Parasite Eve II review

The return of Aya Brea focuses more heavily on patented Survival Horror action than RPG adventure. What is the verdict on this hybrid creation?

The return of Aya Brea focuses more heavily on patented Survival Horror action than RPG adventure. What is the verdict on this hybrid creation?

Parasite Evil
The first Parasite Eve was an ambitious effort merging action and role playing into a "cinematic" experience. While enjoyable, it didn't quite meet everyone's lofty expectations. Parasite Eve II revamps the formula by incorporating the basic gameplay of titles like Resident Evil while adding in its own touches like Parasite Energy which works very much like Magic spells. The story continues logically along basic plot lines from the original, although you really needn't have played the first game to get everything.

The branching storylines are a nice touch that will make you want to play through several times to find out all the plot variations. For the record, there are three possible endings to the game and the best of those three is the only one that feels satisfying, so you better try and find everyone and do everything possible (some pro tips on how below). It's also great to finally see some gigantic boss creatures return to the gaming scene, and there's several to be found in PEII. This alone elevates the game to a different level.

Death Around The Corner
The controls in the first installment were sluggish and although Aya was constantly running, she didn't move very quickly. All that has changed, although not for the better in some cases. Anyone who has played the other survival horror games will instantly be at home, but those craving more action responsive controls will be a bit disappointed. The graphics are up there with the better-looking games on the PlayStation, but levels that take place indoors and at night suffer from muddy textures that make spotting doors and items tough. The cinemas are also a mixed bag, with some truly beautiful sequences giving way to uninspired throwaway scenes. The odd thing is that Aya looks very different in some sequences, which indicates that the cinemas were probably handled by more than one CG production house. Parasite Eve II is not an easy game, by any means. The inventory system forces you to be very selective, not only because of its limited capacity, but also because you can only use items during battle if they are attached to your armor. This makes for lots of strategic thought, not to mention many, many untimely deaths. It doesn't help that some creatures are not very balanced and wipe you out in cheap ways. Still, the high difficulty extends the game's life and gives you something to brag about when you're done.

Good Eve-ning
With its branching storylines, humongous bosses, and high level of challenge, Parasite Eve II is a much improved step for the PE franchise with enough differences to avoid being labeled a Resident Evil clone.

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