Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean, GameCube

Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean is a brilliant Final Fantasy-style, level-grinding RPG, initially released by Namco on the Nintendo GameCube in 2003.

Graphically: the game is exquisite, mixing stunning 2D paintings with intricate 3D models to create a world unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Few games look this good on the GameCube. Music-wise the game is stunning too, with a mix of orchestral pieces and dancier music used, depending on the situation.

The combat system is quite innovative too – using cards (chosen from decks) for attack and defensive moves. As the game progresses the cards you acquire improve, as do your moves. That is: if you remember to select your new cards from the deck!

Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean is an esoteric kind of game. Part genius; part gobbledegook. The genius part is the combat – and the variety. You are lead from one situation to the next – and one boss battle to another – in a very interesting way, which makes play compelling. And the way you earn money is cool too: by taking photos of your enemies in combat!

The downside is that the dialogue and voice acting are pretty poor, but thankfully these don’t scupper a great game.

If you like level-grinders, then playing this game is a must.

And if you have a low tolerance for fantasy nonsense, then maybe this game isn’t for you…

I love it. I think Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean is a great game. It’s just a shame that the person responsible for the English voice translation was no director. If the voice acting had been better, then I think this game would be much better remembered.

More: Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean on Wikipedia

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