Which one should I pick? Got some money with me right now and an itch to play one of the oldies. Those two always appeared in the top 10 psx lists I searched so please help me out.
Xenogears was really great when I played it around 10 years ago, I liked the combat and the story was pretty incredible, with cool character designs. It's a much longer game. Also, giant robots.
Vagrant Story was quite alright, but I never got excited enough to finish it. Maybe if it had giant robots.
@video_game_king: It's a good beginning.
Seriously though, I've heard nothing but good things about Vagrant Story, it's a shame I never beat it.
But if you've played any other Xeno game and liked it, you're sure to like Xenogears. It's a great JRPG and not just because giant robots. It's the beginning of what would become Xenoblade, which to me is the guiding light JRPGs should be following nowadays. Considering they're making a new one, it's always interesting to know where and how great current stuff began.
Both amazing games. What are you in the mood for?
Xenogears: lots of dialogue, long anime cutscenes, combo-entering fighting system, memorable cast of characters, themes of religion, psychology, and philosophy
Vagrant Story: gothic atmosphere, real-time tactical combat system, unique visual style, shakespearean, themes of betrayal and loss
After reading the GamaFAN magazine review of Vagrant Story I ran out and bought it with birthday money and found it completely unintelligible. I was 14 at the time. I got maybe 6 hours in and was totally confused. Where am I? Is there a world, or is it just one long dungeon? Why is this boss taking 1 point of damage? Oh it needs to be killed with a blunt weapon. Well, I didn't know that and didn't make one.
Again, I was 14 and now it's 14 years later and I'm willing to give it a shot again because I'm not a dumb kid.
Vagrant Story is a personal favourite of mine. Looking back at it now, in many ways it feels like a predecessor to the Souls games. The overall theme is very dark and ominous. One of the things I really liked is the upgrading of equipment and switching out weapons depending on what you're fighting. It allows you to think and prepare for what's coming.
I have played Xenogears but couldn't get into it even though I used to really like that type of RPGs.
Xenogears has a lot of interesting things going on with it, both gameplay-wise and in terms of narrative. But as one poster already mentioned, it gets really bad really fast (or should I say really slow?) the minute you start Disc 2. Walls and walls of text filled with psychobabble and a hodgepodge of Christian symbolism passed off as something "deep" that a lot of JRPGs of the era fall victim to.
Vagrant Story is strong throughout the entire game, and it's got a unique combat and crafting system that is challenging yet ultimately rewarding when it clicks for you. It's oozing with atmosphere, and the plot and character developments resonate with more well pronounced themes. You don't get too much of it, but the story has a certain elegance to it that you savor the moments when the game does give you a taste.
And although the polygonal graphics and textures are obviously outdated, the artstyle picks up the slack and keeps the game feeling timeless.