Some of you may be familiar with the role playing game (RPG) Xenosaga released in 2002 for the PS2. This game well primarily known for its excellent presentation and heavy use of cut scenes was not technically the first to bear the ‘Xeno’ name. This would have to go the often forgotten but excellent game Xenogears for the PS1.
Released in 1998 by Squaresoft Xenogears was a very different experience in terms of what was on the market at the time. First off it should be mentioned that this game almost did not get released in North America. This is heavily do to the amount of religious content in the game that the developers felt would not go over well in the US. The storyline deals with a wide variety of themes such as human nature, the struggle between man and machine, and of course love. To avoid spoiling any of the storyline I will sum up that the story is very rich and full of character. In terms of Xenogears presentation it seems very dated by today’s standards. All environments in the game are in 3D while the characters are 2D sprites. While some may be turned off by this aspect I have no problems with dated graphics since it does not take away from the overall quality of the game. One of the major aspects of Xenogears presentation that garners a lot of praise is the music in the game. Composed by Yasunori Mitsuda famous for his work on video game soundtracks he contributed what many consider to be a masterpiece. Moving onto the gameplay in Xenogears, one can say that it is a traditional RPG with random battles and leveling up. At the same time it has its own gimmick like any other game. In Xenogears you either have the option of fighting battles hand to hand or in your giant robots called ‘gears’. So not only do you have varied customization of your characters but also of their respective gears they pilot.
It is truly not an easy task to summarize such a great game like Xenogears and give it the justice it deserves. From my brief comments on the game I hope it will convince you to check it out sometime. You surely will not be disappointed!