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Popular this Month - See More

Bayonetta 3
Bayonetta 3
Signalis
Signalis
God of War Ragnarök
God of War Ragnarök
Overwatch 2
Overwatch 2
Sonic Frontiers
Sonic Frontiers

Developer Update: Oct 2022

This development update I’ll be recapping some smaller releases that happened, touching on the progress of the log editor beta, and give a reminder about a certain upcoming event. READ MORE

Oct 24, 2022

Recent Reviews - See More

My thoughts about this game exceed any word limit that could possibly exist, so to avoid a Ten Million Paragraph Andy, I'll just leave it at this:
Sonic Frontiers is a dumpster fire, and several parts of this game made me bleed out the eyeballs, but everything this game does right felt like it was designed specifically to extract as much positive emotion as possible from me, and whether any of you will feel the same is something that will only be decided upon playing the game.

A decent game that gets a bit repetitive due to its structure. Still, it's a good time and short enough that beating it fully shouldn't be too much of a bother. I recommend. Play Ys 1 and 2 first, though.

I'm going to keep playing this but I'm going to write down some thoughts about why I'm not so impressed by this game:
1: The guns suck. They all lack identity and feel like shitty pea-shooters. I think the worst decision here is to make so many guns have built-in inaccuracy which feels awful, it also has one of the lamest designed shotguns i've ever seen in a game, it's literally the pistol but shoots 3 bullets in a spread pattern and has awful feedback. As soon as I unlocked the sniper I instantly gained the ability to clear entire areas with no damage, since all enemies in this game are only threatening when up-close, so you just stand far away and hold down the fire button.
2: Perks and powerups suck. It's insane that like 60-70% of the time I get an upgrade or new perk in this game my immediate reaction is "that's not worth it" or "this is bad", they are all incredibly generic and aren't exciting to get, like +5% damage or +10% movement speed or "shoot another bullet" or "have a very low chance to do something interesting", with upgrades also being stuff like "go from +10% to +15%!!!", they all feel low-impact as a result and gameplay is largely homogenous between runs. Compare this to other rougelites where some runs feel like you're playing a completely different game due to some weird combination of powerups you've acquired. It feels like there are no 'builds' in this game, and I found that the most consistent way to win is to just get as much raw numerical damage as possible.
3: The bosses are awful. For a rougelite which needs to be replayed many times, it's really important to have tough but fair bosses that reward mastery over many runs. In this game the bosses are so passive and easy that I started to no-hit them on my 2nd-3rd run, often this involves standing in one place and holding down the fire button because they are such little threat to you. In fact, very often in this game I found myself just standing still and holding down the fire button. Despite being heavily inspired by Hades they should learned from that game that bosses need to have variations each run to stop the monotony from setting in.
that all sounds really negative but I'd like to clarify I think this game is not bad. The soundtrack and visuals are excellent (though I think there are some readabillity issues on enemy attacks) and I like the health = economy concept. It's clear the creators put a lot of passion into it. I just wish that the execution with powerups and combat didn't feel so unsatisfying.

