xenosaga (DWJ-free)

christian nutt ferricide at hotmail.com
Fri Feb 7 22:32:29 EST 2003

>From: Tanaqui
>I had a look at some other reviews, as well. Most of them ignored the
>aleph-artefact storyline completely, to focus on the glories of mech and
>ether combat. Even you are a bit critical of the storyline's basic nature.

to be honest, many of the people who are going to be writing about this game 
are not going to be equipped to deal with the symbolic underpinnings. even i 
am not that well-informed -- but at least i am looking. many writers about 
games are far too literal-minded. game narrative's only nuance in the west 
(this is in console games) seems to be irony. the japanese will play around 
a lot more.

>more like my kind of strategic approach), could you tell me whether the
>ability to punch out button sequences while twisting and cavorting the 
>characters to resemble epileptics on speed is integral to the gameplay? If 
>is, it sounds more like a game I might buy for Archie, to watch him play 

the button sequences do not require timing. in fact, you could get up and 
get a snack between button presses and the game will wait patiently for you 
to return. the game is very action-light, although you do control your 
character manually outside of battle (avoiding enemies, walking from place 
to place).

note: this is a U.S. release (it's also been out in japan, obviously.) i 
don't know if it's slated for release in europe; namco doesn't publish there 
-- they usually sublicense their games to sony. we'll haev to see if SCEE 
picks it up (this will probably depend on its success here, i imagine.)

>Actually, one review mentioned that it was possible to sneak past (at least
>some) combat.

it's possible -- but probably not a good idea to do too much of it. one of 
the failings of RPGs that let you skip combat is that you'll usually end up 
being woefully underpowered if you do it too much -- and can back yourself 
into a corner if you do it egregiously. it's a difficult game.

i think that you could definitely play it, in that it requires more mental 
strategy than it does reflexes... whether or not you'd find the battle 
system's nuances rewarding, i can't predict. i'm not sure how i yet feel 
about it myself.

>You also say X succeeds _despite_ a heavy reliance on cinematics. hmm. 
>a game is not a film, and needs to be more immersive - but at least you say
>it succeeds. My interest it still piqued.

i feel that it does. part of the reason i phrased it this way is that the 
community seems to be strongly suspicious of a game wth so much dialogue. i 
told one of my coworkers that i'd just watched a 45 minute cinema and he 
said something along the lines of "i'd kill myself."

>+ review is due to be published next week. this weekend is going to be a
>+ xenosaga apocalypse.
>ah. um. That provoked a slight fastidious flinch.

i try. but i am not really exaggerating. i'm expecting nice long 8-hour 
sessions both saturday and sunday.


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