Review by Grinwald

Reviewed: 11/01/99 | Updated: 04/26/01

Another excellent Squaresoft soon-to-be-classic

Xenogears pits hero against huge, hulking empire and secret civilization in this soon-to-be classic video game, yet another one of Square's many credits.

Graphics: 9/10

I was simply astounded by how well-done the bitmap-based graphics were. The feature that allows you to turn the view in a complete circle is wonderful. My only major gripe was that in some of the video clips the lips were even more out-of-sync than I would expect from a Japanese-to-English translation. Some were a second or more apart.

Gameplay: 7/10

In some cases, the constant turning to see the proper angle became a nuisance. The jumping sometimes confused me, as it's only necessary in some parts. However, the new gaming style, which allows you to summon and ride in a large, robotic war machine or fight on your feet, was an excellent and fun feature. Also, it also allowed you to make your own battle combinations of high, mid, and low hits.

Sound and Music: 8/10

The sounds of this game were pretty standard, except for the battle sounds of the Gears (the previously mentioned robotic war machines) and the fighters. The music was very good, and appropriate. Also, during the anime/video playing, there was voice, so you could hear the people talking, much unlike FFVII, where you see their words in text form.

Innovation: 9/10

This game was filled with new game concepts, and executed them flawlessly. The ability to jump, which admittedly caused some problems but also allowed for much more realistic gameplay, along with the ability to pretty much design your own attacks were major plusses. Using anime coupled with FMV presented a feast for the eyes, and the new buildings and bases had me puzzled and intrigued for hours.

Plot: 10/10

I don't normally give 10s, but the plot of Xenogears definitely deserves it. Although talking too much about it would be considered a spoiler, I could honestly talk about the rich, detailed plot for hours. I was in awe as each new twist unfolded before me.

Overall: 9/10

The extraordinary plot and the exemplary graphics made this game a definite winner in my book. The sometimes awkward gameplay and occasionally dull sound effects were kind of a turn-off, but the rest of the game more than made up for those minor defects.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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