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Author Topic: Xenosaga 1  (Read 2667 times)
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Starshifter
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« on: February 02, 2005, 07:52:58 PM »

The imminent release of Xenosaga II has we wondering if I should pick up and play Xenosaga I?  I really don't want to add to my backlog, but I can't resist.

Any thoughts on Xeno I and should I try it before Xeno II?  I believe these games are similar to Final Fantasy right?  I loved FF VIII, but absolutely hated FF X (too much movie, very little game).  I never tried FFIX.  I'm also currently playing and enjoying Star Ocean 3.  I'm at work and Gamerankings is blocked or else I would have just gone there are read the reviews.

Any thoughts?  Thanks.
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« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2005, 07:58:57 PM »

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(too much movie, very little game)


Stay far away from Xenosaga, then. I loved the first game, but there are 60+ minute cut scenes in the game. If you don't like that sort of thing, you will hate the series.
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« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2005, 08:05:49 PM »

Quote from: "Andrew Mallon"
Quote
(too much movie, very little game)


Stay far away from Xenosaga, then. I loved the first game, but there are 60+ minute cut scenes in the game. If you don't like that sort of thing, you will hate the series.


What he said.

Personally, I loved Xenosaga I (it's in my personal top 5).  It felt like an incredible 40 hour anime with a few interactive battles thrown in for good measure.  But you have to be prepared to sit for long stretches at a time, 45-60 minutes for some of the longer ones, just watching cut scenes.  I wouldn't recommend it in your case.
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« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2005, 08:23:19 PM »

I loved XS1 and i'm pumped as hell for the next installment. The story and gameplan was top notch. I dont really see what the big deal about the movies was. They were excellent and absolutely vital to telling the story. I am a bit disappointed to hear XS2 wont have quite as much CG in it. The first 8 hours or so will have the most cinemas. But the story really heats up and you will want to keep playing.

I say go for it. I think playing XS1 will give you vital information you need for the next one. Plus its a superb RPG.

edit:you can also pause or stop the movies at anytime too.
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« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2005, 08:28:32 PM »

No game has come as close to putting me into a coma as Xenosaga.  If you like your games with gameplay, you might want to overlook this one.  I mean, it isn't like there is a shortage of console RPGs.
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« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2005, 08:57:11 PM »

I borrowed Xenosaga from a friend.  I'm not an anime fan; and the fact it seemed like an interactive anime movie resulted in me turning it off after giving it about an hour and a half.
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« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2005, 09:02:00 PM »

Quote from: "jersoc"
I say go for it. I think playing XS1 will give you vital information you need for the next one. Plus its a superb RPG.


Good point.  From what I understand, the Monolith aren't making any concessions for people who didn't play the first game.  If you don't know who the characters or events of the first game, you're pretty much out of luck.  No "Previously on Xenosaga..." for this one.

I actually asked for the 16th off so I can play Xenosaga II all day.  smile
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« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2005, 09:05:37 PM »

I should have clarified a little more.  I don't mind cutscenes at all because I love a good story.

I should have said "are the cutscenes virtually continuous like in FFX?"  For example, in FFX, you would have a cutscene, then 12.5 seconds of walking your character, another cutscene, 8.4 secs of walking, cutscence, brief battle for about 1 minute, cutscene, walk for 3.7 seconds, cutscene, cutscene, cutscene, walk and open a chest for 8.9 seconds, cutscene, talk to a NPC for 14 secs, cutscene, walk towards some stairs for 3 secs, cutscene etc.  That's what I meant.  That was horrible.

Is Xenosaga like this?  I don't mind 40 hr long cutscenes as long as they are spaced appropriately.
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« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2005, 09:16:04 PM »

It blew!  I didn't mind the cut scenes but the story was slop.  Really what is the story?  Does anyone care about the characters?  They were thrown at players with little or no development.   Everything is suposed to be mysterious but it is mysterious to the point where nothing means anything or makes any sense.
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« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2005, 10:48:02 PM »

I liked the cutscenes!  Though, I enjoy cutscenes for anything . . .

