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So i recently finished a reading of Xenogears Perfect Works, which has a ton of content, especially a timeline detailing the events of Xenogears Episodes 1 through 4 (as these never became games and probably never will), as well as more expanded details on Episode 5, which is the game itself. But despite all the new things i learned regarding Xenogears lore (and i'm gonna have to give it a second read because even though i understand it better, Xenogears lore is really complex no matter how you look at it), there's one thing that i didn't find any answers for: what is Xenogears Episode 6? The only bit of info that Perfect Works has about Episode 6 is that it's the last Episode of the Xenogears timeline. I'm having a hard time imagining what Episode 6 would be like, given that Episode 5 had a pretty natural ending. I can kinda come up with some scenarios but only one of them seems plausible. Scenario 1 Scenario 2 Scenario 3 I also wonder if Fei and Elly would've played a part in Episode 6. Any ideas?
Alright, I typically don’t write reviews. However, Xenogears is an amazing game so I wanted to go in depth with my thoughts on the game. WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS! However, said spoilers will be hidden, so if you haven’t beaten the game yet, you can safely keep reading and just skip the spoilery-bits. I apologize if this review feels half-assed or unprofessional or something, again, I’m not really good at these. Story Even before playing Xenogears, I have heard how much of a masterpiece it’s story is. So naturally, that the biggest thing I was looking forward to when I played this game. And you know what? This story is a masterpiece. Easily on the level of Xenoblade 1 or even higher than that. The opening cutscene had me intrigued from the start and while the Kislev arc was pretty slow, I still found myself wanting to keep playing. I’ve heard about the complexity of Xenogears’ story but I didn’t see it at first. I’m one that tends to look at things at face value. However, after reading about the themes and topics of the game, I came to appreciate it more and holy shit, there’s a lot. There’s the obvious stuff like religion, which every Xeno game has, but then you get to stuff like the deeper meaning of society, human nature, sexuality, technology and it’s role and more. It’s definitely a game that requires you to play it more than once to fully understand it (but it’s a Xeno game, why wouldn’t you play it more than once?) There were somethings I didn’t like about the story though. Some of it can be chalked up to the incompleteness of Disc 2 but even in Disc 1, I found myself going “why”? Characters Fei’s got some great character development Fei’s also a pretty likable protagonist. I can’t compare him to Shion or KOS-MOS as I haven’t played the Xenosaga Trilogy yet but compared to Shulk and Rex, I do feel he’s more complex and better written than those two (though in terms of likability, I personally still think Rex wins in that part). Then there’s the rest of the playable cast. Citan, Elly, Bart, Rico, Billy, Maria, Chu-Chu, and Citan was a great mentor figure and I liked his personality. I like to compare him to Dunban. Just like how Dunban is a mentor figure to Shulk, Citan is a mentor figure to Fei. Next up is Elly, the love interest of the game. Before playing the game, I’ve heard that Fei and Elly were one of the best couples in both the Xeno series and gaming in general, beating out Xenoblade 1’s Shulk and Fiora and Xenoblade 2’s Rex and Pyra/Mythra. Listen, people weren’t wrong when they said that. I can 100% agree that Fei x Elly is the best ship. It starts of slowly and develops, but then As for Elly herself, she’s a great character. I was surprised to see her temporarily leave early in the game Elly is best girl. Best boy is Bart. Bart’s such a great character. I love how he can be both funny (“BART MISSILES!") and serious when the time calls for it. Because of that, he reminds me of Xenoblade 2’s Zeke, especially since both of them wear an eyepatch and I also think he’s got the best design out of the main cast. Also, I found out that he personally customized his Gear, Brigandier, to have a an eyepatch over the left camera and that sounds like it would be a bad idea but it clearly shows Bart’s personality and I love it. Rico, the first demi-human that we see in the game. I actually didn’t think Rico would be playable. I figured he would be important but didn’t think he would join. He’s definitely the brute force party member, which helped out quite honestly. Personality-wise, it was interesting but besides that, I don’t have much to say. I liked him as a character but Rico starts a trend with the following party members and that is that, once his story arc is done, he becomes irrelevant unless he’s in the party. And if he’s not in the party, then he only becomes relevant when something affects the entire group or him specifically. Billy is the next character on our list. Gameplay-wise, he reminded me a lot of Melia in Xenoblade 1 in how they both have this learning curve to them. I personally didn’t like Billy’s gameplay-style so I didn’t use him that much. He’s a great healer though, since he doesn’t have to use up a turn like Citan in order to heal the entire party. Billy is underdeveloped though. I liked him as a character and was nice but past that, like Rico, there isn’t much to say. He pretty much drops off of the radar after his arc is done, unless he’s in the party. Maria is both the weakest and one of the strongest characters in the game. I used her less than Billy because she can’t learn Deathblows but when it came to Gear fights, I tended to bring her along because her Gear, Siebzehn, is OP as fuck. Character-wise, like Rico and Billy above, there isn’t much to say. Likable character but her relevancy drops immensely after her character arc. She only has eight mandatory lines in Disc 