Thursday, March 31, 2011

Games to Anime: Xenosaga


I've been on a bit of a bender lately with nostalgia, and one of the biggest fandoms of my younger days was the Xenosaga series on the PS2. I remember once I sat down to play and spent 45 minutes on a cut-scene alone. Nobody would be lying if they said Xenosaga was more a movie than a game. So consequently, it got an anime. An awesome anime at that.

It doesn't follow the games storyline (in which it's based on only the first game)
to the letter, but it actually comes surprisingly close. I'm glad they didn't go off on some alternate universe tangent just because they couldn't include all three games. Some characters appear a little more than they did in the first game, like Jin and Louis Virgil, but do nothing to particularly divert from the storyline. Though Jin's involvement to the story is never explained and I'm not sure why they saw it prudent to even include him when he's more of a major character in the second game.

I found one thing about the anime that I noticed as being unusual is a technique they did with the voice acting. If you were close up to a character, they sounded normal, but the camera was farther away, they had an echo and were quieter. Since almost all of Xenosaga takes place on a ship, I found this to be an innovative technique that I really enjoyed even if I had to adjust the volume at times.

It's not exactly hard to trump a PS2's graphics or copy characters that look like they belong in an anime to an anime, but the artists did a really nice job.

Watching it made my nostalgia alarm go off so hardcore I wanted to bust out my PS2 and play it. I would have too, if my disc weren't scratched to hell. The animation was nice and crisp, very clean with not a lot of fluff put into it.

I would like to see them do the second and third game since they left it a bit open, but things get even more confusing in those games. I wonder if people who have never played the game would be left confused by all the acronyms and terms you have to get familiar with. I meant to test it on Hickshooter, but he only joined me in watching at the last four episodes. If anyone has watched it, but not played the game I would appreciate your insight.

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