Review by: Paladin
I just want to say one thing before you start reading the review, this game kicks ass. Keep that in mind. The graphics in Xenogears is semi 3D. That means that they have both 3D and non 3D. Like for example the battle scenes are totally in 3D while the characters in the game are pixel 3D. The characters aren't as in FF7 polygon 3D but they are in pixel and animated. Like in a comic book. This gives the game a really good touch and you really feel like you are sharing the adventure. The so called 'gears' they use are also in 3D and the coolest thing is that you can go to a hangar and look at the gears from top to toes. Really cool since the gears are made in real polygon 3D. The cutscenes in the game rock! They are even better looking than in FF7 and there is a original thing in this RPG. They have animated cutscenes where the movies are manga like drawn! This is also a new and original thing and really fits this game's enviroment. It really gives you a feeling of gameplay you'll never forget. (maybe it's obvious that this is my favourite game? ^_^) One more good thing here is that you can always spin your view 360 degrees! I just want to say one thing. Remarkable! Never has Squaresoft made such a good soundtrack for a game. The sounds really fit in and make you beleive you are sharing the adventure. The sound changes really often and the game is filled with tons of SFX. The sounds in combat fit more than right and boost up the mood. Well there is nothing more to say actually than that this game's sound RULES. And I think it is time to talk about the story. Must I? Hehe.. Well to say this, if you are a RPG pro then you will clear this game in 70-80 hours of gameplay. If not a pro then about 80-85! This game is bigger than FF7. Much bigger. Because when I counted the schedule then I didn't count with the extra activities and other fun stuff (like the chocobo farm in FF7). So you get a lot of the story for your money. The plot will make you want to sit in front of the PSX for hours! It is so complex and at the same time simple that it will make you cry and jump of joy. The main character 'Fei' has a mixed up past. He lives in a village called Lahan because his memories are lost and one stormy night he was brought here without any memory. Then you meet the second main character. Elhaym van Houten. This becomes Fei's great love and they get to find out that Fei and Elly (her nickname) have been together in past lives as well. As I said a very complex story. You might even need to clear the game two times before you get the wholeness. The game makes you really worried for both Elly and for Fei many times, but they always get out of it. and the end sequence is the best thing with the game, IMPORTANT you who want to buy this game or own it don't read on 'cause I'll reveal the ending sequence!
When you have defeated the last boss you find out that your friends gears can't move. Only Fei's 'Xenogears' can. And Elly has jumped into a let's call it "devastating bomb" and she wants to sacrifice herself for the rest of the world. Then Fei without concidering of his own safety rushes away and saves her (this is a very shortened version of the ending sequence)
Well and even the controls are wonderful in this game. You use combos in battle (button combinations) to make various attacks. And you make combos by pressing different combinations of: triangle, square, cross and circle. Really great, and the gear battles are great! Great feeling and you really are a part of it all. Great game and there is probably none better in the world (except for FF8, I cant say anything about that 'cause I haven't played it.)
The overallt percent:
Controller layout: 100%, great layout with a good grip and complete control (not that this is a beat 'em up where the controls are important, but still...)
In game music and SFX: There aren't too many SFX here (for a Squaresoft game that is) you hear SFX when you open a door, a chest and other things that are obligatoric to sound like something. Still awfully good done and the music is unmentionable. There isn't better RPG music in the world. TIP use the xenogears midis on the midi sections for a great RPG maker 95 music enviroment. 100%
Character & BG Graphics: Since the characters are made in pixel around polygon they are awfully detailed in comparison to FF7, but not quite as the Parasite Eve characters. But I like the animated style so it gets a 100%.
Cutscenes: 100%, I rest my case.
The in game Plot and introduction: I have cleared this game about 5 times or so, and it takes about 60-70 hours of gameplay. And I still haven got tired of the story and plot in this game. Profesionally made and wonderful with a sting of romance between the two main characters 'Fei' and 'Elhaym van Houten (Elly)' make this game a sure winner. Every RPG lover worth the name must play this game. A masterpiece. 100% (I would give it a 200% if I could ^_^)
The first game to get a 100%!