I just finished playing through the Xenosaga Episode III: Also Sprach Zarathustra Demo. Thoughts about it:
-It covers one area and takes about 30 minutes to finish.
-Everything is on foot, meaning that there are no E.S. battles in the demo.
-There are the FMV-style widescreen cutscenes and then there are the talking heads-style cutscenes, akin to something you’d see in a visual novel or dating sim. The image I linked is not in the demo, it’s just an example.
-The playable characters are Shion, Miyuki, Caan, KOS-MOS, Jin, and Momo. They start at levels 4, 4, 5, 5, 5, and 4, respectively. HP/EP are 297/99, 256/95, 472/94, 516/88, 540/94, 252/105, respectively. Those Ether Point numbers seem a bit high to me, so I assume they boosted them for the demo. By the end of it, my characters were about level 8.
-Characters gain exp even if they aren’t in the active battle group. It appears that they were getting 80% the experience points.
-The only Ethers they start you off with is Medica S (4 EP), which only Miyuki and Momo have. You find various other Ethers during the level.
-Outside of battle, the square button is still used to destroy obstacles and objects.
-In battle options include: Attack, Arts, Ether, Item, Finishing Technique, Defend, Change, and Escape. Arts are special attacks that require Ether Points. Finishing Technique requires Two Boost Bars.
-The stock system is gone. The boost system is still in place. In general, I’m not a big fan of the new battle system because they took out the event slot system. I can see the battles becoming mundane really quick.
-In the demo, you encounter Segment Address No. 8, but you don’t have the key to open it.
-There is no save point in the demo.
-The boss at the end is kind of hard – it had a lot more HP than I had anticipated. It also did an attack that was ~250 dmg to all.
-The sound of Shion’s shoes is really loud and is probably the most annoying part of the demo. You change her out and make Momo, KOS-MOS, or Jin the party leader. I found that the sounds of Jin and Momo running to to be the least annoying. Miyuki and Caan cannot be party leader.
-On the other hand, the transition to and from battle is VERY smooth. I was very impressed by this.
-Miyuki is one of my new favorite characters.
-After finishing the demo, there is a long trailer for the game (one that I had not seen before). It’s pretty cool.
-The above images are courtesy of IGN, but are scenes/battles/enemies I saw in the demo. Jr. was NOT in the demo.

15 Comments

  1. Hope that Jr. is in the final game, and also Ziggy, they didn’t show him in the demo??

    So, Xenosaga was suposed to be a 6 part series, but I read somewhere that it got cut to 3, is that right?

    I’ve played Xen 1 & 2, and this is one of the rpg’s with better storyline, and the graphics improved quite a lot from 1 to 2, and this 3rd seems to look even better.

    I’ll definitely get this when it is released

    pach
  2. nevermind about Jr. he’s in one of the three screenshots.
    Yea Werera, it was cut down, at Xenosaga’s wikipedia entry you can see some of the problems the game has faced. Such a pity, we could have even gotten some of the later game volumes on the Playstation 3

    pach
  3. chaos is still around, as well as all the others. Oh well, It’s probably for the best that they quit while they’re ahead – at this rate Shion would be completely naked by Episode VI… >_>

    Wererat42
  4. OMG now this is a true Xenogears stylish game!!
    I wastalking about games and animes with my brothers here and we´ve reached a conclusion:
    as games will get to a next gen, animes are already reached it´s NEXT GEN style, from animation, cgs, stories, caracters, envoiriments, and alot, I mean ALOT of animes with good stylish and animation.
    Don´t you guys agree with that??Also I´ve watched every single anime that has come out this season and the only ones I am not seeing are: kirarin revolution, akubi girl, bakegyamon and the children animes and cgs of course.Also yoshimune(an unknown anime) ROCKS in animation and it´s hilarious 😉
    in total I am watching 40 animes and also taking some time to play games!If anyone here needs advice for some animes just ask and i´ll be pleased to answer. 🙂

    Tensai_Otaku
  5. That boss is actually pretty easy if you just bring MOMO in; while she doesn’t deal much damage, since the demo levels you up damn fast she should have learnt Medica S All by that fight, and she can heal you up easily.

    I was quite pleasantly surprised by the demo; given that I only got a few hours into Xenosaga II because I found it almost totally unplayable thanks to the load times and the annoying battle system (plus my Japanese is waaaaay not good enough to follow a Xenosaga game; maybe I should rebuy in English now it’s cheap), my interest is actually somewhat rekindled in the franchise now. Hopefully they’ll give it a decent ending and not cock it up too much beyond what they have already…

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