Baten Kaitos Origins
Baten Kaitos Origins

 
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Product Description

Baten Kaitos Origins is a prequel to Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean, a Nintendo GameCube exclusive. The plot revolves around a group of characters that are struggling to discover the source of frightening changes (both natural and political) that are occurring in their world. During their journey, they will learn many details that help flesh out the first game, including how the despotic Empire government came to be.

Features:
  • Players explore a massive world filled with memorable characters and bizarre creatures
  • From the high-tech high-rises of the empire to a rustic farming hamlets, the level and character design in Baten Kaitos Origins is wildly innovative
  • With a twisting, turning storyline, dozens of side quests and thousands of lines of voice-acted dialogue, they will easily spend 80+ hours in this world
  • With hundreds of weapons, armor pieces and items at their disposal, even fights against the smallest monsters will be a fun and frantic experience

Customer Reviews:

  • Baten Kaitos Origins
    This game is prequel to one of the best role playing game on the gamecube called Baten Kaitos Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean. Both games have the unique real-time card based combat system. Both games have epic story with amazing twists and great characters. Both games can be considered amoung the most beautiful games on the gamecube and they both have excellent soundtracks.

    Baten Kaitos Origins is a prequel to the first game and you really don't need to have played the first one. If you play this fresh you will benefit from the fresh perspective and if you have already played Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean then you will get a different perspective. I recommend both games for anybody looking for a great RPG on the gamecube. Both games provide well over 60 hrs of gametime....more info
  • When bad decisions happen to good games
    Top Line: Origins is a solid game, but suffers from a number of poor design decisions that ultimately detract from the experience. Fans of the original may find changes to the combat system disheartening; newcomers may find the game to be simply inscrutable. All players are likely to find some of the design decisions frustrating.

    Gameplay: Good

    The original Baten Kaitos operated on an unusual combat system that made use of "Magnus Cards" that were drawn from an individual character's 'battle deck' and 'played' to achieve combat actions. In Origins, this formula is altered in three main ways. Firstly, the combat cards are no longer weapons, spells, or pieces of armor but attacks. Secondly, the battle system has shifted from turn-based to round-based. Thirdly, all the characters share a single combat deck. While some of these changes might have been good ideas, the execution was off, and as a result the combat is significantly less fun than in the original.

    The first aspect of change was the shift to attacks. While weapon and armor cards are still around, they are now played to change a character's static equipment and modulate attack or defense. A character can only use one piece of equipment at a time, meaning one cannot simultaneously wear a weapon and a piece of armor. Attack cards basically come in two flavors, and the multiplicity of magnus numbers from the first game has been reduced to just one. Based on its strength, an attack card will have a number 1-7; these must be played in ascending order. Attack cards with numbers higher than 3 will also cost MP, which are earned by playing sequences of magnus cards or using equipment. In a way, this makes more sense than the old system, but it suffers from the fact that the number of available attacks is quite limited, and that only Milly has any custom attacks in the lower numbers. Having a broader range of introductory attacks, and keeping the old magnus number system, would have made combat much more enjoyable.

    The combat system is essentially round-based. While there is a pseudo real-time aspect to the delay between turns that means occasionally you will be choosing attacks for only one character, most of the time all your characters will all be playing their magnus cards simultaneously. This is an essential feature of the game because it allows characters to chain attacks. When a character ends a turn with a special attack, the next character can, under certain conditions, continue a string of attacks uninterrupted for bonus damage. While this is occasionally useful, enemies do not die until a chain is completed, meaning that if an initial string of attacks is successful, the combo ends up wasting a character's turn. Moreover, the round-based system comes with its own set of disadvantages. There are, for instance, some boss battles where being unable to stop attacking, or to change the target mid-round, are serious problems. More significantly, the round-based system causes the player to be disengaged from the combat round. Combat amounts to a frenzy of card assignment followed by a long (with some enemies who have lengthy attack animations, VERY long) wait. As the game progresses, this tends to make combat a little boring and/or frustrating, in stark contrast to the original's combat system, which kept the player engaged not only during his selection of his own attacks, but also during the enemy's.

