Review by epplegacks
"The ultimate interactive movie comes with an amazing story and superb technology."
Kenji Eno is a celebrity in Japan, his games sell in the hundreds of thousands and they always feature unique storylines and gameplay. Unfortunatly the games he creates at his company, WARP, have never caught on in America. But Sega took another gamble by releasing D2 in the west and I'm so glad they did because D2 has become one of my favorite games ever.
Story - 10/10
The story is what really drives a player to complete a game and with D2 I couldn't put down the controller until I finished. Finely crafted to give out tiny details at certain intervals (usually 20 to 30 minute cut-scenes which are a pleasure to watch), I wasn't exactly sure of the whole story till about the beginning of the forth GD. The story is better than most movies and that immediatly sets it apart from the usual.
Gameplay - 8/10
There are four different game modes in D2.
- When walking the artic tundra the game looks like a platformer except for the resident evil control scheme. When we still relied on d-pads on a home console this control scheme was acceptable but when you have an analog stick and an audience who has probobly played Mario 64 atleast once I think it would've been alot simpler to institute a walk-in-the-direction scheme. Fortunatly since you never have to fight in this mode it isn't a really big deal, just a petty gripe.
- When you enter a building it turns to a pseudo-myst interface. You are given a few points in a room where you can move, then you can look around at each location for health, weapons, and items.
- When you aquire gas for the snowmobile you can drive it around to make going place to place alot faster. It's a very good driving simulator with use of the analog buttons for gas and brake w/ Y for reverse. The physics are pretty good, you can get air off jumps and so forth.
- For combat, WARP has created a mode which is a mix of a modern FPS and an old-skool RPG. There's a small cut-scene detailling the positions of monsters and what kind they are. Then it goes first-person where you can rotate to shoot at different enemies. The point is a combination targeting monster hit zones and timing your reloads so that a monster doesn't attack you while your vulnerable. You can switch weapons and use items during this mode. Once you eliminate all the foes you are presented with the exp. points you gained along with your total. If you achieve the next level you are told and the brief cut-scene features a really neat tune which actually is quite a reward for winning the battle.
All these modes get the job done and are done with a very clean and cinematic flair.
Graphics - 9/10
Considering this is a first generation game for the Dreamcast, the graphics are absolutly amazing. The enviroments, while not sporting a wide varitey of textures are some of the most realistic I've seen in a game and each is highly detailed with clean polygon models. An important part of the game is the snow and lighting effects and I'm glad to say they are well done. The character models are very well done featuring moving hair, moving clothing, and fully animated faces. This game stands as a testiment as to how powerful the Dreamcast hardware truly is.
Music - 10/10
Kenji Eno is a composer by trade and his skill shines through in this game. The music always fits the action and emotion on screen and features everything from tradtional asian sounds to classical to electronic bass beats. There is even a pop song created for the game and it fits into the story. Where can I get the sound-track?
Effects - 9/10
All the sound effects in the game are movie quality and very clean and clear. The voice-overs, while conveying emotion and each fitting the character, are sometimes quite cheezy and never sync up with lip movements making it a 9 instead of a 10.
Replayability - 6/10
Unfortunatly D2 suffers from a similar symptom as most adventure games; once you've played through it, you've seen everything. But because of the amazing story you might treat D2 more as a movie as a game, digging it out several times a year to experience it again.
Cutscenes - 9/10
Because WARP games are so cut-scene driven I decided to include a specific heading for it. The boys at WARP are huge movie fans and really know there stuff when it comes to cut-scenes. They feature movie-quality camera angels and effects and feature subtle things like liquid effects. Some say that there are too many but they're done with so much style and usually feature Laura (the main character) so they never bothered me much. But because they are everywhere the game allows you to skip the ones you've seen by hitting B twice and in the long ones you can pause but hitting start or A. Very cool.
Overall - 9/10
D2 is an amazing accomplishment showing that developers can still have mouth-dropping visuals with a high-quality story. Because of the story driven nature of the game replayablility is mostly not there unless you're a diehard fan. Still this is more of a gaming event than just a time waster so that's why I give it such a high rank. I'm activily trying to find WARP's previous titles, D and Enemy Zero, for PC so if anyone wants to get rid of them drop me a line :). Cya.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 07/26/01, Updated 07/26/01
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