Proving that PlayStation 2 is still alive and well, “Rouge Galaxy” is a role-playing game that lets players travel to several different planets (one added for the North American version) as an accidental space pirate, looking for a planet said to contain incredible treasures.
The cell-shaded graphics give the game a totally different feel than the impressive “Final Fantasy XII” and make it impressive in its own right. While “FFXII” has breathtaking visuals and epic scope, “Rouge Galaxy” has a lighthearted fun to it that’s appropriate for a game with a pirate ship, sails and all, flying between planets. The cell-shading gives the game an anime feel, especially since dub watchers will recognize a few of the voices during cutscenes.
Battle controls aren’t turn based, but are real-time button-mashing style, close to the control of “Star Ocean” or “Kingdom Hearts.” While it’s not fair to compare everything to “Final Fantasy XII,” the amazing Gambit System from that game is sorely missed; the options for controlling teammates’ actions in battle are very limited. Battles are also random encounters, so there’s no way of knowing when one is about to occur, but they start and end smoothly. In fact, loading times are basically nonexistent in this game, as the game world is all one seamless area.
World maps are a bit simplistic, though, with often only one narrow trail to follow, rather than a completely open field. Games can only be saved at certain points, and they’re placed often enough, but dying will still cost a good chunk of time.
As long as one isn’t expecting high-definition graphics, “Rouge Galaxy” is a great-looking, fast-moving RPG that will extend the life of a PS2 by many, many hours.