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Xenogears - Reader Review

A Long, Long Adventure Through the Depths of the Soul

By Mikesdcool@aol.com


Review Breakdown
   Battle System8.5
   Gameplay9.0
   Music9.5
   Originality9.0
   Plot9.5
   Replay Value7.0
   Sound8.5
   Visuals8.5
   DifficultyModerate/Hard
   Time to Complete45-55 hours 
Overall
8.5

   Xenogears is one of those games that'll suck hours out of your life. You'll play it for a while, like it, and tell your friends that you've got too much work to do for you to leave the house. In short, it's a great RPG.

    Xenogears features a great story line, with you in the role of Fei. To put it short, Fei's a bit confused. He loves a woman who he can swore he met 500 years ago, seems to be causing a destructive force to occur, and...well...you'll see. But you might not get it until the last 10 hours of the game. Xenogears' plot is very confusing, to say the least. Not only will confusing plot point after plot point be piled on you, but you won't even understand the opening Anime movie until close to the game's climax. As confusing as it is, you'll keep playing so you can just find out more and more about Fei and his past.

   That's where the graphics come in. Let me give fair warning to people buying this just for the Anime. Don't. The Anime FMVs hardly happen, and when they do, happen quickly. When the box said 20 minutes of Anime, they weren't joking. The graphics are not incredible, but won't turn you off to this game. The use of sprites and polygons combined worked well and I commend Square for doing it right.

   The sound and music are equally good. You'll hum the songs you hear in some of the cities, trust me. The sound is good in that it portrays what's happening on the screen. No more of the generic sounds that gamers so often hear in RPGs. The one "bad thing" about the sound is the voice acting. While good at times, it's used badly. The yells of battle are usually silly or inappropriate. And that's not all. The Anime acting is good, but the dubbing is horrible. A character will finish a statement but still be moving his/her lips on the screen.

    The battle system of the game is definitely one of it's stranger aspects. Instead of the normal "choose what you do combat", fights consist of doing button combinations over and over to gain powerful moves. While this feature may seem overwhelming at first, you'll get the hang of it eventually.

   The one down fall of this game is it's replay. As with any extra long RPG, it's doubtful you'll want to replay it right after you beat it, or even at all. Some of the features do give good replay (the almost complete 2-player fighting game for one), but not many.

   To sum it up, Xenogears is a very worthwhile RPG gaming experience. My vote for Playstation RPG of the year. If there's one Playstation RPG you should get this year, it's this.

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