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Xenogears - PlayStation

Platform : PlayStation
Rated: Teen
4.7 out of 5 stars 318 customer reviews
Metascore: 84 / 100

Price: $105.16 + $3.99 shipping
Only 2 left in stock.
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  • Instructions and game case may not be included
  • Format: NTSC (N. America)
25 new from $85.74 47 used from $30.89 11 collectible from $32.99
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Product Description

Product Description

The Xenogears (PlayStation, 1998) is a RPG like the hugely popular Final Fantasy series. If you want to get a slice of the philosophies of Freud, Nietzsche and Carl Jung in an action game, it could be the right pick. As Fei the protagonist, you can set out on a mission to explore your past and change the present aided by not more than three allies at a time like the Final Fantasy VII game. The Xenogears (PlayStation, 1998) game has all the elements of a political and religious thriller in which you are at constant conflict with your memory and machines. The Xenogears (PlayStation, 1998) takes the RPG concept to new heights and is a visual treat with high end graphics and well-sketched characters.


Square's latest RPG is weird in a lot of ways, especially for Square. Xenogears' reliance on story, subtlety, and mood make it Square's most anime-like RPG thus far, in many ways making the game one of its best.

Staged on a human colony far in the future, Xenogears' story centers around the war between the nations and their endless power struggle. With the nations constantly dueling for power and resources, warfare has escalated to new levels thanks to enormous humanoid robots called "Gears." Trapped by destiny in the middle of the crisis' latest escalation is the game's stereotypically-named Fei Fong Wong. Exiled from a peaceful burg on the brink of war, Fei scours the world with his allies for clues to his past and the unknown destructive power that dwells within him.

Like a number of anime features, Xenogears' story is hard to put a finger on. The game's beautiful introduction sequence explains nothing and, at first glance, bears no relevance to the game. This trend continues throughout the game - when questions are answered, a slew of others open up, leaving one in a constant state of cluelessness. As opposed to a Final Fantasy game's primary goal of defeating the villain and saving the world, the driving force behind Xenogears' is resolving the game's excellent story. While it has its humorous moments, Xenogears's story is serious - so serious that it was almost never released in the United States. Rife with religious overtones and criticism, Xenogears often asks us to question our very being. While a little preachy at times, this is used well to enhance the story and our understanding of the game's deep characterizations.

Xenogears plays differently than just about every RPG out there. This is most noticeable within the game's dual battle systems. When Gear-less, one has the standard RPG options at his disposal: attack, defend, magic, item, and run. Attacking is where the game differs most, as you are given a number of attack points for every turn. After opting to attack, the player can perform a series of moves, costing one, two, or three attack points each. Certain combinations of moves will result in more powerful attack combos, learned throughout the game. Additionally, leftover attack points can be stored up and used to string together massively destructive combinations of combos with a sixth battle option. When riding a Gear, one's attack options are similar but different enough to keep things interesting. Instead of using attack points for player combos, Gears come equipped with a large stash of fuel. Each move requires 10, 20, or 30 fuel points, and super-combos require more. As running out of fuel would be a problem, a "charge" move restores a small amount of fuel points but leaves the Gears open to attack. Finally, a "booster" option speeds the Gear up for more frequent attacks but sucks 30 fuel points away every turn it's active. A definite change from the Final Fantasy series, spells play a very small role in Xenogears, mostly serving defensive purposes, and are learned through the age-old "get a level, get a spell" system.

With its different style of game and story, Xenogears is accompanied by an art style vastly different from that seen in other Square games. Each town and dungeon is presented polygonally from an overhead view, where pressing the left or right shoulder buttons will smoothly rotate the scenery. All characters in these scenes are sprite-based. Battles are presented in a combination of 2D and 3D, with most characters in 2D and the Gears in 3D. Xenogears is Square's first game to use actual anime and voice acting, mostly found only in the game's awesome movies. Unfortunately, the concept isn't pulled off as well as similar executions, namely GameArts Japanese RPG hit, Grandia. The game's character sprites are poorly animated and suffer from terrible pixelation, no doubt due to the PlayStation's limited RAM. Xenogears' robot and town designs are full of detail and panache, but their textures constantly wiggle and distort when the camera pans about, giving the game's geometry a less-than-solid, gelatinous look. The game's color in general is bland and washed out. Finally, the game's spells use the PlayStation's more 2D effects well, much like Final Fantasy Tactics' elaborate spell animations. Xenogears doesn't look bad by any means, just substantially unpolished when placed next to Final Fantasy VII or Tactics. However, the beautiful anime sequences skillfully combine top-notch hand-drawn animation with rendered graphics a la Ghost In The Shell's cinematics.

Featuring music from Chrono Trigger's composer, Yasunori Mitsuda, Xenogears expertly uses audio to push the story along. Many tracks include voice or chanting and all are appropriately uppity or low with the game's mood. Much of the game, however, uses silence or ambient noises, making parts of the game's soundtrack a tad sparse. To go along with the anime cutscenes, Xenogears is also Square's first foray into including in-game voice-overs. With a few rare exceptions, the voice outside of the movies is limited to grunts and other attack-type noises and usually end up getting drowned out in the game's music. Unfortunately, just when you might have thought Square was ready for all-digital sound, the rest of the game's sound effects lamentably follow Square's standard, uninspiring synthesized formula.

