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Author Topic: Xenosaga 2 Impressions?  (Read 4104 times)
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Andrew Mallon
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« on: February 15, 2005, 04:34:10 PM »

Anyone picking up XS2 tomorrow? I'm trying to finish up Resident Evil 4 now and have to go out of town next week, so I probably won't pick this up until after I return. I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone here thinks about it, though. I'm especially interested in finding out how long it takes people to play through the game. I've heard it's short, but I think importers and reviewers chronically understimate the amount of time games take to finish.
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« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2005, 04:47:07 PM »

I'm taking tomorrow off so I can play it all day.  I'll toss up some impressions when I'm done.
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« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2005, 05:51:21 PM »

I won't be getting it until I finish the first one, but it's on sale at Target this week for $37.77.
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« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2005, 06:18:33 PM »

Yep, it's tempting to grab it at Target's sale price, but I too am going to wait until I finish the first one... or until the second one drops to $20.
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« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2005, 06:57:51 PM »

The reviews on Gamerankings is scaring me.  The word 'mediocre' pops up with frightening regularity.  And hearing the've 'simplified' the battle system, and the game is much shorter, etc is not doing a lot for my confidence in it.
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« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2005, 08:44:50 PM »

I really want to hear some impressions before I take the plunge into buying this one.  That is a good sale at Target though . . .
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« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2005, 09:36:36 PM »

I have to say after reading several reviews I am perfectly happy to wait.  It seems to have done more of what I disliked abou the first one (rambling sub plots with little explanation)  and less of the things I liked (specilized combat skills)

I will admit though that I love the fact that it is short.
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« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2005, 10:35:17 PM »

Could someone provide me with some back-history on the Xenosaga team?  Were they the same guys who worked on the original Xenogears?  I ask only because I haven't liked a single game in the Xeno- series, and I'm wondering if that's because I just don't like that team or what.
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« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2005, 11:38:18 PM »

From the multitude of reviews, and what people have touched on before, this game is the first of the series to approach the KISS theory it seems, which is a good and bad thing.

Xenosaga has historically been a series about relgious/social zealouts vs the system, using robots and relationships to define the goals and futures the characters fight for. Its Final Fantasy + Advanced Advanced Technology + World Relgions 101.

Now, Xenosaga for PS2 had some issues to some. Firstly, yes, the cinemas were long as hell. Some hated it, some loved the feeling of it being a movie. The story was very complicated and introudced alot of concepts and mystery beings in short order. Alot of thigns were left unsolved, and even the ending was another "Woah, now how the f#*@ did that just happen". Luckily, the beginning of Xenosaga II has a summary so you can get up to date quickly.

The Battle system was quite fun, but largely ignored the Robot aspect of the earlier game, and forced you to repeat the same skills over and over in battle as they were usually leaps and bounds better then their counterparts. For example, KosMoS the Cyber Terminator Female Lead had this one chaingun arm shot that was so useful with some skilling up that you could spam the entire game with it. Problem was the animation was about 16 seconds long. It got old quickly.

But overall, it was a great title to feel like you were inside the game, not god of it. In most of these RPGs, you always feel like you have the gods eye view of everything, and everything is just interludes between scenes in a play. Xenosaga was the first game I feel that tried to fold you into the adventure, and by having such huge cinemas, or in depth concepts, you felt as confused as the main characters did in the beginning. As they solved mysteries, you were releived as they were. It was a great thing.

So far, the reviews on XS2 have said that compared to the first, the Battle System is somewhat refined. The skills dont take near as long (and the animations are skippable), as well as each characters works off a global progression tree, not a singular one. The cinemas arent near as long, the story focuses on a smaller chunk of the overplot, and robots are a bigger deal. The characters lost their anime "goofy chunk" look, and are more human, and the overall length of the game is down by about 10 hours. Considering it took me 50 to get through the first one, with the Strategy guide, thats fine with me. There were about 10 hours of crap that I didnt need anyways.

