Review by Blue Moon

"Addictive Gameplay and Characters"

I have been playing Xenosaga for a few days straight, neglecting everything else (including personal hygiene), but this game is quite good.

First of all, gameplay is excellent. It has a solid, addictive character stat growth system, and a tight combat system which is both quick and elaborate.

The plot is incredibly rich and consistent, with loads of technical/scientific information which would be an actual benefit to one's own knowledge because the theories presented within the game includes stuff that is being talked about in current physics and bio sciences.

The characters are also very well developed and genuinely interesting. Shion Uzuki is just oooh, very much my type!! I also like Andrew. He is actually an enemy, but his struggles with his own identity is very real and reflects a dilemma that people face in our current world very vividly.

The setting and history is highly detailed and developed, giving the world a expansiveness rarely experienced in conventional RPGs. A lot of the game actually takes place in outer space, where you explore various star cruisers and battleships. The maps are generally easy to navigate despite the player not being allowed to shift viewpoints. Movement is smooth, and I didn't feel much frustration at all when moving from one place to another.

Xenosaga is gonna be a hit, I assure. Its graphics is very smooth... quite fluid. If I may complain about one thing, the movie sequences between chapters is quite extremely long (maybe 30 minutes), and can be annoying when you have to go to the bathroom. However, that's a gluttonous complaint considering the quality of these movies (Which is very good despite not being FMV).

Oh yes, and the music is very good. Combat music actually sounds like combat music! (Instead of those games where ''well known musicians'' create some weird music for combat). The music generally gives you a ''space opera'' type of feeling.

I have never played Xenogears (which is actually Episode V, I hear), but I thoroughly enjoyed Xenosaga. The story itself is quite complex and children may not really understand what is being talked about. However, the player can enjoy the game without fully understanding the plot. Such plot-independent gameplay elements are abundant in Xenosaga due to the numerous mini-games and generally superb graphics.

The good thing about this game is that sequels will definitely come out, and data can be transferred from one game to the next. Thus, work hard on leveling your characters up! It really isn't all that hard because you'll grow to like these characters after painstakingly raising their various stats. Quite addictive game, this is.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 08/07/02, Updated 08/07/02

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