Release Date: 10/20/98
Publisher: Square EA
Xenogears is Squaresoft's first attempt at an anime type RPG. It excels
excellently in portraying a great storyline worthy of any anime, but
falls a bit short in the gameplay category.
The storyline of Xenogears is epic dealing with many issues such as
human existence and religion. I won't go into many specifics, as the
storyline is simply too complicated that it can only be truly understood
by experiencing it. That's not saying the storyline is bad because it
is the best story ever written for any game or movie I've seen or played.
I will only reveal the back-story since telling any more would ruin
the experience. You play as Fei who is guy who has lost all memories
of his past and is now living peacefully now in the village of Lahan,
until one day something happens that will forever change his life. The
story takes awhile to develop and that is one of the reasons that this
game requires patience. It is the longest RPG I've ever played and it
is well worth every hour.
The gameplay in Xenogears is original, but it not all that great. Since
you either fight in Gear or Human form, there are two battle systems
that are almost identical. You use up fuel for Gears and in both forms
you try to use weaker attacks to build up your levels to do powerful
Deathblow attacks, which can be learned by fighting enemies and pressing
combos of the three attack buttons. Xenogears uses the ATB (Active Time
Gauge) like the Final Fantasy series and you can also use magic.
Xenogears's graphics are average at best. The anime cut scenes are done
nicely, but the true backbone of Xenogears is its story.
Okay, let's get this out right now. The dubbing of English voices in
Xenogears is well
horrible. The lips don't move at all together
with the voices and this can sometimes detract your attention from what
the characters are actually saying. Luckily voice acting is used sparingly,
but the horrible dubbing can especially be seen in the ending. However,
the music in Xenogears is amazing. It has one of the best video game
soundtracks with great pieces composed by famous game composer Yasunori
In the end, it is obvious that Xenogears is a very good game with an
excellent story that makes up for almost all the other negative factors
in the game. Even though the graphics and gameplay are average, Xenogears
is all about the story and it tells a beautiful and complex story, which
is why this game is truly a masterpiece.