Review by magmaburning
Reviewed: 01/01/08 | Updated: 08/07/09
A sunken ship.
Rogue Galaxy is the new RPG by the makers of Level-5. They have previously worked on Dragon Quest VIII and the Dark Cloud series. (Which I haven't played, but I heard they were good or at least decent.) Unfortunately, I cannot see how Rogue Galaxy can be fun. It falls in the mediocre route of most RPGs at first, but then comes tumbling down as the game progresses. The combat is fun at first, but after a few hours it turns out to be repetitive and dull. The story doesn't pick up till the end of the game and when it does pick up the story is full of cliches that will make you roll your eyes. So what is Rogue Galaxy good for? Well, the backgrounds are colorful and the graphics are stunning, besides the dungeons. Those dungeons are just uggg-ly.
We'll start with the good first. The graphics of Rogue Galaxy are vibrant and colorful from places such as the jungle or a ocean beach place. It seems likes the dungeons in the game did not receive such treatment. All dungeons just contain simple corridors and simple rooms which means there's not that much to look at. That's right. No puzzles, no traps, just one long maze with dead ends and treasure chests placed in random spots. The character designs were weird at first, but you'll get used to them. The galaxy is pretty with all those stars and stuff, but you only see them when you're traveling on your spaceship.
The soundtrack is simple RPGish tunes. There wasn't a single song that got stuck in my head and there wasn't one that made me go *gasp* this is amazing. Everything is just standard, which kind of sucks, because Rogue Galaxy had the potential to be so much better. Voice-acting is fine as well, but I do feel bad for the voice actors when they have to say such cheesy lines at the end of the game. *rolls eyes*
The gameplay is kind of like Kingdom Hearts and at the same time it's not. Too bad, the gameplay didn't turn out successful. When you get hit by a monster around three to four times you have to pause the game and heal your character. Which sucks, because that takes out all the action in the game. So, you constantly have to press triangle and use an item to heal your characters. Then ten seconds later, you have to pause the game again to heal your characters. Yes, this gets annoying and it really bugged me at the end of the game. The monsters just hit a whole bunch or you just have really really low defense.
Second complaint. After attacking for a while, you'll have to recharge your energy or whatever and you can tell this by a blue bar hanging over your HP. Unfortunately, the blue bar goes down every time you attack and every time you use an item. And when that blue bar runs down to nothing. You have to wait a while to get it fully charged again. At least you can guard during this phase, but this makes the battles seem longer and a whole bunch of time is wasted while you walk around the map doing nothing. Just to get that bar to recharge again. Annoying? Yes.
Third complaint. The skills make the combat really dull. There are some skills that attack all the monsters in the battle field. An example is Jaster's Desert Wind. You can run around the dungeon and when a battle pops up. You press triangle, go to skills, and select Desert Wind. That means you'll attack all of the monsters without having to do anything. Plus the skill is really strong, so you'll damage the enemy at least almost all of their life. And then when that annoying blue bar recharges you can just do it again and you'll eventually win the battle. Suddenly, that's when this game becomes repetitive and boring. It became like this ... walk around, monsters appear, triangle, skill, select skill, wait, triangle, skill, select skill, win, repeat and rinse. Yep, that's what most of the combat was like. Unless you had to battle like a really tall monster and you couldn't hit it at all with your cheap skill attack. That's when you have to use go back to hack and slash, which falls into complaint number one. Where the enemies hit massive damage and you would have to stop and heal every three hits.
Fourth complaint. The dungeons. They mostly consist of simple hallways and big open rooms. Which is really tedious, because the dungeons are really big and really long. And I mean really big and really long. Heck, these dungeons in Rogue Galaxy had to be some of the biggest dungeons I've ever faced. (Besides, Star Ocean, but hey that game had puzzles and not just long borign corridors.) Combine long dungeons with worthless battles and you get nothing exciting at all. This made the whole game fall apart. Mix it with the battle system and you have a recipe for ...... uh failure. But don't worry the story has to be a blast? Right?
The story serves no purpose to this game at all. There are like mini story quests, in which you do at each planet. Most of them don't even contribute to the main story, but Level-5 had to make this game at least 40 something hours long. Some of these mini story quests talks about friendship, courage, etc, etc. And some of the planets do a good job at telling their own story, but then by the end, you'll be like, "So what the heck was this for?" Basically you have a pretty much have a lame main story. Until the game decides to pick up the story at the end, but by then we just don't care anymore. And it's full of cliches like, "The goodness in our hearts will make a sword that will pierce the evil monsters away." *rolls eyes at the sight of the dialogue*
Side quests = Fun? The game throws a whole bunch of side quests at you, but most of them aren't even worth doing. The majority of them are monster quests where you just hunt a single monster like twenty time and when you're done with that, you can move on to a new monster. Basically, the game makers just said we need to add some more meat into this game. So, we're going to add in these monster quests just to make the play time hours go up. Lame.
There's also the revelation chart and this insect thing, but I never really cared about the insect thing, because I just didn't want to spend any more time with this game anymore. The revelation chart has you collecting items to place in there, so you can get learn new skills. I never completed it anyway, so I have no idea how long it would take. There are also quarries, where you hunt bosses and fight them. Those were kind of fun, but then again it's basically more useless meat added into the game to make it longer. And then there's this thing called a factory where you can make stuff. Never got to doing that, because of the same reason with the insect game. I just didn't want to play the game anymore. Wait. There's also this thing called the frog log where you can combine weapons to make new weapons. Again, more meat added to make the game longer. So at least this game is super long in side quests and if you're looking for something to last you a while. Here's the perfect game, if you can get over the battle system first.
Overall, Rogue Galaxy looked like a game that would be easy to make. Dungeons with simple hallways and big open rooms and all you would have to do is just plop in some treasure chests and it becomes somewhat entertaining. Make a cliche story, that only picks up near the end. Have a battle system that is dull and repetitive. And add in a whole bunch of side quests and extras that aren't really worth doing at all. Do I recommend Rogue Galaxy to you? No, not at all. Unless you really like the battle system and have a whole bunch of spare time to do the extras. It's a fun game for a while, but once you play it a while longer. You find this game is just another one of those RPGs.
Final Verdict: 3/10
If you're a perfectionist that likes to get 100% on something or you just need a game to waste your time. I openly welcome you to the game Rogue Galaxy. That is if you aren't scared of the horrible plot and the horrendous gameplay. For everyone else, look for something else, because this game isn't worth your time at all.
Product Release: Rogue Galaxy (US, 01/30/07)
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