‘Rogue Galaxy’ impressions

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I normally steer clear of RPGs, since it’s pretty hard to get a good wholesome take on games that promise about 70-100 hours of gameplay. But I heard very good things about ‘Rogue Galaxy,’ and I was in the mood for a little storytelling (you can only fight terrorists for so long), so I fired up the PS2 and have been messing with it since.

Let me get this out of the way: It’s not FFXII. When I have the time to delve more into it, I can expound or discuss why XII could be the best pure RPG out now, “Oblivion” included.

But what I’m going to point out in my review is that RG could be the perfect introduction to the world of Japanese RPG storytelling. As veteran gamers, we have a way of becoming so jaded that we immediately cast verbal stones at things in games that are familiar. You’ve seen the characters in RG before: the unlikely boy hero, the perky, cute girl with big eyes and fighting ability, and even the grizzled “badass” character that help balance out the vanilla nature of the main character. While recycling familiar character molds is nothing to be cheered, it’s no reason to discard what the rest of the games bring. Because honestly, you could look at MOST game characters and see what inspired them, or why they’re so popular. Honestly, how many anti-heroes do we have?

RG is fun to play. That’s what it comes down to. It doesn’t blow away my gaming perceptions or pull emotions out of my soul (though there’s still time) but I’m legitimately entertained by it. The cel shading works for it, I dig the battle system, like the chances to make my own stuff — there’s really nothing WRONG with it. Like “Kingdom Hearts,” this is going to be one of those titles that I’ll pick away at when the mood suits me. Don’t sleep on it because you may have seen it before. RPGs (at least the good ones) are getting scarce.