Xenosaga Episode III: Also Sprach Zarathustra Aug 11, 2009 19:01:01 GMT -5
Post by Bytor on Aug 11, 2009 19:01:01 GMT -5
The graphics returned to those used in Episode I with some noticeable improvements. The characters certainly will look much more familiar than they did in Episode II but they are rendered to still be a tad more realistic. The facial expressions are wonderfully done and unlike the previous release the backgrounds are wonderfully done here. The attention to detail and usage of colors and shifts in visual effects is truly outstanding. The cut scenes are in my opinion top notch and of course being Xenosaga be prepared for quite a few of these. Seldom does a game which is basically set in outer space manage to make space look good but also the various planetary environments you will find yourself on.
The music itself is no where near as expansive as in Episode I but, and this is a big but, they brought back two of the main characters (Shion and KOS-MOS0 original actors to do the voice overs and it certainly makes a big difference. Now you feel as if you are continuing the story as opposed to somewhat just playing a bridge between two Episodes. Once again the sound effects themselves are also well done, whether it is a fight scene or simply the various sounds in the different environments they are fitted well without overwhelming the game play.
OK...now, here's where each will have their own opinions. One definite plus is the load times are significantly lower than in Episode II (I no longer had time to get dinner started) and the data base was brought back as well, so if your memory starts to go you can easily check the extensive encyclopedia to get information you need. In this installment the ES battles are actually fun as well, no longer the huge effort simply to defeat a few enemies. Another huge improvement is the battle system, gone are the zone attacks and back (albeit tweaked) are the more familiar attacks from Episode I. The boost system is still there but now you will certainly have to be much more strategic than before. The outcome of battles can, and will, be swayed by a wrong move. Now, here's where some will love it, and some will hate it. Expect some of the boss battles to easily last an hour...that's a long time to play, especially if you die and have to do it again. Now, having said that, if you are a "completest" and go the extra mile to do the sub-quests you can have weapons which with some smart strategy will cut that time easily in half, still challenging but not so much of a grueling marathon.
This takes place one year later, and little has changed, except Shion has left Vector and is working more on experimental weapons and along with the rest of the gang is working to find the truth behind the Gnosis, the Zohar, God and basically everything else which has puzzled everyone since the beginning. All of the loose ends are tied up nicely and it concludes what is, in my opinion, the greatest and most complex story ever told on the PS2. I can honestly say I was very, very sad to see it end (although there could be a bit more of the story told if Monolith ever decided to expand it) and I can't wait until a couple of more years have gone by so I can start the whole thing over!
This will certainly be too high for some, but I am going to try and justify it by simply saying the whole series simply "spoke" to me. I simply loved playing this series and only wished it had been the original 10 games as planned.