Countdown to Black Friday with New Deals Every Day on Amazon

Amazon just launched their Black Friday Pre-sale event. You can check back every day for new items at http://amazon.com/Black-Friday/…

Already they are offering up some pretty sweet deals for geeks and gamers. I recommend bookmarking and checking back as often as possible. I’m hoping for a PS4 Bundle or Console to go on sale. I have enough already to purchase, but since it is that time of year, saving some money never hurts, and I’ve waited this long already to get myself the newest consoles, so might as well hang in there a few more weeks and see what happens!

Last year, amazon had amazing black friday and cyber monday exclusive gaming bundles for all three major game systems including Xbone, PS4, and WiiU. This year the savings should be even greater since the technology continues to age and the market gets even more competitive with new consoles such as the Xbox Scorpio, PS4 Pro, and (soon to be released) Nintendo Switch, which means the standard Xbox One, PS4 Slim, and possibly Wii U will need to discount their inventory to see a strong finish this year.

PC Gamers are not to be forgotten, RIGHT NOW amazon has awesome Black Friday deals on headsets, lightup keyboards, game controllers, gaming mice, and more. There are some great deals such as headsets for 65% off, hot new release games for both console and pc at up to 75% off and many more.

Amazon even has a page set up specifically for gaming deals here: http://amzn.to/2evLcYi

or a general one for Electronics here: http://amzn.to/2evMYZH

I’m also needing a new gaming laptop, and Amazon has a page for PC and Laptop deals here: http://amzn.to/2elLmON

Video Games not your thing? Maybe you want some boardgames, legos, cute plushies, dolls, or figures? If so amazon also has a page for you here: http://amzn.to/2fp9ssJ

And the sales will continue into cyber monday as well and Cyber Monday has it’s own page for deals which will be located at http://amzn.to/2fk9JB3 once it goes live later this month.

 

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Per Amazon’s site:

“Black Friday Deals–The Party Is Just Getting Started!

Black Friday 2016 will be here soon, but we didn’t want you to wait until the day after Thanksgiving to save on Black Friday deals, so we are counting down to Black Friday 2016 with exciting deals today, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day, and…you get the picture. Stop by each day through November 24 for early Black Friday deals, including sales on electronics, low prices on DVDs, magazine subscription specials, toy bargains, and fashionable deals for women, men, kids & baby, and more. You’ll find our best Black Friday deals, and Deal of the Day bargains you won’t want to resist for holiday gifts.

Something else to be excited about–at Amazon, Black Friday 2016 isn’t just a day to us–it’s a whole week! We’ll kick off Black Friday Deals Week early with Black Friday deals and sales all day every day that week, including Black Friday, with those big after-Thanksgiving sales you’ve been waiting for. Trust us, if you love a good deal, you won’t want to miss it!

To continue the excitement, we have made Cyber Monday 2016 a whole week too! We’ll be kicking off Cyber Monday with a week’s worth of cyber deals, just in time for you to get back to work after Thanksgiving … and shop online. Shhh … we won’t tell your boss! You’ll find more great deals every day during Cyber Monday Deals Week.
So stop by any day, or better yet, every day. We’ll be here with great deals!”

 

Countdown to Black Friday with New Deals Every Day on Amazon was originally published on

Boxychan Anime Box – June Unboxing Photos and Review – Monthly Subscription Box for Anime and Manga Fans

I just finished my review for Betoyo Bento here. In this review I mentioned how I just had a birthday a few weeks ago and my best friend gifted me with 2 subscription boxes. Here is the 2nd of those subscriptions – Boxychan Anime Box. I liked this box so well that I subscribed myself after opening this awesome box. I’m also going to update my top ten list of subscription boxes for geeky girls to reflect my love of Boxychan. What makes Boxychan so great in my opinion are two things – 1.) It has stuff you’ll actually use. I don’t know if “every” box is like this, but I’m assuming each box contains one manga and one dvd. – that’s actually stuff I want! stuff I’m already buying. Yes, little figures and posters and candy and other things are good – but this is stuff that’s expensive, manga is usually around $10-$15 a pop, Dvds around $15-20 a pop. Speaking of the word “Pop” that brings me to point 2.) This box is full of officially licensed products! Including the VERY popular “Funko Pops” YES! 🙂

