Xenogears

Fun Factor:  3/5

I first started playing this game many years ago on the PlayStation 1. For one reason or another I always got stuck and gave up on the play through. I would guess that it was most likely getting owned by one of the earlier bosses: The Calamity. Largely this game is a long JRPG (Japanese Role Playing Game) originally coming with 2 play disks to finish the entire story, which at the time, was not an uncommon practice for video games that were very story driven.

Learning Curve: Difficult

The gist of the game is to be an “Anime-Tastic” video game. Largely the game is about piloting giant robots in a turn based battle system. Overall it’s very difficult to master. It’s necessary to balance the stats and performance of your Giant Robot Pilots and the Mechanical Output of your Giant Robots themselves. Largely the skills of the pilots have almost nothing to do with the performance of the robots and you often have to pay out the nose to equip your Robots with the latest parts to keep having the advantage over whatever enemies appear at the time. Heaven forbid you accidentally get into a fight against another person’s giant robot without being in your own robot. As you might guess, being stepped on by a giant robot isn’t spiffy. Another element is that you also need to mange Death Blows that are combos that deal out a substantial amount of more damage if pulled off correctly. If you can master these elements, you are looking for a very intuitive battle experience.

Overall Rating: 3/5

Having finally finished the title after who knows how many attempts at finishing the game, I do have a few opinions about the overall quality. First, I didn’t realize that this game is actually a spin off of another long running franchise, the Xenosaga franchise. It’s not necessary to play the other installments to enjoy this title, but I imagine it couldn’t hurt if you want to enjoy more of the experience. Second, The graphics look very nice for the age of the game. A combination of full 3D backgrounds with sprite animated characters definitely is something I could appreciate. Lastly, I have to say that I got a giggle out of it, but it often sports VERY poorly dubbed anime cut-scenes. Characters would be moving their mouths even if they weren’t saying anything or inversely be talking while their mouths are closed. The animation itself was good. It just sounded bad. And given if that’s a deal breaker for you, the ending is more of the same. Overall I enjoyed this game but I think it’s partially because I feel a great sense of accomplishment in actually managing to beat it after so long. In the end of it I had put in 60+ hours in my final save state.

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