Review by Ninjak

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

Remember when Square was cool?

Whoa, I'm still reeling from "playing" this latest "rpg" from the ex-geniuses at Squaresoft. I can't for the life of me figure out why this is the supposedly best ""rpg"(I refuse to call it a role playing game) from Square. That can't be further from the truth, Xenogears is the worst "rpg" I ever "played'. In fact I didn't much playing but I did a lot of watching endless cut-scene after cut-scene, talking after talking.

Graphics- 4 out of 10
The graphics in Xenogears are severely pixelized to the point where it is inexcusable. It doesn't help any the fact that many of the sprites are average and the special effects are bland.

Music and Sound-7 out of 10
The only thing in this game that is halfway decent, the music does a good job but there is hardly any variety as you will hear the same tracks over and over again. As for the voices, they are fairly good but many times you'll say "WHAT?" after their grumbled from the characters. But the music is very good and memorable.

Story-6 out of 10
Ok but certainly not great! Since this game relies heavily on the story it sacrificed a few little things like oh, gameplay and fun. Watching the story unfold all the time can get tedious just for the simple fact that the gameplay is poor and since the story is all you have you to look forward too then after awhile it is not special anymore. And to be honest even though the story finally comes together after 400 HOURS INTO THE GAME (I'm slightly exaggerating) it isn't worth sitting through.

Gameplay-0 out of 10
Pure, crap filled trash! Xenogears battle system is VERY repetitive and just plain boring. And the gear battles? Lord have mercy on our souls, words such as dull, repetitive, and boring are not strong enough to describe it. It is severely limited and stupid. 'Hey kids now you can battle in giant robots! Cool huh?' No because the freackin' gears are like water-downed versions of the main characters. However the only worse than bad gameplay is no gameplay. And the only thing worse than no gameplay? Disc 2. The disc is so linear and has so much talking that I actually fell asleep on it more than one occasion. Plus I once clocked a 30(!) minute, 30 minute plus, cut scene! Why couldn't Square have put all energy into making halfway decent battles is beyond me.

Oh, and lets not forget when its time to go into caves and dungeons. The graphics here are very plain and the camera is a nightmare. The things always needs to be adjusted here because of the platform jumping that plays like it thrown in at the last minute. Finally there are the random battles. Every 2 steps you take another battle occurs. In FF7, Suikoden, Persona, and other rpgs, it's endurable, but not here. You have to repeatedly press buttons to execute attacks, this gets old fast. Magic is here too and it really redefines the term worthless since only like 5 spells are half-way useful.

Control-3 out of ten
Very bad, Xenogears is very text heavy and there is no option to adjust the text speed, why? Also as I said earlier the dungeons and caves were a nightmare, you'll constantly struggle to jump over or on top of things and the camera does nothing to help you out here. The thing always needs to be adjusted and what sucks is that when your standing in one spot moving the camera you could get into random battles. The random battles (while gear-less) are mash, mash, mash, the triangle, circle, or square buttons. In gears, the sleep inducing battles are attack, get hit, attack with special move, fight off sleep, and repeat.

*I feel this really shouldn't be called an RPG. Why? Because it has little role-playing. How can you play a role of someone if the game is constantly throwing dialogue at you and the player gets barely any say as to where to go, what to do, or cannot even slightly alter the game. Also you can't play something when your doing a lot of watching now can you?

Overall Fun-1 out of 10
This game, like just about all of the 32 bit Square rpgs, are a disgrace. Hardly anything in this game resembles fun. The story is the games only saving grace. While it is not the greatest it was hyped up to be, it was good but alas every time it gets real good the game bogs you down with talk, talk, and talk. After a while, it gets real old (not to mention boring). It should have been a 25 dollar anime and not and not a 50 dollar game. If this is what is becoming of rpgs, and I use the term lightly with Xenogears, then its glory days are far behind. An awful game, and easily the worst from Square.

Rating:   0.5 - Unplayable

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