And yes, it's more or less like a "walk 1/32 of a mile and here's another cutscene" kind of thing.  But I liked the cutscenes mainly because I liked the story.  And I think for the kind of story Xenosaga was aiming for, it NEEDED those stretches of cutscenes.

I'm sure many of you know, but if you preorder from Gamestop a DVD of what transpired during Xenosaga 1 comes along with X2.  That almost makes me want to preorder.
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« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2005, 01:12:52 AM »

Quote from: "farley2k"
It blew!  I didn't mind the cut scenes but the story was slop.  Really what is the story?  Does anyone care about the characters?  They were thrown at players with little or no development.   Everything is suposed to be mysterious but it is mysterious to the point where nothing means anything or makes any sense.


Exactly.  The limit for characters with mysterious, tragic backgrounds in RPGs should be 2.   Xenosaga violates this many times over.
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« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2005, 01:23:59 AM »

The combat system was clunky and boring, and by the time i had played for 3 hours and watched 1 hour of mindless, silly, poorly written cutscenes I had given up. I was considering restarting the game recently and was reading some of the plot summary of the first few hours of the first game and realized "why the hell would I want to play this nonsense again?"

So yeah, not recommended, not getting part 2. Maybe I can get back into Chrono Cross or skies of arcadia legends or something frown
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« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2005, 03:29:13 AM »

Quote from: "Stardrifter"
Any thoughts on Xeno I and should I try it before Xeno II?  I believe these games are similar to Final Fantasy right?  I loved FF VIII, but absolutely hated FF X (too much movie, very little game).  I never tried FFIX.  I'm also currently playing and enjoying Star Ocean 3.

You loved FF8, yet hated FF10, and never played FF9? Personally, from what I've seen, if you enjoyed FF7/FF8, then FF10 was a hit as well, and FF9 was a bomb (as it was more old-school). But, as the saying goes - to each their own.

I for one hated FF8, found 10 boring, and found 7 to be responsible for Americanization of RPGs as we know of it today. Even though it wasn't that good of an RPG in the end. And I loved 9, as I've been playing the FF titles since #1.

Anyway...Star Ocean 3 is a great game, as is Tales of Symponia on the Gamecube. Other RPGs to try (if you don't want to try Xenosaga) are the two Wild Arms titles due out in the next month or two. One is a remake/redo of the original Wild Arms game, and the other is the true sequel to the series.
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« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2005, 04:07:08 AM »

I bought Xenosaga from the Target clearance shelf for $7.50 and was tempted to take it back when I heard that it was cutscene-heavy.  I didn't care much for the FFX level of cutscenes.  However, I was in the mood for some anime and gave it a try.

I'll throw out the disclaimer that I've only played 15 hours of FFX and 20 of Xenosaga.  However, I've enjoyed Xenosaga far more.  The cutscenes are very well done, better than FFX IMO.  The density of cutscenes does drop after a few hours.  I found the combat to be more fun too.  The story has a more serious feel than FFX's and maybe it takes itself a little too seriously, but I'm enjoying it.  For me, Xenosaga was well worth the money.
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« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2005, 05:52:03 AM »

Quote from: "Destructor"
Quote from: "Stardrifter"
Any thoughts on Xeno I and should I try it before Xeno II?  I believe these games are similar to Final Fantasy right?  I loved FF VIII, but absolutely hated FF X (too much movie, very little game).  I never tried FFIX.  I'm also currently playing and enjoying Star Ocean 3.

You loved FF8, yet hated FF10, and never played FF9? Personally, from what I've seen, if you enjoyed FF7/FF8, then FF10 was a hit as well, and FF9 was a bomb (as it was more old-school). But, as the saying goes - to each their own.

I for one hated FF8, found 10 boring, and found 7 to be responsible for Americanization of RPGs as we know of it today. Even though it wasn't that good of an RPG in the end. And I loved 9, as I've been playing the FF titles since #1.

Anyway...Star Ocean 3 is a great game, as is Tales of Symponia on the Gamecube. Other RPGs to try (if you don't want to try Xenosaga) are the two Wild Arms titles due out in the next month or two. One is a remake/redo of the original Wild Arms game, and the other is the true sequel to the series.

