Xenosaga: Episode 1
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  • Namco
  • Namco
  • Adventure - RPG (example - Dragon Warrior)
  • 2/25/2003
  • 1
  • memory card
  • 1
  • $9.00
  • Teen
3  |  Xenosaga - Like watching ugly paint dry in a church
fishbulb , 3/17/2003 2:06:12 PM

Box (pic) Remember Dragon's Lair and Space Ace? How those games were essentially just long movies where you occasionally moved the joystick in one direction or another, based on the flashing lights which appeared on the screen, and you watched the little movie of your guy walking around or getting eaten by a stove depending on if you were moving the joystick accurately?

Those games were more interactive than Xenosaga.

From the time I first turned on the game to when I actually got to control my character in any way, shape or form was at least one hour... An hour of poorly rendered and boring anime cut-scenes. It seems that the developers devoted most of their time to making the game like a long 'movie' with occasional breaks for combat - but the cut scenes aren't particularly entertaining.  Most movies consist of 1 or 2 shots of a character talking.... slowly...  followed by a 5 second black screen as the camera changes perspective. They aren't even especially good looking cut scenes. I understand that Monolith Soft doesn't have the resources of Square (producers of the original Xenogears) but if you were going to make a game essentially 75% cut scenes, don't you think you would at least do your best to make them cool and interesting? 

The character design is particularly uninspired as well; you have the required big-eyed small anime girl (Momo? Wasn't that something Joe Pesci called everyone In Goodfellas? It's like they sat around asking retards what they would think is 'cute' and threw it into one character) a couple of 'bad ass' characters and Chaos...the absolute worst looking, incredibly terrible thing I've ever seen in a game. He looks like he's 12 years old, and he wears a purple and orange jump suit with these little white tiny, tiny short pants on the outside of it. It’s confusing and terrible! Why does he need the shorts? He already has a full body suit; the shorts provide no function other than to make him look tremendously gigantically gay. Then they go and make him one of the more useful fighting characters? Why? So I have to look at his terrible monstrosity of an appearance more frequently? It borders on pedophilia, I'm telling you. Little boy in tight short pants. Scary.

Actually, under the incredibly lengthy, relatively poorly rendered bad anime cut scenes, there is a bit of a game hidden away. The battle mechanics are actually somewhat deep compared to a number of other popular RPG games, allowing you to customize your attacking strategy more than the usual 'press X/attack evil fudge' system. The characters can be customized via a number of different 'point' systems, allowing the player to have a good degree of customization over the attacks, spells, and stats of their character. Unfortunately the amount of time you can devote to being involved in the battle system is very limited, as are the enemies your party will get to battle against. Considering how limited the amount of time and space the game chose to devote to this, you would think the games developers would have been able to include more than 2 or 3 monsters per action setting, but clearly you haven't been paying attention to this review. I guess they needed another 5 minute scene of Allen complaining that Shion ignores his whiney ass. There is also a mini card game within the game, (think Magic the Gathering, or something) that surprised me at the complexity of the battle system and number of cards available.

So, at wrap it all together, Xenogears features an interesting combat/character customization system and some in-depth mini-games, some terrible character design and is coated in an extremely annoying and hard to penetrate layer of terrible anime cut scene. If you enjoy watching anime, or stabbing yourself in the eye with hot sticks of butter then this is the game for you.

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