Parasite Eve 2 - Retroview

There goes the evolution theory...

By: Solon

Review Breakdown
   Battle System 6
   Interface 3
   Music/Sound 6
   Originality 5
   Plot 8
   Localization 7
   Replay Value 4
   Visuals 9
   Difficulty Easy to Medium
   Time to Complete

7-15 Hours


Parasite Eve 2

   The first Parasite Eve game, being quite original with its mixture of Survival Horror and RPG genres, didn't quite break through as much as Square's other titles (such as Final Fantasy and the like). However, the majority of those who actually played the game liked it. Now, Square went and developed a sequel: Parasite Eve 2. If you ask me right away, this game wasn't really meant to be, but hey, every game has it charms.

   The game has a brand new battle system, now in real-time, stepping away from the old turn-based systems square so often use in their previous titles. The enemy and Aya can move freely through the battle area until one of you eventually fall. To win, you have to use either your weapons, or your parasite energy. The weapons are quite common "realistic" guns, such as shotguns, assault rifles, pistols etc. Personally, I didn't like the weapons, the effects aren't that nice, and the damage seemed to stay around the same no matter what gun I used. Even in the end of the game, it didn't seem to matter which weapon I actually used, since they all did almost the same damage. The Parasite Energy though, was quite nice. According to the manual, Aya sealed away all her skills in the end of the previous game, and now she has to earn experience once again to acquire the new parasite energy.

   Come on, what's up with that? Forgive my lack of imagination, but I think that is quite a lame excuse to make the gamer acquire all the new skills again. Maybe they should've come of with something else. Anyway, there are a lot more skills now, and they are very useful indeed. The PE is now built up from the four elements earth, wind, fire and water. There are three skills on each element, and each skill has 3 levels. Now, when you earn experience from battles you can use that amount of experience to learn more skills, simple eh? When the skill levels improve range, attack and MP-cost also goes higher. Although, it might be quite hard for you to place Aya in a good position in the battle area to fire the skills off. Remember, the enemy can move at almost all times, even when you are about to cast a spell.

The monsters are now upgraded...with a new flashy name!
The monsters are now upgraded...with a new flashy name!  

   The menu-system was dull. Very dull...and slow! Even though I played this game in Europe (50Hz) the menus felt like browsing around the Internet on a slow modem. Also, the inventory was way too small. To compensate, Square placed out small boxes to store items in around the game...too bad they weren't linked together in the magical way Resident Evils boxes were. One thing I liked though was the attachments-system. In battle, Aya can't access her Inventory. Instead, she has to attach a few (the amount of attached items can be increased due to which armor Aya uses) items/weapons onto the attachment-menu. Only those items attached can be used in battle.

   The music in Parasite Eve 2 is "silent". In many rooms, I couldn't hear anything. Of course, silence is also a sound, but it was used way too often in this game. The Final boss had a great tune though, and I actually finished off the final boss several times just so I could hear it again. But one good tune in a soundtrack with approximately sixty tracks isn't really a hit. The sound-effects aren't really anything awesome either; actually they get quite tiring after a while. The same sound from Aya's gun blasting over and over makes your ears want to pop. So instead of listening to that, I'd put on a good CD or something.

   Parasite Eve 2 is not original. (Do I have to write anything else?) The game itself is fun, and once you're in you don't stop. However, I've seen games like these before. The controls, perspective etc is all similar to the Survival Horror-games such as Resident Evil or Silent Hill. Of course, it's a little original to include RPG-elements in this, but that's not enough, not for this game.

   The plot isn't. The first Parasite Eve game finished off so nice, with a great ending. But the plot in Parasite Eve 2 is just showing that they want to make money on the title. Once again you are Aya Brea finishing off the new monster-species "Artificial Neo-mitochondrion Creatures" who is invading Los Angeles this time. If the plot follows up once again after this title, I assure it cannot be worth playing if they stay with the same storyline.

Sponsored by Coca-Cola!
Sponsored by Coca-Cola!  

   The localization is OK though, withjust some minor spelling errors. The body language was also quite well-timed. In fact I was surprised a few times (unlike in Resident Evil...ugh, another flashback). Many scenes were given extra life due to cool lines from the main characters.

I've played through this game a few times now and there aren't really that many secrets to look out for. There's no Chrysler Building this time either...but I'm sure many of you aren't disappointed about that. The visuals are great for being a PlayStation game, and this is where the largest improvement lies. Also, Square seems to have adjusted the difficulty quite well. While Parasite Eve 1 was very easy, this game might give you some challenge.

All in all, Parasite Eve 2 is an ok game. Not the sequel of your dreams, but it's worth playing, and if you don't want to buy it, at least rent it a weekend, you'll have fun.

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