Reiko's Ramblings and Writings

What I'm reading and writing about lately.

Fun with Xenosaga

Posted by Reiko on February 21, 2007

Recently I’ve gotten into playing Xenosaga I again. Somehow, when I got it, I opened it up and played it for all of about six hours before putting it down and going onto other things.

I have no idea what I was thinking. This game’s fantastic. Sure, it has its flaws, but don’t they all? The PS2 has quite a library of really good RPGs now, but this one is definitely up there.

One of the best parts is the points system. There are no fewer than three different types of usable points for upgrading various stats and abilities for the different characters. It’s a very different system from Xenogears. The battle system, too, has more parts then the one in Xenogears. There’s the boost system, the turn wheel, the action menu, etc.

Sadly, one area where the system is simpler than Xenogears is in the deathblows. Part of the fun of Xenogears was trying different ever-increasing combinations to find all the different attacks. Xenosaga just provides them at regular intervals; no experimenting needed. Slight disappointment there.

Another good point is the way that previous areas can be revisited, in simulation at least. One big issue I had with Final Fantasy X was that it was so linear and you can’t go back to many previous areas. So if you miss something, sometimes it’s gone permanently. That’s much more rare in Xenosaga. The story may be linear, but usually you can go back if you’ve overlooked something. In fact, for some items, it’s necessary to go back.

And, finally, the graphics are extremely good. Comparing to Xenogears again, which had excellent cut-scenes, good battle animations, and decent backgrounds, but abysmal field models, the field and battle models in Xenosaga are both extremely detailed and beautiful, and they really match their still portraits as well. And the rendered scenes are beyond excellent. The whole game basically looks like an interactive anime.

KOS-MOS

Here’s KOS-MOS, the android weapon that Shion built to fight the Gnosis. Isn’t she pretty? She doesn’t have the wings during normal gameplay, but she’s still quite pretty. And much more dangerous than she looks, of course.

If it weren’t for the fact that it’s rather late already, I might consider playing a bit more tonight..

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One Response to “Fun with Xenosaga”

  1. excel excel said

    You know, you could download some game saves from gamefaqs and you wouldn’t have to go though that crap. It’s an easy game if teams exp is maxed out.

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