At the first glance Xenogears is another JRPG from Squaresoft,one of the most successful companies in PS1 era. Before playing the game,my thoughts were like "Ok game uses a turn based combat just like most of its contemporaneous JRPGs, two kingdom fighting aganist each other for centuries in sake of fighting. We have a main character who doesn't remember some part of his past so writers can reveal it in late game to attract your attention to game after hours of boring turn based gameplay, and there is mechas to make combat more diverse. Or developers just love mechas. Probably the second.
In short, Xenogears looks like a PS1-era Final Fantasy title and heavily resembles FF7. After beating game, I can say my predictions were partially correct, but game is a lot more deeper than any main FF title I have played. Let's start with the story.(Review contains minor spoilers.)
JRPG Rule Number 1: Opening mission must include explosions,flames,dying innocent people. Xenogears isn't any different. We start the game with some text informs us about planet's current stage. After that we see the mechas,flames,explosions and dying innocent people but that scene lasts only a few minutes. It turns out it was a dream blah blah blah.And we are in a small village.No Midgar-like visually appealing enormous captial,no explosions,no fighting aganist fire creatures etc. What we have there is a small,ordinary village preparing for wedding of two young people and both are childhood friends of our main character. Then game wants me to do a fetch quest and I set off. And that's the start of future hero Fei Fong Wong's adventure! Nope. Fei isn't that type of hero says "Hello guys! World is in the grip of evil, but don't worry I'm here,relax!" everytime. Because Fei is like...I don't know. Even Fei doesn't know who he really is. At least at the start of game.
Without giving spoilers, I can say Fei has some kind of psychological illness. And this is highly tied to Fei's character development,story and Grahf,one of the antagonists in game. After completing the fetch quest,something big happens and game's tone goes dark and goes darker and darker until very end of the game. What happened to Fei at this point and similar events happens later in the game, connects perfectly. Fei's character development is more than satisfying and enough to like and empathize him.
After the big and dark event, Fei leaves the town and sets his journey to find other companions because he realized battles are boring and lasts too long. Companions join and leave your party at certain points depending on course of the story just like other RPGs. I think it is fair to divide companions to two group. Elly and others.
Elly or Ellehaym von Houten, is a young officer in Gebler military and her role in the story is as big as Fei's. We all know finding well written characters in a JRPG is hard. Finding well written female characters is even harder. Elly is one of the rare well written female JRPG characters. She isn't there because main character needs a girlfriend. It isn't hard to predict Fei and Elly's will have a relationship later in game, but that relationship grows naturally and doesn't exist only to exist.
Fei and Elly are easily make it into my favorite JRPG characters list, but I can't say the same for rest of the characters. They are neither bad nor special. They are OK, mostly.
Citan and Bart are likable characters and have significant impact on story. Citan is the old,wise,mysterious guy tells you what to do at first half of the game. Bart is a more interesting in my opinion. If Xenogears were to have a generic protagonist,it would be Bart. He is brave(and sometimes reckless),kind hearted,helpful and would do anything for his friends and people. Yeah he is also a prince. It wouldn't be an JRPG without a companion from royal family.
And the there is Rico,Billy,Chu-chu,Maria and Emeralda. They are generic JRPG characters have only one personality trait and they don't have significant personality progression through the game. They all have one cool scene and a little backstory, but nothing more.
What game really shines isn't side characters.It is Fei,Elly and antagonists/villains. Grahf,Ramsus,Krelian and Miang are all very well written antagonists. It is hard to talk about Grahf and Miang without giving spoilers, but I can say they complete the story very good. Yeah that's what makes Fei,Elly and villains so great. They aren't here for no reason, they all have a significant role in story and their motivations are reasonable. Ramsus is the cliche pawn of the greater evil who fights you in middle of game, but I don't remember feeling sorry for any other pawns. As for Krelian, he is easily one of my favorite villains in video games. His writing is top notch, and ending scene made me fall in love with him.
Game is successful at making you feel despair. Dark tone and psychological/theological metaphors oftenly reminded me Nier Automata.But unlike Automata, Xenogears's metaphors are more than just giving philosopher names to bosses. They actually have a role in story and game successfully give positive messages in a dark world. Game reminds you even in the darkest times, there is people like "man of the sea" to cheer you up.Game has a few key messages and they are nicely integrated throughout game.
I have seen some people doesn't want to play the game because they think Xenogears focuses on psycology and religion too much, but that's from being correct. Yes, game contains a lot of psycholohical and religionic references,but they aren't very hard to understand and no matter how dark it is still a JRPG has parts that will make you smile. Thanks to its lively and entertainting characters, game does a good job at dispelling all that negativity comes from events in main story. Characters can bu fun at moments like this, but they don't become too goofy like other JRPG characters. They maintain their believability thanks to their well written dialogues.
As for infamous Disc 2 problem,yeah first half of Disc 2 is a disaster, but story and the writing saves the other half.
And then there is gameplay... I wish gameplay was good as story and characters. It is not bad, but far from being good. Game has a turn based system pretty boring because of its "combo system". Instead of just attacking,you make some key combinations like cross cross circle,circle triangle,cross cross cross triangle etc. When you do a combination enough, you unlock a new "move". Now that combination makes more damage. So throughout the game you enter a dungeon,spam these combinations,learn moves before you confront boss,and spam moves aganist boss. And repea that for other dungeons. Only thing brings variety to combat is mech fights. Mechs need oil to attack and use abilites, so you need to do some resource management. Mech fights aren't some kind of game changing feature but it is nice to have.
Game's visuals are nice and soundtrack is beautiful. Unfortunately we hear some tracks a lot in the game but it wasn't a big problem for me.
Long story short, Xenogears is a very good JRPG with excellent story,great cast of villains,very good protagonists; (Elly and Fei) although affected negatively by mediocre gameplay, good but repetitive soundtrack and a half baked Disc 2, it still deserves a try
8/10

Past News

Logging Feedback Results

The 1.10 feedback survey results return from the polls, along with some notes on how I’m handling next steps.

Aug 21, 2022

1.10 Logging Update

If there was ever going to be a Backloggd 2, this would be it.

Jul 01, 2022

An Update on Moderation

Everything good comes in moderation.

Mar 10, 2022

1.9 Merging Update

Game identification just got serious.

Aug 01, 2021

1.8 Stats Update

View your entire collection in a summary of graphs and stats!

May 05, 2021

1.7 Lists Update

Organizing data has never been so fun!

Feb 02, 2021