Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht Image
Metascore
83

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 81 Ratings

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  • Summary: Thousands of years into the future, man exists only in deep space. Brutally opposed by a merciless alien race, humanity faces an uncertain destiny as it unlocks the secrets of the Universe in search of the ultimate truth. Features four exhilarating mini-games, innovative battle and controlThousands of years into the future, man exists only in deep space. Brutally opposed by a merciless alien race, humanity faces an uncertain destiny as it unlocks the secrets of the Universe in search of the ultimate truth. Features four exhilarating mini-games, innovative battle and control systems, and over 80 hours of gameplay. [Namco] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. Xenosaga has that extra special something that has been missing from RPGs for the last couple of years, an enthralling, profound story that leaves you truly wanting more.
  2. But simply put, the cinemas are so full of incredible edge-of-your-seat excitement and intrigue that it feels like watching a top-quality anime production. And lets be straight here, who doesn’t like cinemas?
  3. 90
    A masterpiece of cinematic, anime-inspired, science-fiction storytelling, but only if you have the patience (and time) to endure cinemas that can last upwards of 45 minutes.
  4. The critics will be keen to slam these scenes as a crucial flaw but while we’d agree that they are possibly the most annoying factor, they do an excellent job of pushing the story forward and after the first few hours, the balance becomes much more acceptable.
  5. If you are the kind of gamer who generally wants to button through game cinematics anyway because you think they're a pain in the ass, you should avoid Xenosaga like it was a proctologist with a history of methamphetamine psychosis.
  6. If you can get over the cutesy, anime driven art style of the game you're going to find a very rewarding RPG that will be fun for a long time.
  7. You might enjoy watching the lengthy cutscenes and getting involved in the pondering of philosophical issues, but I've already been there and now I just want to play before I die.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 43
  2. Negative: 3 out of 43
  1. Feb 25, 2015
    10
    Best story in a video game except for Xenogears. However since in this game series the character graphics are more up to date and it is fullBest story in a video game except for Xenogears. However since in this game series the character graphics are more up to date and it is full voice acted I found myself even more emotionally attached. Combat system with depth and just a lot of fun. HIGHLY recommend. However if you don't like a lot of story or cutscenes avoid. Expand
  2. MattB.
    Jun 20, 2003
    10
    I found this to be one of the most enjoyable RPGs I've played in a long time. Sure, it has an insane amount of cut scenes (which can I found this to be one of the most enjoyable RPGs I've played in a long time. Sure, it has an insane amount of cut scenes (which can thankfully be paused and/or skipped) and doesn't have a huge focus on the battle engine, but the story is really what this game is about. This is not everyone's cup of tea, but if you focus on the story (which you likely would if you're into console RPGs anyway), this is the ideal game. Expand
  3. TomH.
    Feb 14, 2004
    10
    For those curious "Der wille zur Macht" is German for "The Will to Power." Xenogears is easily one of the most complicated and most epic RPGs For those curious "Der wille zur Macht" is German for "The Will to Power." Xenogears is easily one of the most complicated and most epic RPGs on PlayStation. Though only 2 discs, it easily spanned 80 hours for some. Can anybody truly figure out the story? No, and perhaps thats a good thing. Though you have a general idea, I have never heard anybody who was 100% conclusive down to the detail nor do I expect anyone to. Like a great novel, some things are variable, unexplained, left for interpretation, or left to investigate. Xenosaga had VERY huge expectations to fill. Could the prequel possibly meet all these expectations? The short and obvious answer, yes, it has. Xenosaga begins with introducing us to Shion Uziki (not a coincidence she shares the same last name as Citan from Xenogears). She is an engineer of a ship, but more importantly, she is in charge of a dangerous project. This project is studying KOS-MOS. A female cyborg with much power and a danger to work around because of the unsureness of how to control her. The gameplay mechanics remind me of the innovative mechanics in Chrono Cross in two ways. First, all enemies appear in front of you and chase you around. Battles are not random. This helps for the game, even if the enemies are typically faster than you. The game setups methods of avoiding detection, trying to outrun, and even setting up traps to escape them or hinder the enemy in battle. This makes not only for more strategizing, but also for keeping the player 'on his/her feet.' Second, the game is turned based and a similar type of combo/ap system. Attacks are divided into physical and ethereal. However, some characters have a special attack and can use a powerful cannon or such by pressing circle. Typically though, each move will take up 2 AP. Your bar has a maxmimum of 6 AP, but you only start off with 4. Should you block and save, you can do devestatingly powerful moves much like "tech attacks." This creates for a nice variety and plenty of different attacks. You can even choose what kind of moves are needed in order to activate it. The magic system is one of much interest. Characters have a nice arsenal of different spells they can learn and it is not a quick process. The game can be beat not having learned everyone's ether spells. The interesting thing is you can 'transfer' other magic to party members. For example, Shion