Review by gizzardgulpe
For the most part, what FFXII should have been.
When I buy video games, it's usually the same thing. I generally read previews, then reviews, then take into consideration who developed it and sold it. Rarely do I buy games off a whim, and even more rarely am I actually happy to have bought them.
It's hard to say exactly what made this game good for me. The voice acting is top-notch (Will Friedle?! That guy from Boy Meets World? NO WAY!!) and colorful. I swear, Steve Blum can't do a character wrong. I'm a fan of all of his work. Though the characters aren't as original as most cases, the voice acting makes up for it, making it just pleasing to be a part of.
The graphics? Anime-esque all over, but not plain in any way. Each character has multiple outfits and techniques that are pretty to watch. The worlds look huge, and though you can't actually explore alot of them, there is no way to not be in awe of some of them. Unfortunately, there is no wide screen support, so those of you out there with wide screen, you might be playing with stretched characters. The FMV's are really where the game shines graphically. All of them are beautiful and incredibly detailed. There is one particular scene about 3/4's of the way through the game that just had me tittering with delight through the whole thing. Very impressive.
Sounds are nice. Can't say too much. Better than a few recent games (I'm looking at you FFXII, with no memorable theme to be found whatsoever). I actually found myself humming along, which I haven't done in awhile. Sound effects vary between certain weapons, but not enough to make you go "wow, that took some effort."
Gameplay... mmm... gameplay. Here is my major beef, and my major love for the game. Sorry to make a direct comparison to FFXII, but I must. So you know when FFXII was coming out and they were like "no more linear combat! now you can wander around and stuff!" and then you go play and you find out that it's still time based combat and takes way too long to defeat enemies that give you so little experience that half of your game play is strictly fighting so the storyline means nothing because it is so broken up by hours and hours of straight kiai's and sword swings? well, Rogue Galaxy takes the concept, and improves upon it, but doesn't perfect it. Basically, yeah, you do alot of fighting, and enemies don't give you that much experience, but the battles go way faster in RG than FFXII. To top it off, you're actually in control of your characters when you fight, so you get to be actively involved. It's way better than letting your gambits fight. One last thing, all characters have a main weapon, a sub weapon, and a technique list. Very nice touch, made things variable.
Overall, yeah, the story isn't particularly original, there are only 6 planets, making the title more appropriately named "Rogue Solar-System" but meh. no biggie. The game is actually a little short. They say 100+ hours on the back cover, but it's more like 40 if you've ever played a video game before in your life. It might be 100 if you do all the sidequests (all possible weapon synthesis, all factory operations, all Insectron tournaments, etc.) but I'm not so sure, even about that.
Since there hasn't been a really fantastic game in awhile (in my opinion, everything for the past year has kindof sucked, compared to the amount of hype surrounding them) then this is one of those games that will help pass the time until something cool comes out, like... I dunno, God of War 2, Metal Gear 4, or Super Smash Bros Brawl... Metroid Prime 3... Final Fantasy 13 (maybe)...
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