Review by BillyBoy616

Reviewed: 12/16/04

A Gamecube RPG actually worth playing!

I will just say this now, I LOVED THIS GAME. Although it didn't seem to get too much recognition probably because it was on the GC, I still LOVED THIS GAME. It was awesome. I spent hours playing this game and for once, didn't get tired. Usually I play an RPG and at one point or another I get tired of it and take a break. With this one, there was no break, there was eat, sleep, and play. I am a fan of RPG's and I have played some decent ones on the GC but this game was SO much better. I have to say that Namco really knew what they were doing. It seems many RPG's for the GC seem to either be average or just plain suck. This game was different. If Nintendo was smart, they would start building on this game/ or spawn new games from it. If GC started making games like this, it would really bring the GC back up to par with the PS2 and XBOX.

first thing's first

-Graphics: 8
This game had decent graphics. The only problem I really had with the graphics were the cartoon kidish style. The figures were sort of miniature and stubby and seemed at times that I was playing with little dolls. The cell shading however kind of helped it along. The world map I have to say looked pretty cool. Based on where you were in the story line, a town might look different. Also as you begin to explore the map, well all I can say is that I loved the way the water and sky looked. The environments are bright and pretty well detailed. I really didn't experience the annyoing same hallway over and over that much, only a few. Another minor problem I had with this games were the faces. The faces of the chraracters for one, seemed copied and pasted at times. Plus the mouths I just don't think look right. The eyes didn't look right also. But the rest of the games good points doesn't even make me care about this fault.

-Gameplay: 9
The game play was pretty good. The fighting took awhile to get used to but when you get the hang of it, beating your opponent with a 100 hit combo couldn't feel any better. You can have up to four players and each have in my opinion a very easy way to "program" them to do what you want them to do in an upcoming battle. After you train and train you can learn different moves and set shortcuts to them. This I liked. Since it isn't a turn based game it would be too annoying to press pause every time and select a special move. Instead you can say put a special move on C-up or A-left. It might sound confusing but it is easy. Exploring the world is easy and fun as well. You aquire many modes of transportation that have its pros and cons. Mostly pros only because you one will enjoy just exploring and two making things easier to travel you will soon admire. All in all the gameplay is very simple and easy to understand. Only one thing, however, was dissapointing or more, weird, about the gameplay. You have a goofy, weird, cook feature. Yes it is a good thing that it can heal you in between consecutive battles, but COOKING. I'm sorry but their had to be a better way to put a i guess you could say "side line healing" feature than having you cook a sandwich. I do give them credits though for trying to be innovative.

-Story: 10
I loved the story in this game. Although some of the twists are so obvious you want to barf, it's still exciting when the twist finally comes. As the story line progresses you meet more characters, there story, and or problems, etc. You also have mini games that are introduced. Ok, the story starts out when you meet the main character Lloyd falling asleep in class. You realize that he and his friends live in a small town that believe in an international religion involving a chosen one that has to go to the center of the world to regenerate it. The main enemy of your party are the Desians who do certain things that eventually send your party on their main adventure. On your adventure, you will see more things on your map, meet more people, aquire new party members, and add on to the story line with little extras. After many many twists you get your big break and then more twists. The main thing I really like about the story line was the feeling I got at certain points and some of the genius twists.

-Multiplayer: 3
It's not that good. It is very difficult and confusing. I don't really know a way to describe but I will say this, just play single player. I tried playing with my friend and I ended up in more trouble with a partner than I was by myself. For one, when you are in the "mood" or about to use a technique, it might be interrupted by your friend activating one of his techniques. Plus I found that relying on the computer doing the work instead of being interrupted back and foward with a partner is so much easier. Plus only one person really has controll( moving on the map, towns, etc.), so if you are second player, you are going to get real bored real fast. So long story short, the multiplayer is very dissapointing.

-Audio/cinema: 8
First thing to point out, there aren't always voices in the conversations, a lot of the time you are just reading text. But the good thing on that is that when they actually do talk, you will be wanting to see the cut scene, even if it is 30 seconds long. The music is pretty good. The opening anime sequence has a musical soundtrack that made me want to watch it. Plus every situation you get in has a perfect match of music. I never got tired of the music because it made sense. It wasn't an orquestral masterpeice or anthing but it matched where you were or what you were doing and wasn't that bad in the first place. Now the cinemas. The cinemas aren't really cinemas, it is just a closer zoomed in look with the same graphics engine, of your characters talking. Now there are a few anime cut scenes that I really enjoyed watching. The opening cut scene before the menu is actually a joy to watch. Plus it gets you into the mood of what goes on in the game. Or when you watch it, even though the cut scene isn't in the game, you might get the "I've done that" or "I've been there before". The other two are at the middle and at the end which are still very good.

Now that we are done with the specifics I will talk about some misc. things. For one, I like the characters. Although one of the characters voices is from a certain someone on cartoon network that might get so annoying you want to rip your ears out, some of the other characters make it easier. Like you will meet a mercenary in the very beginning who will be like your guardian. He is very mysterious and soon became my favorite character. Plus he just looked so cool. Some of Lloyds friends might be annoying in the beginning but you soon learn to like them and actually want to know about them. Each character has a sad story about them which I will not mention and I found myself caring to find out about their stories. The many stories in the game based on the story line and the characters could easily spawn a sequal. But while you are waiting for a sequal, there are many more things for you to do once you beat it. For one, you can never have all the moves because certain moves decide what moves you get or don't get. Another thing is the replay value, to completely beat the game will take about 80 hours or 2 or 3 replays of the game. But that is a good thing. You can transfer some of your stats from your previous game, to your new one. Another replay value are the secrets. There are so many hidden weapons, bosses, moves and other stuff that I cannot mention. Finally beating the game completely and getting these secret things make the replay so worth wait. So basicly, the only real faults of this game, is the multiplayer, the cartoony graphics and the cinematics. If they were to make a sequal, then it would be such a big hit. I would recommend that you rent this game first to see if it is your kind of game. It's not a bad game, just that some people might have a different taste for an RPG than this one. But, if you are an RPG fan like I am, you will really enjoy it and I suggest buying it. This game is easy to learn, it's a good value and worth your $50. This is a very good and innovative game and is infact probably one of my favorite gamecube games of all time.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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