I just picked it up from EB, so I guess I head into this one anticipating the journey back with so many cool characters, and since Ive got my old saved game with a Clear, I get free things I guess. Time to start over and enjoy this one. Impressions later.
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« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2005, 11:56:50 PM »

Quote
since Ive got my old saved game with a Clear, I get free things I guess. Time to start over and enjoy this one.


i've got my clear save as well, &, for the most part, had fun getting it, but, unless people start raving it up here, i'm most likely gonna pass on the sequel. absence is supposed to make the heart grow fonder, but, as time's gone by, i've ended up caring less'n'less about the xenosaga saga - i never really felt much of anything for the characters (except kos-mos, who i think is a great creation), & the plot-line was just a little too thick/cluttered - kinda the epitome of 'everything but the kitchen sink' story convolution...

never mind the fact that digital devil saga's right around the corner...
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« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2005, 05:16:23 AM »

Impressions!  Come on now, let's hear some!   biggrin

I had played around 17 hours of the original, stopped, and traded it in.  But I just re-purchased a copy for cheap last night and I've been hooked on it.  So I'm thinking, when I beat the first . . . by that time hopefully Xenosaga II has a price-drop and I can pick it up and use my clear save data.
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« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2005, 07:46:44 AM »

Impressions so far 10 Hours in:

Avoid like the god damn plague. Horrible music, the plot just rehashes shit from part 1, and its all about Jr. and MoMo being stupid. Xenosage just became lame.

Trading in. I'll read the plot summary in Episode III.
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« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2005, 08:18:59 AM »

Quote from: "Pharaoh"
Impressions so far 10 Hours in:

Avoid like the god damn plague. Horrible music, the plot just rehashes shit from part 1, and its all about Jr. and MoMo being stupid. Xenosage just became lame.

Trading in. I'll read the plot summary in Episode III.

YIKES - that doesn't sound too appealing   frown
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« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2005, 05:56:25 AM »

Well since no one else wanted to take a stab at it here it goes. About an hour into disc 2(the first one is pretty short for some reason). I liked how they ditched the big eye anime look. Some people look really weird though, like jr and chaos, they dont look right for some reason.

The graphics are sleeker this time around too. KOS-MOS's hair has a reflective sleek look to it and all around they look a bit sharper for other characters. But the world itself stays about the same as the last game.

The sound and music so far have been great. I like the new battle music and the new music i've heard. There are new voice actors for some of the characters too. Some are much better than the previous game.

The battle system is a new one. I do like it better than the last. This time around the enemies have hit zones where they are weak. When you do a combo and its a weak spot the letters on the screen turn red. If both are red you found the weak combo. If you time it right you can boost another character and do a chain attack. This deals even greater damage. If you keep boosting you can deal massive damage before the enemy can even touch you. This technique is more affective for boss battles. Outside of the tutorial i havent had a chance use AWGS, so I cant comment.

I am really digging the story. There's a lot of flash backs that help tie things from the previous game together. I dont know why Pharoh was complaining about the story being like the first. That makes sense, its a contination. If you notice it says episode 2, so of course there will be cross overs. But this one does forward the story in quite some startling ways.
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« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2005, 06:05:15 AM »

Quote from: "Pharaoh"
Impressions so far 10 Hours in:

Avoid like the god damn plague. Horrible music, the plot just rehashes shit from part 1, and its all about Jr. and MoMo being stupid. Xenosage just became lame.

Trading in. I'll read the plot summary in Episode III.
Man, I'm sorry you actually decided to buy this.  After hearing all the negative buzz, I would have rented it first...   frown
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« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2005, 05:20:28 PM »

Just beat it.

Its far inferior to part 1. The music is standard Midi bank mixing, the plot goes NO WHERE, and just adds more to Episode III (which i guess was the point). There is a difference between continuing the plot from Episode 1, and rehasing the plot from Episode I (see MiB part 2 for an example). 20 hours to beat, and I feel like Monolith should have just made Episode III, and had this one be an online flash installment.

4/10
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« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2005, 12:56:30 AM »

Quote
4/10


4 out of 10 is generous. This is one VERY boring game. I can't even finish it.


First Suikoden goes down in flames and now Xenosaga follows.
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« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2005, 01:36:09 AM »

Quote from: "Pharaoh"
Just beat it.

Its far inferior to part 1. The music is standard Midi bank mixing, the plot goes NO WHERE, and just adds more to Episode III (which i guess was the point). There is a difference between continuing the plot from Episode 1, and rehasing the plot from Episode I (see MiB part 2 for an example). 20 hours to beat, and I feel like Monolith should have just made Episode III, and had this one be an online flash installment.

