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Parasite Eve: Infectious Fun
By Jonathan Weng, Reader Reviewer
After waiting months for this much-hyped game, it finally arrived,albeit at the wrong time (it's supposed to take place Christmas Eve,1997, which is approximately when they released it in Japan).Immediately answered was the big question that follows all such games:does it live up to the hype? The answer is yes.
Parasite Eve is definitely something unique. Its battle system is themost engaging that I have seen yet, using a somewhat action orientedsystem which keeps Aya constantly moving, yet retaining the elements andfeel of an RPG. Using guns to attack, distance is a factor to whichattention must be given. It is necessary to stay out of the enemies'attack range and be able to hit them at the same time.
One of the focuses of Square's advertising of Parasite Eve is that itis "the cinematic RPG." This is definitely true, while the FMV's arebeautifully rendered and mix in well with the game. This means none ofthe choppy changes from gameplay to FMV experienced in FF7. No moreblocky characters on the map screen that sharply contrast with theprerendered backgrounds. The characters are drawn similar to those foundin battle in FF7.
The story of Parasite Eve is equally engaging as the graphics. Set inmodern-day New York City, this game says goodbye to the traditionalkings and castles found in most other RPGs. The details of themitochondria mix scientific fact with fiction, creating a realistic, yetfantastic feel.
For the first time since Final Fantasy VI, I actually felt like I wasplaying the game in English. That's right. No more bracelets orwildbows. This game has the feel of an American game, since it in partactually is.
The characters are some of the best I've seen. Eve is a fantasticvillain, creatively made by combining evolved mitochondria with a hostbody. Aya Brea is such a cool hero that I just have to say one thing:Lara Croft, step aside. Aya is sexier, better with a gun, and is moreadvanced at the subcellular level.
To add to the fantastic cinemas, story, and characters is a soundtracklike no other. The music is done in a style that more resembles modernmusic yet captures the emotion of the game, primarily the fear, andmultiplies it. To top this off, during the ending (which I feel wasmiles ahead of Final Fantasy VII's), a totally cool song is played withreal singers in Spanish and Latin recorded digitally. This means thatthere are no electronic noises that clash with the voices like in OneWinged Angel, and no Japanese accents. The song is something that cannotbe missed.
Even as Parasite Eve excels in all these aspects, there are still a fewweaknesses. The 10 hour gameplay left me wanting more. There is anEXgame option that opens up after the game is finished, and it somewhatresembles Chrono Trigger's New Game+. In the EXgame, however, there is a77-floor Chrysler Building that becomes the new focus of the game. Thisis filled with treasures, has somewhat randomly generated floors, and isa nice bonus after the game is finished, satisfying the craving formore.
Another weakness is the linearity. The story leads you directly towhere you need to be, and there is really only one side area (besidesthe Chrysler Building). The dungeons are mostly straightforward,offering very little in the way of mazes and puzzles.
Overall, even with these weaknesses, the game is still something youshouldn't miss. It really is something different and worth experiencing.It has to be one of the most fun-packed RPGs out there.
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