Review by Sapphire_Fate
Proving why one NPC never ruins any game storyline, ever. Seriously, though, where has all the rum gone?
I had been waiting for this game ever since I saw screenshots of it's gorgeous cel-shaded visuals. I knew it had to be mine. I rushed into the store and made sure to get the Tome of Awesome strategy guide that came along with it.
I gleefully ran home and played it. I'm still playing it, it's that involving. Here's why.
Gorgeous cel-shaded visuals that are absolutely stunning. No loadtimes anywhere, and very few moments of slowdown. Some of the dungeon layouts are stunning in visual quality, whilst the characters absolutely shine. Beautiful artwork on top of even more stunning characters provides such a pleasing look to a completely beautiful game. I will admit the style lacks the "wow" factor that Digital Devil Saga had with Kaneko's visionary art style. If that game never came out, I wouldn't be spoiled on what good cel-shaded graphics are..RG is just a notch below. 9/10
I love action RPGs. This game provides what I want and more. It's your basic buttonmashing hack-and-slash fest seen in many other titles. It's not like Kingdom Hearts where it's too easy, but it's not like Zelda where there are many, many ways to kill your enemies. You're restricted to swordfighting, gunslinging, throwing enemies, throwing objects, using abilities, or jumpslashing. It feels more like Zelda than another action RPGs because of these factors. I personally loved when I saw one of my AI-controlled characters pick up an enemy and just toss it into a wall. It just gave me a smile knowing I could do that to whatever enemy I wanted. Accompanying the hack-and-slash is the Revelation Grid, which allows you to access abilities through finding certain items. Most of these items can be bought at merchants, but some are only found by monster drops. Once you fill a portion of the grid with certain items, an ability will be learned and the path through the Grid will be opened up for that character. Every character has a different Revelation Grid, with different abilities and stat augments all around. Another interesting feature is how every character is alike, but also different. Nearly every character has projectile and melee weaponry, but all of them handle very, very differently. Kisala is fast but can't throw weapons, while Lilika's weaponfighting is inverted so her main weapon is actually a projectile one. I loved the variety in the characters with how each fought, but like many others, Jaster is probably the one most will control. I also give a nod to the wonderful difficulty level which generally always starts out difficult in every new area, but lessens as you learn each enemies' habit. Boss battles are epic and involving, and I love being able to give orders out to my allies at the drop of a hat as soon as they recommend something.
Through the weapon fusion system, each character can go on a (somewhat) linear path to get each character's ultimate weapon. These ultimate weapons are both in melee and projectile format. One annoying aspect is that everyone besides Jaster maxes out at a 314-attack power weapon, limiting any further customization. It's only a minor annoyance, however. There are also tons of minigames and sidequests, such as the Factory, Insectron fighting, and Quarries. This puts the game well over 100 hours of just sheer fun. I absolutely love the ideas, the mechanics, and especially the weapon fusion system in this game. Everything melds together for a satisfying experience. 10/10
One of the major complaints about this game is the lack of character development and overall cliche plot. To be honest, I didn't pick up this game for it's plot. What I got was something that is intriguing, at best. I'm not going to shamefully disgrace this game's storyline because of one NPC character, no, that's not how you review game storylines. I'm going to look at the story in general. Throwing all the Star Wars references aside, I like the charming nature of the characters and the "epic" feeling of the plot moreso than any other game that it's been compared to. When I first saw Mio, I wasn't really bothered..I even laughed that she could use OMG and act all l33t about everything. I like the character chemistry in all the cutscenes throughout the game, and while it's all cliche it's the charm that really makes it worthwhile. Compare this to Skies of Arcadia, and you'll see what I mean by "charm really makes the story come alive." It's well worth the trip through the galaxy, folks. 7.5/10
There's not much memorable music in this game. I like the battle and boss theme, but those practically *have* to be good because you hear them throughout the game. I also like the Zerard theme, which has a good techno beat. The rest of the music is pretty throwaway and dull, though. I have to say I wasn't entirely impressed by the music in this game, but then again I didn't like Dark Cloud's or Dragon Quest VIII's music, either. 6/10
So there you have it. I'm not going to judge this game entirely on it's story(or one character..wow. <_<), nor am I going to judge it on it's fairly boring soundtrack. I will judge it on it's amazingly addictive gameplay and beautiful graphics..because that's what you see most when you play any game. It's a great game with great gameplay, magnificent graphics.
A worthy send off for the RPG King of Consoles.
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