VII is highly overrated in my mind.  To me (I'm not saying this is your case in the least - just a general thought) it seems as if big fans of FFVII never played FFVI or FFIV.  FFVII was ok, but nothing truly extraordinary.  FFVI and FFIV though were two of the greatest RPGs ever.

Star Ocean 3 is a good one though.  Put in about 25 hours and shelved it for the time being.  Now I JUST started ToS and I'm really enjoying it so far.  Try Shadow Hearts Covenant!   biggrin
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« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2005, 06:44:19 AM »

Ah yes, the age old argument of Old School vs. New School Final Fantasy. smile

Anyways, as has been pointed, Xenosaga is very heavy on the cinematics. Really, really heavy. So heavy that even I considered them to be a bit over the top.

My biggest gripe with Xenosaga was that the mechs were mostly just considered to be an afterthought, whereas in Xenogears, they were very much needed and a central part of the theme. I did think the combat system was interesting enough, and it certainly did have enough of a story (though it did get to be a bit.. wonky). That said, prepare to get slammed with some long cutscenes through and through.

So, if you didn't like the way FFX was sprinkled with them, you won't be liking Xenosaga either. You could always rent it and see, though.
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« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2005, 07:05:39 AM »

Quote from: "Fellow"
Ah yes, the age old argument of Old School vs. New School Final Fantasy. smile  

... My biggest gripe with Xenosaga was that the mechs were mostly just considered to be an afterthought, whereas in Xenogears, they were very much needed and a central part of the theme. I did think the combat system was interesting enough, and it certainly did have enough of a story (though it did get to be a bit.. wonky). That said, prepare to get slammed with some long cutscenes through and through.

Oh, you know that mentioning old school vs. new school FF would come up soon  :lol:   Don't really want any comments about it really though . . . don't want to sidetrack the thread.  I'm an old-school gamer at heart!  That's my defense and I'm sticking to it!

About the mech combat - apparently in X2 they addressed this.  And they're going to make mech battles grander in scale and so forth.  That, at least, is a good improvement on their part.  Also, I like how they changed around the combat mechanics a bit.  Eh, I think it'll be a rental for me when it comes out.  Though, some good forum impressions could sway that into a buy   biggrin
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« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2005, 01:15:34 PM »

Thanks for everyone's thoughts.  What I think I'll do is if I find Xeno 1 for less than $10 somewhere I'll go ahead and buy it.  Otherwise, I will pass.  I'll stick with Star Ocean 3 for now.

Quote
You loved FF8, yet hated FF10, and never played FF9?


I loved FF8 because of the characters.  Each one was unique.  Quistis was absolutely gorgeous.  I even liked the moody Squall.  I never played FF9 because the main character with the tail (rat boy) and the little creature thing that looked like it was from He-Man (a cartoon I hated), both annoyed me (this is based on screenshots and reviews only).  I know it's a lame excuse since I didn't even try the game but caring for the characters is a big thing for me.

I am currently enjoying Star Ocean 3.  My only gripe there is the music being too loud and out of place in areas.  You need to keep the subtitles on so you can read since you can't hear the voices most of the time.  I tried Tales of Symphonia but it didn't grab me (again - characters).  Plus I didn't care for the combat scheme in Tales of Symphonia.

I asked my original question because I was really curious about the Xenosaga games.  I've heard so much about them.  However, I have plenty of RPGs to keep me busy (KOTOR 2, Paper Mario, Star Ocean 3) for now.
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« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2005, 01:23:51 PM »

Quote from: "Stardrifter"
...and the little creature thing that looked like it was from He-Man (a cartoon I hated), both annoyed me (this is based on screenshots and reviews only).


You didn't like Vivi?  Blasphemy!  slywink  (btw, he's actually a fantastic character once you get into the game)

Discussing the Xenosaga series is always interesting.  I don't think I've ever seen a game that polarized people as much as this one.  Either you absolutely loved it or you absolutely hated it.  I don't think I've ever talked to anyone who said "Xenosaga was just OK", it's either one extreme or the other.  Not many games that do that.

