The original surrenders; case closed.

User Rating: 9.7 | Baten Kaitos II: Hajimari no Tsubasa to Kamigami no Shishi GC
The Good: Excellent battle system, that's fast pased and fun; The story is more compelling, and plot twists are ever existant; The visuals, although slightly downgraded, remain gorgeous; The Characters actually have believable personalities? OMG!; The music's improved, and the voice acting blows the predecessor away; It's a damn good insight of the past; Gibari's a kid! Haha!...

The Bad; Too much backtracking; you seem to be forced to focus on the cards rather than the battle effects; Three playable characters, dammit...

The Story; First let me say, that Baten Kaitos Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean was an exceptional game. I really don't see why practically no one bought it. But this, this game is unbelievably immersive. You play the role of a Guardian Spirit, whom you can name. He resides within Sagi, a member of Alfard's dark forces, and a rather likeable character when compared to the literally insane Kalas. He's sent on the mission that he joined the military to do in the first place: Assassinate the emperor. There is a huge back story behind it, but it spoils, so anyway. He and his awfully funny Paramachina, Guillo, are sent on the mission, and branded as traitors. They escape, and lots of crap goes on that makes the player think FF8 reborn, but it's really different. They eventually join up with Milliarde, a spunky, but very conceited girl whom is always arguing with Guillo. The two of them get into some hilarious fights, and a few times Guillo threatens to eat her. The story unfolds around preventing the empire from commandeering each 'familiar' continent, along with Quaster Verus, a noble candidate for the new empire, and his prissy apprentice, Geldoblame??? Yup, I was surprised too. The story explains how Geldoblame went from a REALLY(And I mean REALLY) nice man, to the twisted Autocrat he is in the first game. Also, Gibari makes a reaearance, along with his best friend King Ladekahn: some funny stuff there. Pololo the 2nd; Pololo the 3rd's father is a really cool character, and Savyna returns as well, although you won't know who she is until well into the game. All the while, you wonder why they couldn't do all this in the original. It's pathetic, really. This game will actually make you understand the characters emotions, the other game will never do so. All the while I wonder how the hell two complete hilarious morns like Gibari and King Ladekahn suddenly lose all emotions in twenty years. It sucks. But this game will make up for it. The story is the real deal. Sometimes I think it's better to play a prequel after the original. It gives a reverse insight, and it's nice. The game will explain how Malpercio was truly created, and that is probably the coolest twist around. It's right in your face, but you'll never expect it. It's an AWESOME surprise.

Gameplay: Strong as ever. The card battle sysem is improved beyond words, and they are extremely fast paced, although still very lengthy battles. Lady luck really doesn't exist here, as you can discard and swap turns. You share the same deck, which never depletes. It works like a charm. You no longer need to go to a church for leveling up, which is good, but you will still find yourself stuck sometimes. Please save two files before the end of disk two, it may make you destroy your GC (Or Wii) if you don't. You may be quite stuck. You recover automatically after each battle, which eliminates camp-only mangus. The sidequests are good too, with even a directory. I can only complain about constant backtracking, the necessity of focusing on cards rather than the battle cinematics, and a sometimes frustrating difficulty, but it's not that bad. The game's overall pretty damn worth while. Graphics: Not as good as the original, but still drop dead gorgeous. Prerendered beats 3D any day. Despite the downgrade, I really can't dock it. Sound: High quality voice acting with believeable emotions, and an improved, more dynamic soundtrack. One of the final bosses uses a remixed version of the original's main battle music. This proves the quality. There's also another accessable soundtrack available right from the start. Who could ask for more?

Value: Do you even have to ask? It's lengthier than DBZ's Snakeway! This game will keep you busy for a long time. Choosing your character's actions will also influence the story, which warrents replay. Overall, I'd say a required fourty hours to get everything done. For a newbie, maybe about seventy hours. Tilt: I think that should be obvious. This is an excellent game. You owe it to yourself to try it, but for a better experience, you sho take a jab at the first game, and then play this. Best for last is awesome, and if they're going to make a prequel after the original, take advantage of it. It works all the better that way. Nintendo's RPG's are lacking quantity, but a few show quality. This is the best of the bunch. Give it a try.