Review by Trum Hankorish
"An Epic that Became the B-Movie of Games"
Although I'm sure this game was meant as a serious ''gaming masterpiece'' from a respected cinematographer, it stands as the ultimate gaming cult classic. Or at least right on up there with the likes of Illbleed. It's games like this that make it all worthwhile. Sure it doesn't have the BEST control system in the world. Sure it MIGHT take away control for lengthy cut-scenes quite often. But does that stop it from being a damn fine game? Heck no. In fact it's its mistakes that elevate it from the normal, dull game (on the flipside most people would view THIS game as normal and dull, all ye who art so blind). But let's skip the vagaries and get to the gritty details.
Graphics The graphics suit the game just fine. Blood looks like blood, tentacles look like tentacles. The Canadian mountainside never looked so desolate (and me never having been to Canada is saying alot). The sheer amount of background eyecandy nearly outweighs Shenmue (this game kicks Shenmue's sorry butt, in my opinion). The only complaint I have is that Laura twitches spastically while she runs, which may give some folks seizures.
Sound Oooooh God... love the sound, LOVE THE SOUND. The music fits each scene, and the best part of the game is facing a boss who used to be of your species. He/she/it keeps a running dialog of repeated phrases, which sound really creepy during a fight.. (I'll resist the urge to spoil this wonderful gimmick.) And the music when you kill one of numerous sets of enemies is great (although strangely innappropriate).
Control Well, not so hot, but still, it gets the job done. The interiors are handled with the same scheme as the original D. You have set places where you can go, and when you face a certain direction, you can get closer to and examine/open the door/use item on object/etc. The outside is strictly wander and explore. I actually enjoy the fight interface, too. It takes a while getting used to it, but once you do, you can take out pretty much any enemy with no damage.
Bells and Whistles Really impressive stuff here. The previously mentioned speech patterns of the bosses, down to the disturbing deaths, and even some of the characters are so eccentric it almost hurts. The story is interesting enough to watch at least the first time through. Every little thing you do garners an over-elaborate response from Laura, as if she's doing everything for the first time, EVERY time.
Schlock Factor I'll just list these: Evil plants, meteor with mind of its own, clones, full frontal nudity, decapitation, savage tentacles, drug abuse, evil cult, little girl (there's always a little girl in movies like this), the list goes on.
All in all, if you're a fan of weirdness, and thought Shenmue needed more bare breasts and bloody violent death, then this is the game for you. If not, then steer clear, I suppose. That's just my thoughts. ^<>^
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 09/16/01, Updated 09/16/01
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