Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean
ESRB Rating: T for Teen
Time for Completion: 50-75 hours (Depending how good you are)
You are a on a journey. A journey to find your brother and father's killer and pay him for what he has done. Through your travels, you wound up in Cebelrai, passed out from being attacks from Rock Cats. After thanking the village doctor and stocking up on goods, you left for the ruins to the west of Cebelrai, where the next clue to your familyís murder lies. That's when you meet a girl by the name of Xelha and your adventure starts anew.
"The story begins with Kalas, the main character, waking up in a hospital run by Larikush, Cebelrai Village's local doctor. At the moment, he seems to recall little more than a desire to seek revenge against the Empire, who murdered his family and burned down his home. The player acts in the role of the Guardian Spirit, a mystical being from another world who is bonded to Kalas, lending him strength and wisdom. After greeting his rescuer, an odd, but intelligent animal named Meemai, Kalas decides to investigate the area where he was found unconscious, Moonguile Forest. There, Kalas encounters, and reluctantly rescues, Xelha from a Sabre Dragon. Although seemingly naive, Xelha convinces Kalas to bring her along into the ruins."
Baten is a sad story with many plot twists. If youíre into medieval/ futuristic RPGs this game is for you. The game's plot twists are what make this game what it is. You are about to start a journey for the ages, but can you trust your companions? Can you trust YOURSELF?
Baten is like no other RPG, in the sense of the menu. Instead of the traditional menu for, "Attack" and, "Defend" you build a deck of cards. Now I know what youíre thinking, "Great a card game, it will probably be crappy with excessive rules that make no sense". While Baten DOES use a card system, it is not a card fighting game. The game is based on, "Magnus" cards. That absorb the essence of what ever you capture. You want to play out a sword? Select the, "Short Sword" magnus and prepare to slice and dice!
Baten Kaitos is split up onto multiple islands. These islands float in the sky and are home to many monsters and countries. When you play Baten, you travel from Island to Island finding End Magnus so that you can find Kalas' familyís killer. You start on the Island Map. From there you can select dungeons and towns from the field. When you enter towns you can talk to locals and take on MASSIVE sub-quests that reward with extremely strong magnus. You can go to the shops to heal and buy new items. Alternatively, you can enter the blue flowers to travel to the church to upgrade and level up. In dungeons you simply touch an enemy to engage in a fight, more often the not enemies will seek you out. Once engaged in a fight, select the magnus you wish to use with the control stick, then hit the A button to use that card. Playing cards in a particular order can vastly increase your damage. Much like poker you can play cards: In succession (1,2,3,4,5) or repeating (8,8,2,2). Once you finish attacking, your enemies will attack you. Again, you play defensive cards to protect yourself. You can use specialty cards to perform miscellaneous options, or you can use healing items to save yourself.
Another really cool feature is how time effects the magnus. Let's say you want to take a picture of an enemey to sell. Well you'll have to wait till the picture developes.If you have green bananas you'll need to wait a few minutes for them to ripen. However, leaving them to long means you have rotten bananas. Time can be cruel, but if used wisely, will be a great advantage in the game.
All in all Baten has strong gameplay that only lacks in repetition. Battles are often drawn out if you can't perform combos, and can become highly repetitive, but don't let that stop you from wanting this amazing game.
Gameplay Video by Me
Baten is strong when it comes to music. As with most RPGs, Baten is all orchestrated with a symphony of instruments. The game depends heavily on the violin, which is the main instrument on the default battle phase. The thing that keeps Baten's music fresh is the different Music in every area of the game, and the frequent inclusion of, "Special" battles that come equipped with new music. With everything from orchestra violins, to heavy metal guitars and remixed audio recording Baten is an audio masterpiece. The one fault in music that lost this game .8 points is it's voice acting. While the story ad voice actors are very good, they sound like they are talking out of tin cans. This somewhatruins the mood. Never the less, there are more then 50 OST tracks that are available for listing at any time; Baten truly conquers the musical division.
Here is a list of OST found in Baten (106 Vatrolic Stroke- is great :D)
Baten pushed the gamecube way back in the day, but now-a-days Baten's graphics are less then great. The special effects that take place in battles are all right though. However, when it comes to cut scenes and talking parts, Baten struggles with graphics. This is because of the games size. You can't have content and graphics, so Baten had to suffer somewhere. Apart from the in-game graphics, Baten is awesome. The pre-rendered backgrounds re stunning. Moreover, Nintendo Power said, "Possibly the most beautiful GCN title ever made" when they said this, they meant the pre-rendered backgrounds. Everything from farming hamlets to villages made of candy. The opening scene has high quality graphics.
Replay Value- 6.4/10
Baten is the type of RPG that you play repeatedly. Maybe once or twice, three times max. Once the story has been exposed there isn't much left besides some intense fights. In addition, once there arenít any fights left there isnít much left at all. There are subquests, but nothing carries over when you complete the game, and they are more of, "fillers" then subquests. All in all Baten isn't famous for reply.
Baten is customizable, but it doesn't go too in depth. With up to six playable characters, your party can become pretty diverse. One thing I particularly like is the way you can build your decks. If you want a healer, just pick a character you think would make a good healer, and line their deck with healing and defensive cards. If you want a spell caster, just pick one and give them spell attacks. The only limit is when it comes to the type of card each person uses, although the types are pretty funny.
Kalas- Uses Swords
Xelha- Uses magic
Gibari- Uses Paddles (lol)
Llyude- Uses Instruments (lol)
Savyna- Uses hand-to-hand combat
Mizuti- Uses Magic
Overall Score- 8.1/10
The game is great by itself, but it could have been an A+ game if the decks were more versatile and the graphics were improved. Apart from minor defects, the game is a great RPG. Especially if you don't have a Wii yet, and are expecting on for Christmas. The game is probably only $19.99 at Wal-Mart, so pick it up to keep your gaming hunger satisfied while you wait for your Wii.