When signing up for Boxychan you can choose many different “themes” – anime is just one of MANY geeky themes, they have comics, gamer, toys, geek, themes and more!! — I stuck with the anime theme, because I loved almost everything in this box!! I loved it so much I signed up for the longest subscription, the 9 month option. This is not a paid post or sponsored post. My friend bought me the one month box as a birthday gift, with her own money. I then used my own money to subscribe to the 9 month option – I just want to be very CLEAR that I GENUINELY love Boxychan. It is my favorite box. Oh by the way, interesting little tidbit for you – the 9 month option, only takes your first month’s payment of $28 up front – unlike MANY of these boxes where if you want the year subscription you’re paying hundreds of dollars – but I assume if you try to cancel before the 9 months are up they “clip you” for the remaining months then. But I like that they don’t want the whole fees up front – very kind! You also get discounts for longer subscriptions (I believe, but can’t remember for sure, that a single box is $35 a month), so it was a no brainer to me to sign up for the full deal.

The other things you do when signing up are indicate your gender, and your “age” (child, teen, or adult) – I think they may customize the box to fit this demographic info! I say this, because the manga I received was VERY girly (GOOD Just what I like!! SHOUJO!! It’s very hard to find Shoujo stuff in these monthly boxes because most of them just focus on “mainstream” shounen stuff.) It also had sailor moon! (another “girly” shoujo item). And Totoro – which appeals to both male and female, but probably more towards girls for the kawaii factor. It had Tokyo Ghoul too which I think is more popular with boys, but probably one of the most popular anime series in recent years.

Lastly, when you sign up, you are asked your shirt and shoe sizes. The June box did not have any wearable items, but it’s good to know they have from Extra Small up to 2XL.

You can learn more about Boxychan over here: http://www.boxychan.com/products/anime-mystery-box

They call themselves the “original” themed mystery box – I’m not sure if that’s accurate. I’d not heard of them before – but to me they’re “claiming” to be the first anime subscription box available on the net. Which if it’s true, gives them some “street kred” and reliability.

Anyways I know what all you lovely people want to see, the box opening photos! So let’s get to it!

The outside box is rather plain compared to some of the competitors, for example, Doki Doki, which I reviewed here, uses a flashy bright pink attractive box. While Pusheen Box uses a box that looks like a cat on all 4 sides, which I’ve reviewed here. However, Boxychan keeps it very simple, with just a smile on one side of the box, and their logo on another side. Similar almost to amazon’s familiar packaging. The paint was also rubbing off of the outside of the box. – Not a big deal, but seeing it didn’t leave me with high expectations for the opening lol.

Boxychan Monthly Anime Subscription Box - Box Opening - Photos - Review
Boxychan Monthly Anime Subscription Box – Box Opening – Photos – Review
Boxychan Monthly Anime Subscription Box - Box Opening - Photos - Review
Boxychan Monthly Anime Subscription Box – Box Opening – Photos – Review

However, once cut open, this little box is just crammed full all the way with awesomeness. Also pink wrapping paper – which again to me seems to indicate that they probably select the items based on your gender and age group. The beautiful wrapping paper and seeing how FULL the box was started to lift my spirits and I started feeling excited.