Quote
Try Shadow Hearts Covenant!

I'll strongly second this.  SH:  C is quite possibly the best RPG to come out in the last 3-4 years.  If you haven't tried it yet, you're really missing out.  You can check out the trailer here.
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« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2005, 03:01:47 PM »

Quote from: "Gratch"
Quote
Try Shadow Hearts Covenant!

I'll strongly second this.  SH:  C is quite possibly the best RPG to come out in the last 3-4 years.  If you haven't tried it yet, you're really missing out.  You can check out the trailer


NO!!!  Don't do this to me Gratch! :wink:

I haven't even considered this game.  I might as well change the subject line here to "should I try Shadow Hearts 1 first?"  Yikes.  I think I'm going to just return to Dantooine and enjoy the ruins of the Jedi Enclave. Cool
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« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2005, 03:24:22 PM »

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I don't think I've ever talked to anyone who said "Xenosaga was just OK", it's either one extreme or the other.


in all seriousness, i thought it was okay...

the story & battle system were satisfactory, the huge cinemas never bothered me. my biggest problem with the game was that i didn't really like any of the characters (except, of course, for kos-mos smile ), &, in such a narrative-rich game, that really killed a lot of the enjoyment (same for me with sh:c, btw)...

i finished it, & would recommend checking it out. i personally have decided against getiing the sequel (for now, anyway) - some other stuff on the horizon (musashi, digital devil) looks more interesting to me...

Quote
I never tried FFIX.


well, there you go, then - probably my single-favorite rpg evah! smile  - indescribably great story, characters, gameplay, music, whatever...
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« Reply #21 on: February 03, 2005, 05:58:30 PM »

Xenosaga 1 was fun for me.  If I tried to play it now I probably wouldn't like it as much but when it came out I tore through it like a madman.

Final Fantasy IX?  Seriously you need to play it.  Vivi the black mage turns out to be one of the coolest characters.  When you get to the scene where he comes unhinged and takes vengeance your jaw will drop.
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« Reply #22 on: February 03, 2005, 07:09:20 PM »

Quote from: "Stardrifter"
I loved FF8 because of the characters.  Each one was unique.  Quistis was absolutely gorgeous.  I even liked the moody Squall.  I never played FF9 because the main character with the tail (rat boy) and the little creature thing that looked like it was from He-Man (a cartoon I hated), both annoyed me (this is based on screenshots and reviews only).  I know it's a lame excuse since I didn't even try the game but caring for the characters is a big thing for me.

I am currently enjoying Star Ocean 3.  My only gripe there is the music being too loud and out of place in areas.  You need to keep the subtitles on so you can read since you can't hear the voices most of the time.  I tried Tales of Symphonia but it didn't grab me (again - characters).  Plus I didn't care for the combat scheme in Tales of Symphonia.

I hated FF8 because of the God-awful combat scheme where you were nearly forced to spend a half hour drawing or whatever the heck you did spells every time you found a new monster. That and the absurd decision to make you bust your controller and hands pushing buttons just to make your summons more powerful (and it was nearly required as well).

As far as Tales went, I was drawn into the game because of the characters and the combat system. I also loved SO3 because of the same action-based combat system.

But, as I said - everybody is different. Although you're really missing out not playing FF9 and the classic FF4 and FF6. biggrin
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« Reply #23 on: February 03, 2005, 07:47:39 PM »

Quote from: "Destructor"
I hated FF8 because of the God-awful combat scheme where you were nearly forced to spend a half hour drawing or whatever the heck you did spells every time you found a new monster. That and the absurd decision to make you bust your controller and hands pushing buttons just to make your summons more powerful (and it was nearly required as well).