4/10

Gah that stinks.  I'm hooked (again) and playing through Xenosaga I . . . and what do I have to look foward to?  A "generous" 4/10   :lol:
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« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2005, 01:49:44 AM »

I knew the news sounded bad.  And Rampanther, the two games I was really looking forward to in the 1st quarter of 2005 were Suikoden 4 & Xenosaga 2.
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« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2005, 05:47:26 AM »

I know Suikoden 4 got mostly mediocre reviews, but I'm really enjoying it so far.
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« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2005, 06:04:15 AM »

Quote from: "EddieA"
I know Suikoden 4 got mostly mediocre reviews, but I'm really enjoying it so far.


Coming with Disgaea tomorrow or the next day from Gamefly. I am excited. I need a new RPG. I DESPERATELY want a new RPG.

Knowing gameflys completely ass shipping, it might be longer frown
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« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2005, 11:16:51 AM »

Ys : The Ark of Napishtim comes out Tuesday.  It's supposed to be a decent action-RPG.
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« Reply #22 on: February 21, 2005, 11:54:34 AM »

Quote from: "EddieA"
Ys : The Ark of Napishtim comes out Tuesday.  It's supposed to be a decent action-RPG.

The demo was pretty fun for a classic game-style kind of RPG.  I heard the difficulty is a bit wonky sometimes, whereas you'll be pummeling baddies here, but then go to this next area and you'll get ravaged by one enemy.

Anyways, I think I'll give it a rental.  Supposed to be kind of short (like, 15 hours or so I think or something?), but if that length is an enjoyable one for me I'm all for it.
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« Reply #23 on: February 21, 2005, 02:30:05 PM »

I put about 10 hours into X2 last week.  As much as it pains me to admit it, Xenosaga 2 is pretty bad.  The story is painfully dull, the bulk of the writing is very poor, the voice actor changes are jarring, and the new combat system isn't very fun.  The MIDI music is awful, but the actual symphonic tracks are very good.  I picked up the soundtrack (which, thankfully, doesn't include most of the horrid MIDI stuff), and really enjoy it.

I loved Xenosga, and X2 is just a huge, huge dissapointment.  Since it's only 20'ish hours I may end up finishing it, but it really doesn't interest me much at all.
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« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2005, 05:14:27 AM »

Like others, I really enjoyed Xenosaga 1 and went into the second game with an open mind. Unfortunately, it really is as bad as people are saying.

On the other hand, Suikoden 4 isn't a bad game, its just barely above average- something unheard of in the Suikoden family. It is definitely the lesser of the two evils.
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« Reply #25 on: February 22, 2005, 08:41:22 PM »

Well poop.  Still playing through Xenosaga I at the moment and having a blast.  And these negative reviews/negative opinions are really testing my faith of playing through the first and then playing through the second Xenosaga.  I guess it's a good thing then that when I finally beat XI most likely X2 will have had a price-drop . . . or two   biggrin

Though I haven't heard anything about Xenosaga III, I really do wish it won't pull a .hack kind of way of putting out sequels.  But I think this question is already answered by how they changed up some things from I to II.

I'm just hoping that the third installment will be worth playing through the first two.  The first has me really intrigued and I really like the story along with the characters (luckily, I like MOMO and Jr. a lot too, which are apparently the main characters really of the second Xenosaga . . . I believe).
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« Reply #26 on: February 22, 2005, 11:55:41 PM »

Given the negative reaction to the game in both Japan and the US, I'd be surprised if they didn't make big changes for XS3.
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« Reply #27 on: February 23, 2005, 12:16:14 AM »

I picked up Xenosaga 2 last week because of the sale at Target, but I haven't opened it yet because I'm out of town. Man, given the reactions here I might just take it back. Hopefully I still have the receipt.

It's really disappointing to hear about how bad it is.    frown
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« Reply #28 on: February 23, 2005, 02:30:04 AM »

There may NOT be a Xenosaga 3.  

The only reason there was even a Xenosaga 2 was because of the unexpected sales surge in North America. Before that, the game was nearly put on hiatus due to an unexpectedly poor showing in Japan.

Xenosaga 2 sales are below the first game in Japan. If Xenosaga 2 does poorly in North America (probable) it may kill the series. Or, at the very least, force it to undergo a severe budget cut.  IMHO.
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« Reply #29 on: February 28, 2005, 03:22:45 AM »

Well since I just got done beating the first Xenosaga and I really, really enjoyed it . . . I went ahead and got Episode II so I can "continue" the story.