Boxychan Monthly Anime Subscription Box - Box Opening - Photos - Review
Boxychan Monthly Anime Subscription Box – Box Opening – Photos – Review
Boxychan Monthly Anime Subscription Box - Box Opening - Photos - Review
Boxychan Monthly Anime Subscription Box – Box Opening – Photos – Review
Boxychan Monthly Anime Subscription Box - Box Opening - Photos - Review
Boxychan Monthly Anime Subscription Box – Box Opening – Photos – Review

OMG SAILOR MOON!!!!!!! I was even more excited removing the wrapping paper to see the Sailor Moon Blind Box Figure. 🙂 So let’s start the review with that item. My only “complaint” is Damn that’s a big ass box for a tiny fingertip sized lil guy! LOL. The packaging of the figure was exciting though! Although it also sort of defeated the purpose of it being a “blind” box. The figure itself is painted well although it does have rough “edges” – I am used to this though since I collect “Asian balljointed dolls” which often have unfinished seams and I’m not bothered by this, but for some people who are unacustomed to seeing a figure or doll with rough seams showing, it may look cheap but this is actually quite common for toys from asian countries. Either way, tiny lil Artemis is so kawaii (bonus points for me since I love cats lol) and the base is engraved with the moon rod and beautiful scrollwork. Once again, this item says “For Girls” on it, which is another indicator that Boxychan may select items taking your gender and age group into account – I cannot prove this, but am impressed by how many “girly” items were in the June box which leads me to wonder if it is in fact shipping out different items tailored to your demographics which it requests upon signing up. – I would be interested to hear from any men out there if they also received the same items in their June Boxychan box in the comments below.

Pics:

Boxychan Anime Subscription Box - June Boxychan Unboxing Photos - Sailor Moon Blind Box Figure - Sailor Moon Figurine - Sailor Moon Blind Box - Artemis - Artemis Blind Box Figure
Boxychan Anime Subscription Box – June Boxychan Unboxing Photos – Sailor Moon Blind Box Figure – Sailor Moon Figurine – Sailor Moon Blind Box – Artemis – Artemis Blind Box Figure
Boxychan Anime Subscription Box - June Boxychan Unboxing Photos - Sailor Moon Blind Box Figure - Sailor Moon Figurine - Sailor Moon Blind Box - Artemis - Artemis Blind Box Figure
Boxychan Anime Subscription Box – June Boxychan Unboxing Photos – Sailor Moon Blind Box Figure – Sailor Moon Figurine – Sailor Moon Blind Box – Artemis – Artemis Blind Box Figure
Boxychan Anime Subscription Box - June Boxychan Unboxing Photos - Sailor Moon Blind Box Figure - Sailor Moon Figurine - Sailor Moon Blind Box - Artemis - Artemis Blind Box Figure
Boxychan Anime Subscription Box – June Boxychan Unboxing Photos – Sailor Moon Blind Box Figure – Sailor Moon Figurine – Sailor Moon Blind Box – Artemis – Artemis Blind Box Figure
Boxychan Anime Subscription Box - June Boxychan Unboxing Photos - Sailor Moon Blind Box Figure - Sailor Moon Figurine - Sailor Moon Blind Box - Artemis - Artemis Blind Box Figure
Boxychan Anime Subscription Box – June Boxychan Unboxing Photos – Sailor Moon Blind Box Figure – Sailor Moon Figurine – Sailor Moon Blind Box – Artemis – Artemis Blind Box Figure
Boxychan Anime Subscription Box - June Boxychan Unboxing Photos - Sailor Moon Blind Box Figure - Sailor Moon Figurine - Sailor Moon Blind Box - Artemis - Artemis Blind Box Figure
Boxychan Anime Subscription Box – June Boxychan Unboxing Photos – Sailor Moon Blind Box Figure – Sailor Moon Figurine – Sailor Moon Blind Box – Artemis – Artemis Blind Box Figure
Boxychan Anime Subscription Box - June Boxychan Unboxing Photos - Sailor Moon Blind Box Figure - Sailor Moon Figurine - Sailor Moon Blind Box - Artemis - Artemis Blind Box Figure
Boxychan Anime Subscription Box – June Boxychan Unboxing Photos – Sailor Moon Blind Box Figure – Sailor Moon Figurine – Sailor Moon Blind Box – Artemis – Artemis Blind Box Figure
Boxychan Anime Subscription Box - June Boxychan Unboxing Photos - Sailor Moon Blind Box Figure - Sailor Moon Figurine - Sailor Moon Blind Box - Artemis - Artemis Blind Box Figure
Boxychan Anime Subscription Box – June Boxychan Unboxing Photos – Sailor Moon Blind Box Figure – Sailor Moon Figurine – Sailor Moon Blind Box – Artemis – Artemis Blind Box Figure
Boxychan Anime Subscription Box - June Boxychan Unboxing Photos - Sailor Moon Blind Box Figure - Sailor Moon Figurine - Sailor Moon Blind Box - Artemis - Artemis Blind Box Figure
Boxychan Anime Subscription Box – June Boxychan Unboxing Photos – Sailor Moon Blind Box Figure – Sailor Moon Figurine – Sailor Moon Blind Box – Artemis – Artemis Blind Box Figure

