Monday, September 10, 2007

Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean (GameCube) - Videogame review

Rating: A-

Synopsis: Baten Kaitos is an RPG for the Nintendo GameCube distributed by Namco. It's the first in the Baten Kaitos series. the world of Baten Kaitos is a series of islands in the sky, and there is a myth about the "Lost Ocean" that existed once upon a time. The main character is Kalas, a young, brash man who is missing half of his wings (everyone from all but one island have "wings of the heart", a physical wing manifestation of their emotions).

Kalas is initially on a revenge quest for his brother and grandfather, but as more people join his group, and more information comes to light about the world he lives in, it becomes obvious he will be instrumental in saving the world (of course, this is an RPG).

Baten Kaitos is one of the few GameCube games to take up two discs. The game itself took a little less than 70 hours for me to complete, but that included almost every single side quest. I really loved the amount of detail that went into this game, with the character design, world design, and the music written specifically for each place. I even ended up downloading some of the music.

Baten Kaitos game comparisions: Chrono Trigger, Tales of Symphonia,

  • Translation and voice acting: These were rough in a few places: sometimes the voices were so weird (either overly emotional, or not at all) I would skip the sounds
  • Map Confusion: Sometimes, it wasn't clear how to get to things you're supposed to be able to get to on the map - and it was unclear whether this was intentional in order to get you to defeat some sort of trial, whether it was an accident or a translation errorr
  • Innovations Confusing at First: At first, I was a little bewildered by the card-based fighting and all of the new information, but to handle this, the game has a very gentle learning curve and lots of explanation

  • Good long game: It took us around 70 hours to complete (but we did almost every sidequest too)
  • Interesting Innovations: The card-based fighting was easy to learn, and really cool to build interesting attacks with once I got the hang of it, you make money by taking pictures of the monsters you're fighting and selling the pictures, and there are strange and interesting items you can build by putting together cards in your attacks
  • Character & World Detail: The overall character development was incredibly done, with lots of twists and turns in the plot, revellations about the character's histories, and the world was lavishly designed, with such great detail that I enjoyed immersing myself in it
  • Easy to find for Cheap: We got this in a clearance bin for $13, and it's such a good game

Overall, awesome game, especially for the money.
I would suggest using a walkthrough to ease any confusion you may have (and to let you know all the cool/weird combos you can pull).

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