Review by BluePenMan
"The best RPG of the gaming generation!"
This is the best RPG on any system of this gaming generation. And the best part is, it's only on Gamecube! So PS2 fanboys, at least, outside of Japan, don't get to experience this perfect game. This game has fun graphics, amazing music (Some of the best music I've ever heard) an in-depth story that will just blow your mind, and unlimited replay value (Something EXTREMELY rare in RPGs!). And that's right, you did read it correctly, it has UNLIMITED replay value. Before you know it, you'll realize you've beaten the game countless times, and spent over 1,000 hours playing this game. This game in my eyes, and the eyes of thousands of others, is a perfect 11 on the 1-10 scale. It involves a group of 8 people who travel between worlds, and discover how a war 4,000 years ago changed the fate of all people then, and all people who would ever live. If after reading that, you don't believe me that this game can kick any other game's ass, then the only hope for you is to read what I have to say.
This story is just beautiful. It may seem a little, ok, so extremely cliche'd, and that it copies a million other RPG's, at first, but after you've gotten about 10-15 hours into, you'll be thrown into a world unlike anything you've ever come to experience in video game, movies, or real life. You take control of a 17-year old named Lloyd Irving, who lives in the lazy country town of Iselia help his best friend Collette go on a journey to save the world. You'll feel like you actually know the characters, and that you are on the journey with them. From clumsy, dumb Collete, to funny, playboy lifestyle Zelos, to mysterious criminal Regal, you'll feel like you've known these characters, just like they were your real friends for years. What starts out has a sacrificial journy to regenerate the world's mana, turns into a battle between a god-like half-elf named Yggdrassil, and 8 unlikely people, who have all the odds against them, to save two intertwined worlds from destroying eachother. By the end of the game, you'll almost feel sorry for the bad guy, but still want to kick his ass because he's such an arogent jerk. This is one of the few games that have left me wanting to see how the story continues onward, and what happens to Lloyd and crew after they're adventures. And one of the cool things about this game, is there are multiple endings, depending upon how you raise your relation ship levels with the different characters.
The gameplay and control are easy enough to understand. Just like in all RPG's, you walk around a giant overworld, and come into random battles, but the thing is in this one, you can see the enemies walk around on the world, and you come into battle with them once you make contact. In battles you walk around in a 3-D environment, and slash away at enemies, while your team mates either join you in close combat, or stay far away, and use magic spells to obliterate the foes, and to heal you. During battles, you can string together attacks to form combos, wich will give you Exp, gold, and Grade bonuses at the end of battles. Exp and Gold are obviously used for gaining levels, and buying items, while Grade works a little different. At the end of battle, depending on wether you did a good, fast job of killing the enemies, or took alot of hits, will determine how much Grade you either win, or lose. Grade is used for buying special items, or buying bonuses for a new game plus, such as Extra HP, more Grade obtained, carrying over your Gold, and Experience boosters, wich will give you twice as much exp from battles, 1/2 as much from battles, 10 times as much from battles, or one that allways gives you 1 exp at the end of battles, but grows more and more the bigger you make your combos. In towns, you can talk to people, buy items and armor, and you know, do all that basic RPG town stuff. During parts of the game, you can press the "Z" button to see a conversation between the characters. The good part about those is, if you like to get all the info on a game, and see how the characters react to eachother, you can choose to view them, or if you don't care about the story that much, and just want to finish the game quickly, you can ignore them. There are hundreds of Z button skits, and it is impossible to see them all on one playthrough. So, if you want to see them all, you must watch as many as you can in a certain playthrough, and then beat the game. Then, on your new game, you can go to the secret Catz village, and re-watch all the ones you've seen. The game's difficulty is pretty good too. It starts out easy, but as you go through it, the bosses get harder and harder. Then, if that wasn't hard enough for you, you can challenge yourself, such as go through the game with 1/2 EXP, or do a playthrough with the combo EXP, but never do combos, so you only get 1 EXP from each battle. And if you're looking for a real challenge, do the 1 EXP, on Mania mode, using only the equipment you start with.
These are some of the best graphics in any RPG. They use a cell-shading style, and may look a little kiddy, but actually work perfectly for the game. During the game, there are also several CGI, and anime cutscenes. These are all beautifully drawn and animated. Though some of the in-game actions look kinda dumb, and choppy, you can overlook them easily. The characters are all well designed. Plus, each character has 4 different costumes to choose from. For instance, Lloyd's costumes are his red one (default), his pirate costume (My personal favorite), his dinner party costume, and a swimsuit. The battle animations are just, well, just perfect. They all look beautiful, especially the magics. Some of the best looking ones are Meteor Swarm, Thunder Blade, Indignation, and Ice Tornado.
Music and Sound: 10/10
This game has some of the best music I've ever heard. They all sound beautifull, and go perfect with the surounding area. Some of my favorites are the Desian boss music, wich plays when you are fighting the Desian leaders, such as Magnius, Forcystes, Rodyle, and Kvar. The regular battle musics are good as well, but, the best battle music by far is the Cruxis boss battle music. The best level musics are the Unicorn theme, the Fuji Mountain and Laetheon Goerge theme, and the Meltokio theme. The sounds are pretty good too. There are hundreds of different battle sounds, and lots of voice acting. Plus, whenever you use a tech or magic, you hear the character say what he or she is casting. For examples, When Lloyd uses Beast Sword Rain, he shouts it, and then performs it. But when Collette uses one of her Holy Magics, she says a little prayer and then performs it. When the characters take damage, you hear them shout, or moan, and when you win a battle, the character who struck the finishing blow says one of his or her catch phrases, or has a brief conversation with the other characters.
Like I said earlier, this game has unlimited replay value, the likes of wich has rarely ever been seen in an RPG, or in any video game for that matter. This is the very first game I ever played, that, after beating it, left me wanting to go through it again, and again, and again, and I've been playing games since I was like, 3 or 4. If after beating it, you don't feel that you want to keep playing it, you have something wrong with you. After you beat it, you can keep challenging yourself, by trying to do a 10,000+ hit combo, or by gaining everyone to level 250, and getting every treasure/item, filling up your gold, and doing every possible thing this game has to offer, wich could take over 1,000 hours. This is the perfect game for RPG perfectionist fanatics. It'll keep you busy for a long, long time. In fact, the game was designed for you to do many many playthroughs, and they did an awesome job!
Overall score: 50/50 (10/10)
This is one of the top 5 games ever made, period. It has an awesome story, great graphics, sounds, and musics, a nice game engine, easy to learn controls, and an unlimited supply of replayability. If you don't buy this game, you'll be sorry. And don't ever, ever sell it, or you'll be more sorry.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 09/06/05
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