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January 17, 2007
Rogue Galaxy - PS2 Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
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Rogue Galaxy looks sharp.
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Battle on the stairway to...
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All three are running out of HP!

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Some locations are massive.
Who here has heard of Level 5? They're a Japanese development team in case you were unaware. I'm pretty sure though you would have heard of their games. Indeed one of their games was awarded Futuregamez Game of the Year for 2006 - that being a certain Square-Enix game known as Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King. Rogue Galaxy is also an RPG, but this one is being published by Sony. So what's it about then?

At the far edge of the galaxy on the desert planet Rosa, a young man named Jaster dreams of journeying through space. In a sudden turn of fate, he is recruited to join the crew of space pirate Dorgengoa in a race to find a legendary planet that holds the key to the greatest of treasures…eternal life.

However another party, led by the Daytron Corporation, is also searching for the same planet. Jaster and the crew of Dorgenalgen Ark-Go will have to battle the Daytron Corporation across the vast galaxy as they race to put the pieces of the portal together that will allow them to stake their claim to the treasure.

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Battle out in the desert.
As you would be aware this is an action-RPG with realtime combat on a grand scale. With over 100 hours of gameplay, eight playable characters in total, with up to three controllable characters on the screen at the same time and five massive worlds to explore this isn't just a game for a quick afternoons play. Gamers will also have the ability to build special weapons and items by combining different weapons to synthesize more than 500 new weapons. Player can also manufacture specialized and rare items in the a Factory Mode by locating schematics throughout the galaxy.

Rogue Galaxy also features a number of mini-games and quests to further challenge players. These include:

  • Insectron Tournament – Capture, train, and stage battles using Insectron bugs found throughout the various worlds. Over 120 Insectors can be collected in the game, and players will increase rank and earn prizes by advancing through tournaments.
  • Rare Item Hunt – Search throughout the galaxy for clues to track down rare items. Locating all items provides players with special prizes.
  • Galactic Seven-Star Swords – Follow clues and gather information to collect the set of legendary Seven-Star Swords, considered to be the some of the most powerful weapons in the game.
  • Challenge Battles – Players can add an element of difficulty by completing battles under certain conditions. Successful players can earn hunter coins, which help to upgrade a player’s hunter license and open up additional challenges within the game.

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Three heroes battle a, err, thing.
The good news for American and European gamers is that although we've had a very lengthy wait for the game since its release in Japan (which was in December 2005) the developers are going all out to make 'vast improvements' to the title. First of all the developers have addressed some of the balancing issues. After listening to Japanese gamers they have fixed some areas that were either too hard, or too easy while other areas which were slow in progressing the story have been remedied as well. A completely new world called Alistia will appear in the middle section of the game and will provide a legthy side quest to the main plot. In terms of actual gameplay the Burning Strike command has been added so gamers can now take complete control over their combo attacks and when they will occur - in the Japanese game these were random.

Graphically Rogue Galaxy is impressive. All characters, be they friend or foe, are cel-shaded while the backgrounds are superbly detailed. The games cut scenes have a similar look to the main game to ensure consistency. Where this game shines is the battles which are not only frantic but look stunning with the various methods of attack in play. Remarkably the developers have also been able to keep loading to an absolute minimum in the Japanese version and we hope it could be almost non-existant in the US/PAL release.

Despite the fact Rogue Galaxy was released in Japan way back in December 2005, the American version isn't due out until January 30, 2007 with the PAL version likely to appear sometime in Q'3 2007 through Sony. The developers have had a fantastic couple of years on the PS2 and this, especially with the enhancements we're getting, will be another game well worth adding to your collection upon release.