Parasite Eve

The biggest problem most die-hard gamers will have with Parasite Eve is the game's length. With only six days in the game, you may find that Eve is a shorter ride than most Square Soft games. And although there is an extra level after you complete the game (which almost requires an entire playthrough of the previous levels(, you always seem to want more. Parasite Eve will leave you thrilled, chilled, and a little hungry, but it's well worth the price of admission.

Square Soft has quite a reputation to live up to, having created such awesome titles as Final Fantasy VII, Chrono Trigger, and Bushido Blade. Nevertheless, Square?s taken some great elements from its different games and come up with a fascinating new RPG that defies the standard it?s set, breaking some new ground in the field of cinema-influenced role-playing games.

The Three Phases of Eve
Parasite Eve is probably the most camera-ready RPG you?ll see this year. Borrowing heavily from the movie-style cinemas in Final Fantasy VII, Square Soft has constructed a lively, entertaining action RPG during which your character becomes, literally, totally immersed in the game?s story line. Beautifully animated computer-generated cut scenes tell the story of Aya Brea, a New York City cop who uncovers a really bad can of worms one night at the opera. It appears that the human body?s cell structure is starting a revolution that people can?t seem to resist. The result: New York city must be evacuated, and Aya must put a stop to Eve, the parasitic super being that starts it all. To give the game an even deeper sense of urgency, the days are categorized by the cell?s advancement: Day 1 is Resonance, Day 2 is Fusion, Day 3 is Selection, and so on.

If it sounds confusing, take heart?it is. As a matter of fact, there?s so much eggheaded scientific chatter going on in the game that you sometimes itch to shoot your specialized guns at something. That?s right, Parasite Eve upgrades to guns instead of the traditional swords, while power-ups, health-ups, and level raising is all done cop-style: You have to earn them by wiping out the bad guys and intensely exploring each area of the game. Those areas include familiar NYC sights, such as the Museum of Natural History, Soho, Carnegie Hall, and the Chrysler Building, all faithfully pre-rendered ? la Resident Evil 2.

Parasite Evil
The inevitable comparisons to RE2 won?t stop there. Mutated animals (from the grossest NY rat you?ve ever seen to vicious, freaky polar bears from the Central Park Zoo) and freshly skinned carcasses are everywhere?and there are even savage attacking crows. Where the game rises above RE, however, is in the depth of the gameplay, with frequent weapon upgrades, psychic abilities (like Heal, Scan, and Slow, to name a few), armor in the form of bulletproof vests, and tons of hidden areas.

Though Eve does come close, its rich graphics and core gameplay somehow don?t bring it to the same peak attained by Final Fantasy VII. Part of the problem stems from the bar-charging weapons that have pretty similar and not especially colorful effects. Plus, the jazzy, completely-out-of-place music doesn?t add a sense of realism so much as it makes you tap your feet. Another diversion from the traditional role playing elements is the fact that you can outrun or dodge your enemies? attacks. This aspect of the game is the least troubling, because most enemies are much stronger than the weapons you?ll receive.

Square Short?
The biggest problem most die-hard gamers will have with Parasite Eve is the game?s length. With only six days in the game, you may find that Eve is a shorter ride than most Square Soft games. And although there is an extra level after you complete the game (which almost requires an entire playthrough of the previous levels), you always seem to want more. Parasite Eve will leave you thrilled, chilled, and a little hungry, but it?s well worth the price of admission.

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ggormsen

PE was one of my favorite PS games. I have beat it 5 or 6 times and have enjoyed it every time. I have to say that if I found a copy of it, I would definitely invest in a PS1 or PS2 to play it again.
I have never been much of a turn based RPG player, but this was fun. If you liked the Kingdom Hearts series, this rates as high as KH1 in my book. You get to customize your guns and shoot well balanced baddies. Even the bosses aren't too bad. The special gun with a 1 bullet kill was a bit annoying, but once you learn about it, it makes for a good ending. There really wasn't a point to the Chrysler building, except for Square trying for an unlockable, but the beauty of it is enough to make it worthwhile to get too. Just make sure that before you beat the game, you store as much stuff in the chest in the police lockup as you can. Also, don't upgrade multiple weapons, just make 1 super weapon with a lot of slots.

If you liked this game, do not play PE2.

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