Baten Kaitos (RPG Special) (GameCube) Preview

By Adam Riley 08.12.2003 2

Ever since Nintendo decided to stick with cartridges in the era of the Nintendo 64, developers such as Squaresoft and Enix have avoided bringing their heavy-weight RPGs like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest to Nintendo's home systems. Therefore Sony's PlayStation quickly became the home of many an RPG classic and the same can now be true for the PlayStation 2, which has already seen Final Fantasy X and X-2 released for it, as well as games like Star Ocean 3, Suikoden III, Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter and XenoSaga. Even the XBOX seems to have more RPG support, with the phenomenal Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and the soon-to-be-released Fable. But, thankfully, things appear to picking up on the GameCube - and C3 can now bring you details on one of the big-hitters of 2004...

Namco and Nintendo used to be extremely close friends back in the days of the NES, but things turned sour after Nintendo did its usual trick of squeezing Third Party companies too hard when it came to licensing fees and the two friends' relationship took a turn for the worse. This continued right through the Nintendo 64 days with little input from the makers of Tekken, Ridge Racer and Pac-Man, with the main contribution simply being that Nintendo-owned NSTC (the team behind the recent quality title 1080

As many will be aware by now, Baten Kaitos centres itself round the ever-popular theme of card-battling, but thankfully manages to provide gamers with more of a well-rounded experience than other games in the same genre. For instance, the cards are also used as the basis of item accumulation in addition to eliminating enemies during battle encounters. Special cards coated in 'Magna Essence', or 'Magnus' for short, can absorb spells, weapons and even everyday items from town shops, other people or at the end of a fight from a felled creature. This negates the need for laborious menu systems since everything that is needed is accessed via the different types of Magnus cards

Baten Kaitos is set in a land which is quite reminiscent to that found in the other GameCube-exclusive Skies of Arcadia: Legend. The continents float high up in the clouds and the human inhabitants actually have wings in order to allow easy travelling, but these appendages have begun to degenerate due to lack of use over time. An evil God is apparently being resurrected and you must control your character in this epic journey to prevent this horrendous act from occurring. In an interesting twist, though, the lead character that you play as

Final Thoughts

All-in-all, with such an entertaining storyline, gameplay innovations to keep even the most cynical RPG'er happy, pre-rendered background graphics that are crammed full of intricate detail and 3D battle graphics that surpass even the likes of Metroid Prime, even managing to match the works of the visual-maestros at Square Enix, and an orchestral score that is so impressive it now has its own personal double-CD soundtrack released in Japanese stores as of now, Baten Kaitos is a must-have game for anyone even remotely interested in the world of role-playing. Just be thankful that the two-disc adventure has already been confirmed for a 2004 launch in both North America and Europe, and keep your fingers crossed that we also receive the free NES game, Tower of Druaga, that the Japanese have been getting when pre-ordering!

Developer

Monolith

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Turn Based RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (33 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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