might have "Heal All." If I wanted another party member to learn it, another party member can learn the spell for giving up their magic skill points to learn it. Next, the good ole gears. They are called AGWS (Anti Gnosis Weapon Systems) in this game. They don't come off nearly as big as one expects, nor as powerful. They are given a similar type of equipment like Xenogears did, even a bit more. However, they aren't nearly as strong as one would expect. They are typically best suited for "lambs" in battle. None the less, they can save you at times and add to already great gameplay. However, later on in the game you can buy even better gears for big bucks. A nice option indeeed. Finally, the computer system of Shion. In the game, Shion has the ability to jump back into places that one cannot go into with her hologram. Shion gathers information about the environment and has the data for a person to go back to the environment, and pick up things they might have missed. Though the idea is somewhat hard to believe, it easily adds to a better gaming experience. Going back to certain places to gain more experience, look for secret items, and other events make it worth wild. The game has many sidequests and mini-games. At the casino on Jr's ship, one can play card games. With Shion's hologram and certain keys, you can play drill games, gear figting, and even more. One 'quest' of particular help is the e-mails. Sometimes if you respond differently or read e-mails that Shion gets, you can receive new weapons or attacks for characters. Even better, sometimes you will have the ability to invest in stocks. Yep, you can even play intergalatic stock market. The mixed bag portion of this idea is that dividends will always pay you out amazingly high amouts of money and you'll get huge bonuses. For example, investing in certain companies might help you get a final weapon, or get great discounts at medical or AGWS equipment depending on the company. Though something tells me nobody else will complain about that . . . About the only other problem here in gameplay is the length. I beat this game in a mere 40 hours even with some sidequests done. The storyline is top notch, touching, and absolutely beautiful. It makes for a bit more sense but its not without its mysteries and mind boggling questions still. At times, it feels over cinematic to a point of fault a la "Metal Gear" , but usually there will be lots of uninterupted gameplay before cutscenes endure, so it is more even balanced. Some parts actually had the ability to move me so much I teared up slightly. The story has an eye for art, strong metaphor, and the concept of many human themes. The characters have nice backgrounds, others have more mystery, but all have a distinct tone and demeanor that grows on you. The graphics also further improve and already great game. Everything looks how one might expect, the backgrounds are elaborate and interesting, the textures fit everything correctly. The CGs are especially a visual spectacle. The voice acting follows its lead. Characters typically speak with the lips, they do it with emotion, and change tone depending on the situation. The voices fit the characters as well. The music is not as strong a region. While its the sound and music is very high quality, often it is repeatitious. Boss battles and normal battles are not different in music. The same theme plays over and over again. Part of me wishes they expanded their soundtrack a little. They recycled a bit too much in the music department and it would've been a very strong area otherwise. Overall, Xenosaga generally matches and even exceeds Xenogears in many ways. About the only suggestion I have for the future is to keep up the new ideas to integrate into gameplay, make it larger in general, and a new game option would like other great RPGs would make this game just about perfect. To only further the depth though, it is believed that your final save game will lead to extra options in Xenosaga Episode II (I forget the german title, but it translates to "Beyond Good and Evil.") Take a look at Xenosaga II screen shots if you haven't, it only shows that each game tries to further improve rather than dishing out more of the same. Expand
  4. Reaper
    Mar 21, 2003
    9
    Awesome game with a great combat system and story, only bad thing was when I completed it and saved my clear data I couldn't load it SO Awesome game with a great combat system and story, only bad thing was when I completed it and saved my clear data I couldn't load it SO DON'T SAVE WHEN YOU BEAT IT. Also I wish I didn't have to wait two years to see what the heck happens next because the end of the game leaves so many questions...alas it is slated to be a series. Expand
  5. AndrewC.
    Feb 8, 2007
    9
    This game is great. The gameplay is challenging and well thought-out, and you're rewarded for getting past all the tough bosses and This game is great. The gameplay is challenging and well thought-out, and you're rewarded for getting past all the tough bosses and everything with a lengthy cutscene or three. The game has a sweeping and confusing plot that really makes you think, and is thoroughly enjoyable through and through. Those who enjoy Metal Gear Solid's cinematics should love this game, but those who are put off by this kind of thing...well, you won't like this. Expand
  6. Jul 25, 2012
    8
    Some of the cutscenes can be long, but its not like other games dont have long cutscenes as well. This is a great game to start what is aSome of the cutscenes can be long, but its not like other games dont have long cutscenes as well. This is a great game to start what is a fantastic trilogy of games. The story is good, battle system unique, just a solid game from top to bottom. In my opinion nothing like Xenogears if any of you think this is a sequel, I hated Xenogears but loved this game and the 2 that followed. Expand
  7. J.M.
    Apr 6, 2003
    0
    I paid good money to not play a game? Stupid idea.

See all 43 User Reviews