Thursday 25 January 2007
Space pirates - by which we mean full-on, grog-swilling, "shiver me nebulas" space pirates, with cybernetic peglegs and lasers and everything - really don't get enough play in videogames. So when someone goes and makes a whole game about them, we take notice. And when that game is one of the biggest, most satisfyingly intricate RPGs we've played in ages, we say "awesome."
Rogue Galaxy isn't quite as huge as its name implies, but sometimes it feels that way. Promising over a hundred hours of gameplay, the game takes a relatively linear space-opera story and crams it full of huge monsters, surprisingly addictive side games and huge places to explore. The battles are a button-mashing blast, the characters are weirdly fascinating and the whole thing is about as pretty as a PS2 game can get.
As Jaster Rogue, a young nobody-turned-bounty hunter who inherits a special sword from a mysterious stranger, you'll sail from planet to planet, fighting monsters and recruiting increasingly weird travel companions to sail aboard your colossal space-galleon. There's a central story about how you're racing an evil corporation to fabulous ancient riches, but it takes a while to get off the ground, and once it does it plays out predictably. It's padded out by a number of smaller side stories and character threads, but those are even flatter and more predictable than the main storyline. Good thing, then, that there's plenty of other stuff to keep you distracted from how tepid the plot is.