Review by NintendoFanX
Don't Unplug your PS2 just yet.
Level 5, the population growing company, and maker of the Dark Cloud series and Dragon Warrior/Quest, has developed there lastest RPG to hit the Playstation 2. A combination of action and rpg works very well in Rogue Galaxy, and you will enjoy defeating countless enemies with eight different characters.
Rogue Galaxy's weak point is the story. Level 5 is known for excellent gameplay, but they don't have a good reputation for plots. That is shown here. The story is of that of Jaster Rogue, a seventeen year old that dreams to go out into space. (Not very original eh?) He takes the role of Desert Claw, a famous bounty hunter, to join the crew of the Dorgenark.
You start out with 4 other allies. Zegram, the strong and suspcious guy. Kisala, the caring and gentle girl. Steve, the robot with a heart. Simon, the big one with an accent. Later on you get joined by Lilika, the tough warrior woman, Jupis, the strange lizard, and Deego, the former soldier. Personally, I don't think ANY of the characters have much backround for them to be in the game. It would of been just fine with just Jaster, Kisala, and Zegram. They have the most roles in the story.
The beautiful cel-shaded graphics are a thing to look at. The game only enters cinema mode a few times, but you will enjoy them. The many cutscenes are also very nice to look at it, as well with abilities. With all 8 characters, it adds up to 50+ abilities. When used in battle you will get to see it activate. Sure, they could of been more creative with the names (Ex: Icy ice beam. Lol, wtf were they thinking?) but it still looked cool.
The reason it did not get a 10 is because you will notice many many hidden loading scenes. No one likes loading scenes right? But whats worse is a failed atempt at hiding one. In the beginning of a cutscene you will walk for a few seconds as if its loading for the event or dialog. This will happen for EVERY cutscene, and theres quite a few of them.
Voice acting in this game are perfectly in sync and amazing quality. You will feel like your part of the conversation. The actors really have emotions in there voices instead of just reading off a script. One minor thing though, the battle music is the same unless its a miniboss/boss and it can get tedius at times.
The effects are also what gets sound a 10. Every hit, blow, or ability you choose has a unqiue sound. My personal favorite is the Flash Sword ability for Jaster, in which his sword takes on a electrical aura to power it up. Every slash you make, theres a jolting sound and it justs adds more depth and feel to the game.
Ahh, the best part. The actual FIGHTING! As I said before Rogue Galaxy combines action with a RPG feel behind it. You can move around freely in the battle field (like an action game), and you get random encounters for battles (like an RPG). That doesen't mean you have to switch screens and wait a few seconds until battle though. The enemies just spawn nearby you and the battle menu opens up. I found this method of introducing a battle very easy to get used to. You don't select attack or anything on here, you simply just press the assigned button to attack. To activate abilities, you do use the battle menu and the same with items also.
What I really like is that it isent just melee. The melee weapon is the main weapon still, but there is a secondary weapon for ranged attacks, (with the exception of Lilika, where the ranged is the main and the melee is secondary). It sounds like just button mashing doesen't it? Nope. First of all there is a stamina bar that controls how many things you can do with one setting. When its empty you will have to wait a few seconds and then you can do something again. A quick way to get it up fast is sucessfully blocking a enemy attack using R2, making it go up automatically.
The leveling up system doesen't stand out very much, just your average increased stats. How do you get abilties then you ask? Well I'll tell you. It is kind of like Final Fantasy X's Sphere Grid, except instead of spheres you use items to get abilities. Its called the Revelation Chart, and its hard to fill out every characters. As you progess through the game you can find and buy more rare items to get new-or improve old abiltiies.
This game clocks in about 30-40+ hours and thats just the main story. Oh no you will easily spend 100+ hours doing all the extra things in the game. Insectron collecting is the mini-game where you raise and catch your own insectrons from different places. You feed them different food and team them up with other insectrons. Then you go to the Insectron stadium on planet Zerard, where you can face other NPC's and fight your way to the championship.
The other big thing is called Hunting. And thats simply what it is. You buy quarrys telling the bounty of a monster causing trouble. Then your job is to kill it and collect the hunting points. Rank 1 is the best you can do and you will earn treasures along the way with other bonuses.
But thats not all folks! There is also a thing called Alchemy. Sure, its done in a wierd way in this game but its still alchemy. You get this frog-er....toad called toady and he will fuse weapons to make even stronger weapons. Trying to make all the weapons will take you months and is only for a serious player. With all characters combined there are over 500+ weapons.
Oh wait, there more! (I feel like a commerical) After the main game did I mention there are two extremely hard bonus dungeons? I didn't? Well there are, and they are called the Ghost Ship and the Ghost Ship Extreme. With even harder bosses anywhere else, these dungeons will keep you playing this game over and over.
A game with minor errors, but a great one nonetheless. I guarentee this game will keep your PS2 going for quite a while. True RPG fans need not rent this, they will love it right away.
Product Release: Rogue Galaxy (US, 01/30/07)
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