Next up, we have the Totoro lanyard from Studio Ghibli. It’s cute and bright blue. You’ll probably see it in several other photos in this review since I slipped it on to take pictures and then didn’t take it off until after the review.

Totoro Studio Ghibli Lanyard in June Boxychan Anime Mystery Box
Totoro Studio Ghibli Lanyard in June Boxychan Anime Mystery Box
Totoro Studio Ghibli Lanyard in June Boxychan Anime Mystery Box
Totoro Studio Ghibli Lanyard in June Boxychan Anime Mystery Box
Totoro Studio Ghibli Lanyard in June Boxychan Anime Mystery Box
Totoro Studio Ghibli Lanyard in June Boxychan Anime Mystery Box

The anime that I received is Kirameki Project – I have not seen it or heard of it before — and I haven’t watched it yet, because my cats broke my TV and my laptop has no dvd player… 🙁 orz. I’m saving up (and waiting hopefully for a sale) to replace my TV. I need to mount it on my wall because my cats are so naughty.

Anyways though, it looks cute? It also looks like it has huge amounts of fan service though which is a bit of a put off – There’s a pretty prominent “Panty Shot” on the back of the packaging.

It’s a “giant robo” or “mecha” anime however, one of the mecha looks like a “doll” (from wikipedia). Wikipedia also says it’s a quirky and cute show, although they are also quick to point out that it has a huge amount of fanservice – most of which comes from said doll-like robot. They also note that it has a lot of drama (which to me is a plus as that’s my preferred genre for anime).

Kirameki Anime DVD inside June Boxychan Anime Subscription Service
Kirameki Anime DVD inside June Boxychan Anime Subscription Service
Kirameki Anime DVD inside June Boxychan Anime Subscription Service
Kirameki Anime DVD inside June Boxychan Anime Subscription Service
Kirameki Anime DVD inside June Boxychan Anime Subscription Service
Kirameki Anime DVD inside June Boxychan Anime Subscription Service

The manga, “Nui!”, on the other hand, that I received is ADORABLE – I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of Fruits Basket or well a fan of Shoujo in general. It’s about a girl who loves her stuffed animals so much that they become human. Sometimes they can’t always control when or where this transformation will happen, and of course, all of them are in love with their owner. I really loved this manga – and once again had never heard of it before. Which is a pretty impressive feat since I’m usually “in the know” when it comes to all things shoujo.

Note that despite the pics below, the manga is in black and white (as most manga are), it just had a few colored pages inside.

