|a game by||SCEA|
|Platforms:||Playstation 4, Playstation 3, Playstation 2|
|Editor Rating:||7.5/10, based on 3 reviews|
|User Rating:||8.7/10 - 6 votes|
|Rate this game:|
|See also:||RPGs, JRPG Games|
In 2000, developers Level-5 released Dark Cloud, an interesting combination between action and roleplaying that earned the developers a ton of fans among JRPG enthusiasts. Five years later, Level-5 continues innovating in the RPG genre with Rogue Galaxy, a more traditional approach to the JRPG formula that players familiar with the genre have come to expect.
From farmer to hero
Rogue Galaxy takes many of the common topes of role-playing games and adapts them to its space opera setting. The game’s story begins with Jaster Rogue, a young agricultural worker living on an isolated planet. If that description looks to be straight out of Star Wars, it’s because it is: the game is excellent when it comes to making you feel like you’re the hero of your own epic space quest.
Continuing with the Star Wars references, Jaster’s dream is to escape from his planet and travel the galaxy. His dreams come true when he meets the Dorgenark pirates and embarks on a journey to save the galaxy.
The plot might sound a bit shallow at first, but where Rogue Galaxy excels is in its characters. Each playable character (and NPCs, as well) feels well-written and complex, never leaning too hard on the anime tropes that are so common in this type of JRPGs.
Out of this world visuals
Speaking of anime, the graphics in Rogue Galaxy are truly a thing of beauty. Games like Dragon Quest VIII proved that the PS2 is capable of great-looking anime-inspired worlds, and Rogue Galaxy perfects that formula.
Not only are the environments richly detailed: the character models also look great, with a nice level of detail in their facial animations and intricate clothing. The design team behind Rogue Galaxy deserves a round of applause, having designed a game world that feels unique and lived-in.
When you play games like Final Fantasy X or Dragon Quest VIII (and most JRPGs) you might expect battles to be turned-based. However, that’s not the case for Rogue Galaxy, which instead uses a dynamic battle system much more similar to hack and slash games.
A side effect of this is that players can only directly control one character in battle, relying on the AI for support. The three-character party system means that you’ll have two AI companions at a time; to compensate for the lack of direct control, players can give instructions to their allies about how to engage the enemy.
An element that sadly remains from other RPGs are random encounters. These events feel like they break the immersion, especially when you lose yourself exploring one of the game’s many beautiful landscapes. It’s also worth mentioning that, while the world of Rogue Galaxy is quite extensive, players can quickly navigate it using fast travel between save points.
Abilities and levels
Unlike many other RPGs, Rogue Galaxy uses a unique level-up system called the Revelation Flow. This mechanic works similarly to Final Fantasy XII’s License Board: characters gain abilities and stat increases as they unveil pieces of their Revelation Flow.
This take on levels feels fresh and unique and helps to distance Rogue Galaxy from the more traditional RPG experiences.
Rogue Galaxy’s undeniable charm makes up for any of the game’s weaknesses, which include its weak plot and unwieldy controls. The game’s visuals are truly an accomplishment, proving that the PlayStation 2 is more than capable of delivering high-quality visuals, even in its twilight years.
- Incredible visuals
- Fun combat system
- Beautiful world to explore
- Awkward controls
- Uninteresting plot
- No direct control over party members
Download Rogue Galaxy
Anyone who enjoyed the swashbuckling space piracy of Sega's renowned Skies of Arcadia (GC/DC) should nuzzle up to Galaxy, a spacefaring role-playing game developed by Level 5, the guys behind Dragon Quest Ifill (PS2). Expect stylized visuals, action-laden battles, and several colossal alien worlds to traverse.
It's refreshing to play a Japanese RPG where the men have facial hair, the women are the ones with the bare midriffs, and the robots are decidedly nonsexy. Rogue Galaxy's space-pirate setting a little Star Wars, a bit Skies of Arcadia is bound to attract role-playing fans who are sick of the standard primp-and-preen metrosexual RPG heroes. Unfortunately, the execution's more Return of the Jedi than Empire Strikes Back. You feel like you're in for a grand adventure as you set out to explore the galaxy...only to find a ho-hum story and underdeveloped characters. Also, combat-balance problems and excruciatingly long dungeons both supposedly improved from the Japanese release are still noticeable issues. Thankfully, the game's streamlined ability system and menus help out greatly they always let you know when you've found the right item to unlock new powers. And damn, the game looks gorgeous...but so did The Phantom Menace.
Since Sega never got around to sequel-izing Dreamcast RPG Skies of Arcadia, I guess Level-5 decided to do it for them. Ah, if only Rogue Galaxy really were a true Skies follow-up...unfortunately, it doesn't reach those heights. They ripped the combat system straight from Kingdom Hearts, warts and all. The same too-close camera! The same brain-dead A.I. companions, more a liability than a help! Incessant button-mashing random combat! Too bad, because the game looks lovely and can be fun. But it feels cobbled together from leftovers of other (better) games, which makes it merely pretty good rather than the classic it could have been.
These guys are right Rogue Galaxy attempts to plunder content from other RPGs. But even so, it manages to cook up some cool content of its own the useful item synthesis, coupled with the two-weapon combat, kept battles from getting too boring. Plus, I gotta give the visuals some props: The sexy cartoony look made my eyes blush. Sure, the game isn't a masterpiece, but until the PS3 raises its role-playing anchor, it'll at least help keep the PS2 afloat.
Cool spacefaring setting, user-friendly menus
Mediocre story, never-ending dungeons
Make them stop!