    The final difference is that only one deck is used for the whole party. This was a terrible idea. While it does introduce some interesting dilemmas of strategic deck design, the restrictive number of cards allowed per deck significantly limits the possibilities that are actually reasonable. In particular, cards that affect status ailments other than death are essentially useless; they take up too much deck space to be worthwhile. Even a few battles will convince you that it's easier to wait status effects out using healing items than to waste deck space with items that cure poison or sleep. While the new discard feature is welcome, it quickly becomes clear that it's absolutely necessary in order for this system to work at all. While the basic attack cards are not character-specific, high-level attacks and essentially all equipment cards are (and only one of these can be played per turn). As a result, the appearance of a full hand of cards that are of no use, or can only be used by a single character, is depressingly frequent.

    'Camp magnus' from the first game have been excised entirely; characters always start combat with a full health gauge, and all status effects end immediately after a battle. Quest Magnus return, along with useful "magnus mixers" that can be used similarly to the magnus combos of the previous game. Those combos, however, are gone, as also is the wondrous variety that went with them. The numerous food magnus and their kin are essentially gone, replaced by nondescript potions and bandages.

    The game manages to be well-balanced in stretches, but there is a tremendous step up in difficulty at the beginning of the second disk, starting with an enormously long and difficult boss fight and only getting worse from there for a dungeon or two. While the game eventually settles into a steady progression again, the experience yields never truly catch up with the difficulty of the battles or the need for leveling. Even if the yields were better, leveling up doesn't do all that much good; characters simply do not gain enough strength per level to make their progress seem rewarding.

    Dungeon designs are passable, but never truly interesting, and do not possess any puzzles of notable difficulty. It's very easy to just bull through most areas, though you will spend a lot of time in combat.

    Additionally, the game has an absolutely insulting number of unwinnable battles. I accept the need for the main character in an RPG to sometimes be defeated. This does not imply that it is necessary to force me to fight that battle that I will automatically lose, or that it makes any sense at all to hand me a "Game Over" for dying too soon in said battle.

    Overall, the gameplay mechanics are solid, but some bad decisions were made that significantly detracted from my enjoyment of the game.

    Story: Good

    The story here is actually two stories: one about a boy named Sagi a few decades before the events of the original Baten Kaitos, and another about a family trying to save the world during the Time of the Gods. The tale of Malpercio, presented in several different versions in the original game, mutates yet again. There is some interesting stuff here and there plot-wise, but it never really hangs together. There's a lot of mishmosh about people's hearts being too strong or not strong enough, and a pair of maniacal villains bent on destroying the world and burning down trees and stuff, but in the end it amounts to being just a generic mess, with stock Luddite ramblings about the evils of technology. Some of the twists along the way are interesting, but others are downright stupid (especially the final act of betrayal), and despite the name, the origins of the world Kalas and Xelha enter in the original are not really made any clearer.

    The character interaction between Sagi, Milly, Guillo, and the player (again the player is himself a character in the world as a spirit) is pretty good, and there are many nice character moments, which bring my opinion up, but the characters don't do much evolving. Sagi is pretty much the same person at the end of the game as he was at the beginning, a story weakness made even more glaring by comparison with the tremendous evolution Kalas and Xelha undergo in the original. Most of the truly interesting character angles and ideas never really get much play, although there could have been more solid ruminations on what constitutes good and evil and about the nature of betrayal. Almost all of the NPCs are two-dimensional and not really worth the trouble. For a video game, this is all right, but nothing to write home about.

    Audio: Good

    The music in Origins is not as grand as in the original, but still quite passable. Many of the pieces are rearrangements or variations on the existing BK soundtrack, which is perfectly appropriate and works out quite well in a few of the battles. The voice acting, thank god, is solid, a huge improvement over the original. However, I found many of the sound effects accompanying combat actions to be unpleasant.

