Or: How I got bored out of my mind
Xenogears was such a promising game. It had really big robots and some hot chicks. So where did it go wrong? Well, just about everywhere.
If you don't believe the voice acting is bad, you haven't played the first 5 minutes of anime cutsequence. That horribly dubbed voice actress... Gyeah... nightmares.
The biggest problem is that the game is so BORING. You walk around, you talk to ugly people (more on this later) - but the biggest problem is that everything happens V E R Y S L O W L Y. You get thrown in jail for what seems upwards of a week of playing time; By the time you're 30 hours into the game, you've gone though a bunch of dungeons and killed a bunch of bosses, but effectivly done nothing and barely scratched the plot's surface. The game basically punishes you for playing it with its boring battles and ugly graphics - When do I get to fly an airship? Hey, 80 more hours of game time! Great.
The graphics don't help at all. The charecters are just ugly. The worst part is that they're very pixelated. The charecters don't look smooth at all. Also, I know this is hard to describe, but the graphics look - greasy. Crono Trigger looked better than this, dammit. I don't mind graphics that don't dazzle, but these seem like they go out of thier way to be ugly and offend you.
Actually, I think I can elaborate on the 'greasy' feel. The sprites don't have any outlines to them to make them look more cartoony than usual. They should. Instead it just looks cut-out cardboardish. That's not the main reason the Xenogears sprites look so bad.... The main reason is that they're so freaking BLOCKY. Meaning you get horrible resizing problems all the time. It looks just sloppy. The second trsdon is that the camera won't stay put during battles. You have this dynamic 3d background zipping around like it has to pee badly, and then these static 2d sprites with NO outlines on them at all. It looks greasy. It needs to look more cartoony, or at least much higher resolution. It's a Playstation goddammit.
Okay, but how's the battle system? Well, when you're walking around it's stupid. You can Punch or Kick enemies or use your Ether abilites - basically magic. However you can get Deathblows, which you learn by doing diffrent button combinations over time. I hope this dosn't sound interesting because it isn't at all, and battles quickly become as much of a chore to wade through as does the never-moving story. But wait, you can fight in big robots! Well, fighting in big robots is like fighting on the ground... except it's a bitch to heal yourself and you have a set fuel amout, and if you run out you're fucked. Oh yay. So the battles are boring and the story is boring. It's like being up to your neck in molasses.
So, what DOES the game have going for it, since it's bad to play and look at? Well, the music is okay. The sad thing is the game is really fucking long, and the soundtrack is only 2 CDs, which means you'll hear them over and over and over again. Also the main charecter is named Fei Fong Wong, which means you can call him Fei Fong Wong Bong Long Dong Chong Bong Schlong. Also you get to see Elle's nipple. It's not as big a deal as you'd think - "Yup. Nipple."
So, in short, unless you enjoy punishment or you find paint drying too fast paced for you, stay way the hell away from this game. On a bright note, people who have survived the game have commented on its good introspective plot. Now if only it were more interesting than a Tom Clancy novel until that point.
Normally, there would be some sort of witty closing comment, but in closing I have to go fire up Bleem! and take some screenshots for you people. And then I have to make up some captions, and then I have to get WrexSoul to post it.
Actually upon reflection that isn't a good ending note.
So let's put it this way: Add "play this game" at the end of the next statement.
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Written by Evk and posted on 04-26-00.
This article is ©2000 Nick Hammer.