So some of you may remember a movie that came out many years ago, it had a young hero who looked up at the stars and dreamed about the many adventures he could have there. Well thirty years and three prequels later we still see games that start off with that same set up. Rogue Galaxy the latest RPG offering from Sony, puts you in the shows of young Jaster Rogue, and like that young hero from the movie about a war in the stars, Jaster dreams about going into space.
Unlike some of the other RPG’s out on the market, Rogue Galaxy doesn’t stick to one formula; instead it blends together many different ideas from some of the best RPG franchises around. You will find no turn based combat in this game; instead it plays out like Kingdom Hearts. Unlike KH, Rouge Galaxy does have random battles. You don’t see your enemy running around on screen, instead the camera pans up and the enemies appear and then the battle begins. At first I just wondered why not take the KH route and just do away with turn based combat, but this system really works for this game. Another cool thing about the battle system is your weapons and skills.
Each character in your party has two weapons, a main weapon and a sub weapon. For instance Jaster has a sword and a gun, Zephrim has a sword and ninja stars. Each of these sub weapons never run out of ammo, and are mapped to a separate button on the controller. You can’t pull off Dante style moves with the sword and gun combo but it is fun to knock them down with the sword and the step back and blast away with your pistol. Unfortunately the AI in the game is not the brightest. So your computer controlled men will end up doing something you didn’t want them to and get them killed in the process. To help keep this from happening to often the game has a suggestion system. When in battle your teammates will call out a suggestion for you to choose from.
It is normally situation specific. If someone needs healing they will ask if they should heal, if someone needs buffed they will present you with that option. All and all it is a very useful system for hectic boss fights, and will help you not have to baby sit your team all the time. The developers picked a very unique way of handling the skills. When you go to the Revelation screen (which is what the skills are known as in this game) you will see a board much like those seen in FFX and FFXII. But instead of needing a skill point to gain the special move, you have to find certain items around the world.
Most of these items can be bought in the shops scattered around the world. For the others you have to do some good ole monster fighting. It is a very simple and easy to use system, which is what I think the developers were going for. Another different thing is that you can pick up your enemies and throw them at each other which cause a lot of damage. Another nice touch is the cut scenes. First off you will notice no loading when you transition from battle to real world, or when you enter and exit buildings. So when you see a cut scene it usually uses the games awesome 3D engine. So you can see your characters in the different costumes and unique weapons you equip them with.
Of course no RPG can only be random battles and boss fights they all have side-missions to partake in. So is the case with Rogue Galaxy. At the outset of the game, Jaster is mistaken for a legendary hunter known as the Desert Claw, once he defeats this giant monster. After talking to Steve the robot he finds out that this monster is worth 20,000 points. Once you turn in these points you find out that the galaxy is full of hunters.
With Desert Claw being on top and you being ranked 95 after your kill, As you make your way through the galaxy you will gain more and more hunter points that will move you up in rank. As you move up you will receive Hunter coins to purchase better hunter licenses. Another mini-game that this game has is called the Insectatron Stadium. At one point in the game you will come across a young boy, who is trying to catch some bugs so he can become the best Insectatron warrior. Oddly he looks like Ash from Pokémon who is also trying to catch them all to become the very best. The young man gives you his old bug catcher and a habitat for the little critters to live in so you can catch and raise bugs of your very own.
The story is pretty much cut and dry. Band of heroes finds out some big corporation is plotting to take over the world-.err galaxy. So of course it is up to this odd mix of partners to tackle this huge problem head on, instead of going to the proper authorities. Of course if they did that this game would be over in a few hours, instead it can take you 30-40 hours just to finish the main quest. For all you people who love to spend 100 hours or more in games Rogue Galaxy does not disappoint. You will find a water planet, and a few new dungeons added since the Japanese version was released.
This game sports a very imaginative look and fell. The characters are detailed, and the voice work is awesome. Among all this talk about next generation consoles and HD games don’t let this one pass you buy. The PS2 has released a host of wonderful RPG’s during its lifespan, and this one should go right up there with FFX and Dark Cloud. Even with the small problems with the battle system and sometimes repetitive banter among your team this is one good game.