Nui Manga by Broccoli Books inside June Boxychan Anime Mystery Box. I love this manga about a girl who loves her stuffed animals so much that they come to life.
Nui Manga by Broccoli Books inside June Boxychan Anime Mystery Box. I love this manga about a girl who loves her stuffed animals so much that they come to life.
Nui Manga by Broccoli Books inside June Boxychan Anime Mystery Box. I love this manga about a girl who loves her stuffed animals so much that they come to life.
Nui Manga by Broccoli Books inside June Boxychan Anime Mystery Box. I love this manga about a girl who loves her stuffed animals so much that they come to life.
Nui Manga by Broccoli Books inside June Boxychan Anime Mystery Box. I love this manga about a girl who loves her stuffed animals so much that they come to life.
Nui Manga by Broccoli Books inside June Boxychan Anime Mystery Box. I love this manga about a girl who loves her stuffed animals so much that they come to life.
Nui Manga by Broccoli Books inside June Boxychan Anime Mystery Box. I love this manga about a girl who loves her stuffed animals so much that they come to life.
Nui Manga by Broccoli Books inside June Boxychan Anime Mystery Box. I love this manga about a girl who loves her stuffed animals so much that they come to life.
Nui Manga by Broccoli Books inside June Boxychan Anime Mystery Box. I love this manga about a girl who loves her stuffed animals so much that they come to life.
Nui Manga by Broccoli Books inside June Boxychan Anime Mystery Box. I love this manga about a girl who loves her stuffed animals so much that they come to life.
Nui Manga by Broccoli Books inside June Boxychan Anime Mystery Box. I love this manga about a girl who loves her stuffed animals so much that they come to life.
Nui Manga by Broccoli Books inside June Boxychan Anime Mystery Box. I love this manga about a girl who loves her stuffed animals so much that they come to life.
Nui Manga by Broccoli Books inside June Boxychan Anime Mystery Box. I love this manga about a girl who loves her stuffed animals so much that they come to life.
Nui Manga by Broccoli Books inside June Boxychan Anime Mystery Box. I love this manga about a girl who loves her stuffed animals so much that they come to life.

There was also this weird (but kinda cute in it’s own way) “Pin” you know the kind you place on a hat, purse, backpack, jacket, etc – Of a baindaid (a popular “fashion” item in “Decora Fashion” which is a fashion trend in Japan where you wear as many accessories as humanly possible. This lil baindaid has a face and greenish blush on it’s “cheeks”. There was also a rubber, black Tokyo Ghoul bracelet (not pictured).

Decora Japanese Fashion Pin in June's Boxychan crate.
Decora Japanese Fashion Pin in June’s Boxychan crate.

And last, but certainly not least, the Funko Pop Tokyo Ghoul figure. It’s Funko Pop, and Tokyo Ghoul, two of the hottest, most popular things in geek culture. There’s 2 versions, a girl, and a guy (forgive me, I’ve actually not yet watched Tokyo Ghoul so not real familiar with the characters) in this series. I received the girl figure. It’s cute, and I love Funko Pops! – Secretly wish it would have been one of the sailor moon funko pops instead – but still happy with this lol.

Tokyo Ghoul Funko Pop Vinyl Figure inside June's Anime Boxychan Subscription Crate
Tokyo Ghoul Funko Pop Vinyl Figure inside June’s Anime Boxychan Subscription Crate
Tokyo Ghoul Funko Pop Vinyl Figure inside June's Anime Boxychan Subscription Crate
Tokyo Ghoul Funko Pop Vinyl Figure inside June’s Anime Boxychan Subscription Crate
Tokyo Ghoul Funko Pop Vinyl Figure inside June's Anime Boxychan Subscription Crate
Tokyo Ghoul Funko Pop Vinyl Figure inside June’s Anime Boxychan Subscription Crate

Once again, I can’t tell you just how impressed I am with this box – for $28 (for the 9 month plan) every month, I will get manga, anime dvds, funko pops and officially licensed anime goods! This stuff would probably easily cost over $65 if buying everything separately.

Hands down, Boxychan gets my vote for best anime subscription box – WAY better than Doki Doki – and slightly better than Betoyo.

I still also really like Pusheen Box because it’s so damn kawaii — but Boxychan has more “universal appeal” — even if you don’t like anime, they have other themes too – seriously, go check them out :). http://www.boxychan.com

PS: I signed up and my box has already been sent – which means I MAY get another June Box – if that is the case I may end up giving away a few duplicate items in a future blog post(s) – stay tuned :).

