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Cidolfas's RPG Reviews: Parasite Eve (PSX)

You Are: Aya Brea, unusually young and pretty detective in the New York Police Department.

Your Goal Is: To defeat the evil mutated mitochondrial entity known as Eve and return peace to NYC.

General System: Like most RPGs, run around etc. I actually don't like the fact that you can't run and search at the same time (Aya looks like she's having conniptions as you go run-check-run-check). You have a limited inventory, which you can increase via Bonus Points which you get after leveling up. Your weapons are all guns. You can use BP to increase their stats as well. Also, you can use Tools to transfer attributes or stats from one weapon/armor to another (although the original item is lost). Super Tools allow you to do it without losing the item. Weapons and armor have slots for special attributes; you can get more slots by using extremely rare items in the NYPD weapons department. You can only gain attributes by finding armor/weapons and transferring the attributes to other items via Tools/Super Tools.

Battle System: You have an Active Time meter which fills up as time goes on, at which point you can do an action: fire your gun, switch equipment, or use Parasite Energy (i.e. magic). When you use PE, your Parasite Gauge drops by a certain amount, but then immediately starts filling again. The more you use spells in one battle, the slower the gauge fills up. Your guns have a limited range as well. While your meter is filling up, you have to run around the field avoiding enemy attacks.

Graphics: Quite nice. The New York environs, while not absolutely faithful to their originals (you wouldn't have much of a game if they were) are still very realistic and very similar to the actual locations. There are probably more FMVs per hour in this game than any other, and they're nicely freaky.

Music: Not something I'd listen to by itself. I can't really put my finger on why, but it fits the whole "biological horror" thing very well.

Story: Short but sweet. There aren't many characters (and those that are there don't get much screentime or development), but the backstory reveals itself at a satisfying pace while Aya battles through the present in New York. The script could be a bit better, but the cinematics and battles are fun enough to allow you to ignore all that.

Challenge: Easy/Medium

Length: 8-10 hours (first playthrough), 15-18 hours (second playthrough)

My Thoughts: Parasite Eve is a great game, but way too short. Even the Chrysler Building on the second playthrough doesn't give you more than 20 hours of play. But it's a really cool story. I usually hate horror, but the story moves at a fast pace and keeps your interest long enough so you really want to know what happens next. The New York locations are cool, since I've actually been to half the places there. 8-) The play control could use a bit of tweaking, and Aya moves WAY too slowly, but it's not too bad. The battles are fast-paced and provide enough of a challenge to keep you from getting bored. Definitely recommended, but you might want to rent it for a week rather than buying it.

Overall Rating: 8/10

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