    Visuals: Good

    This score would be higher, were more of the areas original artwork. A simply depressing quantity of the world, however, is composed of recycled screens from the original Baten Kaitos. The new areas are equally pretty, for the most part, but nothing is so stunning that you will be longing to see the artwork again. Additionally, the perspective is sometimes confusing, making it difficult to figure out how to move around some screens. The opening and final cinematics are presented in a watercolor cutout style that is interesting, but not particularly appealing. All other cutscenes are rendered using the game engine, which is reasonably good at conveying action, but lacks facial detail. All dialogue in the game appears onscreen with a headshot; these are likely meant to compensate for the player's inability to really see a character's face. Sometimes this works, sometimes it's not enough. The art on the magnus cards is nice, but again much is recycled. Overall, the artwork is of high quality, but enough of it is recycled for me to withhold some points.

    Replayability: Average

    There is a new game+ mode, and as before there are a lot of sidequests you could explore. However, I didn't really feel an urge to do so. Origins isn't actually that long, but it feels like a real slog towards the end, and you'll likely want to leave it on the shelf for several months before having a go at it again.

    Overall: Enjoyable (77%)

    I've probably come off a bit harsh here, but Origins isn't really a bad game, and if you're willing to put up with some of the frustrating design decisions it's actually quite a good one. However, caveat emptor! Fans of the original are likely to find the new combat system underwhelming, and the round-based combat can be a drag for anyone. The story is something of a mess, and hard to buy even on its own terms, although there are some interesting aspects that could have been drawn out more. Audio and visuals are enjoyable, and many will be familiar to those who played the first game (perhaps too familiar). Overall, I felt this game was a passable effort that, with some more careful thought and a little extra effort, could have been much better....more info
  • A decent prequel, but not the greatest...
    Baten Kaitos Origins fixed some problems that the original had; the voice actors were decent this time and they added a "wing dash" and all that to make the player go faster and be able to hop over obstacles that one wouldn't have been able to overcome in the original. But the gameplay is still repetitive and gets boring after a while...not to mention the sidequest of mammoth proportions you have the option of undertaking. Not the best game I've ever played, but certainly not the worst....more info
  • great rpg for game cube
    this is the second game of the baten kaitos saga but the history takes place 30 years prior to the events of the first game.This game is very good, the combat system is difefernt now and harder to use but that make the game more challenging.This game is much better thant the first because it has a lot of things that the firt didnt have like "New Game+"where you keep all your magnus in gathering(thank god), secret bosses and more submissions.If you play the first game you may want to play this too because it explains the background of what happened in lost ocean...more info
  • If its not broke....
    Ive had this game for a couple of weeks now and I agree that this is everybit superior to the original. With only 3 characters in the game it makes leveling a breeze and the interaction between Guillo and Milliarde is comical, leaving poor Sagi in the middle of an argument. The graphics are absolutly beutiful, the voice overs are 100 times better (no talking through tin cans into the mic) but my only complaint is the battle system. One plus they got rid of the round wasting "Shuffling the deck" the only down sides is the one deck per party some times you have a hand full of cards and cant use them because a character is either afflicted with a status ailment or dead. so you have to discard alot or take a beating till something good pops up. The elemental weapons have also been turned into equip magnus, and the SP combos can only be done in acending order now. and the timer for grabbing magnus is quick you have to be fast to get the cards you need or that character is passed. Indeed buy this game once you get the hang of it, its great. ...more info
  • One of the best-kept secrets in RPGs
    Baten Kaitos Origins is the prequel to 2004's Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean. (Playing the first Baten Kaitos is recommended but is not required to enjoy this game.) Origins was published by Nintendo in 2006 and was released with very little fanfare, which is too bad, because Origins is easily one of the best RPGs on the GameCube. This game improves upon its predecessor in almost every way, from a refined combat system to a more open-ended gaming experience.

    Origins is a Japanese RPG, employing a lot of the conventions typical to the genre, including experience points, leveling-up and a 17 year-old male protagonist. The game is lengthy, offering a good 60-70 hours of solid storyline - including a few notable plot twists - spiced with countless sidequests.