Boxychan Anime Box – June Unboxing Photos and Review – Monthly Subscription Box for Anime and Manga Fans was originally published on Geeky Sweetie

Ript Apparel – $11 Tshirts For Geeks and Gamers – New Designs Every Day

I just discovered a great new website for Geeky Tees. The prices start at just $11 – although they do charge more for some designs, or for plus sized clothing. They offer both men and womens, and even youth clothing. They also have hoodies and lots of other goodies. Here are a few of my favorite designs. You can click on any of the pictures to go to the Ript Apparel website where you can see how the shirts look on an actual live model.

They have a really cool Exclusive Deadpool X The Walking Dead T-shirt. Deadpool is so hot right now.

Deadpool Tshirt from Ript Apparel
Deadpool Tshirt from Ript Apparel

The one thing I noticed is that their selection of sizes could use some improvement. If you’re a man – they’ve got you covered with sizes going all the way to 5XL. However, if you’re a woman, the sizes only go to 2XL. I’ve seen other sites that go to Women’s 3x or even 4x. And on the opposite end of the body diversity scale – they do not offer Extra Small which many of their competitors have. Luckily I can fit within the range of sizes they offer – but if you’re larger – or smaller – you might have better luck else where.

Despite that one small snaffu – the site has a lot of appeal. Their prices are far more competitive than similar sites, and they have new designs every day.

Today they have an awesome Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Tee. Which also happens to be exclusive. (Among a lot of other awesome designs – but being born in the 80s, I found this design the most appealing myself.)

Exclusive Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Tee from Ript Apparel

Some of their other designs totally speak to 90s kids (like myself). They have cool Mashups like DBZ (or Deadpool) and Fresh Prince of Bellaire or Minions and Dr Who. They also have childhood favorites such as AH! Real Monsters.

Ah Real Monsters Tee from Ript Apparel

I think my favorite one though is this ADORABLE (KAWAII!!!) Lego Deadpool Chimichunga Tshirt!! I’m totally buying this one when I get paid. I Love, love, love the color and how cute it is! OMG!.

Kawaii Lego Deadpool Exclusive Tee from Ript Apparel

While going through their site – I also noticed they have completely different designs for Women and Men’s tees – including their Exclusive line up. Both of the Deadpool shirts featured in my blog post here are available only in Women’s. – I kinda like this fact 🙂 I feel like they’re aiming designs and characters directly to us geeky girls. I haven’t seen this approach used on other graphic tee sites so it’s just an extra layer of awesome. Of course though it’s a double edged sword as some of the men’s designs I wish were also available as women’s and there may be men who want the designs on the women’s tee, like the first Deadpool X The Walking Dead shirt in my post – or heck – even the Lego one. Who says Men can’t be Kawaii? LOL. And men definitely love Legos and Deadpool and chimichungas.

Still, the neat, exclusivity of their tshirt designs is really awesome. Some designs only stay available for one day. This makes me want to buy more! It’s definitely worth checking out each day to see what their new designs are. You can jump to any of the shirts pictured here by clicking on their picture, or browse their whole collection at www.riptapparel.com

Ript Apparel – $11 Tshirts For Geeks and Gamers – New Designs Every Day was originally published on Geeky Sweetie

Xenogears – Retro JRPG Game Review

Xenogears is easily in my top 10 favorite games of all time. I also enjoy Xenosaga and Xenoblade as well which are spinoffs of this series (and involved most of the same staff). Xenogears was revolutionary for its time because of the extremely dark storyline and incredibly strong religious overtones which were considered to be almost “too mature” for a video game, especially in North America.

It had both scifi and fantasy elements; by that I mean, it really went into depth in some areas explaining the scientific theories and concepts behind certain things – but then other things have a more “magical” feeling that require suspension of belief. It also blended high tech (mecha, A.I., and space travel) with primitive “fantasy” style settings and characters.

Xenogears had some stellar production values and featured beautiful cutscenes, along with possibly the best soundtrack on Playstation One. Not only that, but it had 65+ hours of gameplay. Its storyline was not cookie cutter – it was very different from most other JRPG – and even its combat system was different from the traditional menu-based systems used by most other RPGs of the 90s.

