PS2 launch RPG you've heard the least about may very well end up making
the most noise.
Shield spell in use
DVD-ROM format allows for lots of anime cutscenes
Inside of a chamber
Orphen takes advantage
of the PS2 hardware to create awesome spell effects
Battle ghostly enemies
A variety of different environments
Sony PlayStation 2
Publisher: Activision (North America)
Rated Teen for violent content.
On the surface, releasing Orphen : Scion of
Sorcery (known as Sorcerous Stabber in Japan) as a North
American PlayStation 2 launch title seems a bit of a gamble for Activision-
after all, there's little about this title that would have the same name
recognition in the U.S. as in Japan. Developed by Kadokawa Shoten (one
of the biggest names in anime / manga; best-known in North America as
partial developers of Lunar:
SSSC) and ESP, Orphen is based on a series of manga / anime
of the same name. But whether you're familiar with the anime series or
not, Orphen is sure to attract RPG fans this October for its variety
of gameplay and inspiring design.
In the game, you'll take on the role of Orphen, a 20-year-old dark sorcerer --
and a bit of a renegade in his own right. On his way out of the country,
Orphen takes the wrong ship -- a mistake that proves to be not so disastrous
when he runs into three new friends, all of whom will contribute throughout
the game. They finally wind up at Chaos Island -- a huge place sporting
a variety of different environments, ranging from dank caverns to lofty
towers, and more.
Once you arrive at Chaos Island, you'll be allowed to choose between one
of your new friends with whom to travel. There are three branching paths
through the game depending on which one you choose. and these can be played
in any order. Once all three are complete, you'll head to the fourth and
final area to complete the game.
The game's storyline is conveyed both through in-engine cutscenes (as in
and anime cutscenes. Some still shots of the anime cutscenes can be seen
in our Orphen photo gallery; as can be
expected, they look very good. Also, the game's DVD-ROM format allows for
full voice acting throughout the game, rather than text-based dialogue.
Orphen is a third-person game, much like Zelda:
Ocarina of Time. The camera will follow your character at all times.
It can be rotated 360-degrees, but when entering combat the camera automatically
switches to a fixed perspective. Outside of combat, the buttons on the controller
allow you to jump, slash, use / interact with objects, and throw projectiles
(which may be used to destroy obstacles and such). Once in combat, however,
things are different.
All combat takes place in real-time. The buttons on the controller give
you access to your spell and sword attacks, with the square button calling
your defensive shield. Another button gives you access to your sword attacks;
these can be manipulated for special attacks. The other buttons control
your magic, each button corresponding to a different spell type. Only spells
of that particular button's spell type can be mapped to that button. Leave
the buttons alone during combat, and your spells will increase in power;
charge them up for more powerful attacks.
Orphen: Scion of Sorcery is scheduled for release on the PlayStation
2 on October 26.