Thursday, January 1, 1998

Parasite Eve

Genre: Cinematic Role Playing Game
Platform: Playstation
Credits: 1998 Squaresoft, Square Enix.

Parasite Eve Guides & Art
Parasite Eve Video Games
Parasite Eve Toys
Parasite Eve Music (OST)
Parasite Eve Item Shop
All by Skysenshi
Boss Guide: Focus-&-Dodge
Increasing Levels
Tips on Saving Up for Power
Junk Guide
Skysenshi's Description:
Mutated mitochondria, commanded by a being known as Eve, is about to break lose and officer Aya Brea is the only one who seems to have the power to stop the madness. But why is she the only one? What is it that draws Aya to Eve? The sinister truth unveils itself as Aya goes through five days of fast-paced non-stop action trials...

Cover Description:
In the near future, mankind has conquered dimensional travel, but the door we have opened swings both ways. The peaceful city you have grown up in has become a heaven for dark creatures from another world--Demons! Now it's up to you and your friends to harness the hidden power within you by entering the fantasy game known as Persona.

You awaken with incredible abilities that you will need to defeat the scores of Demon invaders and cleanse the land of their forces. Converse with them before doing battle to determine your best course of action. Fight them or enlist their aid in your mission. Either way, you are set for the fantasy adventure of a lifetime!

NOTE: This description was written sometime in 1998 and was recorded in the classic Otaku Fridge as ??.??.1998. Unfortunately the database would not accept non-numerical values, so this review is now dated January 01, 1998 by default.

Accomplished through sheer determination. >>> by skysenshi (??.??.1998)
Parasite Eve is most probably Squaresoft's greatest computer graphics accomplishment since Final Fantasy VII, and it would have ranked highly and be placed alongside the greatest RPGs if it weren't for one major flaw: The Chrysler Tower.

Disregarding this annoying piece of building for a moment, Parasite Eve is heavy in terms of originality. A kick-ass female hero gets the spotlight and does a good job of it. Her story, the characters revolving around her, and the police action are done quite well. The concept of mitochondria revolting inside the human body and mutating into something higher is woven effectively with reality as scientific theories are used to back this concept up. Detective Aya Brea's connection with the head honcho villain Eve is also unique in itself. There is some sort of a chain between them that, instead of pulling them together, causes them to become enemies. The law of survival of the fittest is felt strongly here.

The villain's team's set-up is not too strong, though. The regular battles are too easy, even the regular bosses, but the final major bosses are too much of a headache to handle without getting ridiculously frustrated. There should have at least a smooth gradation in the extent of difficulty of the battles. As it is, finishing off the bosses make you too exhausted to think positively of it, unlike in FFVII where you just feel happy and contented that you have defeated the Weapons and Sephiroth. The villains also get a tad redundant and a bit unsatisfying to finish off. This problem is more concentrated on the normal mode final bosses. The EX mode bosses are all pretty easy, though.

The game system would have been okay, if only Aya would run like a normal human being would. In this case, it would seem her gait and her pace do not match her speed. Watch closely and you'll see what I mean. Also, walking is absolutely out of the question. She's as slow as a turtle that just gave birth.

It would have been better too if Aya's item inventory doesn't get maxed out, but I guess this is all right since in reality, a person can only carry so much inside a vest. But this sometimes gets too annoying because there are some important items that you'll have to really choose from because you can't carry all of them.

The battle system is excellent. You can either change armors, weapons, or use your Parasite Energy, or choose to just shoot your enemies. The active time mode of battling enhances a player's strategical character placement skills and at the same time pressures a player to think fast and think well. A minor gripe here would be the fact that you can't move while shooting away at your enemies, but they can move. So much for active time.

Now for the major gripe that ruined this game for me. I would have given this game's replay value a rating of 10. After all I was able to repeat the normal mode from beginning to end in one day when I found I wasn't contented with my performance. However, the Chrysler Building in the EX mode made me rethink of PE's replay value. Why? The whole concept of the Chrysler Building itself is already ridiculous. Has anyone ever seen a building that has absolutely no windows and has only about one to two doors per floor? You also have to search high and low for both the elevators and the stairs and go through cruel mazes and dead ends. Elevators and stairs are supposed to be stacked on top of each other so a person would know where to find them, but not here. Elevators here are also locked so you'd have to defeat a boss for every ten floors just so you'd get the elevators below him unlocked and be able to go down without having to suffer through the stairs. You can't save your game inside the building as there are no telephones so you'd have to go back down to the NYPD to save. If you haven't defeated the boss of the floors you're climbing, you'd have to use the stairs. There are 70 floors all in all before you get to the stairs that connect to the final battle. Imagine climbing 70 floors with no save point and nothing to see but walls and walls and endless walls for the rest of your gaming hours. Boring.

To tell the truth, I was the only one among the Kraiders who was able to finish the game, but that was only through extreme determination on my part. They either got tired of it or fed up with it. Nobody wants to spend 10 hours going through 70 floors of boringness unless they were masochistic or had a game shark, which I can't afford.

There are also zero mind tasks. The game, which is supposed to be a cinematic RPG, doesn't feel like an RPG at all. Cinematic, definitely, but RPG it is not. Everything is laid out before you and there are no twists in the story. Granted there are two endings to the game, but everything just leads to the ending. There are no consequences for every action that you make. It also heavily relies on having to power up your weapon and armor to the point of impossibility, leaving very little activity for the mind.

As an RPG player, I find this game quite disappointing. It did get a high acclaim among other RPG players, but the excellent graphics and battle system are not enough for me. It lacked a certain depth that I found in RPGs like Wild ARMs, FFVII, and Xenogears. I do hope that a sequel be made, however, since this game has a lot of potential.

COMPLETION TIME: 11+ Hours (Normal Mode); 25+ Hours (EX Mode)
RATINGS: Gameplay 8; Battle 9; Story 8; Visuals 10; Characters 8; Sounds 8; Replay Value 7

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