Review by rond556

"Namco the next RPG powerhouse?"

I am a huge fan of Squaresoft, but I am about to say two things that you would never hear a Squaresoft fan say.

1. I HATED Xenogears!
2. Xenosaga is the definite Final Fantasy killer!

While I never played any of the Tales of Destiny, I can clearly see that Namco has the talent and potential for being the next big RPG company. Trailing from its usual fighting genre, Namco struck new gold in RPG's and succeeded where MANY, including Squaresoft, had failed before. And another thing that made this game so great is that it wasn't a direct sequel and has NOTHING to do with Xenogears which is one of the most overrated RPG's of all time.

First off, the graphics are simply amazing. There is a bit of a problem with ''jaggies'' but it is easily overlookable. They are very well detailed and the characters look sooooo nice.

But the main thing about Xenosaga is its cut scenes. They are so beautifully done.....I can sit and watch them over and over again (which you don't have to because this is one of the first RPG's where you can choose to skip a scene if you don't want to see it. It comes very much in handy) But in the scenes, there is so much action, sound effects, beautiful animation its indescribable. You have to see these to believe it. 10/10 for graphics

As for every RPG, character and story are the most important thing to define the game, and Xenosaga exceeds here with very shining colors. The story is got me so involved, I played it straight for 7 hours just craving to find out what happens next.

The story takes place about 2500 years in the future. Man no longer lives on earth and they are at a constant war with these ghost aliens called the ''Gnosis.'' These creatures can only be fought once they are brought to the human plane of existence by means of a new special android by the name of KOS-MOS. She is under the direction of new sexy game babe, Shion Uzuki. Anyway, it evolves from there into an amazing storyline filled with many twists and turns, and this is only the first episode. There are supposed to be five more games after this.

The characters are all nice. First there is the clumsy Shion Uzuki, who is the main character and the new sexy RPG babe. KOS-MOS is the android that Uzuki is working on creating. She lacks an emotion and will kill anybody who gets in her way, even her friends. chaos is a little weird. He's.......just a mystery. Not much is known about him. Ziggy is mostly an android. He was brought back to life as a cyborg against his will after he committed suicide. Now he seeks to completely replace any trace of his former life. MOMO is a new form of Realian, the fighting androids. She is imprisoned in an old fortress, and Ziggy is introduced to the story when he is summoned to rescue her. And last, but certainly not least is the smooth talking Junior. This kid is the coolest in the game. He's like twelve years old and he fight with two guns. He is also very clever and witty. Characters and Story get a 10/10

The sound is simply amazing. The machine guns are very cool sounding and the explosions, slashes, monster sounds, and just about every aspect is well done.

The voice acting rivals that of even Final Fantasy X. A very well done cast was put together from mainly animes and other games. Names like Richard Hayworth (Kenshin-Rurouni Kenshin), Lex Lang (Sanosuke-Rurouni Kenshin), Sparky Thorton (Hajime Saitoh-Rurouni Kenshin), the woman who plays Millie in Trigun, and many other distinguishable voices are able to be picked out.

The music score is also very well done. There are many memorable tunes that can be picked out. 10/10 for sound.

The gameplay resembles the former Xenosaga greatly. First off, you have to choose between a weak, medium or strong attack that consume 1, 2, or 3 AP respectively. You gain for AP at the beginning of each turn and if you have a total of six, you are able to perform a tech attack. Its pretty fun.

But even better is the battles you fight when you are inside of your A.W.G.S. (your mechs) You can do the same basic thing, except you can equip guns and swords on your mech much like anyother mech game. You have to watch weight, power output and strength to make a well balanced mech. Its like the only reason to play Armored Core and add it to an RPG.

All stats can be boosted with the use of different points obtainable after battle. There are also several fun mini games to play. There is also an e-mail system much like the Megaman Battle Network games. Gameplay gets a 10/10

Replay Value
MODERATE
I don't think going back through this game is a must until you finally have all six episodes and just playing through each one at a time without interruptions.

PRO's
Amazing characters and storyline
Great graphics with amazing cut-scenes
Best Voice acting around

Con's
...........

I thought I had just finished playing the best PS2 RPG with Suikoden 3, but just as I finished, Namco threw Xenosaga right into my face. This is now the best RPG on the PS2, perhaps of all time. Yes, it is better than Final Fantasy VII, but probably not Final Fantasy VI. It's definitely up there in the top five. Buy this game, you will not be disappointed


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 03/14/03, Updated 03/14/03


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