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Disappointment. Fear. Ignorance. Intolerance. Shame. Rage. These were some of the emotions many gamers who bought Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht were feeling while they ventured through this 2003 space-based RPG. Emotional and epic, Xenosaga was Namco's chance to show off the new brass knuckles they had acquired from the recently established Monolith Software studio. Composed of former members of the Squaresoft staff, Monolith is responsible for the previous 1998 incarnation of the controversial mega-hit RPG from the same but unequal role-playing franchise, Xenogears.
For those who can overlook a few flaws, Xenosaga Episode II is a must-buy and an example how to craft a RPG with a truly epic story. Given the game's lower than expected sales performance in Japan (280,000 copies versus a projected figure of 450,000 copies), one can only hope Tetsuya Takahashi and the development team at Monolith Software will stick to their formula and deliver another classic with Xenosaga Episode III.
Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits von Gut und Böse breaks boundaries in terms of storytelling and cinematics, but remains hindered by unbalanced gameplay, monotonous quests, and blatant oversights in production quality. Monolith Software has made significant progress in recent years, but the proper execution of Tetsuya Takahashi's vision requires further tempering at the forge. However, those who enjoyed Der Wille zur Macht, despite its shortcomings, should be thoroughly satisfied with the epic tale of Jenseits von Gut und Böse.
Meine Meinung - Winfried Rudrof
Es ist schon faszinierend, wie sehr sich Videospiele und Kinofilme annähern: die Hälfte des Spielgeschehens verbringt man hier mit dem passiven Betrachten von Zwischensequenzen. Geht dies nicht am eigentlichen Sinn eines Videospiels vorbei? Nicht, wenn die Geschichte so spannend und abwechslungsreich erzählt wird wie hier! Und spielerisch können die taktischen Kämpfe mit ihren diversen Kombo-Möglichkeiten punkten. Leider ist die Präsentation nicht ganz perfekt; die Grafik stottert des Öfteren und der Dudelfaktor der Musik ist bemerkenswert. Wer sich an all dem nicht stört, sollte in die Xenosaga eintauchen!
Zum Profil von Winfried Rudrof
Comparisons to the original game aside, Xenosaga Episode II is an enjoyable RPG that kept me enthralled for the duration. This series has infinite promise, and if Episode II’s purpose was to drive the series forward while exciting me about the upcoming sequels, then it’s a smash success.
Game industry News (GiN)
While Xenosaga 2 probably hit home for those already familiar with the storyline, it also was more than playable for those just being introduced to the series. While there were no mind-blowing industry breakthroughs, Xenosaga II presented itself as a finely tuned game with all facets of a stable RPG that any level gamer can enjoy. Sadly, the movies permeate the game and make you put down your controller a little more than you would like. Take out the excessive movies and you can easily find yourself lost in your character's levels and spells for hours.
Ce second volet m’a réconcilié avec Namco. Le scénario, la réalisation et la bande son font partie des grandes qualités de ce jeu. Ce volet résolument plus mature est en tous points supérieur à son prédécesseur. De plus, les différents évènements nous en apprennent davantage sur le passé de certains protagonistes et une mystification de la vie. Voici un jeu indispensable pour quiconque souhaite s’éclater cet été !
Monolith Software’s well-known ongoing RPG series, Xenosaga, recently saw the second entry in it’s saga, and the third in the entire franchise, considering the Playstation Xenogears. The first title was highly acclaimed, and while it was released towards the very end of the original Playstation’s lifespan, it gained quite a following of interested fans. It made sense that a sequel would see light on Playstation 2 soon afterward.
Every RPG franchise has some sort of following and when Xenogears hit the original PlayStation several years ago, something special was born. Since that time people have been salivating at any new information regarding this series, because not only was it fun to play, but it brought in religious overtones as well as other mature themes in this game. Since then many people from around the world have written a variety of fan fiction as well as other things based on this one game. When Xenosaga I: Der Wille zur Macht hit the PlayStation2 a couple of years ago people were jumping in line to see how the series started off and enjoyed every minute of it; the only thing more agonizing for them was the wait for the newest game in the series to be released.
I suppose that's why it comes as no surprise then that Monolith Soft's own continuation, Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits von Gut und Bose, doesn't quite live up to its original inspiration either. Just like Suikoden IV and Return to Arms before it, Xenosaga II is definitely a good game -- and one that diehard Xenies will no doubt go crazy over -- but also like Suikoden IV and Return to Arms, Jenseits von Gut und Bose is missing the high level of personality and gameplay progression that made their progenitors such classics in the first place.
Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits von Gut und Bose isn't wholly on par with the original, but it retains a rich narrative and a lot of soul.
Game Informer Magazine
Imagine if Peter Jackson, instead of continuing his The Lord of the Rings epic in movie form, had decided to tell the story of The Two Towers through limited edition Bazooka Joe comics. The characters would all be there and the concepts behind the story would still be intriguing, but the delivery and execution would be devoid of grace or subtlety. If you're having trouble picturing that, just pick up a copy of Xenosaga Episode II and you will understand all too well. Despite my undying attention of the first entry, I am sorry to report that this game is a dropped ball of Devil May Cry 2 proportions.
