Even outside the battles, the game knows how to holds its cards... if only in the same way the original did. Dungeons keep your mind active, but they're short; puzzles are pretty creative, but sometimes aggravating. An improvement over the original, however, is how you get through these areas. Fusing quest cards - something new to the series - opens more options for conquering dungeons, but never getsso complicated that you'll wish for simple A-to-B, follow-the-yellow-brick-road paths.
One of the biggest complaints people had with the original was that, well... the characters sucked. To put it bluntly, personality was illegal, and having one was treated like some sort of crime. What a miracle, then, that Origins offers a very likable cast of characters that can be fun and and even funny. The story, likewise, is something you want to dig into and learn more about right from the beginning. While the plot isn't heavy on twists, it's actually more surprising than the first Baten Kaitos - which is ironic, since this installment occurs before the major events in the original.