Xenogears is an excellent, thought-provoking RPG with enough story and original gameplay to warrant a look, even if the gameplay could use a little graphical polish. --Peter Bartholow
--Copyright ©1999 GameSpot Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of GameSpot is prohibited. GameSpot and the GameSpot logo are trademarks of GameSpot Inc. -- GameSpot Review

Product Details

  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B000038IFX
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 5 inches ; 3.2 ounces
  • Media: Video Game
  • Release Date: June 30, 2003
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (318 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,155 in Video Games (See Top 100 in Video Games)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
  • Discontinued by manufacturer: Yes

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Xenogears is definitely one of the top RPG's made by Square. This game is filled with interesting characters, awesome battles and beautiful anime cutscenes. The soundtrack is one of my favorites as well. The game really shines when it comes to story-telling and fans of great science fiction stories will love it. However, the story is very complex and can get very confusing. Playing this game twice through may be necessary to understand it, but that wasn't a problem for me, I loved it just as much the second time through! The game's soundtrack is one of the best I've ever heard, unfortunately the game doesn't do the soundtrack justice. You may feel that you're hearing the same song over and over again. The only downsides of this game are the Gear battles and the dubbing of the anime scenes. The Gear battles are very cool, but they are used too heavily in the last 2/3 of the game. It would have been nice to fight as the characters more often. The dubbing of the cutscenes is pretty off, but not enough to ruin them. Overall, this is a great RPG for gamers who like very deep and though-provoking sci-fi/fantasy stories. Potential players must enjoy reading game text because there is PLENTY of it in Xenogears, especially on Disc 2. The amount of difficulty is very high, FF7 is a cakewalk compared to Xenogears. I found myself barely surviving boss battles near the end of the game. I "died" at least 10 times while playing Xenogears, that's more deaths than all my other RPG experiences combined and I have played many RPG's. This is an excellent RPG for any gamer, but RPG first-timers may be a bit overwhelmed. This is the kind of game that shows people that video games are not just for kids, because this one certainly is not.Read more ›
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I am an avid fan of the Final Fantasy series. After playing FF7 I took a chance and bought this game. Although I prefer more fantasy-themed RPGs (and was certainly NOT into Mechs which play a large role in this game), I was intrigued by this game due to the contraversy that surrounded it at the time because of its religious themes. I went into it expecting a story and characters up to par with Final Fantasy. What I got was far more than I expected! Hidden beneath some out-of-date, pixely, Playstation graphics, and sound capabilities that usually couldn't do justice to the beautiful and quirky music, was a truly vast, highly complex, and surprisingly innovative storyline that begins with the everday troubles of a young man (the lead character, Fei) and ends with the completion of 10,000 years of events and the character's revelation about the nature of his existance and the nature of his god.
Xenogears is the conceptual ancestor of the current PS2 game Xenosaga Episode 1: Der Wille Zur Macht. In fact, Xenogears was originally meant to be the 5th part in the 6 part series. Xenosaga Ep. 1 is--suposedly--the first in the series of episodes (6 total) that lead up to and past Xenogears (or something similar to Xenogears as there are plans to "remake" it as Xenosaga Ep. 5. While it maintains many of the elements traditionally associated with console RPGs it offers its own innovations to the genre. The characterizations are complex and subtle, lending a realism to each of them not often seen in many RPGs. The visual design of the game is an interesting and stylized combination of fantasy and sci-fi that is very solidly and imaginatively executed.
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Comment 18 of 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By A Customer on December 19, 2001
Wow! Thats the only word to describe how good this game is. Just the story puts this game miles ahead of any other game i have ever played. Final Fantasy 1-9, Chrono Cross, Chrono Trigger, you name it I've played, and none of them even come close to the story of this game. Let me put it this way, the entire second disk is bassically reading. The story is so complex that it takes ove half a disk of reading just to get the jist of the story (since half the details were cut out from the Japanese version). Because the game already takes at least 70 hours to finish, if you had to play through the entire second disk to learn the story it would take at least 200 hours! Not only that but it is so completely unpredictable. Most games you can get halfway through and you already know the entire plot. With Xenogears, your completely clueless as to what is going on through the first half, but once the story starts coming together, WOW! The fairly unique gear battle system is very compelling, and the music is up to par with most other RPGs (save FF VII and Chrono Cross). If there were a downside to this game, it would be the fact there isn't that much gameplay in the second disk, but as i said this is entirely necessary. I admit the story is way too complex for many young children, but as for the heavy religious aspect that many people comment on, if you remember that this is a ficticious video game then no one with half a brain should take offense. I myself am a Roman Catholic and saw nothing offensive about the game. This was the best game I have ever played, novel I have ever read, and movie I have ever seen. If you do not buy this game you are seriously missing out.
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