Xenosaga First Impressions
Started Xenosaga Episode I earlier today. Got through about 2 hours.
First, a bit about my preconceptions. I know Xenosaga is from largely ex-Square Xenogeras staff now at Namco, so it's... heavily related in concept, if not directly connected. I'd heard a lot about the high ratio of cut-scene to playtime, but that doesn't necessarily alarm me. I like non-interactive shows, I like games, why not various stages in between?
So... yeah, a lot of cutscenes so far, though I'd expect a somewhat high amount for an opening, so I don't know if it will remain this high. It does seem like every time I go through a room or two the action is stopped for something to happen, with the exception of the one dungeon-like area. The story seems like it will be pretty grand in scope, though as of yet I'm far from knowing how things will thread together. The introduction actually starts off in "20XX AD", but then quickly switches to... 4000 years later. What happen!?
Battle system seems nice enough. Definitely in the Xenogears/Chrono Cross/Legend of Legaia family of battle systems. Triangle, Square (and sometimes X) are used for actions, with each taking Action Points, some of which can be held back from one turn to the next to do even specialer moves. Though after playing a lot of Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time recently, I feel like I should be doing more.
Battles are not random. Some enemies will automatically try to go for you, while some will basically let you walk by if you're quiet about it. One cool extra is that certain objects in the world can be blown up; if you do this with an enemy near it, they'll have some sort of negative status change when you enter battle with them.
The graphics are quite decent. The characters are quite detailed, though the aliasing is quite apparent. The dungeon-like area used a nice depth-of-field effect.
Music... after so little time nothing sticks much in my mind, but it's not awful and is from Yasunori Mitsuda, so I should expect good things.
Really, overall... it's quite middle-of-the-road. I've played just enough to figure out generally how things work, but not enough to decide whether it's going to use them in a fun way.