John "Creexul" Cable 03/11/2003 

Note the extraordinary attention to detail the Japanese put into their work.

There is a cutscene a few hours into Xenosaga where the main character, Shion Uzuki, and her pals are on some salvage ship. She has apparently made dinner, and the crew of wacky clichés rave about how the food is so good, and how they usually have such bad food because there are no women on board to cook for them.

The captain demands she refill his glass of water. Twice. Shion's friend (who likes her) politely asks to refill his water glass as well. She replies with, "I'm sorry, I haven't noticed!" He mumbles to himself, "Haven't noticed?"

What is this scene about? WHO THE FUCK KNOWS!!!!!!!!!!! But more importantly, why do I mention this? Because this is the dead giveaway that this game's story and dialogue were written by someone who simply cannot write. I'm not sure if that exchange, which ends the specific scene, is supposed to be some sort of comic relief, part of a character arc, or some kind of love interest. The fact that it doesn't make sense shows the writer is in over his head, dealing with characters and situations he obviously just cannot fucking control. My mentioning of this scene is more significant to the overall game than the scene itself is. That should be a clue that it's time to give up your day job as a self-important video game plot writer and go sell pencils and string on the street corner, or wash people's windshields at the red lights.

Judging by my senses and perception skills, which are advanced light years beyond any fan of Xenogears or Xenosaga, they spent more time working on the detail of the 12 year old character MOMO's panties rather than working on a story that makes sense and isn't so goddamned preachy all the time. If people aren't having meaningless conversations with each other in this game, they're preaching to each other about how important it is to respect human rights. This from the country that murdered civilians and cut out our prisoner's internal organs and ate them raw at banquets a few decades ago. You get the feeling, even from the "war is so mean and not nice" sentiments in this game, that the Japanese still blame us for attacking them in World War 2.

Here is the kind and heroic main character. And her very well-defined CUNT.
This game hinges entirely upon the writing. The only part of this game that actually resembles a game is when it occasionally stops spewing platitudes at you and lets you wander around a bland corridor area for a while, or fight a few bland battles. Then you turn a corner, and there's a very extended cutscene of an obviously evil character spouting off about how "These Realians are merely toys, I will blow them up to help me save myself!" And then the very sympathetic main characters scream, "NO, HOW COULD YOU DO THIS, HOW DARE YOU! YOU ARE JUST LIKE AMERICA WHEN PEARL HARBOR ATTACKED OUR FLEET!"

Apparently, several people are convinced that, if the story is long, it must be good no matter what. Note the extremely blowjobby review from Gamespot, which gives the game an 8.1, and then proceeds to fire off a gigantic and crippling laundry list of negative comments that, if they were directed at any other game, would have docked the score to about 1.5.

Here's something that Gamespot (and not me) said. Tell me if you think this seriously makes sense. They mention that the game, as it's been admitted by everyone who plays it, has extremely long cutscenes. Gamespot's 8.1 OMG GAME SO COOL ANIME RULEZ review says that they do occasionally get boring. So if the entire game is mostly cutscenes, and they get boring, wouldn't that just make the game plain old boring?

However, I have no problem with the cutscenes being long. I have watched movies before. There are no random encounters or interactivity in them, except for rewinding and such. I like movies, especially if they have a good story. So if I'm playing a game, and it has long cutscenes, the same rule applies. As long as it's any good, then I'll like it. The cutscenes in Xenosaga are not really boring, I thought. They're just really really bad. And again, since the game is made up of them, that doesn't exactly give you a lot left to work with.

I will throw out a few point scores for the people with short attention spans.

Graphics: 8

They aren't bad, obviously someone with no life beyond creating 3D models of women poured a lot of work into this game. They also had a field day with everything below the waist, but unfortunately for American gamers, they've disabled the ability to look up the skirts of all the female characters. Just another example of America RUINING the sacred art of Japan with their puritanical witch hunts.

Some of the effects of attacks during battle are absurd though. Some characters throw flower petals or important looking ancient text at their enemies, or binary code. Seeing this shit fly around when you hit an enemy really degrades the effect of fucking up some bad guys. The battle effects in this game, while looking good, are absolute overkill. Just like almost every single thing in this game, no one was around to tell the programmers and designers just where the fuck to get off.

