Wednesday, 28 December 2011

ParasiteMas Eve

First of all yes I know Christmas has been and yes I know the title would have worked better on Christmas Eve but shut up.
The last week has been a tiring week, I just want to take a break because the year as a whole has left me burnt out. Unfortunately I found myself sharing a child's bunk bed while family stayed over. Christmas is over now so things are returning to how they once were.
I think I have put myself in a pickle with this blog. I want to make sure it is updated every week without fail but I also need something to talk about, I don't watch many films nor do I get through a lot of books, The Lord of the Rings doesn't read itself you know. Of course I have other interests but even then I can only do so much with them. So here I am stuck doing video game reviews while I conjure up something new and exciting.

Parasite Eve II is the sequel to Parasite Eve, a Squaresoft made Action Horror RPG with the misfortune to never be released in Europe. You play as Aya Brea, a cop turned FBI Monster Hunter following the events of the original Parasite Eve, these events are never fully explained to the new player, how does Aya set people on fire with her mind? What are these monsters you fight and how are they created? What happened in the New York incident 3 years prior?
This hinders the game, for example at the start you are thrown into a sky scraper full of monsters, out of the monsters only a few of them are given a proper introduction with many of them appearing with no fanfare what so ever, again this is a game where you are expected to play the first except no one played Parasite Eve because it was NEVER RELEASED IN EUROPE!
So the narrative structure falls flat, the same can be said about the other aspects of Parasite Eve II. The horror element of the game falls on its arse and this is mostly down to how Squresoft made games back in the PS1 era, every time you encounter a monster you go into “battle mode” when this happens the game pauses for a second and the screen turns negative, think the vortex effect from Final Fantasy but less annoying. The design decisions made by the developers ruins most of the horror, there is next to no feeling of suspense as the monsters appear in full view looking for screen time, not to mention you can see them on the map screen.

Also they aren't very scary as monsters go.

Parasite Eve is another horror game to adapt the Resident Evil control method but I'm willing to forgive this because it is still better than the turn based combat seen in most Japanese RPG's. Unfortunately the Resident Evil controls don't add any points to the horror aspect, any feeling of vulnerability is erased by the action being broken up, ammo is also plentiful and by the end of the game I was just ploughing though everything with grenades.
Graphically the game is one of the nicest looking games on the PS1, but this is partly down to the pre-rendered CGI backgrounds, a sign of the time more than anything as the PS1 certainly had limits when it came to rendering 3D environments in detail. Not to take anything away from the game though the character models are well rendered and look better than some of the stuff I have seen done on the N64.

It also features a shower scene if you are into that stuff.

Parasite Eve II isn't a terrible game but it is mediocre, it is still playable and the story does pick up once the plot starts moving but I still can't really recommend Parasite Eve II, as a game it peaks in the middle and becomes incredibly repetitive later on with the combat boiling down to grenade gunning everything in sight, the difficulty is also unbalanced with the game becoming easy half way through only for it to take a difficulty right angle towards the end.
In all Parasite Eve II fails as a horror and is inadequate in all other areas.

1 comment:

  1. A strange release indeed (see also the PAL PS2 release of Xenosaga 2. I'll have to give my copy of this a whirl since the series seems to get a lot of differing opinions.