The Definitive 50 GameCube Games: #25 Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean
The series so far: The Definitive 50 GameCube Games.
These days, Nintendo developer Monolith Soft is well known for having made the critically acclaimed Xenoblade Chronicles, but the studio also gave the GameCube some of its finest RPG action.
Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean takes 25th on the list of Definitive 50 GameCube games.
In, uhh, this title, you don’t actually play as the main character, Kalas, but rather his Guardian Spirit: engaging with him, guiding him on his quest, and helping his party to stop the evil Emperor Geldoblame and save the world.
This is a turn based RPG with a difference. In Baten Kaitos you actually interact with enemies, and sometimes other game elements, using Magnus. These are magical cards that allow you to perform all manner of action.
For battle, each character gets his or her own deck of cards, which you get to customize based on what you find, and what that character is able to use. Your characters will draw hands of these cards at random, which you must then strategically play. Some cards are endowed with the power of offensive weapons, others defensive armour and other effects. One card is even endowed with the awesome power of a banana bunch.
Yet more Magnus may be found throughout the game for interacting with other characters and the environment to advance the quest.
Baten Kaitos is one of the most beautiful games produced for the Cube. It features rich and ornate environments and well rendered cut-scenes. Voice acting is heavily employed to advance the story, although its quality is questionable.
Baten Kaitos went on to spawn a prequel, also available for GameCube, called Baten Kaitos Origins. Another title definitely worth checking out for fans and collectors.