To this day, Xenogears remains quite possibly one of the best JRPGs of all time. It has aged extremely well and is a game that really any JRPG fan should consider a must-play.

Title: Xenogears

Platform: Playstation One

Genre: JRPG

Publisher: SquareSoft

Release Date: 1998

Where to Buy: Your best choice if you have a PSP, PSVita, PS3, or PS4, is to pick it up on the PSN store. At time of writing it is priced at $9.99 – which is such an incredible buy for such an incredible game. https://store.playstation.com/… – However, if like some gamers out there, you are a Retro Game Collector, you may want the physical edition. At time of this review, Amazon has quite a few copies in stock ranging from $29.99 to $115 depending on the condition of the game disc, case, manuals, etc. You can see what they have available right here: http://www.amazon.com/Xenogears…

Geeky: 5/5 geekygeekygeekygeekygeeky

Sweetie: 5/5 sweetiesweetiesweetiesweetiesweetie

Overall: 60/70 86% B “Very Good Game For Girls”

Gameplay: 10/10 The game world is huge and rich in lore and history for those who love to explore and talk to NPCs or search through books and hidden objects. But even if completionism and immersion aren’t your thing – fear not – this little RPG actually has a pretty fun combat system. The combat system is two fold – in some battles you will be controlling human characters, and using martial arts like abilities as well as items to aid you in battle. This part of the combat relies on a slightly modified version of the “ATB” “Active Time Battle” system used in Chrono Trigger. – The second aspect of combat is with the introduction of large mechs known as Gears. While piloting a gear, you have much more powerful attacks and secret abilities for each character. Either way, when battling, things are sped up a great deal over other primarily menu-driven 90s JRPG – In Xenogears, you have various different levels of attacks, strong, moderate, weak, etc, and each are accessed via a simple button press. The trick is learning which orders of these presses will activate new special abilities and combo attacks. This made the large amount of random encounters (too many in my opinion lol) more enjoyable since combat felt more fluid.

Story: 9/10 I’m not going to really go into too much detail on what the story is about, because I feel, the main point in playing the game is to enjoy the story. As a brief overview, the story initially takes place aboard a spaceship but quickly jumps to present day in a tiny village where a child has lived with no memories of his past. Circumstances happen which drive the child (now a man) out of the village. He seems to go berserk when in the presence of mechanical weapons known as “gears” – As more is revealed we learn how the seemingly unconnected spaceship from the prologue has lead to the events in the present day. But that’s all I will say because to say anything more would definitely spoil the surprise.

So instead I will critique the technical writing and setting of the story. To achieve a more mature “scifi” story, they use a lot of technical details in how the mechs or vehicles, or space technologies or artificial intelligence, etc all work. They borrow from real world theories and terminology which if you look into these theories, you will find more details which helps create the impression that the world/story is very real and quite fascinating.

There really are very few games which rival the “scifi” nature of this title – keeping in mind the difference between scifi and fantasy – scifi is something which could in theory at some point become a reality – and in fact many things that authors have written about in the mid 1900s’ have come to pass as reality today – it’s something that although it seems “unbelievable” could in theory work (example Star Trek goes into explicit detail about the way their ships work – to the point where NASA has even tried to borrow ideas from this series) – Where as with fantasy – it’s more of a magical element, where you’re just expected to take it as “faith” that this is how something works (example, Harry Potter, etc.).

There are few games therefore, with very realistic (all be it, futuristic) technology (such as that found in Star Trek, or in this case, such as that found in Xenogears). – However, Xenogears also blends that Scifi with it’s own sense of Fantasy and Charm found in your typical JRPG. Not everything is “Scientific” but compared to just about any other JRPG – Xenogears does a pretty good job staying “Scifi” as opposed to dripping into Fantasy when it comes to describing the tech found within the world – Of course, the exception to this is the glaring point that Xenogears deals with Religion as the MAIN focus of the game – the technical stuff is just a backdrop to the story. It creates a believable lore and setting for the game, but ultimately, in the end, due to the focus being on Religion which is in direct “conflict” with science, it creates an interesting dynamic and blend of these two very opposing viewpoints.

