Review by $DBH$
Reviewed: 11/01/99 | Updated: 04/26/01
A massive, all-absorbing RPG masterpiece
Get ready for one the most massive, absorbing RPG plots of all time. Xenogears exemplifies gaming and will set new standards for the RPG genre as a whole. Square has really craeted a masterpiece. After several mediocre Square games, Parasite Eve; Final Fantasy Tactics (arguably), Square has onceagain achieved near perfection. Parasite Eve suffered from short, uninvolvinggameplay, coupled with a departure from traditional RPG controls/battlesystem,these flaws made for a near forgettable experience. The EX game (probably thwon in as an afterthought, was bland and I played it purely to extend the game. What a shame. Another good idea, bad execution - FFT. First hailed asa more strategic, battle simulation, the plot was chunky, to say the least,and battles were either too difficult or too easy (but all were long). Some failed attemps to win at battles warranted the use of the GameShark, which I have NEVER used in any RPG mid-game (although I have used afterfinishingthe game first), even with this cheat machine, some battles were still hardfought, particularly the ones in which enemies could turn you into a vampire.Now, all qualms aside, on to XenoGears. Truly awesome plot (did I already mention that?), great graphics, Excellent control (aside from the battle-load-can't-jump flaw), and interesting battle system. This is the way RPGs weremeant to be.
If Zelda64 epitomizes an action/adventure/puzzle (too easy) game,then XenoGears has my vote for best RPG of all time. Yes, it does beat FF7.It is hard to put XG in a catagory with other games, but we'll give it a try.FF7 - XenoGears: FF7 had a good plot with the standard twists and suprises,but much was predictable (case-in-point Barret's long-lost buddy shooting upthe Casino and then Barret having to go at it with him), XenoGears on theother hand has so many twists and turns, you'll be wondering what happens next. With information about the plot slowly leaked out along with character'spasts, you are waiting till the near-end to see who is really running the show. Linearity - Square has been on this boat before. FF7 was basically aslinear as they get with a few optional areas and things to pick up, XenoGearsis no different. If you're like me, you'll want to spend a few hours learningDeathBlow skills to get a jump on the next set of enemies or bosses. This is by no means neccessary and you won't find yourself leveling-up simply to advance to the next "Chapter" in this epic.
Played Z64, FF7, FFT, BOF3 (great for us old-schoolers), and ParasiteEve? Ready for the next level in RPGs. Pick up XenoGears, you won't be dissappointed.
Graphics: (10) Stunning, though at times pixelated (only when the screen zooms as you Enter/Exit a room ; clever trick to disguise loading).
Sound: (10) Traditional Square fare, not to be overlooked though
Control: (9) I was forced to give XG a 9 because of several oversightsFirst, the can't-jump-battle-loading glitch that I mentioned beforehand and also the fact that when you learn a particular deathblow, you can't use thatbutton combination anymore with executing that DeathBlow (minimal though).Other than that, right on point.
Story: (10) Essential for a good RPG, and this is where XG shines,witha good dose of religion, morals, and old-fashioned take over the world stuff,Xenogears delivers 110% . Metal Gear Solid : Eat this!
Replayability: (10) Let's face it, fellow RPGers, RPGs do suffer from non-replayability, but hey, what do you expect from a game that is 60+ hours inthe first place? A second Quest??? Parasite Eve tried.... boring.
Rent or Buy?: Buy, must have for RPGers, you newbies may want to rent itfirstto see if it suits your taste (or check out the sampler on PE, if you boughtPE, you'll probably love XenoGears.
Overall: (10) I know you think how can a game that got a 9 get aperfect,but if you play XenoGears, you'll know. 'Nuff Said.
Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
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