Xenosaga: Episode II
Yes, its a bit short, but due to all the (sometimes) fun sidequests and many bosses and enemies, its a fun game to play. What I really liked about it however, was the atmosphere, and the background music. It made gameplay enjoyable. And the fighting system is GOOD, despite what others may think. It takes work and prep to be able to defeat certain enemies and its a great game. the storyline may not be as great if you have not played the first or 3rd game. And for those that think this game isnt great, perhaps are comparing it to the first one, which is one of the greatest ps2 rpgs. and of course who could forget xenogears. This game has its own charms and its own story too. And yes, its graphics have improved since the first game, but it would be nicer if the environment was more interactive. Great game nonetheless.
2nd Chapter gives a good story.
The second game is a powerful plot that you want more but sorry to say is that it's too short. The gameplay is good finding your enemies zones but sometimes the zones are weird... some of the monsters are weak to ab or cc but the attacks doesn't hardly do any damage. But I manage to use stock and beat the monsters. The soundtrack gives a good jazz pop very moody too. The graphics are high marks. The voice acting is the real killer too bad though. I gives this game a 9.
Favorite out of the 3
This game was marked by failure in the series, but it is my favorite out of all of them. The game picks right up where the first one left off and jumps right into the action. It's cinematics are very impressive and interesting as well. The storyline is once again keeping very good and keeps you wanting to play the game. The battle system at first can be very confusing but once you get the hang of it it becomes very fun. The game uses break points for an enemy; example: an enemy might have a CBB break point and also be able to boost and use other characters stocks, you can really rack up the damage to an enemy quickly. The game offers a new game plus features for those of you who are into that kind of thing. Even after beating the game you have a brand new sidequest become accessible.
If you liked Ep. I, you'll want to play this one
This is the least of the Xenosaga trilogy in length and gameplay, but the plot and characters are wonderfully continued and enhanced from the first game. Episode II is largely Junior's story, which -as he's my favorite character- I loved. This game is vital to understanding the events of Episode III and to finding answers to the mysteries left over by Episode I. Unfortunately, the leveling system was marred by the fact that all of the characters have access to all of the possible skill trees. This means that not only is it possible to give multiple characters identical ability sets, but that no character has to really pick a skill tree to pour points into in order to get their own special abilities. Fortunately, it's unreasonable to hit the final stages in all of the skill trees in one playthrough, so being forced to select carefully helps. Also, don't let the two discs fool you: the whole game is really short compared to the other two, even if you go around doing all of the side games and whatnot (which are all actually pretty fun). Overall, I'd say that if you enjoyed the first's story and characters, you'll like this one well enough, and you'll really like the third game in the trilogy (which also manages an excellent gameplay and leveling system).
Beyond Good and Evil
There's a good chance you'll have more fun reading the Event Summary in Episode III than playing this game. Xenosaga Episode II is the worst in the Trilogy. The game is plagued with design fallacies, engine issues, weak plot, and being a sequel. The game's more redeeming feature is its sound, more so than its graphical upgrade. The first Xenosaga had a great story, but it was troubled with starting too much at once. Episode II's issue is that it relies too much on being a sequel, and receiving a sequel. The plot is short and ultimately adds little to the metastory. The arc involved in this game is about URTVs and their connection to one another and the Miltian Conflict. The arc is short however, and could have benefited from the addition of another group of characters' arc. The main issue is that by the end of the game, you'll feel as if barely anything occurred.But the real issue with this game is the engine and design flaws. The most glaring is the currency issue: there is none. The designers, after losing half the original staff, decided it would be a great idea of remove money and shops from an RPG. This leaves all items to drops and found items. The lack of money allows for the game to rely heavily on level grinding. If you want items, you will need to fight monsters endlessly and hope you'll get the items you need. If you don't grind, you'll not only be left without items, but you'll also fail immediately following the second stage; the difficulty level for the entire game following the first is very high. Unless you're lv.30 fighting that lv.12 Gnosis, you'll die.Which brings up the flawed battle mechanics. To combat the reissuing of Episode I's battle system (itself a derivative of Xenogear's system), Xenosaga II employs a Hit Zone system. Depending on which area of the Gnosis/Human/Robot you hit, you'll score a normal, critical, or zero damage. Chaining the Hit Zone attacks will result in a Zone Break, which turns all attacks into Critical Hits. The issue here is the statistically weakest characters are required for most of the sensitive Zones on the Bosses. But that won't frustrate you, the player, the most about fighting. The unreasonably long loading necessary for any of the battle screens is rather baffling. The shortest amount of time it takes to load a battle (any battle) is about 3 seconds. That's three seconds after the battle room loads before you can select a command. This 3 second load time is rare, as they are often longer. It seems as though optimisation look a back seat to changing the visual presentation. A shame then that the third installment looks objectively more impressive, and performs incredibly.If you do decide to play through the game, the new presentation is nice and nice to look at, and the music is decent and often portrays the scene well. The new soundtrack is more techno/pop influenced than the first game's impressively Orchestrated themes. The decision to use a single layer DVD, instead of the dual-layered the first used, helps the presentation by allowing less compression on FMV sequences and great texture fidelity.Xenosaga Episode II is a disappointment. The plot is short and weak. The game's design is geared toward Level Grinding and an excuse for longevity, and the engine developed for the game is either unfinished for poorly made to sacrifice performance in favor of presentation. The game's updated visuals and more snappy soundtrack are not enough to redeem it, however.