Whatever you think about Xeno- series mastermind Tetsuya Takahashi, there's no denying the man dreams big.
He made his mark with 1998's epic PlayStation RPG Xenogears, a game so big that he wasn't actually able to complete it. The second half of the adventure ended up being a rush job, a string of boss battles connected by hours of static narrative — which might be just as well, consider that even with its hasty finale the whole thing ended up being a roughly 80-hour experience.
Takahashi got a rare second chance at realizing his grand dream a few years later when Namco greenlit the Xenosaga hexology: A six-part RPG series that would rework the themes and beats of Xenogears into a properly fleshed-out form.
It seemed like a smart approach; Xenogears probably should have been broken into at least two parts as it was, and this would give Takahashi grand vision room to breathe. Unfortunately, the down side to the episodic approach soon became apparent when, after the debut of the deliberately paced Xenosaga Episode I in 2003, the series ended up being cut from six big-budget chapters to three more modest episodes.
Forced once again to cram his vision into a much smaller container and budget than originally planned, Takahashi nevertheless came through. Xenosaga may have ended up as a far more compact tale than intended, but Xenosaga Episode III — which debuted on this day nine years ago — nevertheless managed to wrap it all up. And this time, without the hero explaining the story while sitting in a chair for hours on end.
And over the weekend, This Day in Video Game History looked back at the advent of the Populous series:
As well as the American console debut of Donkey Kong 3, the weirdest Donkey Kong game... at least until Donkey Conga came along.
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