Have you ever finished a book, a movie, a game, that offered such an amazing experience that all you can do when it’s over is sit there and wish it wasn’t? You don’t want to sleep… you’re still too overawed by it’s brilliance to do that. You certainly don’t want to move onto another book, movie, or game… everything else would seem dull and boring in comparisen. I felt like that after finishing Zelda: LA, Zelda: LttP, Zelda: OoT, and Zelda: tWW… after reading the first and third books of Melanie Rawn’s Dragon Star trilogy. After I finished watching Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, or the Fellowship of the Ring. All of these things are utter masterpieces, the highest point of quality reachable in their respective genres/entertainments.
Well, as I am sure you have realized by now, Xenogears ranks right up there with those greats. The game started out slow and fairly normal, as most of these things do… but it quickly picked up it’s pace and swept me away.
It has an amazing story, one of the best I have ever seen. It goes from a mere rebellions against Shakan, to a battle against Ramsus, to a fight against Solaris, to a battle against Krelian and Grahf, to a battle against Merkava, and, finally, to a fight against Deus itself… all of it culminating in that magnificent ending. The game masterfully draws you deeper and deeper into the story, while it masterfully introduces detail after detail, subplot after subplot, religious reference after religious reference, revelation after revelation. Such a beautifully story…
And all this is, of course, helped along by some of Mitsuda’s greatest music yet. I’ve been a fan of Mitsuda for a few years now… and he cotinues to impress. First Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross… and now this? If he gets any better I may keel over and die from the sheer genius his music possesses.
Though it is quite obviously the low point of the game, I still found the battle system very impressive, easily better then anything FF or your tradition RPG has thrown out over the years.
Of course, that’s not even counting the Gear battles. I never would have believed a game could incorporate two different battle systems so seamlessly, but this game manages it.
The game’s difficulty was perfect, too. Not so excruciatingly hard that I wanted to kill someone, but it posed enough of a challenge to keep me on my toes, actually make me work. Most RPGs are unable to keep this balance, in my experience.
Anyways… I rank this right up there with OoT and LttP as one of the greatest games ever made. Anyone who doesn’t go out and buy it is commiting a serious crime agaisnt themselves.