下手の横好き世界5 by William Van Hecke

Xenogears 10-year anniversary playthrough go go!

(I stayed up until 4:00 last Monday and finished Persona 3. The last boss wasn’t as bad as I’d expected!)

I have wanted to play through Xenogears again since… well, since I first finished it in Christmas break of 1999. The 10-year anniversary of that first playthrough seemed like a fine opportunity to do so. In those intervening years, I have learned enough to be perfectly comfortable with the Japanese version of the game. So, I downloaded it to my PSP for ¥600 and jumped in.

I’ve seen the beginning of the game several times, in showing the game to others and in my own dropped attempts to play through again. So the main interesting thing so far has been the differences between the original and localized versions. For some reason, the main difference that stands out to me so far is that Hob-Jerky, one of my favorite items, was originally “Tsuchinoko Meat”. The enemy Tsuchinoko is a probably-mythical creature of Japan; localizing it to “Hobgob” was pretty shrewd. (Especially since, based on information revealed later in the game, the enemies are clearly not supposed to actually be creatures from Japanese legend; their names are just names.)

I’m also surprised at how early some of the mysterious characters show up. Less than 4 hours in, I’ve already seen Grahf, Wiseman, the Emperor, and Id. Well, and Miang, of course, in the intro. I’m also surprised by how quickly it’s hinted that Citan is more than he seems; for some reason I remembered thinking for a longer time that he was just an ordinary guy.

The other thing that has struck me is how _beautiful_ everything is. Sometimes I can’t believe it’s a PSX game. Maybe the crisp screen of the PSP is helping.