Rogue Galaxy - Reader Review  

A long time Ago, etc., etc, etc.
by Knighttrain

50 - 70 hrs
Click here for scoring definitions 

   A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away on a remote desert planet lives a young, ambitious orphan who longs for a life of adventure that can only exist elsewhere. He is later met by a comical pair who are looking for a legendary warrior for help on their quest, yet wind up instead with the orphan boy who's hidden abilities and mysterious past help save the galaxy from a power-hungry empire. For those of you thinking of Star Wars, think again. This is none other than Rogue Galaxy, a delightful little RPG for the PS2, not a multi-million dollar movie series (Though the above summary could fit for both titles).

   Despite the similarities between film and game, Rogue Galaxy is a great story all on its own. The Desert planet mentioned above is the Planet Rosa, and the orphan is Jaster Rogue. On a day like any other, young Jaster is picked up by and unlikely pair of space pirates who mistake him For the legendary Desert Claw. Their initial goal is to find and pilfer the lost planet of Eden, yet they end up in the middle of a galactic war between two military powers vying for complete reign of the galaxy. The only downside to this otherwise great story is that for the longest time, the main characters don't seem to have much to do with the grand scheme of the galactic war that is apparently going on all around them. The story seems to be leading up to a climactic event that never happens. Still, Rogue galaxy is an enjoyable story that will not disappoint.

One of the many beautiful land marks you'll be seeing on your journey through the galaxy. One of the many beautiful land marks you'll be seeing on your journey through the galaxy.

   Rogue Galaxy has an action based, real-time battle system. As fast and intuitive as they are, the battles are not without their faults. Each battle takes place and begins right on the field where you are walking with no transition and very little load time. This is a plus as it adds to the realism of the game. On the downside, the camera can get pretty wobbly, and more often then not it is hard to tell which direction your facing and where the enemy that you're targeting is. Also, some of the battlefields can be a little unforgiving. There may be a case where you and your allies are fighting, and you fall off a ledge to a lower level. In those cases, the majority of the battle is taken up be trying to get back to the enemies on the upper level to finish them off before they pummel your allies. As far as the fighting itself goes, there is not a lot of strategy involved. Though some enemies require you to break a shield with your secondary weapon or a charge attack, most of the time just mashing the X button will get you through much of the game.

   Each character has a selection of special abilities, yet the most they do is just waste time as they are not much more effective than normal attacking. Towards the end of the game, the battles start feel like something to push through so you can get to the rest of the game.

   The back of the game case proclaims the lack of load times in this adventure, and it's very true. There is pretty much no load times anywhere except for when you are loading up the game from the start screen. The menu system is also really easy to navigate, yet the one major downside is the inventory. Normally, a game's inventory is divided into separate sections such as items, weapons, armor, accessories, etc. However, in Rogue Galaxy, everything is in one place, and it makes it hard to find what your looking for sometimes. Also, towards the end of the game the inventory, though seemingly huge at first, is just too darn small. It gets to be a bit if a hassle throwing away excess spoils after every other battle. Despite these inconveniences, the game runs pretty smoothly and without too much of a hitch. Each of the nine playable characters has their own Revelation flow chart, which is kind of a cross between Final Fantasy X's sphere grid and Final Fantasy XII's License board, except that you use items instead of ability points to move through it. Each character levels up according to experience gained, but is in the Revelation flow chart that they learn their extra abilities and bonus stats.

No one can say that the visuals aren't absolutely amazing. No one can say that the visuals aren't absolutely amazing.

   There is also a large amount of extra stuff to do in the game. One of the more original side tasks is the factory system. Some ways into the game, you will gain control of a factory that allows you to create a number of different items and weapons to later be sold in shops around the galaxy. You will obtain recipes from random NPCs that provide hints on how to create a particular item. Then, after obtaining the correct items, you can build a sort of machine that combines the items together to make something new. This factory system is probably one of the most original aspects of the game, and it can be pretty fun if you get the hang of it.

   The music in Rogue Galaxy is great. It is very is reminiscent of Skies of Arcadia (the same composer wrote the music for both games, so this isn't too surprising). Beautifully orchestrated pieces are strewn throughout the game, making their home in just the right areas. The music does an excellent job in bringing each planet to life, and fits with the lifestyle of the locals. The voice acting is also very well cast. Most of the main characters are voiced by people with a lot of experience in the area, and it shows. The music and sound in Rogue galaxy is a treat to the ears, and is one of the games strongest points.

   The visuals are nothing short of stunning. Each planet is very well detailed down to the finest point. Each planet has its own culture and lifestyle, yet they all seem to unite under one larger culture of galaxy as a whole, making the world in which the player is immersed in very realistic. The visuals do very well to portray this.

   The game is not a hard game by any means; nothing the average RPGamer can't handle. Some of the bosses can make you work a little harder than usual, but nothing too frustrating. It is, however, quite long, taking about 50 to 70 hours to complete. If you want to obtain a 100% completion on everything then the game would definitely take much longer. The side tasks include and insectron tournament (where you capture and raise insectors for battle), bounty hunting, bestiary completion, weapon synthesis, and much more. There is simply so much to do in this game that it can get a little overwhelming at times.

   Rogue Galaxy is a great game. Full of stunning visuals and a well-written story, this is more than just an average RPG. The inconveniences with the battles and the inventory do not come even close to making this game a total write-off. Very few would not like this game. And of course, the prospect of being a space pirate is something most people would enjoy.

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