Anyways the game starts off the day before the wedding between a girl named alice and a man named timothy, both who you are very good friends with. Anyways you go up the mountains to see the village doctor, Citan, to borrow a camera for the wedding. The doc shows you are statue, and it explodes for a strange reason, and a series of events take place after that that ends up being the fall of the village and the beginning of your adventure. This game has tons of twists and turns, it doesn't stop when you think it will, and that's something awesome!
The controls are pretty decent, typical RPG stuff, really. Tons of cursor moving and all that. Fortunently, the way the combat system is both a breath of fresh air and a very exciting battle system. Its somewhat different, in that each turn you get to use a certain amount of Aps, you use this to do combos during the battle. Hitting Triangle will take away 1 AP, Square 2AP, and X 3AP. You use combinations of these buttons to perform moves called deathblows, which do a lot of damage and can do a variety of different elemental or status effects on the enemies as well. And you dont have to use all your APs, if you want you can use some of them, cuz you are allowed to build up 28. Once you got some built up, you can use the combo command and select different deathblow commands you know to really rack in the damage. And combat has quite a few strategies and stuff, including a similar system for gear combat for simplicity. This game has some good minigames too, especially the gear fighting game at Nortune, it is definently recommended. 
I will have to say, Xenogears isn't for everyone. One thing I would like to mention about the game is that it does address some very controversial religious and political issues that we face today. This game doesnt take a truly fantasy approach to its storytelling, so some of the content you may see in this game will reflect real world views, which is a great thing I think, but at the same time may offend some people in the manner it is expressed. Basically, it is a hard game to find on your PS1, very hard, and if you find it you will likely be spending at least 50$ for it, despite the fact that most PS1 games go for about 5-15$ these days, this is because the game has a limited distribution and it is in high demand, and that definently is because its a great game, and not because it is based on some stupid franchise like dragonball z. It is a shame Square didn't keep this brilliant game franchise under its wing, now gamers are gonna be happy with Namco's installments of the Xenosaga series on PS2, and Namco's gonna make a killing off it! 
|By Ancient (8/4/2003)|