Review by MagusTrigger

Reviewed: 04/02/07

When Kingdom Hearts II meets Dark Cloud II...minus the II!

Rogue Galaxy is one fun experience. Pretty much every aspect of the game is excellent, with a couple of flaws that keep it from being perfect. But it's still another quality title from Level 5.

Graphics: 10/10

The graphics in the game are beautiful. The main game has cell-shading graphics which give it an anime-like feel, often done in Level 5 games like Dragon Quest VIII and Dark Cloud II. The CG cutscenes are, hands down, one of the best graphics in a PS2 game. They are just AMAZING beyond words, and look so surreal and realistic. The CG scenes are comparable to that of a Xbox 360 game, and that's saying something. The regular in-game graphics look rich and colorful, and, overall, give this catagory a well-deserved 10.

Music and Sound: 9/10
The voice cast is top shelf. A lot of well known and talented actors, such as Steve Blum, Crispin Freeman, and Yuri Lorenthal are thrown into the mix, and they do great justice for the voices of the main characters and some NPCs. There ARE somewhat cheesy moments of dialouge thrown in on some parts, but the acting is still good overall.

The music is good, too. Pretty good music overall that doesn't feel too repetitive, and the right tunes are played in the right areas. The battle theme CAN get annoying after hearing it over and over every time you play a battle(which happens quite a bit in this game), but other than that, the music is pretty good for the most part.

Gameplay: 10/10
Another high point of the game. The gameplay is generally extremely fun, and expected from the creators of Dark Cloud 2. The battle system is a lot of fun, action packed, and full of moves and tough foes. Each character has a weapon and a subweapon, which are used in different situations. There are also 8 different party members to choose from, so you can choose 3 of those to your preference.

The way you gain skills is also unique; the skill-gaining system is similar to the Sphere Grid in Final Fantasy X, except this time, you have to fit specific items into blocks. Once you fit them all, you can expand onto different move and stat gaining branches. It is entirely up to you how you how you build it.

Another highlight is the weapon fusion. Eventually, you will be able to get a source to fuse two weapons that require a build into 1 stronger one. There are a large variety of weapons and subweapons to build into, so be sure to use this a lot!

Another feature is the Insectron Tournament. The Insectron Tournament is where you assemble your group of insects which you get to raise, feed, and breed, very similarly to the fishing in Dark Cloud 2, to fight in tournaments. If you liked the fish raising in Dark Cloud 2, you will like this!

And, of course, the Factory. Kind of like the Georama in Dark Cloud 2, you manage your own factory(including plugs, etc) to make exclusive items, and even sell them into shops! The problem, it's quite a hassle to make it, and requires good logic/math skills, so be sure you know what you're doing or you won't build anything! :P

Overall, the gameplay gets a 10. It's incredibly deep.

Controls: 10/10

No complaints here. The controls are just fine and responsive in and out of battle.

Story: Starts at around 8/10, ends at around 5.7/10

Sadly, this is a con of the game. I won't spoil anything for you, but the story starts out good, and is pretty tolerable, but ends more and more cheesy and cliche as you go on. I won't give spoilers, but this game proceeds in chapters. So yeah, enjoy the plot while it's decent.

Replay Value: 9/10

There's a lot of Replay Value to be found, because of such deep gameplay, the variety of weapons, and even some bonus areas and dungeons! You will likely play this quite a bit to find out new factory recipes, etc.

Pros:
Graphics are beautiful
Gameplay is awesome
Voice cast is awesome
Story is decent while it still is
Fine controls
Lots of content and replay value

Cons
Story get cliche and cheesy
Battle music gets repetitive
Battles become too much of a button masher
Sometimes cheesy dialouge

Buy or Rent?

A definite buy. Get past the eventually cliche story and enjoy the great gameplay.

Overall: 9/10

Another great quality title from Level 5. Be sure to check it out!

Rating: 9

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