Parasite Eve II ReviewTiffany Shafer
Parasite Eve II is a rerelease of the PlayStation One game. Originally released in 2000, Parasite Eve II was a sequel to the top-selling Parasite Eve RPG/ Action-Adventure game. The story of Parasite Eve was based on a popular novel in Japan. Parasite Eve II picks up where the first game left off. In the first game, an NYPD officer investigates a series of deaths caused by a female named Eve. Eve's mitochondria have awakened causing her to gain supernatural powers that can make humans spontaneously combust and animals mutate. During the investigation, the police officer's own mitochondria begin to awaken. This gives Aya, the police officer, special abilities that aid in her ability to defeat Eve. However, what was a benefit in Aya's investigation has now become a liability in the sequel. Now that Eve is gone, Aya, has left the police department due to the awakening of her own mitochondria. It has been three years since the Eve incident and Aya now works for the FBI as a Neo-Mitochondrion Creature (NMC) hunter.
As with any RPG, the story is the driving force of the game. Parasite Eve II is no different. Fortunately, it does a good job a creating a storyline that pushes the gamer to keep playing. Although Parasite Eve II has a few funky lines of translation, it doesn't do much harm to its storyline. A recipe of suspense coupled with cinematic CG dialogue scenes give Parasite Eve II an exceptional experience.
Parasite Eve II succeeded in presenting a more realistic scenery and characters than its predecessor. The floors are reflective, the lighting more diverse, and the enemies more creepily detailed. There are added details such as bugs scurrying across the wall and blood on the floor that truly enhance the visual surroundings. The CG scenes in Parasite Eve II are attractive, as well. They boast a better quality of realism than Parasite Eve and enhance the cinematic feel that Square was striving for with the first game.
Considering the gameplay, Parasite Eve II falls more under the action/adventure genre than an RPG. Most of the RPG battle system protocols were abandoned in the sequel in favor of real-time fighting scenarios. As far as game controls are concerned, it is easy to perform Parasite Eve attacks and change weapons. Parasite Eve II uses lock-on targeting making it easier to deal with multiple enemies. Aya can also carry loads of items with her; talk about convenience. It's handy not having to constantly manage inventory. However, that's where the ease of gameplay ends. The weapon reload time drags on which makes it more realistic, but it also makes battles much more difficult. You can expect to take quite a bit of damage during the process of reloading. Also, expect to takes a few hits when attempting to dodge enemies. There's just no easy way to do it in Parasite Eve II.
Although Parasite Eve II abandoned most of its RPG elements in favor of more action oriented gameplay, it still continued to borrow some RPG hallmarks. This mixed genre creation could be a godsend or a curse depending on player preference. As with most RPGs, ammo and armor must be bought from an item shop, and there are plenty of map puzzles that must be completed to advance the game. The Parasite Eve special attacks and healing system derive from an RPG format. On the other hand, the battle system and scenery mirror action games like Resident Evil.
All in all, Parasite Eve II gives a compelling storyline that is presented with beautiful CG cut scenes and visual details. The music enhances the horror story feel and the gun sound effects are realistic. The game allows for multiple ending sequences, increasing its replay value. The gameplay, however, feels like a confused chop suey of two genres. Unfortunately, Square did not succeed in combining the two genres an appealing manner. If a great plot and storyline are driving factors in gaming for you, then Parasite Eve II is a must-play. However, if gaming mechanics and battles are more your forte, you may want to pass on this awkward gameplay format.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.