Xenogears” is one of the great classic Video Games to play even today due to its unique gameplay, great story, and the foundation for many “Xenogames to come. This was developed by Squaresoft, which would later be called Square Enix and was released first for the PlayStation 1, and became a classic game that can be played on the PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, and select PlayStation Vita account regions. Here is my honest review of this great classic.

Old school 2D graphics with early 3D models for mechs

This classic video game was one of the best Japanese Role Playing Games or JRPGs in the early era of the PS1, which is why it had one of the earliest innovations of the 3D designs.

While it was not that polished in those times, this game surprisingly did not take advantage of making it all 3D, which was a great decision. The mix of 2D sprites and 3D models for the mechanoid giants were perfect and did not look weird at all.

While it had 2D sprites and environments, and3D models, the revolving camera view was a great addition for JRPG and this one had it. It allowed players to view different angles of an area, which were limited to the previous consoles. The special effects on different powers were also effective that impressed a lot of gamers who tried out the video game.

Melodic music that gave it a mystical feeling

Since this video game is a product of Squaresoft, fans will be familiar with how they make music for their video games and this one has one of the best.

This particularly gives it a mystical feeling that immerses players of its rich story, and the variety of emotions each character would evoke in each scene. The sound effects are pretty good too, despite the limitations of the PS1 at that time.

Voice acting was only heard on Japanese animated scenes, which was dubbed by English of players played the English version.

Of course, it was out of sync due to it being based on the Japanese version of the anime. This is forgivable though because this was the PS1 era and only late era games had the perfect voice acting later.

A strong disc 1 but suddenly takes a weird turn on disc 2

Xenogears” has two discs for players to use since this was in the PS1 era and the storage for a game was the CDs, which had limited storage.

The first disc had tons of gameplay to go through like exploration through different areas of the world, several mini games, a tournament, a prison breakout, pirate ship riding, and more. There were so many twists and turns in this game and it really had a strong start, but this suddenly changed when disc 2 was loaded.

The majority of disc 2 was all about flashbacks, certain scenes in the present, two characters talking about happened to them, and many more of the same thing. The freedom of exploration and grinding can only be unlocked near the end, which was not engaging for some players. This could be a way to talk about the story in some other way, but it failed for some because they were introduced first with the freedom of exploration at the start.

The story itself is quite an emotional ride for the protagonist and the players who control him throughout the game though. A simple hunter who finds himself in the middle of a big battle between big Mechanoids somehow knows how to control it, meets up a familiar woman, and slowly realizes that he has a dark side of him that he rarely meets.

Great combination of button use and JRPG gameplay

Players will be able to control a party of characters in this game that has different combinations called Deathblows that they can master throughout. The triangle, circle and square buttons have corresponding attacks that if combined will unlock a special attack that has higher attack power.

Giant robots or large mechs can also be summoned in the middle of the battle to fight larger or stronger enemies.

On later stages and levels, over-leveled characters would be able to handle larger enemies without using their mechs in battle, which defies logic, but it also makes sense due to their max levels. They can also participate in different kinds of mini games throughout the game, which also has prizes that might help them along the way.

Grinding for maximizing levels is a big value for replayability

In “Xenogears,” players are able to maximize their levels by grinding diligently, but they can also finish the game normally. The beauty of this game is the freedom to do so without limiting them with a short level cap on a particular part of the story. They can spend many hours, days, or months trying to gain experiences on earlier stages if they want and even maximize it, but the equipment will be low level at that point.

Looking for the ultimate weapons, gear, accessories, and gaining the ultimate combination attacks also factor in for the value of replayability. This guarantees players to play the game for so many hours before they can be fully satisfied with their current status. Unfortunately, it does not have a new game plus feature, but that does not factor in much since the whole experience is a big value already.

The final verdict for Squaresoft’sXenogears” is a solid 8 out of 10 points. While it has great gameplay, compelling story, melodic music and impressive PS1 graphics, the weird turn from total freedom on disc 1 to storytelling for the majority of the game on disc 2 were a big dip on the score. Still, it is an impressive game play and a very recommended one to play for today’s gamers.

Check out the "Xenogears" video here: