Tuesday, May 18, 2010

in a world where everything is gray and/or white...

A while ago, I tried to make a real time "live blog" type thing of myself playing through Xenosaga ep.1. I couldn't finish it. Here's what I managed to get down. Note that it is profanity-laden and reads like an IRC log or something. There are probably spoilers too.

-opening cutscene

20XX? really

kenya, lol


he knew it!



don't look surprised bro, you knew this would happen.

4000 years later. :|


i like how they show off how bad their character design is, then the name of the character designer pops up.

this opening scene is like... 10 minutes long so far, btw. you can skip cutscenes in xenosaga, but why would you? you'd be left with a 10 hour jrpg with a mediocre battle system...

of course the password is "ye shall be as gods." anything else would be un-pretentious!

somehow i think if the military built a hyper proficient battle android, they wouldn't make it look like a super hot blue-haired chick

this cutscene is still going. creeping up on 15 minutes.

-encephalon simulator
shion lv1
kos-mos lv1

finally i get to play the game.

oh wait, no, tutorials.

ok, here we go.

this battle theme is so fucking awesome. wasted on such a shitty battle system

another cutscene. if this one is longer than a minute...

allen and shion, sitting in tree, etcetera

jesus fucking...

finally back to gameplay

yeah, yeah, blow up objects, etc...

battles in xenogears were more interesting than this shit

I COLLECTED SOME GOOD DATA ok i get it she's a scientist


another god damn cutscene

k, got the mission key, opened the gate...

guess what? cutscene.

boss fight. "drone gx"


well that was easy.



hey look it's elly

shion lv3
kos-mos lv3

-cutscene: dudes on a spaceship (expect many sequels)

unnecesarily long scene depicting spaceships coming out of warp speed

johnny yong bosch! he's everywhere, ladies and gentleman

this is... fucking boring.

back to shion and co.

more boring shit.

i wish i could skip this. i mean i could, but i have to watch it for this. :(

with all this voice acting, how did they fit this game on one disc? geez...

-aboard the woglinde

janis tells you about a red box in the encephawhatever. can i go back in there?

i got an email. an email. :|

allen so wants to hit that.

WHAT THE FUCK that guy has a giant x painted on his face... didn't a guy in xenogears have that too? don't remember

elly again. lol. shion is having some trippy out of body experience, like most rpg protagonists have at some point

wow this x-face guy is a real asshole. just goes around punching people in the face for looking at stuff

go to shion's room, get something, whatever

manufactered humans? called realians here

virgil is a freaky prick-face

lol i just noticed the awful lip synching. hilarious

this dialogue is so hammy

"he wasn't always like that... until the accident."

shion getting yelled at, lol.

went back into the encephalon simulator to find that red box... found one of those red doors, no box yet though.

oh i found it, was where the boss fight happened. had a battle passport in it. no idea what that does...

apparently it lets you play a minigame. huh.

impossible to figure out where anything is on this god damn ship

some assholes made me play tag with them. really?

i sure hope the gnosis don't attack while shion is resting!

shion keeps seeing elly

kos-mos is awake! gnosis are attacking! i did not see this coming!

yes, distract scary inter-dimensional monster with television...

this whole scene is terribly mundane... avoid the scary monsters, find friends. seen this in so many other games.

my ass they didn't hit her.

oh dear lord, they can possess the mechs.

shion is a total pussy, man. I WONT LEAVE ALONE ;_;

predictable cutscene with noble captain going down with the ship

lol the gnosis ship looks like a giant space whale


i guess this is supposed to be disturbing, but it's actually just kind of funny. dead realians being re-animated to hold off gnosis


this is all very existential and all, but i am bored can i please continue playing.

hahaha yeah they can fly, dick.

let me guess: kos-mos saves the day


boss: cyclops

easy enough, trick is to not use any ether attacks...

kos-mos is pretty smart, lol.

sure are a lot of bullets in those magazines.

friendly fire is hilarious!


boss: minotaur & 2x sky fish

still pretty easy. standard stuff...


i submit that kos-mos is the only good thing about xenosaga.

here's that infamous saving in mid-cutscene

shion lv6
kos-mos lv6

-cutscene: dudes on a spaceship part 2: the revenge

oh god, this guy has a hat that says "CAUTION I AM A BOOZER"

this dude, hammer, has fucking crazy hair too. he must be named after the demi-human hammer from xenogears

she's... not... dead...!

god, this guy says "ya moron" a lot

kos-mos is pushy as fuck, man.

his name is chaos? :|

why don't they ever capitalize chaos' name? >_>

"the captain... no one holds a greater amount of debt than the captain." lol.

mid-cutscene save: part 2

i have 5:22 playtime right now, 3 of those hours must be cutscenes, and another 45 minutes or so of idle time while i was eating or taking a shit or something.

fifth jerusalem? ._.

what is this, religious zealots railing against mental science?

oh look, it's ziggy stardust. seriously. this guy was modeled and named after david bowie

enter momo, lolicon of mass destruction

btw this cutscene has been going on for about 40 minutes, i think.

ziggy lv7

what a lame cloaking device, anyone would be able to see you

not much going on here, just some really unnecessary stealth sections

idk ziggy is kinda cool.

have to find a key to get momo out of her cell. typical

seems like ziggy's "ignition" attack crits every time it hits. abuse inc

... i just got killed by poison. it did EIGHTY DAMAGE. i have about 400 hp. so what, poison does 20% of my max hp in damage? as in it'll kill you in five turns? this is obnoxious. time to do the whole stealth sequence over again.

actually found a couple other secrets this time... one of those red doors, #4. need the key

found the key to door 11, but not 4. huh.

alright back to where i was.

boss fight (i guess?): gardis M1

dunno if that was a boss fight, but it was kind of a pain in the ass. got the master key

i actually kind of like the minimalist approach to music in the dungeons so far. there's just a sort of ambience indicative of being in outer space, which is nice

momo joins @lv5


last time i played this game, i think i died here and never played it again.

boss fight (i guess? again): zolfo & 2x mercurio

ah, trick to this battle is sleeping the mercurios. the zolfo shoots them to wake them up, doing pretty huge damage. not so bad after figuring that out.

oh it's that voice actor who always plays noble-but-evil dudes in rpgs. like gizel's dad in suikoden 5.

or not, this shit must be unwinnable

i hope it is, because i'm done trying to survive.

yeah, unwinnable.

things explode! ziggy and momo flee!

-aboard the elsa
shion lv8

back to shion's group.

lol, i just noticed how chaos looks like a sonic character... reminds me of silver from sonic 06 or something. indicative of how bad this character design is.

this game is sexist as fuck, lol. in a nutshell, they just said that because they have no women on their ship, they never get to eat good food

and now i'm supposed to take curry to commander whatshisface. what a girl

i turned away for a minute and now i have no idea what's happening. some people are taking kos-mos? idk man. i think this is a flashback. she's totally murdering everyone now though

back to the present, and curry delivering

can't... find... commanderguy...

there's this huge cutscene going on but i was watching highlights of the matrix rifftrax instead, sorry.

uh cerebral sciences, vector, concrete evidence... i dunno what's going on.

this is awful

this is the dumbest... cutscene...


boss fight: domo carrier

this is... difficult. high damage aoe, self-healing. you apparently have to keep an eye on the boost thing for this, which is... stupid for more than a few reasons. awful fight

k, upgraded my AGWS and stuff. also momo and ziggy joined shion's group, and we're apparently heading to second miltia...

-cutscene: dudes on a spaceship part 3: the holyman/aboard the durandal & u-tic battleship

so that's jr.? he likes to quote the bible i guess. probably a reference to his obvious emulation of billy's character design, who was a priest in xenogears

the character design in this game is... so bad. i don't know what happened. it wasn't too bad in XG...

albedo is a lol guy. terrible, terrible villain... predictably insane, nonsensical motives, annoying, all that. i'm sure he'll end up doing terrible shit. people need to realize that the best villains are the ambiguous ones that you don't want to hate. the good "true evil" villains have smooth/funny dialogue in addition to doing horrible, brutal things. albedo has none of these things.

god damn it, i hate this game

then you get thrown into a battle as jr. why couldn't this just be part of the cutscene? who designed this piece of shit?

the battle system in this game is so bad that you almost wish the game was one huge cutscene. it's like you don't *want* to play more of it...

you know, jr's design would be really good if it weren't for those puke green pants. come on, man... actually, he almost looks like a pallette swap of suiko3 luc. just give him some gloves and a mask...

jr. even seems to have billy's stance in battle. that's interesting

this was a really boring part of the game. moreso than usual, i mean... kill some guards, get some card keys, whatever.

boss: ambix

easy easy easy. down in about 3 turns

i feel like i'm getting dumber the longer these cutscenes go on. this isn't a good or interesting story.

-back on the elsa/dock colony

i'd update levels but i don't even care anymore. maybe later

my desire to skip this scene is... so intense.

allen is eating his sorrows away... what a pussy...

oh hey, dock colony. it's white, gray and metallic, just like every other place in the game

cherenkov is getting mugged or something

gonna try and grind... need money

going to pleroma i guess

ugh, money and exp is so slow here, but this is also the highest level place i can go...

xenogears is definitely better than this, and xenogears fucking sucks.

done grinding... upgraded all my AGWS, weapons and armor.

cutscene cutscene cutscene

something is wrong with the commander oh no

oh the u-tic battleship just opened up in EVS. that would have fucking helped a while ago when i was grinding.

what, we're leaving already? if i had just continued the story, we would have been here a grand total of 10 minutes.

alright! the captain says we're heading to miltia! but i bet we won't get there before something stops us!

stupid, vague cutscene with mystery girl. why do these have to exist. they tell me nothing and are not an effective method of foreshadowing

yep, something is stopping us.


oh god where the fuck are we now?

inside a gnosis. no shit.

-cathedral ship
shion lv11
kos-mos lv10
chaos lv15
ziggy lv13
momo lv12

this place looks like... well, it looks like the inside of some kind of ghost-monster. which is what the gnosis are, i guess. at least it's different from all the spaceships we've been on.

cherenkov is trippin balls.

jr. to the rescue, probably.

fucking jesus enemies have a lot of hp here.

and they don't drop any money. pretty good exp though

the giant gnosis devoured the planet! calling it.

WHAT IS GOING ON. is this a flashback? cherenkov in court or some shit and some lady stepping on his nuts

garbage (day)!

margulis is talking, but all i hear is marscal godwin

back to the dungeon.

is that a why? billboard? like the band?

i am getting really fucking sick of fighting groups of 5 high evasion enemies with drawn out attack animations.

of course there is more. why would something that is bad ever stop?

as far as i know, you can't sleep robotic enemies in this game. so why can enemies sleep kos-mos?

a waterfall? inside a ship? really?

this place is suffering hardcore from eternal sonata syndrome -- sure, enemies are onscreen and you can dodge them, but the paths are so fucking thin you might as well have them forced on you. actually, most of the game has been this way.

finally a save point. and a shop. haha. what a slap in the face. none of the enemies in here drop any money, and at the end they have the audacity to say "hey, if you need any supplies, get them now!"

but apparently the dungeon isn't over yet. sigh.

holy shit, is this a boss? it won't fucking die (perun)

it also can't seem to hit me with much of anything.

finally... christ.

this is definitely in the running for "worst dungeon in history of rpgs"

not only is it possible for dungeon crawling to be fun, it's *supposed* to be fun. monolith evidently never realized this

what the... i don't even know where i'm supposed to go at this point. this huge room is like a big circle with nothing but a couple chests in it, and i don't remember any branching paths before this. not that i'd want to go back and look for one, since all the massively obnoxious enemies respawn.

oh, i see. cutscene...

i hope there's no boss fight here. i really do. i don't want to die and have to run through like 4 rooms to get back here.

i just figured out how to learn/use deathblows (or whatever they are called in this game). battle system is now 5% more tolerable. still awful.

even inside this ridiculous brown place, there's more gray/metallic places.


okay. i think the boss is coming up. i hope. this is officially the most gameplay-centric segment of the entire game, and it sucks the fat one.

not before you're forced into more shitty battles, anyway.

yeah, let's watch the elevator descend the entire 150 foot drop while the most annoying sound ever recorded rapes our ears.

why are we surprised to see the zohar in here? kos-mos basically told us it was here a couple hours ago.

i always thought that cherenkov was a pretty transparent guy. HIOOOOOOOO

boss: gargoyle & 2x oudogogue

very tricky, but not too hard once you get the strat down.

-cutscene: dudes on a spaceship part 4: let's fighting love!

light, human race, cycle of consumption, sacks of flesh and bone... this is so melodramatic and trite...

are we supposed to feel sorry for cherenkov? we don't know anything about him and he's not presented as a primary character. now he's just rambling about how he was in the war and some other shit. it's really not effective

this is so evangelion. it's not even subtle about it.

dude's dead. quit your whining

first effective piece of dialogue in the whole game: "chaos... are we all going to end up like him?"

oh what the fuck is going on now? how did the elsa get in here? are they just floating in outer space? how are they breathing? so many questions, no answers.

fuck yeah jr.

holy shit lol, the durandal is badass. it has many guns.

kos-mos keeps it real. totally owned all those gnosis with SUPER UNKNOWN LATENT POWER

what, is she becoming a real girl now?

her belly button just turned into a weapon of mass destruction.

no idea what's going on again. jr. is running. GAIGNUUUUUUUN!!!!!11

dead cat. gaignun is his cat? what

oh it was a dream.

he has 666 tattooed on his hand? for serious?

the gnosis are made of salt? lol.

oh god this is all one big biblical allegory. the gnosis-infested galaxy is the post-eden human existence.

-aboard the durandal

this artificial park area is the closest thing to a planet this game has taken us to.

what the fuck, i just got an email about ace combat 4. rpgs are not supposed to have ingame advertising

for the record, my playtime is 26:20, but about 10 hours of that is idle time. i often have to take breaks when i play this because it's very painful.

i'm not sure where i'm supposed to go now. this ship is large.

"kos-mos is a nice person" no she's not, she's not even a person

so instead of providing the player with pretty, open-ended environments to explore, they made gargantuan spaceships for you to get lost for hours in where 80% of the space isn't used for anything and they are all the same color

sage advice from the writers of xenosaga: "it's best to rest when you're tired"

ok, more cutscene.

i'm guessing that's the kukai foundation. holy shit, it has like, natural features. like a... planet.

but it's not a planet. IT IS A SPACE STATION.

still, this is way more interesting than any other god damn place we've been to. maybe the game will now become tolerable. i doubt it.

wow, if you've ever played this game... rofl at the bullshit way the durandal docks on this thing. completely illogical and stupid.

so jr. has 666 and this sleazy businessman has 699.

oh don't say "no it can't be" and then walk off, you prick. god i hate anime cliches.

more talking about shit the player has no knowledge of.

fuck, how tall is jr.? i'm really short and i think he's smaller than i am. 4'10" maybe?

now we're at the beach, motherfuckers playing volleyball. and shion has a depressing flashback.

alright we get it, kos-mos is eventually going to have emotions and be human-like.

jr. has remote-controlled weather on his space station. t-pain aint got that shit.

shion hates thunder! what a vagina!

oh look, a black guy!

-kukai foundation

oh snap. there's a xenogears-style city map here. that's actually kind of cool

ahh, more AGWS upgrades i can't even begin to afford. let's see, how much money do i need...

at least 14,400. i have 1,400. lol. where am i supposed to grind? the cathedral ship enemies don't drop any money.

INVINCIBLE GIANT ROBOT. at this point, i'm starting to miss WE ARE MEN OF THE SEA

oh, and i need even more money for weapons an armor. probably another 5k or so.

according to this faq, playing poker is a good way to make money. i did not even know you could play poker.

of course, i can't even get the casino pass thing because they won't let me explore the durandal.

so you go to the inn, rest, and then you have to go back to the elsa, which is docked on the durandal, which is docked in kukai foundation.

now i can go get the god damn casino pass. geez.

having more fun playing poker than i am the rest of the game

ok done, time to go shopping

again, i can't stress enough how annoying it is not to be able to compare equipment in shops.

alright all upgraded... that was some dragon quest shit.

there was a big cutscene i didn't take any notes about, but in a nutshell the federation thinks the kukai foundation and miltia are conspiring against them, or so they say, but they're really trying to frame them or something. and something about u-tic. i don't even know what u-tic is, i just know i raided one of their ships at some point in the game. some chick is apparently undercover in the federation and helped shion and co. escape from custody so that they could prove their innocence by doing some shit with kos-mos' records. okay, back to playing.

-durandal again

this doesn't make sense to me. we're trying to get to kos-mos so we can prove our innocence, but we have no qualms with murdering federation soldiers on the way?

"yeah, that's great that you have proof you're innocent. too bad you killed like 15 people getting it. enjoy your 25-life"

i could almost understand if this was in a more medieval setting where the laws aren't so refined, but... really? this is in the year 4000 or whatever.

a common folly of roleplaying villainry: hide your prisoners' weapons in a room just down the hall!

man... jr's coin snap attack. he throws a coin into the air and then ricochets a bullet off it. do i really need to elaborate on how fucking bullshit that is?

the elsa is locked. how do i get in

i hate... and i mean hate, how you can't hit backrow enemies with long range weapons. what kind of sense does that make.

oh of course, you get in by going where the enemies are.

there just happens to be an unlocked hatch on the roof of the elsa. right.

back into the encephalon!


wahhhh thunder

elly says cryptic shit! again!

meanwhile, jr., momo and ziggy watch random soldiers march to battle

and they all looked like jr.


no, you are not nephilim. fuck you. you're elly.

urgh. forced to use momo and ziggy. good thing i upgraded their equips i guess. they still have no tech attacks

looks like another awful dungeon.

god damn momo sucks.

lol he gets angry when people are concerned for him, doesn't he

back to boring storytime with elly

yay, enemy encounters with five targets and a central enemy who has aoe cure. eyes glazing over

the small ones also have high evasion. who thought this was a good idea

fyi, battle systems like this are why so many people hold the misconception that plot is important in an rpg. because you know, playing this game certainly isn't fun. why else does it exist?

this is some of the most boring, tedious dungeon crawling i've ever experienced. and i played both lunars. monolith should not be allowed to make games.

asshole stands on top of building, quotes bible; audience groans

i don't know how anyone can think this is good science fiction. you don't even have to look very far to see it done right. star wars? mass effect? star ocean has more compelling narratives than this, save 4.

more sci-fi better than xenosaga: star trek. cheesy entertainment is still entertainment.

now we are in a forest. and there are more enemies. and i desperately wish to be dead and buried.

i have used almost 20 escape packs in this dungeon. i am not amused.

funnily enough, this game wasn't worth the $4 i spent on it.

oh god damn it momo, stop crying this is virtual reality.

albedo also looked just like jr. as a youngun

you know, i haven't fought a boss in whi- SHIT

boss: tiamat

pretty easy

oh look, kos-mos is crucified. sigh. spare me the symbolism

shion is this... oblivious, bland character. there's nothing interesting about her at all.

i... can't take this anymore. i'm done.

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