Some similarly written games (which rely on real world theories and science to tell their stories) include Stein’s Gate, Ever 17, 999, Never 7, and Remember 11. If you’ve played any of those, that gives you a clue as to the level of detail that really went into creating the story of Xenogears.

However, much like the similar in concept, Evangelion (an anime about mechs and religion), the concepts of Xenogears are sometimes hard to understand. I don’t think Xenogears is quite as philosophical and heavy as Evangelion which can be really “out there” at times – but the subject matter and technical and religious topics dealt with in the story definitely require some critical thinking to fully understand and appreciate.

Also, we never got to see the entire story the way the developers had intended. Xenogears was supposed to be part of a nine part game series however, the studio largely responsible for developing this game (Monolith), broke away from their parent company (Squaresoft) which left fans without a sequel for many years. It’s widely believed that Xenoblade is a “prequel” to Xenogears, however the developers prefer to think of it as taking place in the same universe, but ultimately, an unrelated and separate entry. Of course there’s also a multitude of Xenosaga games as well which also deal with the same themes of space, mechas, war, and artificial intelligence.

Characters: 8/10 – For me, I didn’t find the characters as likable as in Xenosaga. Out of Gears, Blade, or Saga, in my opinion, Saga had the best and most memorable characters. That said, the characters in Xenogears are far from bad – in fact, they are very unique and unlike most other JRPG characters of the 90s. The story begins with a crew aboard a spaceship, which then transcends to a small village and meeting our “hero” Fei Wong. Fei is an orphan with no memories of his past. Things quickly escalate as the village is under attack. Fei goes into some kind of rage which leads to him accidentally destroying most of the village and being banished. He is joined by a village doctor who has extensive knowledge of technology and history. Together they begin to search for clues to Fei’s past. They meet up many other memorable characters including a desert pirate, a prisoner, a religious zealot, and even a cute, fat pink rodent, and of course, a lady love for our hero.

Character Development is really high in this game. The story is told primarily through character interactions and the characters themselves evolve and shift motives and change deeply as the story progresses.

What I really enjoyed was all the mystery in this game. Things, and people, are not at all what they seem at first. From our hero, to the doctor, to the king, to even god, – what you think of the characters and their roles initially will be turned completely on it’s head by the final quarter of the game. It’s a long game (65+ hours for a single play through) – and the way the story slowly unfolds and learning the true pasts and identities of our “heroes” is very interesting. In fact, I’d say that solving these mysteries is what makes Xenogears such a well-written and fun, and memorable video game.

Graphics: 8/10 – I love the blend of hand-drawn anime cut scenes as well as stunning 3D cut-scenes to help tell the story. However, I feel some of the graphics outside of these cutscenes don’t use the PS1 to it’s fullest capabilities. The textures have a distinctively grainy feel to them – even for a ps1 game, and the battle animations were not as flashy as I had hoped. Overall though, it is a very detailed game with a high variety in both enemy design as well as environments.

Music: 10/10 – This was the first Squaresoft game to use vocal tracks (something that is super common now among their titles) – and it is a freaking FANTASTIC vocal track too: “Small Two of Pieces”. The piano pieces throughout the game are also just simply beautiful. Small Two of Pieces is maybe my favorite single song from videogame history. Of course there are numerous more up-tempo tracks for battles and when the suspense and action of a scene calls for it.  But what I really enjoyed were the serene and melodic tracks that made up a majority of the album. The music also stands out from any other game with a distinctive Celtic influence.

Replay Value: 5/10 – This is a super long linear game. It is interesting to replay however, as you go into it with a different perspective and knowledge that you didn’t know on your first play through. There may be things that make more sense now, or new things that you notice in the story now that you have all parts of the puzzle. However the 65+ hour long time and huge number of random battles can make multiple replays a bit of a chore.

Overall: 60/70 86% B “Very Good Game For Girls”

Xenogears – Retro JRPG Game Review was originally published on Geeky Sweetie