2. Eight! EIGHT! Still, I liked her. Chu-Chu. I actually have not much to say. Chu-Chu surprised the fuck out of me but beyond that, I felt that I couldn’t really take Chu-Chu seriously. She’s the mascot of Xenogears, similar to the Nopon in Xenoblade, but unlike the Nopon, I didn’t find myself caring about Chu-Chu that much. I do appreciate that she can heal Gears but we’ll get to that. Compared to Riki in Xenoblade 1 and especially Tora in Xenoblade 2, Chu-Chu just…..exists, I guess. Again, I didn’t really care about her. She’s better than Tatsu from Xenoblade X though. Everyone is better than Tatsu. And then there’s the rest of the cast. I won’t go into too much detail since there’s a lot but I’ll be sure to talk about the villains. Margie was really nice (also, why does a non-playable character have more relevance than a majority of the party). Her relationship with Bart was well done and she did more things in the story than I was expecting. Sigurd’s cool. Maison was cool. Jesaiah had potential but he basically doesn’t exist in Disc 2. I really liked Hammer The Villains Grahf had an interesting backstory, I just wish I got to fight him more often. Ramsus was pretty great. He starts off as this calm-headed individual who slowly becomes more and more aggressive over the course of the game Miang Krellain was also an interesting character Gameplay Overall, I enjoyed Xenogears’ gameplay. While I do prefer Xenoblade gameplay, Xenogears’ gameplay was still fun. It was more than just a simple turn-based JRPG. There was a kind-of fighting game mechanic in how you use the Deathblows. Gear battles were fun too though I do feel they were inferior to on-foot battles. The difficulty itself wasn’t that hard, at least for on-foot battles. The only times I really had to use revival items was when I got hit by those instant-death moves. On to Gear combat though, while I liked it, my biggest gripe is that you’re unable to heal Gears mid-combat unless you have HP Frames equipped. If you didn’t have them, you were basically fucked when the game starts throwing boss rushes at you/you temporarily get locked out of the world map a few times. So like, I just turned on infinite Gear HP cheats out of spite. Also, for on-foot combat, this is benefit of the doubt but I wouldn’t have known about how Deathblows work if someone didn’t tell me. I say it’s benefit of the doubt because it was maybe in the game’s manual. I emulated the game so I didn’t have access to it. My other two gripes with the gameplay are the camera and the sense of direction. I got lost so many times and I had to look up a walkthrough just to find out how to progress. With the exception of the Kislev sewers, that one dungeon in Shevat, and the final dungeon, there are no dungeon maps (and for the former two, you have to actually find the maps). So whenever I found items and stuff, I didn’t find them because I was exploring the dungeon, I found them because I got lost and just happened to stumble across it. However, these gripes can easily be chalked up to the game’s age. A remake should easily fix those issues. The gameplay is still great, it just really shows it’s age sometimes. Music Xenogears soundtrack is great. Perhaps not God-tier like the soundtracks in the Xenoblade games but still great. Easily has some of my favorite town themes. (Thames is my favorite). Also, y’all talk about the Oblivia and Mor Ardain themes but no one ever talks about Dazil, the original Xeno desert theme. The battle theme, I felt was alright. It didn’t stand out that much. Knights of Fire (the boss theme), however, is great and it WILL get stuck in your head. Every night in my dreams, I hear “total sentence imposed is ten”. It’s an amazing song. Some of the event themes were pretty cool. But you know what part of the soundtrack is God-tier? The ending theme. Like, even if you have no interest in playing Xenogears, go listen to the ending theme. It’s called Small Two of Pieces. Stars of Tears is also a God-tier song that unfortunately isn’t heard in the game. An instrumental version is used as the overworld theme though. References Ok so this part is where I realized how much Xenogears references where in Xenoblade 2 and as such, there WILL be spoilers for both games. But also, this part is really only for those who’ve beaten both games. I would like for people who haven’t to find out themselves by playing. But honestly, playing Gears had me appreciate the rest of the series even more. Final thoughts So yeah, this game is a JRPG masterpiece and if you haven’t played it, you should. As for where I would rank it compared to the other Xeno games, well, I’ve only played Xenogears, Xenoblade 1, and Xenoblade 2. I haven't played X or the Xenosaga Trilogy but X will be in some of the rankings below since i'm decently familiar with it. Story: Xenogears=Xenoblade>Xenoblade 2>>Xenoblade X Characters: Xenoblade 2>Xenoblade 1>Xenogears (but Fei x Elly>>Shulk x Fiora>Rex x Pyra/Mythra) Gameplay: Xenoblade 2>Xenoblade 1>Xenogears Music: Xenoblade 2>>Xenoblade 1>Xenogears>Xenoblade X (but Small Two of Pieces>Beyond the Sky=One Last You) Overall: there is no ranking overall, I love them all equally. I mean, Xenoblade 2 is still my favorite but that’s only because one of them has to be the favorite. Of the three Xeno games I’ve played, they are all masterpieces. You can’t rank masterpieces. You can rank their individual parts but you can’t rank the overall package. These games are just that good. Now time to wait for the prequels and sequels to Xenogears that will never happen. Edit: I just realized that i posted this on the 20th anniversary of the game (in Japan, as it's already February 11th over there). Talk about timing.
Right, so i just started Xenogears (surprised as to how smooth a ePSXe runs on my PC but it's not like Xenogears is that technically demanding) and....how do i play? Other than the fact that it's turn-based, i don't really understand this battle system. Any tips are helpful.