Review by Hellgraves
Reviewed: 04/08/04 | Updated: 04/24/04
What it means to be blown away...
Upon buying this game, I wasn't expecting too much from it, just your generic RPG. I heard some good stuff about the game, but nothing that got me very hyped up. After playing for about an hour of it, I was well.... blown away. 'Nuff said. Let's start the review on this truly wonderful game.
I doubt that you will EVER find a plot that is as good and deep as the Xeno games (Xenogears and Xenosaga). The story is just so philosophical and deep. You have to play it at least three times before you finally truly begin to understand the story. To many, that may sound like a big headache, but the story is just SO GOOD. The story revolves around the main character, Fei Fong Wong.But before I get into his story, let me inform you a little about the intro. Upon selecting New Game, you are are shown a introduction cinematic. In the intro, you see a colossal vessel just drifting in outer space. You then see a control room filled with many people, panicking. It appears the ship is in peril, and everyone is struggling. The screens begin to fill with the words ''You Shall Be As Gods.'' The captain then orders for the passengers and crew members to begin evacuating. We then seeing people rushing into escape pods, only for the ship to begin blasting them! The ship is destroying itself! The captain then realizes that he will not live to see tomorrow, and takes a final glance a portrait of his wife and daughter. He then puts the ship into a self destruct mode, and we see it self destruct as the pieces float down to a nearby planet. We are then shown a naked woman with purple hair, walking out of the ship's ruins. She stands up and walks near a cliff, where we see the ship is still entering the planet's atmosphere. What exactly went wrong? Did anyone survive? Who was the woman? What does this all mean? You'll find out more as you play the game. Now back to Fei, Fei's past is very mysterious, so mysterious, not even Fei himself knows much of it. But Fei doesn't care, he is living a care free life in the nice little village of Lahan. Until one day when it is attacked by ''Gears''. Gears are basically giant robots. Fei then decides to try and protect the village, only to end up doing nearly all the damage. He is then exiled from the village, and there...Fei's journey begins. Like I said earlier, the story is very deep. In fact, they made a book (Perfect Works) just to explain the storyline. You may want to be careful though, this game is chock full of religious references. It is very easily to get offended if you're not careful. But for many, you can just take the religious references as a part of the story and just enjoy it. I did, and it was one of the best storylines I had ever experienced.
The game's battle system is amazing. Instead of the usual attack and heal when necessary, the game uses a ''combo'' and ''AP'' system. Like the Final Fantasy series, Xenogears also uses the ATB system. In the ATB system, each character has an ''ATB Gauge'' which fills up as time pasts, once full, the character will be able to act. The higher your speed, the faster the ATB Gauge will fill up. Instead of just selecting attack, you have to choose the ''level'' of your attack. By pressing the Triangle, you will do a weak attack, Square a strong attack, and X a fierce attack. Now you can't simply go around just doing fierce attacks because attacking will cost you AP. Weak attacks will cost you 1 AP, Strong attacks 2 AP, and Fierce attacks 3 AP. You are given 6 AP, allowing you to combine different types of attacks (T, S, X. X, X. T, T, T, S, T. ETC. ETC.). There's also the Gear battle system, which is basically the same, only AP is replaced by fuel, which is the same thing. While on the field map, you can jump around freely with the Triangle, and rotate the environment with R1 and L1! Though some may say the graphics are a bit pixilated, I'l talk about that in the Graphics section of my review. Some have complained that the second disk is rather lacking in the gameplay department, but I found it to be good. Regardless of the gameplay hours of disk 2.
Ok, so the graphics may be a little um...bad. Like I stated before, the backgrounds may appear to be pixilated to some. Xenogears's graphics are a Hate It or Love It kind of graphics. The anime cut scenes are nice, but nothing that's super eye candy. The characters and some of the monsters are 2d sprites, and look very nice. The Gears are aren't sprites, and look pretty nice too. Nothing exceptionally well here, but nothing that bad either.
The music is Great! Simply beautiful, almost nothing will be able to match Xenogears's soundtrack, it is absolutely astounding. The song ''Small Two Of Pieces'' is one of the most beautiful things I have EVER HEARD. Most of the music fits in perfectly. I have NOTHING to complain of here.
Replay Value: 7/10
There's usually only one reason people will replay Xengears. And that is to understand the story more. There really is no reason to replay it.
Buy Or Rent?
BUY! BUY!! BUY!!! I suggest you try and find a copy of this game right now! The story alone is worth it. If you're not a fan of story-heavy games, than I suggest you back away from this game.
What's there not to like? I found this game so good, I enjoyed all the times I played it(3 to be exact). After you've completed this game, you will see why I continue to rant on about its...its...greatness! You will then finally know, ''what it means to be blown away...''
Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
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