Xenogears
Welcome again, boys and especially girls, to my very own RPG review section, 3B. For those confused by the name... join the club! I came up with it when I was in, umm... not exactly the most sensible frame of mind. Okay, so I was a little drunk. Anyway, here's the deal - with apologies to Joe Bob Briggs of Drive-In Movie review fame, I rate RPGs on the three essential 'B's. Beasts (monsters, moron), Blood (can you figure this one out?) and Breasts (my personal fave - unfortunately, for pretty much all the games it's not literal).

Got all that? Great. I rate on a scale of one to ten, with tenths of a point because I felt like it. If you don't like it, click the link back to the Inquisitor and stop whining to me!

This time at 3B I'll take a closer look at a real fave of the RPGing crowd, as we go in depth for the 3Bs of Xenogears!!

Beasts 4.9
As far as RPGs go, these beasts are pretty spectacularly bad. Not only are they a mix of fuzzy sprites and low-poly low-res polygons, they're about uniformly uninspired. I was tempted to put at least some of the enemy gears (big mecha) under this category (Opiomorph leaps to mind) but I just couldn't justify it. There are cool looking enemies, but they aren't the monsters. Even the genetic freaks leave a little to be desired, more's the pity.

Blood 9.4
If the blood doesn't gush in big red rivers like it did in Vandal Hearts, at least there are quite a few gallons worth here and there. Battles don't result in any of the red stuff, but the few-and-far-between anime cut scenes more than make up for it! Forget the psycho-babble - these people remember scenes of gratuitous violence 'cause it makes the screen really flow. We've got lots of telekinetic violence on civvies and military personnel, we've got machine gun deaths, we've got genetic mutations, we've got wrist-slitting, we've got scenes of impersonal violence, we've got fake-blood showers, we've got it all!

Breasts 7.4
This is a tough one to call. On the one hand, there's no way anybody in their right mind is going to say that the quality or quantity are missing. Elly, Miang, grown-up Emerelda and the four young Elements are all major babes, and for their type there's nothing wrong with the rest of the game's females (translation: you could fake thinking they were cute if you had to). Trouble is, we have a serious problem with presentation. This is a game that manages to cover things up with creative camera angles and overused lens flare in two totally nude scenes... and that's just wrong.