    What sets Origins apart is its combat system, which eliminates many of the flaws of standard RPGs. First off, there are no random battles in Origins, allowing you character to often avoid combat if needed. Secondly, Origins employs a fast-paced combat system that merges active time combat (i.e. Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy X-2) with a dynamic card-style system that involves stringing attacks together in real-time. The term "card-based" may turn off some gamers, but this is not Yu-Gi-Oh... Origins uses a fast-moving system that forces the gamer to think on one's feet and make quick decisions. It proves a fantastic change of pace from plodding menu-driven RPGs of old, requiring a lot of strategy and planning. The system has been completely overhauled from the first game, and the new combat system boasts an entirely new layer of depth that proves easy to learn but difficult to master.

    In terms of visuals, Origins proves outstanding. The original Baten Kaitos boasted gorgeous pre-rendered backgrounds and colorful scenery, and Origins adds to that a layer of graphical polish that vaults this game among the elite of GameCube games. The various towns and dungeons look simply amazing, with fantastic pre-rendered backgrounds, and the combat graphics rival those of the PS2 Final Fantasy games.

    Aurally, the original Baten Kaitos featured IGN's "Best Score of 2004" on the Cube, and Origins lives up to its predecessor with a similiarly-inspired soundtrack that is truly beautfiul to listen to. Some of the tunes in the second game incorporate elements of the game's tracks, while others are entirely original to this game. From haunting to guitar-driven, it's all here. The voice acting, meanwhile, is considerably better as a whole than the inconsistent work done in the first game.

    Baten Kaitos Origins is the sort of game that tends to fly under the radar because of its low publicity, its unique combat system, and its place on the slower-selling GameCube. Be that as it may, Origins is a worthy addition to the RPG genre and evidence that Monolith Soft knows how to make great games. Highly recommended....more info
  • One of the best no one played
    Baten Kaitos Origins is one of the most addictive RPG games, but unfortunatly it was released during next generation consoles and no one played it on GameCube!
    It was really worth trying and believe it or not: Its story is even better than Final Fantasy....more info
  • finally, its out
    i have been a fan since the original Baten Kaitos and could't wait to get the second game. this new title vastly improves on the first game. those gratting voice dialogue is actually a lot better in this game, the graphics are extremly gorgeuos and even the new battle system is fun once you get used to it. the game is a prequel to the first, were in this game the main character is Sagi, who works for the empire. when he is assigned to assasinate someone, he unexpectanly finds there already dead and he is framed for the crime. now he must clear his name with the help of the android Guillo and the gental Milliard. whats diffrent from the first game is unlike the first, you only have three playable characters and there is only one deck for all players. the battle system is also a little diffrent but still keeps true to the original, this time incorperating more combo attacks but what i love is that they got rid of that pointless shuffling the deck thing, thumbs up. the story line is also a bit darker then the first one, through out the game i felt really hopeless and that i could not stop it. the plot also fills in gaps left unanswered in the first game. another feature is the ability to upgrade magnus cause in this game your provided only a handful that you can upgrade through out the game and make even more powerful magnus. you can also compete in the collisuem were your playing skills can be put to the test. also, i really, really, REALLY hope they come out with a third Baten Kaitos, this time a sequel to the first game. plus, a whole bunch of new lands and some new characters (maybe even have Milly or Sagi drop in) i really want them to continue this awesome game series. so please Monolith Soft, make a BK3!...more info
  • A worthy installment
    I was so happy when I saw this in the store, I had no idea they made a prequel! But yeah, you might want to play this first before going to the second one, just so you have a better background on the legends and how the lands came to the sky.

    But this one is HARDER and more FRUSTRATING!!! You might need a guide for this if you get stuck...especially at the beginning of the second disc. But this game really is awesome, with humorous characters, even younger supporting characters and great new cards to use! Its not quite perfect as the next one, since the next characters are a little more likeable, but this is still a worthy installment! I hope they make another at least, these games are addictive!!!...more info
  • Not As Good as the First
    This is a so-so prequal to the original Baten Kaitos. Most of the game play is the same which makes it dull, the main characters are not as likeable as the ones from the first game. They changed the battle format, still cards but they have dumbed it down so the computer picks the order of your cards for you. This was NOT an improvement. Part of what made the first game fun was the ability to make your own combos. I really wish I wouldn't have bought this, I should have just replayed the first one which I loved!...more info
  • Good but not that good
    I think that this game is ok but its not good enough when you compare it with the firts one....more info

 

 
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