For me, what I'm looking for in a game, it's going pretty well so far (just 3 hours in).  In fact, since reading so much stuff about how horrific is is, it's exceeded my expectations so far.  But note - it's because of what I'm looking for in this game, which is more or less probably not what others are.

And what I really enjoyed about the first game were the cutscenes.  And so far the cutscenes have been very spectacular and nice to watch.  I would even say a step above X1's cutscene quality.  I also really enjoyed the combat system in X1.  And, so far, X2's battle system is taking some time to get used to.  I'm getting a good hold on it so far, such as stocking to do more than two attacks, possibly getting my boost up, and then going for the enemies' break zones and going on a massive combo by boosting.  It really, at least so far, is giving battles a more strategic kind of element opposed to "mash this button and conquer."

All in all it's a continuation of the series, so I wasn't looking for anything else major.  The new interface is pretty nice after getting used to it.  I don't like how they eleminated the T.Points, but at least the S.Point "planet orbity thingy" way of gaining skills seems pretty intriguing so far.  And although yes, every character goes through the same "skill tree" to learn their skills, there's a lot of skills to be learned.

I'm kinda "meh" with the newly done character designs so far.  I like how they took a more realistic approach/look to them, but I guess I'm just missing the look of the older characters at the moment.  The new voices . . . I'm also getting used to.  I don't particularily like the new KOS-MOS voice really.  And I miss MOMO's original voice as well.  But that being said, they aren't GOD-AWFUL so I'll most likely get used to them and learn to like them.  Shion's new voice is actually an improvement I'd say, though I did like the "ditzy" Shion from Episode I.

So yeah, I guess I'd offer another viewpoint of this game.  For me specifically it's something that I'll probably enjoy because it highlights what I liked about the first game.  Plus, I just finished the first and really enjoyed it, and wanted to continue the story with the first story fresh in my mind, so, so far it's been an enjoyable experience for me.
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« Reply #30 on: February 28, 2005, 12:56:37 PM »

Depward:  I felt the exact same way 3 hours in.  Unfortunately, it goes downhill pretty quickly once you hit the 8-10 hour mark.
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« Reply #31 on: February 28, 2005, 05:14:36 PM »

Quote from: "Gratch"
Depward:  I felt the exact same way 3 hours in.  Unfortunately, it goes downhill pretty quickly once you hit the 8-10 hour mark.

Ooooh boy.  Fantastic news!   frown   Well, I guess I'll just get what kind of enjoyment I can out of it while I can then   smile
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« Reply #32 on: March 01, 2005, 12:09:35 AM »

Quote from: "depward"
Ooooh boy.  Fantastic news!   frown   Well, I guess I'll just get what kind of enjoyment I can out of it while I can then   smile


You should have given your money to your brother to buy GT4.  Then you would still have a GameCube to play. :twisted:
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« Reply #33 on: March 01, 2005, 02:39:33 AM »

Quote from: "stiffler"
Quote from: "depward"
Ooooh boy.  Fantastic news!   frown   Well, I guess I'll just get what kind of enjoyment I can out of it while I can then   smile


You should have given your money to your brother to buy GT4.  Then you would still have a GameCube to play. :twisted:

Hahaha    :lol:    Wow hopefully no Gamecube loyalists read this or they might get ticked   smile
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« Reply #34 on: August 29, 2006, 07:08:27 PM »

So with the impending release of Xenosaga 3 (which is supposed to be great for fans of the series), I decided about two weeks ago to buckle down and try and push through XS2 with expectations suitably lowered.  I figured that since it's only supposed to be about 20 hours without sidequests if I can force myself to play for an hour or two a night then I should be done with it by the time XS3 releases.  So now it's two weeks later and I've logged almost 40 hours into the game, finished almost all of the sidequests, and I'm almost done with the game (preparing to go to Proto Omega) and.....I actually like this game.  Color me shocked.

Don't get me wrong- there is a whole host of issues here, most of which have been thoroughly documented in this thread and others and it certainly isn't close to as good as the first game was, but I've actually found a surprising amount to like here too.

The combat system for one- it's actually got some nice meat to it.  I guess I expected something kind of lazy but it's actually pretty intricate and you really have to keep on your toes.  Pretty much every battle demands my full attention lest my party risk being wiped out.  My chief complaint with the combat isn't the battle system itself but that enemies have *way* too many hitpoints which artifically prolongs the encounters.  Oh yeah, and the loading into combat sucks too. 

