Review by BLACKgunman
As a Socom 2 fanatic, I could not hold out for the HDD I had to have it even though it was $100 and came with a game I had not played since I was in grammar school and did not care for. Disappointed that there where no new maps for SOCOM 2, I decided to try this RPG out.
Man was I surprised! This game ROCKS!
8/10 GRAPHICS - Solid
Graphics are not the most important aspect of any game, if that were the case we wouldn't have endured the whole history of gaming up till today. Though the graphics do get muddy at times, this game pushes the PS2's processor to it's fullest. Sure there's some pop up, the menu system clutters the screen, and sometimes the camera is tough to handle but with everything this game is pushing at you, it doesn't matter.
Compared to the first big PS2 MMORPG Everquest, this game's graphics are more detailed, easier to understand and varied. There are tons of places to visit, countries to roam and enemies to fight, the most amazing of these things is that none of these places seem generic. Each one is different, even the town shops all look different inside. The amount of detail is amazing!
Magic spells are colorful, monster and character designs are excellent and the world is bustling with NPC's from all walks of life, Elves, Humans, Midgets and all sorts of warriors and wizards.
There are few negatives but hey, SQUENIX is pushing the PS2 hardware to it's limits in the amount of polygons, textures and amount of game world your little TV struggles soak up. My only complain is the blurriness and washed out anti-alias look it's got going for it but it's not enough to distract from the game.
10/10 MUSIC - Nostalgic Minimalism
The Final Fantasy victory theme is enough to keep this game's soundtrack strong it's as iconic the Castlevania theme song or the Legend of Zelda theme from the NES days.
There isn't a lot of it, but what's there fills the gameworld perfectly. It doesn't get old, almost as if it belongs there. Some character's and monsters even have their own theme songs, which add a lot of depth to their personalities.
Different times of the day chime in with there own song, and adventuring will queue the music to change into a more adventurous soundtrack.
7/10 SOUND - It's OK
Everything is cool, varied and works well in this fantasy setting. Magic sounds and special skill abilities have varying degrees of ouchiness. If you cast a low level spell (ouch) it sounds way different than if you cast a high level high damage Nuke spell (OUCH!!!)
Some small problems with sound continuity, but not enough to mention specifically.
10/10 CONTROL - DEEP!!!
Confusing at first, it takes a while to get used to the controls with keyboard or Dual Shock, but you'll start to get the hang of it. After a while you'll start to master macro scripting and then you'll throw away your keyboard for a PS2 controller with 200 macros you personally scripted.
Macros are shortcuts you could hotkey on your keyboard or controller. They can be very complex: 5 lines worth of actions including text. Or simply the casting of one spell on one target.
This new system of control makes all sorts of gameplay POSSIBLE! You can even have a well developed conversation with pre-scripted macros!!! WOW!!!
10/10 GAMEPLAY - DEEP
To sum it up, the game world has a well developed economy, where item prices rise and fall according to supply and demand. Most of this stock market frenzy happens at the auction house. Which resembles a bar, with all the hustle and bustle, these places are always packed like a fantasy night club or something!
The amount of personalization available is insane. Besides questing and killing stuff you can even work for a living, become a craftsman and sell your wares.
Once you start to develop your own avatar, and build a party with other adventurers you will be hooked. After a few weeks of this game, you'll still feel like a noob.
After a few months, you will feel like a movie star, turning heads with all your cool armor. There are even accounts of some high level warriors dumping their armor so that they could go unnoticed!!!
In conclusion, this is an epic game at a higher price than most games. Just remember that this is not the most expensive game out there (mechassault) and that there is a use for your HDD after you are done (socom2) playing this great game. I recommend this game to everyone who likes RPGs and even all yall SOCOM fanatics.
I especially recommend this game to anyone who has doubts about it.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 04/01/04
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