released on Feb 11, 1998

Xenogears follows protagonist Fei Fong Wong and several others as they journey to uncover the truth behind mysterious, cabalistic entities operating in their world. The principles and philosophies of Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung influence the plot, character design, and world of Xenogears. Additionally, the symbols, theological concepts, and devotional practices of several world religions are represented in fictionalized forms in the game. Major psychological themes are the nature of identity and human memory, particularly as these relate to the phenomenon of dissociative identity disorder. The relationship between humanity and machines is central to the game's plot, as indicated by the presence of giant robots dubbed "gears," which almost each playable character can control.

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First Impressions: Jesus this is so impressive (especially graphically) for a PS1 game. I rlly hope I love this one.

While Xenogears has some interesting stuff going on, especially in the earlier sections, its unfortunately clear that the content just wasn't enough to back up the ambition.
Xenogears starts off strong. Just a few hours in and its already clear that this isn't going to be a typical JRPG. The tone and story are mature, the combat a unique blend of turn-based and fighting game styles, and the bits of lore the game teases you with hint at ideas that I really can't think of any other media I can compare it to. But alas, those early hours are the best it gets.
The combat, while flashy at first, quickly grows stale. There isn't much strategy involved and enemies don't get any more interesting to fight. Rather than expanding your strategic options in any interesting way, growth is driven almost entirely by gear and stat increases from leveling up. The game increases its difficulty mainly by scaling enemy stats upwards without adjusting their movesets in a way that makes them any more interesting to fight against. The few times where the game does mess around with its combat and do something different, its changes are often annoying rather than engaging. And worst of all, the combat is painfully slow. Animations grow ever longer as the game progresses, enemies get ever more health meaning it takes more and more attacks to kill them, and the sheer amount of random encounters are enough to make me dread having to traverse a new dungeon.
Without a strong gameplay foundation to back it up, Xenogears needs its story to be good. But, while I can admire the ambition displayed by those who wrote the game and the sheer amount of thought and detail they put into the supplementary material, the game itself doesn't let any of those positive aspects flourish. So much of the early game is spent on sections that have little real importance to the plot (Nortune being the most egregious) while time and budget constraints mean most of the conclusion is rushed. But with such a complicated story, rushing the conclusion left it practically incomprehensible without the assistance of external sources.
Xenogears was certainly an experience. While I would be very interested to play a fully fleshed out version that got all the resources the team actually needed to complete it, no such thing exists today. And when judging the game as it is rather than what it could have been, I struggle to recommend it. There are worse ways to spend your time, but there are far better ways too. So unless you have a strong reason for wanting to play besides idle curiosity, I would recommend looking elsewhere.

This game has exceeded everything possible out there for its time and for now too!
Superb Narrative
Outstanding Gameplay
Remarkable Character Design
Astonishing OSTs

I have never been as disapointed with a game as I have been with Xenogears.
This game has an absolutely beautiful, late 90s anime-ps1 aesthetic that I cannot get enough of. And it has a very promising premise. The first couple of hours of this game are very good actually.
But eventually, it falls on its face and becomes an absolute unsufferable mess.
The story is ambitious, yes, and it aboards themes you very rarely see in games, especially considering when it released. However I dont think this means we should give it pass for ambition. Many many games were very ambitious yet failed.
What appealed to me about this game was the numerous esthetic resemblances between it and Neon Genesis Evangelion. And I can say that Xenogears goes into Freudian psychology even deeper than Evangelion did. But that dosent mean its story is well told. Again it starts off pretty good, but regularly takes detour to introduce you to new party members who have a mini arc and then never become relevant again. Factually speaking, the game would have had more than enough with Fei, Elly, Citan and Bart. And its not just this, the worldbuilding is admirable but ultimately detracts from the game more than it adds, because the game regularly expects you to take hour long infodumps on you and make sense of it. The second disc basically becoming a visual novel out of nowhere due to frankly poor planning by the developpers only aggravates this.
But the real falling of Xenogears is the gameplay. Now if Xenogears was a book, or an anime, maybe the issues I listed with its story and presentation could be forgiven, but its not. Its a game.
The battle system is awful, the combo system sounds so good, until you realise you cant keep your build up between battle making it a useless gimmick to be used against bosses and nowhere else.
The dungeons fall into the typical JRPG trap of being absurd mazes with no rhyme or reason, with an added bonus of awful camera angles and piss poor platforming.
The pacing is the worst through. You will go hours navigating these mazes, hoping for a story section to come, only to be bombarded with info for an hour. Creating a vicious cycle, where when you're in gameplay, you hope for cutscenes, but when you're in cutscenes, you hope for gameplay. When I realised this, I just.....couldnt lie to myself about how much I hated this. No amount of deep dive philosophical talk will make this experience enjoyable. And the fact that Evangelion exists just I can go get my 90s-Mecha-Anime-that's-actually-a-philosphy-thesis fix elsewhere.
Truly a remarkable game, let's not kid ourselves. But I can't stand it and I never want to touch it again. It's an energy vampire.

Vamos lá, a primeira obra do cara e fez um projeto ambicioso desse tamanho e as pessoas acham que quando um projeto complexo é qualidade
Takahashi é um puta genio pra criar mundos e historia ao redor do mundo, porem os personagens do jogo pecam em carisma, sinceramente, o unico personagem legal que mostra n ser um personagem unidimensional é o bart, todos os demais personagens n mudam ao longo da historia, por n dizer que sao uma porta como é a Elly, Takhahashi na sua loucura ao inves de fazer um jogo que é o Bart que da pra fazer traquilamente, o takahashi sem muita experiencia de narrativa por n dizer nenhuma queria fazer 6 jogos e comecar pelo 5
CD 2 falar mal é chuta cachorro morto
a gameplay mano a mano é muito bonita mas monotona pra um krl, é simplesmente soltar a death blow milenar da vez e vai, os mechas em combate sao a melhor parte pq é um combate de saber administrar o combustivel, so faltou mais um pouco de saber balancear a gameplay
e a exploracao é um lixo em boa parte pq existe PULO BABEL TOWER LIXO

solid narrative and presentation but suffers from dated design choices and a rushed second disc due to circumstances surrounding its development. Hope square gives this the HD-2D treatment someday.