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  • Thu. Feb 29th, 2024

Rogue Galaxy: Quick PS2 Impressions

BySara

May 12, 2006

Like its predecessor, the PlayStation 2 has been the quintessential platform for role-playing games during its generation. Even as the console enters the later half of its lifecycle and the launch of the PlayStation 3 nears, titles like Final Fantasy XII, Tales of the Abyss and Rogue Galaxy continue the dominance of the PS2 in the role-playing genre. Developed by Level 5, Rogue Galaxy is a proclaimed effort to not just bring quality role-playing to Sony’s console, but to reach the pinnacle of console role-playing with fresh gameplay and an engaging new story. Amazingly, our impressions of Rogue Galaxy after spending time with a localized version appear to fulfill Level 5’s lofty claims of role-playing greatness.
Rogue Galaxy put you in control of Jaster Rouge, a galactic country bumpkin with dreams of traveling across the galaxy and exploring distant planets in search of a legendary treasure on the lost planet of Eden. Jaster’s dream comes true when he befriends a space pirate and joins in on his journey. Through the course of the game you’ll control Jaster who is accompanied by a party of up to two additional characters, for a total party of three. Characters other than Jaster are controller by the computer, with intelligence parameters which can be set in the options menu.
Battles occur on the same screen as exploration. As you run around an environment, a message will randomly pop up informing you of impending battle. Then, enemies will appear and your party will engage in real-time combat. The battle system holds much in common with Star Ocean: Till the End of Time. Every attack Jaster makes causes his attack meter to decrease. When the attack meter is depleted, an exclamation point appears above his head and he can no longer attack, like combat in Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, standing still replenishes the attack meter.
There are a number of actins which can be taken in battle including two types of basic attack, physical maneuvers, context sensitive actions and special abilities. Pressing the circle button triggers a close range attack, whereas the square button launches a long range attack, usually a gun. Pressing a combination of circle and square will string attacks together. You can also block enemy attacks using R1, which incidentally also hastens the refilling of the attack meter. It’s also possible to pick up enemies and throw them for damage, as we witnessed in one battle. Special abilities, such as magic or techniques learned from weapons can also be accessed through the triangle button. Despite being fast-paced, the battle system works well and is fairly easy to learn; of course, it could be said this is due to creative inspiration from tri-Ace.
Following battles, you’ll be rewarded with basic experience points that go toward leveling up your character, as well as points that increase your weapons proficiency. Depending on your characters, current equipped weapon, their level in a particular weapon class will increase. Raising weapons’ level grants access not only to new abilities, but strengthens the attack value of the weapon as well.
The localized version of the game we played spanned two locations. The first locale, the planet Juraiko, featured gorgeously rendered jungle dense with green trees, chattering animals, and bizarre enemies. The second planet, Vedan, was completely different: a dark colony detailed with rocky landscapes and caves. Aiding navigation through the various planets of the game is a mini-map in the lower right corner. Should you tire of exploration, Rogue Galaxy offers a variety of mini-games ranging from chess to insect battles (a variation of Pokemon battling).
Rogue Galaxy has already been released in Japan; heretofore, a new chapter as being added to the North American version. Building on the games narrative, as well as bringing new content to the mix, the new chapter is an added incentive, particularly for those who imported the game. Arguably the most compelling selling point for Rogue Galaxy is the fantastic cel-shaded visuals. Colorful, stylish and slick, the graphics are among the best seen on Playstation 2. A mix of beautiful new visuals, part Final Fantasy X, part Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, Rogue Galaxy won’t innovate its way to the top of the role-playing genre, but it certainly looks like it will do so through sheer quality.

By Sara

My name is Sara Anslee, I live in Colorado. I am very fond of gaming, writing, and blogging. I share the latest news and tips about sports games, video games, gaming movies, gaming devices, and accessories. I also love watching movies and traveling.