And if just fighting through the main storyline and crafting the perfect weapon isn’t enough, there are plenty of side-quests to fulfill. There’s a hunt contest, with Jaster and company trying to defeat a set number of each of the baddies they encounter. In addition, certain boss monsters have a price on their head, further helping Jaster move up in rank of the galaxy’s greatest hunters. At times, combats will randomly spawn with certain objectives, such as defeating all enemies in under a time limit, doing so without damage, or doing so without using any fancy items or abilities. Players are awarded “Hunter’s coins” for succeeding in these challenges, and these coins can be traded in for valuable prizes.
I was a little disappointed to see there was no fishing game included in Rogue Galaxy, but we are given a Pokemon-esque insect-collecting-and-fighting game to take its place. Jaster must set traps throughout the galaxy to catch these little bugs, which can then be teamed up and pitted against other bug teams in battle. These little guys also gain experience through fighting and feeding, and new “insectrons” can be bred from those caught in the wild.
Finally, players can also build new and powerful items in the Factory, which is reminiscent of the town-building aspect of the Dark Cloud series. Players search the galaxy for blueprints for various items, and then gain access to a factory floor. A proper assembly line needs to be built out of various parts, and the proper proportion and number of items needs to be added to each end. Upon a successful blueprint completion, the factory will soon start producing the item in question, and they’ll become available at the item shops galaxy-wide.
Level 5 really likes their cell-shaded games, and Rogue Galaxy shows they’ve become very good at implementing that visual style. The game looks great in its own stylistic way. In addition, there are very few load times while wandering around the dungeons, so game play moves smoothly throughout. Voice acting isn’t quite up to par with the visuals, with a mixed bag of character voices. I also found the characters to be too chatty when wandering around the dungeons. Controls are smooth, although the menu system just wasn’t as clean as I would like. I wasn’t able to figure out exactly what was wrong with the system, but I felt like I was hitting a few too many buttons to get where I needed to go.
Overall, I enjoyed my time with Rogue Galaxy. Sure, the story isn’t original, and the characters are a bit one-dimensional, but the carrot-and-stick of bigger and better items and weapons drew me through the game. In addition, I really liked some of the sub-games, particularly the Factory setup. Others may find their mileage varies, but my time with Level 5’s latest was time well spent.
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Rogue Galaxy is a decent action RPG from one of my favorite developers, Level 5. While not quite as good as their previous titles, Rogue Galaxy still offers plenty of fun RPG goodness, and does it in a very appealing style.
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