Xenosaga Episode 1: replay

I remember that I used to love this game...about ten years ago. I thought I would give it a chance to see if it aged well.
Was I ever wrong. Not only do the graphics not translate well after so much time has passed, apparently the story didn't either. Having played through Episode III 2 years ago, this game has no connection or continuity with the rest of the trilogy. Everything is completely disjointed storywise, with characters having "meaningful" conversations, some deeply inspiring bull hocky that really has no connection to anything else.
Speaking of conversations, the voice acting is downright terrible. Mass Effect 2 and Oblivion have spoiled me with their terrific talent at actually conveying emotions. Everyone except for KOSMOS, Allen and Ziggy sound like they're talking out of their noses and have nothing else to do but complain about their boring lives that they placed themselves in.
Background music: there is none. Running through dungeons is simply filled with footsteps, and with the occasional battle, you'll quickly become tired of the battle music. I've heard some people say that they enjoy it, as "it is what space would be like". Uh, yeah. But it's a game. An RPG at that. You know what makes a great RPG? Great music and not being bored to tears.
Menus for levelling characters' skills, tech attacks and ether abilities is downright confusing. After each fight, there is an award of points in each of these categories, which you must spend to make your character better. Only, they're pretty meager in amounts. Which means grinding. Which means more boring running around with no battle music for entertainment. The endless circle continues.
I think I fell in love with this game so much because Xenogears never felt complete to me. I had thought this was supposed to be a prequel, but apparently it's not at all. Familiar characters will show up, like Nephilim-Elly and Abel-Fei, as well as the Gears as boss fights, but similiarities are the only connection between the 2 games.
Oh yeah: this is not a video game. It is an interactive movie. More cut scenes than any actual gameplay.


Indie game: Moon Taxi

(I honestly got stuck playing ME2 a second time around instead of looking for games to review)

I found this little gem browsing the game library section and decided to give it a whirl. Moon Taxi is certainly something quite different. It has wonderful peaceful music in the background, overlayed with the dialogue of your "passenger's" story. Words will appear now and again on the screen, and the aim is to "crash" your little space taxi into each one, scoring "motes". However, there are asteroids to avoid, and crashing into one causes you to lose a "mote". It sounds easy enough, but the speed of the cab increases slightly as it nears the moon, making it a little more difficult to get every word and avoid all asteroids at the same time.
Each story is a unique little snippet on its own, and told very well through voice dialogue. There is even the opportunity to submit a story of your very own to the creator's website at Moon Taxi.
For being an indie game, the graphics are simple, yet very well rendered and beautiful for space. I enjoy the light blue jet streaming from behind the cab, as you propel towards the large rock satellite, and even the randomly generated asteroids are well done.