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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published by: Namco
Developed by: Monolith Software
Genre: Card RPG
Players: 1
Release Date: Unreleased, May 30, 2006 (Japan)
Written by: Graham H.

When Baten Kaitos came out last year we were all a bit taken aback. What’s Monolith doing, releasing a cult-type RPG exclusively on the GCN? With it’s wacky, original, highly addictive gameplay and gorgeous visuals to boot, BK found it’s way intothe hearts of many Cube RPG-ers suffering from drought. The cinematic trailer from E3’04 had us all gripped right from the beginning, and all the way through 50 amazing hours of play time.

Only a year later, and we’re all taken aback again, by the announcement of a second iteration in what seems to be shaping up as a running franchise not unlike Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest or Suikoden. Originally Baten Kaitos 2 was to come out right around now in December in the Land of the Rising Sun, but it’s been pushed back. And I’ll be the first to say that I will gladly and patiently wait.

Baten Kaitos 2 is one of those prequel-sequels. As much info as there is right now, the game takes place 20 years prior to Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean. Likewise you don’t play as Kalas, or any other characters that we already know and love, but it is known that you will or can run into them.

Instead you play as Sagi, who is a member of the Empire. Evidently, in BK2 you can use the wings to book it while you explore. Not that I had a problem with the pacing of the original, I absolutely loved running around with Kals, but it should be interesting to see how the wings get used outside of combat.

I have no idea what this relay combo means, but maybe an extra twist has been placed on the battle system. The numbers on the cards are still there, so presumably the bonus damage will still be around, but it’d be really cool if there’s a possibility for an extra damage booster. Or I could just be letting my mind run wild here when “relay combo” just pops up when you make a run or a pair.

Since in BK2 the same world and same timeline are used, obviously then the place won’t change much from the original! Island-continents and cities will be revisited. Personally I think this is one of the coolest aspects of BK2, that it is set in the same world as it’s predecessor. Some new areas and cities will be around, but almost all, if not all previous cities will still be visitable.

And of course, it wouldn’t be BK without that art style. Very colourful and fantasy-like. A sense of epicness and a massive, mysterious world are easily portrayed. When you play this game, I think a lot of newer areas will leave me feeling just like the first game, where you just sit there and go “wow”. Places like Komo Mai, Diadem, Picture Village, and my favourite, the Mystical Garden.

Images provided by IGN.COM

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