Same here.  I absolutely loved everything about FF8...except for the combat.  Graphics, characters, music (Uematsu's best work, imho) were all great, but that combat system absolutely drove me nuts.  Never did finish it all the way through.
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« Reply #24 on: February 03, 2005, 08:00:06 PM »

Shadow Hearts : Covenant has an awesome group of characters, and they're definitely unique.  How many other games have vampire pro-wrestler superheroes? slywink  I'd recommend playing SH1 first, though, as the second is more meaningful if you have.
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« Reply #25 on: February 03, 2005, 08:03:58 PM »

Yep I had a problem with the combat system in FFVIII.  Drawing magic?  I dunno about that . . .

Shadow Hearts Covenant!  Shadow Hearts Covenant!   biggrin   Playing the first IS recommended, but I'd say it's fine and dandy if you don't just because Covenant is such a great game and SHOULDN'T be missed.
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« Reply #26 on: February 04, 2005, 04:29:54 PM »

Well, for an, uhhh, "alternate" view on Xenosaga I, you can read Jeremy "toastyfrog" Parish's review here.  Long story short, he really disliked it and goes on and on (and on) about why.  [FWIW, he seems to think Xeno II is looking less execrable: shorter and fewer cutscenes, snappier pace, etc.]  I have a friend who's a major RPG nut and he simply got bored of Xenosaga partway through.

BTW, the one complaint in an early review for Xeno II I've seen is that it's shorter than the first game.  Which is fine by me - I think way too many RPG designers don't know the difference between "epic" and "tedious" - but hey, if you feel gypped if your RPGs aren't at least 40 hours long, bear that in mind.
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« Reply #27 on: February 04, 2005, 05:57:33 PM »

Quote
I think way too many RPG designers don't know the difference between "epic" and "tedious"


classic!...

i also think many don't know the difference between 'complicated' characters & 'interesting' characters - if i don't have reason to like or care about a character, it doesn't really matter how unique (or cute) he/she is (well,... unless she's reeealy cute, maybe). i realize this's kinda a personal call. 'back story' helps (unless, of course, it's a case like xenosaga, where even huge amounts of that didn't work for me)...
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« Reply #28 on: February 04, 2005, 06:54:02 PM »

uhbongwah is very wise...
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« Reply #29 on: February 04, 2005, 08:45:05 PM »

New EGM gave it sub-par reviews.  They say it's still heavily focused on cutscenes, character development is based upon the same skill tree, and the game can be beaten in 20 hours.  Looking like more and more of a pass for me lately . . .
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« Reply #30 on: February 04, 2005, 09:53:58 PM »

Quote from: "depward"
New EGM gave it sub-par reviews.  They say it's still heavily focused on cutscenes, character development is based upon the same skill tree, and the game can be beaten in 20 hours.  Looking like more and more of a pass for me lately . . .


And that sounds just about perfect for me.  Between 2 jobs, the wife, and the resolution to get in shape, I have very little gaming time anymore.  If I get to play for 45 minutes, that's a marathon session.  I find that when I only get to play for short sessions, I can't maintain my attention on a long (40+ hour) game.  Something around the 20-25 hour mark is usually right about the time I start losing interest in most games.  My last 3 have been Paper Mario 2 (15 hours), KotOR 2 (23 hours) and Baten Kaitos (23 hours).  If any of those games had ended around the 25 hour mark, it would have made me very happy, but I knew I was going to have to slog on for another 20 hours and lost interest.

I also love the fact that X2 is going to be cutscene heavy.  As long as the voice acting and storytelling are as uniformly excellent as they were in the first game (imho, of course), I will really be able to get into it.

Funny how everybody else's negatives are my positives.  Guess I'm odd...
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« Reply #31 on: February 04, 2005, 09:56:18 PM »

Since I'm only going to play about 20-25 hours of most RPG's anyway I'd prefer they wrap the story up rather than leave me haning but bored.  For me to give over 25 hours to a game it had better tie my shoes while pleasuring me.

Wait... was that too much information?   Tongue
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« Reply #32 on: February 04, 2005, 10:24:27 PM »

Well, I'm all for non-marathon RPGs, don't get me wrong.  And I LOVED the cutscenes in Xenosaga 1.  I don't like the one skill-tree thing, although that's a small bugaboo.

I don't know . . . since I'm RPG person and I usually pick up any RPG I can get, I'll most likely pick it up anyways.
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