Ah yes another SquareSoft gem from the past, Parasite Eve 2 was released in 1999 in Japan and in 2000 outside of it telling the story of our pretty blonde Aya Brea 3 years after the New York incident from the first game, Parasite Eve. The game is a survival-horror, action RPG and is really very different from the first one. If you played the first one and got used to the controls and mechanics prepare to be screwed over because this one is almost nothing like it.
Parasite Eve II
Developers by Squaresoft
Publishers by Squaresoft
Platform : Playstation
Genre : Action RPG, Survival Horror
Although this IS a good game SquareSoft made a few errors in my opinion when creating it. First of all and the thing that bothered me the most are the controls. Yes the controls, no more fixed camera free movement in all direction using the d-pad or analog stick, no, they had to copy the control scheme from Capcom’s Resident Evil series and this is mainly the aspect that really disrupted my game play because I’m not used to the so called “tank controls”. Apparently SquareSoft thought it was a great idea, I say it’s not. The controls should have stayed as in the first game because just like in the first game you have to dodge enemy attacks. Some say this adds to the challenge of the game but I say it makes the player throw the controller at the TV after 25min of game play at most. I for one gave up on it the first time before even going through half the first mission till I decided to give it a second chance and deal with the awkward control scheme.
The first game gave you the ability to customize your weapons the way you wanted, add slots for bonuses and so on. That feature is gone although the game is more detailed in terms of ammunition featuring several types such as shotgun shells, rifle rounds, your basic bullets for guns and even 3 types of grenades for your grenade pistol/launcher. Seems like a good deal but sometimes ammo can become scarce and running out of ammo during a battle requires you to use your PE (Parasite Energy) or run away. Running away penalizes you though and should only be used if you know you’re screwed meaning you have no MP left to beat the enemies on screen or no close combat weapon attached to your armor.
BP in this game are your currency and not awesome points that allow you to upgrade your weapon firepower, armor defense, ATB gauge speed or inventory slots. This brings us to the next negative aspect of this game (IMHO). Inventory is limited to 20 slots out of which 3 will always be filled with your currently equipped weapon, ammo for it and of course your body armor. So you basically have 17 slots for items and no way to go any further than that. This at first wouldn’t seem like a problem but for completionists, like me, it’s a pain. You won’t believe how many items and types of ammo the game throws at you and you won’t have space for them unless you use them throughout the game.
There’s also a new PE system. If in the previous game your PE increased during battle this one gives you MP to work. It still regenerates but only after battle and some of the bonus MP you get after battle is so small you will end up without MP if you’re a fan of magic and overuse it. I still haven’t figured out what determines how much MP you regenerate after every battle, maybe it’s fixed for every battle maybe it’s random I have no idea. In the first game you gain PE powers by earning experience and gaining levels. Parasite Eve II said screw that and took out the level up system. Instead you do earn experience points which you use to revive your latent abilities.
There’s 12 spells in the game divided into the categories of the 4 elements water wind fire and earth. They should have implemented a heart element as well so Aya could’ve summoned Captain Planet as well. But the spells are pretty cool and if used at the right time. Personally I like Plasma, Necrosis, Pyrokinesis, Healing, Metabolism and Energy Shot. These come in handy in boss fights especially Energy Shot which amplifies the damage you do significantly. Necrosis is good again because it inflicts a status similar to poison from other RPGs and it really helps with enemies that have high HP and surprisingly it works on some bosses as well rendering them harmless so you can fill’em full of lead without them having a chance to retaliate because poison damage interrupts their attacks. Aside from the normal spells Aya has displayed in her PE status screen there are also 4 other spells that are only available if you get the other 2 from the same element to level 3. I played through the game killing all the enemies that were available everywhere and didn’t have enough experience by the end of the game to have them all at level 3 so chose wisely what you want to upgrade and read their descriptions before upgrading.
Now that we got the ugly stuff out of the way let’s see what makes this game worth playing.
As far as the graphics go I really can’t say much about them because I never and I mean NEVER take graphics into consideration in a game, for me graphics are the least important in a game. This game features like the previous one some nice transformation FMVs and a shower scene which caught my eye. Also you’ll be seeing Aya’s ass wiggle a lot on screen and for a PS1 game they did a pretty good job with it, I can’t complain about the graphics they’re good. Better than the previous game.
SquareSoft is known for making RPGs with good music. Well I have to say I’m not quite sure why this isn’t one of those RPGs. I went through the game twice top to bottom but the background music doesn’t really stand up and isn’t memorable in my opinion. I may be wrong though because the intro song is really nice and kind of sets the tone of how the game will be. I’m exaggerating but the intro is good, nothing else comes to mind when thinking about music in this game. At least not to my mind I heard dead silence for the most part of the game. Maybe I didn’t pay enough attention, who knows?
Now let’s talk about the game play shall we? As I mentioned before the controls are really not fit for this kind of game but I also said that’s just my opinion. Aside from the controls the game play is really what you’d expect from Parasite Eve, shooting the living shit out of mutants. It’s really satisfying to hear them give out their last squeal of pain and melt into the ground. Parasite Eve II is relatively a short game and takes about 6 hours to beat even if you do backtracking for ammo or cleaning up the “hot spots” in the whole game. The ATB gauge is gone as well but in this game I’m glad there’s no such thing considering how hard it is to dodge with the “tank controls”. Random encounters have also been removed and replaced with the so-called “hot spots”. This means that when you see a red room on your map prepare for a fight because something is going to attack you at some point. Once cleared a “hot spot” spawns no more enemies until another in game event happens so check your map after major events in the game if you want to rack up on experience points and BP. I won’t go into detail with what you do throughout the game to not spoil it for
those who haven’t played.
Story wise the game shines I loved the story of the game with its major twists at the end amazing cut scenes that describe what’s happening perfectly. It’s interesting enough to keep you playing all the way through the game.
Replay value? Ho ho ho. After one play through you think you beat the game and that’s it? No no no no, after you play through the game once, new game play modes are unlocked this includes Replay, Bounty, Scavenger and Nightmare modes each one being harder than the other Nightmare being the hardest. Also if you finish the game certain items will be unlocked depending on the amount of exp you gathered throughout the entire game. Your PE spells will also be for sale at the price of the amount of experience they cost and at the level you had them at the end of your last play through. So in what concerns replay value this game has a lot of it.
Overall the game is not bad but it certainly isn’t the best out there I consider its predecessor to be superior because of its more comfortable controls, ability to buff weapons and armor with BP and customize them however you wish. This game has its charm as well and after getting used to the controls it does become enjoyable and fun but not as fun as Parasite Eve. I really can’t decide whether or not it is a good purchase. On one hand you have the rich replay value, awesome story and very nice FMV cut scenes (did I mention the shower scene?). On the other you have stiff controls and music that doesn’t stand out and dead silence. Really up to you I can’t decide for myself.
Thanks Casian for your review. He not using Final Verdict. So that about Parasite Eve II.
Anyway thanks for read this review. As always not forget to listen what Yui tell you... ==>
See you guys until I think something else.