Très polémique, Xenosaga Episode 2 se voit souvent laissé au bord de la longue route du RPG pour des raisons telles qu'un déséquilibre coupable entre phases de scénario et phases de jeu, ou encore un manque de finalisation générale, voire un développement chaotique. Néanmoins, même si on ne peut pas vraiment mettre en tort ces accusations, le titre de Namco se révèle l'un des plus ambitieux jamais créé du point de vue de la portée réflexive et portant le jeu vidéo au rang d'oeuvre narrative ludique. Est-ce une évolution ? Est-ce une dégradation ? Chacun y verra ce qu'il désire, mais personnellement Xenosaga 2 est l'un des RPG les plus prenants de ces dernières années, et ce malgré des défauts bien réels et parfois particulièrement frustrants. Peu importe le flacon, comme dirait l'autre.
Game Informer Magazine
So do I think Episode II has a lot of problems? Yes. Will it disappoint you as it did me? Probably. But if you're a fan of the original, do I still think you should play this one? As much as it's going to hurt - definitely.
Pas exempt de défauts mais un effort louable, Xenosaga Episode II continue sur la juste lancée de son prédécesseur. L’histoire et les personnages continuent de vous mener d’intrigues en intrigues passant par des moments anthologiques. Le système de combat et d’apprentissage est globalement amélioré mais des choix douteux (changement de doublage, disparition des boutiques et équipements, musiques, équilibre histoire et exploration…) empêchent véritablement Xenosaga II d’atteindre des sommets. En bref, Les amoureux du premier ne seront pas déçus et se laisseront transporter pour un peu plus de 25 heures d'histoire (plus d'une quarantaine avec side-quests) et les détracteurs n’aimeront toujours pas.
Xenosaga 2, is a big commitment for any gamer. If you want to get the most out of the game you're looking at weeks of concentrated staccato playing/watching/playing/watching as you work your way through the huge narrative arc. But with four games still to come before the tale is told, there's no better time to get sucked in, and like all the best soap operas, this one will have your gripped and teetering on it's final cliffhanger in what really seems like no time at all.
Ultimately, Xenosaga Episode II is an uneven game. For every cool innovation, there's a mistake. It's a shame, because the original set up the series to be one of the foremost RPG series on the PS2. While there's little doubt that most who liked the last game will enjoy the sequel, Monolith Soft is going to have to be very careful to do a lot more with Episode III to keep up the momentum it's built so far. Episode II is less than half as long as the original, making it something of a disappointing RPG snack for fans hoping to sink their teeth into a hearty meal -- something one would obviously expect after the seemingly endless twists and turns of the original. It's a quality game and a solid production. It's still shinier, bolder, and more polished than the vast majority of the PS2 RPG library, despite its flaws. But that doesn't change the fact that Xenosaga II is a disappointing sequel that can't reach the heights of its original, and in that way, it stumbles.
"Xenosaga II" se esforça demais para corrigir os erros do game anterior, mas o resultado final é algo que não melhora os pontos fracos, cria novos problemas e é praticamente uma ofensa para os fãs que realmente se importam com a trama. Mas a verdade é que somente quem acompanha a série terá boas chances de aproveitar esse episódio - e essas pessoas provavelmente estão dispostas a ignorar esses erros para enfiar seus dentes nesse novo naco da batalha cósmica de proporções divinas.
We have a tricky relationship, the Xeno series and I. To put it in biblical terms (which is only fair, given the games' proclivity for random Jesus references), we're a bit like the Prodigal Son and his father. I know the series is basically good at heart, but it's too caught up in self-indulgent dissipation to live up to its potential. Whenever I think about it, my heart becomes heavy with grief; whenever we spend time together, I come away disappointed.
Vous l’aurez compris en parcourant ce test, Xenosaga Episode II : Jenseits von Gut und Böse nous offre une prestation bien en décevante au vu du standard qualitatif qu’avait réussi à instaurer la série de Monolith Software. En dépit de ses indiscutables qualités narratives et de la profondeur abyssale de sa trame scénaristique, ce deuxième chapitre laisse derrière lui comme un sentiment d’inachevé, un sentiment amer qui sera sans cesse renouvelé par une réalisation bancale et à un rythme de jeu au clivage bien trop prononcé. Reste un titre à réserver aux inconditionnels de la série dont le troisième chapitre d’ores et déjà annoncé aura la lourde tâche de faire oublier la piètre performante de ce second volet.
Upon the launch of Xenosaga: Dur Wille zur Macht some time ago, I was part of the crazed fanboy crowd that sprang upon the title in hopes of a revolutionary and engaging RPG experience. See, any console RPG gamer worth his salt knows that Xenogears basically ranks up as one of the best PSX RPGs ever released, and the idea was that Xenosaga would be an equal, if not superior title. Sadly, this proved not to be the case, as the game itself was relatively brief, the gameplay littered with lengthy and convoluted cutscenes, and the combat action somewhat disappointing in nature. The comparatively disappointing music score and somewhat obscure skill system brought down the experience further, and while Xenosaga was still in itself a decent game, I was ultimately left very disappointed.