Panties: 10

Every female character in this game wears a skirt, and the designers have indeed created something up that skirt other than some stretched out polygons to block the view. Either they wear that skirt and like it, or they have no skirt and basically wear some kind of skin tight one-piece thong suit.

MOMO panties: 10

This will probably be the biggest selling point of the entire game. Everyone knows the story sucks, but whenever MOMO, the android with the appearance of a 12 year old girl (to sort of disguise her, the game alleges) shows up in a cutscene, you can usually see her kneel down and show a flash of bright white, unmistakable panties under her extremely short skirt, and that will sell copies more than the story will. If you play this game at all, you literally cannot get away from seeing her panties several times. Even in the battle scenes, when she dies, she does it ass in the air, with a clear behind-the-feet view of bright white Elvis-adored cotton panties. The reason this is here is because the game's creators (like most anime creators) know there are a lot of pedophiles out there who want to see a 12 year old with big cute eyes and a cute pert nose being sexualized as much as possible, while having a perfectly good excuse for it. In this case, the very transparent "she is an android, not human" excuse. Save it for the Devil, motherfucker, because the court of Crimes Against Humanity is sentencing you to a quick and painful execution: shot in the face on the lawn of the White House.

Hype: 0 (zero)

They released a lot of weird news about this game, in order to build interest for it. I remember reading that Xenosaga was planned as the PS2's first double-sided DVD disc, it was so expansive! Wow!!!!!!!! This was an incredibly weak lie. News reports eventually leaked out that the American version cut out a scene because of objectionable content, leaving Xenogears fans anxiously frothing at the mouth with rage at the evil Americans destroying the perfect and sacred art of Japan. Unfortunately for everyone involved, the scene really was objectionable, featuring a 12 year old girl getting her uterus fisted (see screenshot) by the main villian, in a scene that goes on way way longer than it should and also includes enough moaning and sexual gratification from the villian (actual line: "It feels so good!") to make any idiot wonder why they would include this at all. The only thing they have left to hype is the soundtrack, which would include about one single 10-second piece of tense music which is repeated literally millions of times in the game during the (apparently) tense parts.

Story: 0 (zero)

People who think they're buying this for the story obviously have no clue what a good story even is. Most of the plot twists are obvious hours before they are revealed, unless they are from characters that haven't even shown up until a minute before. Every single character they try to make you think could be dead and show a minute later alive--if you have any of your faculties in order, you'd know that they'd try to pass him off as dead and reveal he's alive before anything even happens to that character. When you see one character has a special skill that gives him better defense only when a specific character in the game is behind him in battle, you'll know that those two characters will become fast friends before THEY even know it.

As usual, there are stinking, fetid heaps of religious references mixed into the story for no reason. That's almost to be expected these days, in the overdone world of Japanese RPGs where anything with any remote amount of meaning has to be named after some kind of biblical reference. You know it, I know it, the American people know it. The depressing thing about these Xeno games is that it is almost always totally misappropriated, so most of the references are in there for no reason other than "rockin dude religious references!" value. You could replace all the references to Zeboim and Zohar and Jerusalem with something like Ocean Spray flavors. You could be searching for the ancient relic of Cranapple, fighting an ultimate God-like being called Cranberry Cocktail, flying around the galaxy in the mysterious and powerful ship, the Cran-grape. It would have basically the same effect on the story, if not outright improving it.

Sound: 0 (zero)

The voice acting is horrible. They couldn't find anyone who could speak at least ONE single four-word line without fucking it up? I guess not. Music in this game barely exists, most of it is a few songs repeated over the several endless, mind-numbing hours you sit on your ass playing this peace-time atrocity.

Fanbase: 0 (zero)

Some of the creepiest motherfuckers you could ever regret meeting, even if it's on a message board on the internet. There isn't a single brain cell to rub between them, except for the brain cells that control how important they consider themselves.

Overall: 10... out of 100,000,000! RLROLFOL

Everything right about this game was stolen from FFX. Everything they brought themselves is fucked up beyond belief, repair, and forgiveness. Everything they thought would be cool in this game is overdone so even if it's cool at all, it isn't cool after the first time. It was a good idea to have a game with an epic story that reaches over several games. When they were finished, they were left with a failure on every conceivable level of artistic humiliation. When I go to bed at night, I realize how I could accidentally make a better game in my sleep. In fact, I already have several times.

John "Creexul" Cable