Years after Xenosaga Episode 1: Der Wille Zur Macht had been released, I anticipated the release for Episode 2 and man- I was deeply disappointed with the game. Especially for the changes in the main characters. They seemed to be a mess in the game. The best part was that the battle system was now stupendous, ridiculously so at some points. I could see that the game would potentially rival powerhouse RPGs such as Wild Arms, or those from SquareSoft, namely Star Ocean or maybe even the Final Fantasy series in every way. Well, maybe that’s a bit much, as I loved that series. Anyway….
The story of Xenosaga episode 2, titled Jenseits Gud und Bose (or, literally, Beyond Good and Evil), starts with a flashback to the first Militian Conflict where a partnership was entered into with Canaan to stop the berserkers of the U.R.T.V. Along the way, they meet with Jin Uzuki, who wants to prove who is behind the raging conflict. After a battle with Margullis, Chaos and Canaan leave the planet with the evidence. Years later, where Xenosaga Episode 1 leaves off, Shion arrives at their destination and parts ways with Ziggy, MOMO, Jr and Chaos, who are sent to Kos-Mos for maintenance. After a while, MOMO shuts herself down to prevent the data inside her from leaking out after a trap set by Albedo in Episode 1 is tripped. When the party tries to revive her though Enchepalon, both Jr and MOMO’s secrets were unveiled to rest of the party. Just what are these secrets? And why is the Y-Data is so essential to Albedo’s mission?
There are a major revamps to the previous episode. The most noticeable at first was the usage of E.S rather than the previous A.G.W.S which is interconnected with its spiritual predecessors,Xenogears in case of E.S are powered by Vessel of Anima. Secondly it was the characters design, especially in Shion where she isn’t nerdy anymore. Changes in Kos-Mos VA truly annoyed me to the point where the character isn’t to what I know before. Everything though still the same, the button combination, the cut scenes and so on. The major thing in battles however the inclusion of Ether Combination Attack where two characters can do a combine each others to make one heavy-attacks and also the introduction of break zone where the party can exposed the enemy weaknesses. Although it was barely noticeable, the battles seems to be draggy, longer than episode 1. Maybe due the slow flow of combat? The good thing about the story though I can say that unanswered secrets on Episode 1 exposed in Episode 2 but more of them are left unexposed for future episodes. The tree skills in the game was confusing as it can get. Unfortunately, Episode 3 was the final saga of Xenosaga.
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