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Review: Baten Kaitos I & II HD Remaster for Nintendo Switch

Baten Kaitos I & II HD Remaster brings new life to two classic RPG games originally released on the GameCube. Developed by Monolith Soft, the same team behind the acclaimed Xenoblade Chronicles series, these remasters offer an enjoyable experience for fans of open-world JRPGs. While the games may not be exceptional, they serve as welcome additions to the vast RPG library on the Nintendo Switch.

The first game, Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean, follows the story of Kalas, a self-interested sellsword seeking revenge for the deaths of his brother and grandpa. In his quest for vengeance, he accidentally unleashes the God of Destruction, Malpercio, setting off a race to prevent chaos from engulfing the world.

Baten Kaitos Origins takes place 20 years before the events of the first game and puts players in control of Sagi, a member of the Alfard Empire's black ops team known as the Dark Service. Framed for the emperor's assassination, Sagi and his companions embark on a journey to clear their names and uncover a larger political conspiracy.

The unique aspect of the Baten Kaitos games is the heavy reliance on cards, called ‘Magnus', which represent various items and abilities. The card-based combat system combines active gameplay with deckbuilding mechanics. Players must strategically plan their actions and execute combos to deal maximum damage to enemies. The fast-paced nature of battles adds an element of urgency to decision-making.

Both games feature captivating narratives and tie intricately into each other, giving players an immersive experience set in a unique floating world. The philosophical themes that have become synonymous with Monolith Soft's games are also present, adding depth to the storytelling.

Baten Kaitos I & II HD Remaster successfully streamlines certain gameplay mechanics, making the overall experience more accessible. The addition of quality of life improvements, such as automatically blocking attacks in Baten Kaitos Origins, enhances the gameplay flow.

Overall, Baten Kaitos I & II HD Remaster offers an enjoyable journey for RPG enthusiasts, showcasing Monolith Soft's early work and highlighting the distinctive features that set the games apart from others in the genre. With this successful remaster, fans can hope for future projects set in this captivating world.

Definitions:

  • JRPG: Japanese role-playing game
  • RPG: Role-playing game
  • HD Remaster: A remastered version of a game enhanced for high-definition displays
  • Deckbuilding: A game mechanic where players construct their card decks before gameplay

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