Dungeon design has generally been very good.  The puzzles are interesting but never too challenging and the layouts are pretty clever in terms of how they allow you to open up shortcuts  in several areas to prevent excessive retracing of steps. 

Graphically it's very nice and a slight step up from the first game.  The new character models are a bit of a wash though. Some are improved (Shion), some haven't changed much at all (Jr) and some are a step down (Momo).  It looks like XS3 will actually get the right balance in this area.  Music, surprisingly, I like very much including the background tracks that annoyed so many. 

Cutscenes are a step up IMO- they are very cinematic and a few have been quite spectacluar (the late game sword fight comes immediately to mind).  The story is more streamlined but it's a pretty logical continuation and I certainly don't feel as if very little has happened- if anything it feels like the pace has picked up a bit. 

Overall, I see the issues that others have but they didn't seem to have bothered me nearly as much as most.  Chalk this up as an excellent $8.96 purchase. 

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« Reply #35 on: August 29, 2006, 07:18:51 PM »

I was one of the 10 people that really liked the first game.  I've been holding off on this but may have to pick it up.  $8.96 is quite a price!
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« Reply #36 on: August 29, 2006, 07:20:39 PM »

I didn't really enjoy the battle system - I liked the attempt at changing it up a bit but ultimately thought it was just a bit... not fun.

I'm still pissed about how they changed MOMO's VA from 1 -> 2.
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« Reply #37 on: August 29, 2006, 07:27:34 PM »

Quote from: depward on August 29, 2006, 07:20:39 PM

I didn't really enjoy the battle system - I liked the attempt at changing it up a bit but ultimately thought it was just a bit... not fun.

I'm still pissed about how they changed MOMO's VA from 1 -> 2.

I probably should say that I respect the battle system more than enjoy it.  Quite frankly, it's a bit more work than I usually prefer in normal encounters.  Generallly I like battle systems that offer a bit of thought when first fighting new enemies but become relatively simple once you get the strategy down for a particular area.  In XS2 even when you know which characters to use and what the enemy weaknesses are it's still quite a bit of work making sure you stock and boost correctly.  I definitely liked the battle system in XS1 better but I admired that they tried something different in Ep 2.  I guess I just assumed that it would be lazy (and also easy) and it's really the opposite.

Quote
I'm still pissed about how they changed MOMO's VA from 1 -> 2.

Yeah, that one is a downgrade too.  I like the new Shion though- took some getting used to since I had just finished watching the Ep 1 Cutscene DVD.  Anyone know if they are sticking with all of the same voice actors from Ep 2 in Ep 3?
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« Reply #38 on: August 29, 2006, 07:36:43 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on August 29, 2006, 07:27:34 PM

Quote from: depward on August 29, 2006, 07:20:39 PM

I didn't really enjoy the battle system - I liked the attempt at changing it up a bit but ultimately thought it was just a bit... not fun.

I'm still pissed about how they changed MOMO's VA from 1 -> 2.

I probably should say that I respect the battle system more than enjoy it.  Quite frankly, it's a bit more work than I usually prefer in normal encounters.  Generallly I like battle systems that offer a bit of thought when first fighting new enemies but become relatively simple once you get the strategy down for a particular area.  In XS2 even when you know which characters to use and what the enemy weaknesses are it's still quite a bit of work making sure you stock and boost correctly.  I definitely liked the battle system in XS1 better but I admired that they tried something different in Ep 2.  I guess I just assumed that it would be lazy (and also easy) and it's really the opposite.

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I'm still pissed about how they changed MOMO's VA from 1 -> 2.

Yeah, that one is a downgrade too.  I like the new Shion though- took some getting used to since I had just finished watching the Ep 1 Cutscene DVD.  Anyone know if they are sticking with all of the same voice actors from Ep 2 in Ep 3?

That's a good way at putting it - I respect the way they tried to make the battle system work but every battle seemed tedious!

Not sure about the VAs.  I'm excited to see the whole Jr./Albedo story arch play out.

You'll appreciate the ending Kevin - definately made me wanting more.  And lucky you - you get it right off the bat!   icon_biggrin
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« Reply #39 on: August 29, 2006, 07:42:41 PM »

Quote from: Depward
You'll appreciate the ending Kevin - definately made me wanting more.  And lucky you - you get it right off the bat! 

Yeah, I'm really happy that I waited.  Without XS3 as a motivating factor it's very possible I might have given up the game at one or two points. 
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