Baten Kaitos goes gold

Namco's ethereal GameCube RPG spirits off to factory, ships in a little over two weeks.

Namco today announced that Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean has gone gold. The role-playing game, developed by Xenosaga creators Monolith Soft, will ship to retail on November 16. Its title may be unfamiliar, but Baten Kaitos has a unique pedigree, being the creative product of Chrono Cross story writer Masato Kato and art director Yasuyuki Honne as well as Star Ocean composer Motoi Sakuraba.

Baten Kaitos' battle and item systems are based around cards called "Magnus," although the game could not be called a "card RPG." Battles are more like Final Fantasy and less like Magic: The Gathering. Cards in a player's deck are drawn randomly, and the player chooses from his hand in lieu of traditional "fight/magic/item" text commands. As the game progresses, Magnus cards in the player's possession may change. For example, fruit items can rot or ripen, valuable weapons can rust.

Rated "T" for Teen, Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean will carry an SRP of $49.99. Gamers who preorder the game at one of three specialty retailers will receive a unique bonus item. For more information, check out GameSpot's hands-on with the English version of the game.

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