Review by Goalie

Reviewed: 01/16/09 | Updated: 01/20/09

One of the best games the PS2 has ever seen.

Rogue Galaxy is definitely one of the best games the PS2 has ever seen. It has everything a good RPG needs, plus more! For example, it has a huge variety of weapons, with around 800 total, amazing graphics, a good storyline, a large cast of great characters, an addicting minigame, and even its own bizarre weapon alchemy system. One of my favorite features though, which I have never seen in an RPG before, is the factory. After unlocking it, you will be able to create your own items which later become available for you to buy in stores. Along with all this, it has plenty of cutscenes to help the story come along, and almost no loading times. (They say there’s none, but there’s plenty of hidden ones.)

One of the things I like the most about this particular RPG is it’s battle system. Rogue Galaxy has a battle system where enemies will appear randomly, and you get to fight in real-time, instead of a turn-based system like some games have. Also, unlike many other RPG games, there is no battle screen to load, the battle just commences wherever you are standing. When you’re walking, the screen will flash the word WARNING!!! a few times, then it will say “ENEMY NAME x2” or something like that depending on the number of enemies. The enemies will appear on the screen, and the battle begins. Also, after the battle when you defeat the enemies, an exp screen will appear, show what you earned, then disappear again. Occasionally though, instead of the word warning, the word challenge will appear on your screen, saying something like “Defeat all enemies in XX seconds.” (XX being a number.) If you manage to complete what it asks you to do, you will earn a hunter coin, which can be used to obtain a hunting license.

Another great thing about this game is that it is extremely easy to learn how to play. When you start a new game, every so often a tutorial will appear on screen, showing you how to use a certain feature. For example, on your first fight a tutorial will appear telling you the controls for fighting. This also comes up when you earn a new feature, such as the factory. This in-game tutorial system makes learning how to play Rogue Galaxy as simple as possible without ever touching the instruction manual.

Another great (and original) idea the developers implemented in Rogue Galaxy was the factory. As I explained before, once you unlock this feature, you can create items which will become available in certain shops. Although it is easily the most complicated feature in the game, and it is possible to complete the game without ever touching the factory, it’s fun to use once you know how, and it can help you a lot throughout your adventure. It’s easy to go around and collect blueprints from various NPCs, but it’s a different story when trying to create items with them. If you don’t know what you are doing, this can be pretty much impossible. You have to design the machine that will process and combine the materials needed to create an item yourself, which can be hard at times as you unlock blueprints that require more than 2 items. The factory is definitely an experience unique to Rogue Galaxy, so it’s worth it to give it a try sometime.

Another aspect of Rogue Galaxy which puts it a step above other RPG games is the amazing graphics. I’ve heard something about cel-shading technology or something of that sort… I don’t really know what any of that means, but what I do know is that Rogue Galaxy has some of the most advanced graphics for its time. The characters are wonderfully designed, the landscapes and scenery are absolutely breathtaking, and the cutscenes throughout the game are amazing! If asked, I’d say Rogue Galaxy is one of the most graphically advanced games for the PS2.

Also, the sound in Rogue Galaxy is great! The game features a large soundtrack, which will play different songs according to where you are in the world. Also, the SFX are great! Rogue Galaxy has a sound effect for almost everything, whether it’s a door opening, a character walking, or even a sword hitting an enemy. Also, you can hear the characters talk to themselves as you are adventuring sometimes… One thing I like about the sound is that the characters speak during the cutscenes, so you can follow the story even if you don’t know how to read. Although some people find the game’s soundtrack in Rogue Galaxy boring, I find it to be very calm and soothing. The only negative I can think of for the sound system is the use of only 1 song during battles, which can get annoyingly repetitive.

One thing people often look at when trying to choose if they should buy an RPG is the basis of the game, otherwise known as the storyline, or just the story. Although the story in Rogue Galaxy is mainly very predictable and straight-forward, I still thought it was quite enjoyable, especially since it did have a few unexpected twists. I don’t want to give too much about the story away, but the game is basically based on a 17-year old boy named Jaster Rogue, who has always dreamed of journeying into space. One day, Jaster is mistaken for a legendary bounty hunter named Desert Claw, and he is asked to join the crew of a space pirate named Dorgengoa. If you’re looking for a game with a nice, long, in-depth story, Rogue Galaxy is definitely a game I would recommend.

Another thing people may look for in an RPG is good characters. One thing about Rogue Galaxy is that the characters in it are all pretty interesting. With all the cutscenes, and the comments they make throughout the game, you can actually learn quite a bit about each character and their past. Jaster’s team consists of 8 members at the most, and there are plenty more characters you will interact with often, to create a good overall experience. Although you will notice many characters in the game are completely unnecessary to the storyline, they do add a different sense of personality to the game. Each character has their own motives for joining Dorgengoa’s crew, and it is interesting to watch each character unfold throughout the course of the game, and you may even make a few shocking discoveries about the character’s pasts you never would have guessed.

Although this wouldn’t stop me from buying most video games, some people like to know what type of controls a game has before they buy it. For example, if a game was just all button-mashing, many people would not want to buy it, since it seems quite boring to repeatedly mash buttons. The good thing about Rogue Galaxy is that although there is a bit of button-mashing involved, it is definitely controlled well. The only time you may have to mash buttons is during a battle, but the game has an action gauge which controls this. Every time you do something in battle, your action gauge will lower, whether you use an item, activate an ability, or attack an enemy. This means that if you repeatedly mash the attack button, your action gauge will run out a lot quicker, and you will generally land less hits on the enemy you are attacking. Once the action gauge runs out, you have to either wait a few seconds for it to recharge, or block an enemy attack to fill it up instantly. For anyone who really cares about this, I would give Rogue Galaxy’s controls a good overall rating.

Rogue Galaxy also has its own little minigame called Insectron, which is essentially catching bugs, training them, and entering them in tournaments to win prizes. Insectron is a strategy game, where you choose 5 of your bugs and move them around, using each ones different abilities to kill your opponent’s king. However, if they kill your king first, you lose. Insectron also provides the only multiplayer experience in Rogue Galaxy. After you beat a certain tournament, you will unlock 2-player Insectron, where you can load 2 teams of Insectors from a memory card(s) and fight another player or CPU. A nice thing about the Insectron is that it gives you another way to consume time if you want to take a break from your primary mission. I spent around 10 hours total catching and training all the bugs in the game.

Finally , one of the greatest things about Rogue Galaxy is that it is an extremely long game. With well over 40 hours of gameplay, and all the sidequests (Hunting, Insectron, Factory, etc.) Rogue Galaxy will keep you playing for a long time. Since it is so time-consuming though, this does lower it’s replay value, since nobody wants to play through such a long game a second time after they beat it…

Overall, the general consensus for Rogue Galaxy says that you should rent it before buying it. Although there is people like me who absolutely love this game, there are also many people in this world who will just not like Rogue Galaxy. It’s the type of game you either love or hate, so before you run out and buy it, then decide it stinks, (I’ve seen this happen before.) rent it, play it, and see if you like it.

Overall – 9/10 – Basically, given everything I’ve gone through above, I would give Rogue Galaxy an overall rating of 9/10.

Rating: 9

Product Release: Rogue Galaxy (US, 01/30/07)

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