Xenosaga is a RPG that was developed by Monolith Software, published by Namco, and was released for the Sony Playstation 2 on February 25, 2003.
|Developer: Monolith Software
Release Date: February 25, 2003
JustRPG Score: 92%
-Maybe too many cutscenes
-Little replay value
-Graphics may seem outdated to some
Xenosaga is the continuation of the popular Xenogears game that was released for the Sony Playstation 1. While this game is not a direct sequel to Xenogears, the art style and many other aspects have been carried over from the previous game. In this game the player will make their way through a game with beautiful cut scenes, an engaging story line, and fun RPG style battles. If you are a hardcore RPG fan and own a PS2 then this is a must buy.
Xenosaga Featured Video
|Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht, the first in a series of “prequels” to the cult classicXenogears was one of the year’s most eagerly awaited games. Xenogears fans, like me, have been dying to play this game since long before it was ever announced, and with so much hype, can it possibly live up to the expectations? Why, yes it can, and yes it has!|
The story takes place several thousand years before the events of Xenogears, and humans have abandoned earth and made new homes throughout space. A strange species, called the Gnosis, have been attacking humans at every chance, and scientists work diligently to create weapons that will aid mankind in their struggle against the Gnosis. Here enters, Shion Uzuki, a chief scientist who has been working on a top-secret project. This project is KOS-MOS, a powerful android who may be humanity’s only hope against the Gnosis. Meanwhile, the Federation has located a strange object in space…the Zohar. Things have seemed a little odd to Shion ever since the Zohar was brought aboard, but few really know what the Zohar is. Suddenly the Gnosis attack the fleet, and Shion and KOS-MOS barely escape, but the Gnosis have taken the Zohar. What is the Zohar, and what do the Gnosis want with it? And how do Shion and KOS-MOS fit into all this? This is just the beginning.
|There’s so much mystery and excitement in Xenosaga that you’ll find yourself unable to put this game down. The game has an interesting sci-fi theme, which is a nice break from the regular fantasy RPG. The plot is filled with twists and turns, epic battles, and everything you could hope for in a great RPG. Well, almost everything. Xenosaga’s biggest flaw is the fact that the game provides very little closure at the end. You spend the whole game being introduced to the story and characters, but you’ve only hit the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much left unanswered when it’s all over that you’ll probably be disappointed. True, it’s just the first in a series of games, but a certain amount of closure is required, and Xenosaga lacks that. The story is at times hard to follow, and the fact that you get no real explanation means you’ll probably sit around scratching your head for a while (at least until Xenosaga: Episode II comes out).|
The characters and their interactions are all done very well. You’ve got a very unique array of characters inXenosaga and you’ll find them to be a likeable bunch. These characters develop well throughout the course of the game, but there’s a lot left open for future episodes in the series. This was one of the better casts of characters I’ve seen since, well…uh, Xenogears! This game does a very good job of getting the player interested in the story and characters, but unfortunately it then leaves you hanging. There’s literally a “To Be Continued” screen when you beat the game.
|Xenosaga is one of the most story-driven games I’ve ever played, and if you can’t stand to sit and watch the story unfold for a while then you might as well cross this game off of your list. There are hours and hours of cutscenes in Xenosaga, and sometimes it’ll feel more like a movie than a game. Xenogears had similar issues, but the massive amounts of cutscenes in Xenosagadon’t seem to get in the way at all. A matter a fact, the cutscenes do an excellent job of keeping the game flowing and I enjoyed every minute of it (Well, almost every minute…).|
Not surprisingly, gameplay is very much like Xenogears. Combat revolves around the use of AP, and performing different actions uses up a certain number of AP points. Each turn you’re given 4 AP, and can use it in many different ways, or save it up to perform powerful Tech Attacks. For example, blocking takes 2 AP as does a single attack, but if you attack twice you use up 4 AP. As characters level up they’ll gain all sorts of new Tech Attacks, and through battle you gain Skill Points, Tech Points and Ether Points. Ether Points are used to learn new magic spells, Skill Points are used to learn skills (duh) and Tech Points are used to power up your Tech Attacks and can be distributed however you want to raise your character’s stats. There’s a lot to keep track of, and you can power up your characters in many different ways.
|When not on foot you can enter combat inside an A.G.W.S. (they’re called “Gears” inXenogears and are basically giant mech-suits). You can equip your gears with various weapons and pieces of equipment, and A.G.W.S. combat is very similar to on-foot combat. You can switch back and forth at will between on-foot and A.G.W.S. combat, and there are plenty of battles where one type of combat will have a distinct advantage over the other. I was a little disappointed to see the A.G.W.S.’s play no part at all whatsoever in the story, and the fact that they are so very similar to regular ground combat means that combat can sometimes be a little slow. It was loads of fun, but you’re left with a feeling that they could’ve done more with it.|
The graphics are beautiful…that pretty much sums it up. The character designs are unique and detailed, and the cutscenes are extraordinarily well done. Character movements are fluid, and even when performing complex moves in battle, characters move with convincing detail. Having to sit and watch for hours doesn’t seem so bad when what you’re watching is so pretty.
|The music was equally impressive, and the tracks do an excellent job of setting the mood. The orchestral soundtrack provides some memorable music in Xenosaga, including some tracks that are genuinely eerie. The variety wasn’t the greatest, and after a while you’ll get sick of the same old boss tune, but hey, it’s quality that counts not quantity.|
There’s plenty in Xenosaga to keep you busy. There are several mini-games, including the card game Xenocards.Xenosaga also promises 80 hours of gameplay (although, you can beat it in 30-40 with no trouble), so you can expect to get your money’s worth.
|Everything that was there in Xenosaga was excellent, but unfortunately a few things just seemed to be missing. Still, it’s a great game that Xenogears fans will adore. As a Xenogearsfan I can truly say this is a worthy “prequel” to one of the finest RPGs ever created, and if future games in the series continue in Episode I’s footsteps but correct the few errors,Xenosaga may end up giving the Final Fantasy series a run for its money!|
|Final Grade: 92%|