A masterpiece of game that will keep you entertained for many long hours.
Story: In the universe of Baten Kaitos, people live on islands suspended in the sky, and have all evolved "wings of the heart" wings whose appearance reflect the soul of their owner. The game starts off with you in the role of a spirit that has bonded with the main-character, a one winged boy named Kalas, a boy out for revenge, for the murder of his grandfather and brother. You (the spirit) has lost your memories. Namco executes that fact very well and later in the game, it is used in a well done plot twist. The beginning of the story is cliched, but near the end of disk 1 there is a massive and well executed plot twist, and the story gets much more interesting from there. Story 9/10
Gameplay: The combat-system in Baten Kaitos is innovative and fun. Basically, weapons, armor and others are contained in cards, called magnus. On your turn, you chose magnus from a hand to either heal or attack. The amount of magnus you can play and the amount in your hand is based on your class level. As you attack, you have a time limit for how long it can take you too chose the next card you will play, the time limit depends on your class lvl, the higher the shorter. While attacking you can also choose a specific spirit number, each card has in between 1-4 spirit numbers. If you line those numbers up in straits or pairs you will get percentage increases in your attack, the most being a 306% increase. Also while attack, you have to be careful of elements, making sure to attack with elements that they are weak against. Also, if you use to contradicting elements, you will do less damage. For example, if you use a fire weapon with a physical attack of 5, and a fire attack of 4, then used a water one with a physical attack of 6 and water of 3, you will do 11 physical damage, and 1 fire damage, for a total of twelve damage. In comparison, if instead you used 2 water weapons with those stats you would do 11 physical damage and 7 water damage for a total of 18 damage. You have to think of all these things in two seconds sometimes. Defense works almost exactly the same, except you chose armor instead of weapons. (Some weapons can be used for defense.) Some people complain that the combat-system is luck based, because sometimes you can be dealt no offensive weapons, or vice-versa. I think that if you have enough skill you can overcome those obstacles, by organizing your deck better, or just by playing better. Out of battle, gameplay is also fun, with a few good puzzles in each level. I feel it is worth noting you have to level up at blue flowers, which are sometimes scarce in number. Gameplay 9/10
Bluntly but, the graphics are beautiful, especially backgrounds. This game is a veritable feast for the eyes. Graphics 10/10
Sound: The voice acting is terrible, it sounds like it's coming through at paper tube, and their is often not enough emotion, too much emotion, or emotion at the wrong places. Luckily, the soundtrack is one of the best i've ever heard, almost making up for the terrible voice overs. Sound 8/10
In conclusion, if you have a gamecube, you should definitely buy this game, especially now, since it sells so cheap.