Review by ratface
"Greatest strategy RPG to date."
This game, waited for for a long time, has redefined the strategy RPG genre with a new innovation to make you actually participate in the action, rather than sit back and watch; the hit meter. Couple that with a great story and nonstop gameplay and a lot of diversity, and you've got yourself a hit game.
The part that matters most, and it'll keep you captivated for weeks on end. The hit meter changes the SRPG genre by allowing you to actually participate in the attack by pressing the A button(B, X, and Y buttons for some combos) to determine how powerful your hit will be. Then you've got typical SRPG elements such as facing and terrain height affects. Then the large diversity of gladiators and arenas will keep the battles new and fresh every time.
Not that great, but with all the action going on you won't notice nor care. The landscapes vary on how good the textures look. Some of the arenas are bland and colorless, some are gorgeously detailed, colored, and textured. In random encounters the textures and environments seem much better, though still not great. And then you also have the cut scenes, which include watercolor painted videos to cg; the watercolors look great, the cg not so great, and you won't really tell the difference much between it and the regular gameplay, again, it doesn't matter as you shouldn't notice it much as long as you're a completely shallow gamer. The effects are bland, though they're very numerous-when you land a successful hit, blood and sparks will fly everywhere. Then the last thing is the character models, which are great compared to everything else, but still not as good as other games.
The voice actors are great, and they really capture the mood of the story. Then the in battle sounds are also very good, you'll think you've come under attack yourself :p. Not really much else, a bunch of clunks and clanks while hitting each other.
Also not much to say. Combos are great and easy to execute, after some practice of course, and movement in the world view is easy and you're kept on track to your destination by a large network of roads.
Ah, the second most important part of a game in my opinion. The large variety of gladiators, types, skills, arenas, weapons, items, and defensive items will keep you playing and developing your school for hours nonstop. With an approximate game length of 50 hours if you know exactly what you're doing and get all the secrets while for each character, you'll be playing this for weeks and weeks and weeks. And after you beat it with both characters you'll probably want to play again.
Buy, Rent, or Forget
Depends on whether or not you're a fan of the series, which if you are you must buy this game, especially if all you have is a Gamecube or Xbox, but even for gamers who aren't really fans of the genre should enjoy it. Buy
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 11/16/03
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