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SummaryGreat CGI, not much else. Or how Squaresoft lost Mida's touch.
The Goodwhat i liked? uhmm...Parasite Eve presents an interesting and hardly ever touched genre which is the urban-rpg, you just don't see too many rpg's based on NY for example, so you could call the game somewhat "innovative", also the "make your own weapon" concept is cool.
The real-time battle sistem is fantastic, you run around freely and when you press the fire button the game pauses and a globe appears around you showing your weapon's range, making a real cool effect (nevermind that assault rifles don't appear to have a range of more than 12 ft or so). what else, what else... well nothing much, the game boasts incredible production values, so you get great sound, great graphics and some of the most amazing CGI cutscenes ever, but that's it.
The BadOk, the fun part.
This game marks Squaresoft's answer to Capcom's foray into non-arcade games. The success of the Resident Evil series brought a wave of survival/horror games to the console market and this caught the eye of the makers of Final Fantasy who decided to make their own version of the product (with their own touch, of course). Hence Parasite Eve, a survival/horror/rpg game with as much horror as a bad Night of the Living Dead clone, and even less rpg than you would expect in a console game.
Now, suspension of belief goes a long way into making a succesful gaming experience, being a very atmosphere-craving player I found the whole premise of Eve completely laughable and unnapealing. The plot is a convoluted mess that makes you raise a few eyebrows whenever it makes an interesting turn, but always let's you down with some stupid "convenient" resolution. Sure, the amount of cliches doesn't reach the level of Resident Evil, but Capcom's game never takes itself too seriously. Capcom's story of a special armed forces made up of twenty-something part-time models is so out there that you don't give it a second tought and get inmersed in the game. Square tells us the story of a part-time model cop who alone can save the world with nothing but her designer clothes, but makes the mistake of telling it like its a "based on an actual novel" grade-A psychological terror/thriller. The result is that you can never quite get into it.
The rpg system also works against the game by detracting from the experience. Since it isn't a controlled enviroment, you can face endless hordes of random-generated foes, with gazillions of ammo and health at your leisure, this completely ruins the seat-of-your-pants, "holy s**t i've got just one bullet left!" feeling you get on say...Residen Evil. This and touches like having snakes spit out ammo clips and the like whenever you kill them completely kill any atmosphere there was left (no, not mutated giat snakes, just regular plain old reptiles). And the non-linearity of the game goes as far as the tipical console rpg "which place you wanna go First?" addagio, not "which place I wanna go?" or "what do I want to do?".