Review by Terravation
"This game is underrated to say the very least."
You know those rare sorts of games that don't get the recognition they deserve? Well this is one of them. Not only is this game one of the best role playing games I have ever played in my gaming lifetime, it's also one of the largest. (Small example is the amazing amount of time trying to reach the maximum level with every character) It has been a long time since I have actually enjoyed a real time role playing game, by real time I mean a role playing game that doesn't follow the turn based system that seems to have taken over with almost all of the RPGs of late.
If you have played the first summoner, the first thing you must understand is that this game is nothing like the one that stood before it. This game manages to improve on the first one in every way possible. (From graphics down to music) I for one, couldn't stand the first one, yet love this one to bits :)
The controls and general aspect of this game is pretty simple. It's a hack and slash that manages to keep the player hooked on the game for quite a long time. The controls are very easy to get used to; (The game practically makes you understand them before you can finish the first area) the only drawback is that some times the camera angles tend to be a little too in your face or in a wall which can often link to your demise. Other than that little complaint, it's great!
Moving on to the games story, it's nothing short of magnificent. While the story makes little to no sense at the start of the game (what RPG game does though) it manages to grab your attention after about 2 hours of Gameplay. Due to the amazing amount of side quests in this game, the story is also very complex, but managers to remain interesting at the same time.
Music and Sounds have never really been a big thing for me in video games, due to the fact that I often have it turned down. Although in the rare instance that I did have the sound up, I found it satisfactory. There are some areas where the music can be quite depressing and dragged out. But there are other areas where it's full of action and literally jumps out your speakers. The SFX and voice acting in the game are much better than the music itself (Although it's mainly all sword slashing and magic casting)
Excellent, this game has some of the best graphics I have ever seen on the Playstation 2. (Looks even better on GameCube) The amount of vast places that you must visit have all been perfect right down to the animation on the floor. About mid-way into the game you reach a city where you must use masks in order to continue, this area IMO is an absolute masterpiece.
This is where this game hits its very best. I have never encounted such a difficult role playing game that manages to remain fun at the same time. The game of course starts off very easy and pretty much gives you written instructions on how to defeat the first boss, but that quickly changes. There are quite a lot of areas where the game will split up your party in groups; these parts for some reasons always seem to be the most difficult. It took me close on 3 hours to get part one section like this, and an even longer 5 hours on another area. I'm saying this without a shadow of a doubt, this game can be unbelievably hard in some parts, but remains fun!
Once again, nothing short of spectacular. If you're involved enough in the story, this game will take a good 30 hours (not including sidequests) and trust me, if you're not using a FAQ or guide for this game, you most certainly will not obtain everything on your first playthrough. (if you manage to, you're extremely good) Now with the amazing amount of side quests in this game, if you are the type of person that needs to complete a game 100% before you're satisfied (like me) this game will have you trapped for a good 2 weeks. Not only does this game have over 500 side quests, but the amount of time you would have to spend training in the arena trying to get everyone to max levels would be astronomical. This is defiantly one of the games strongest points.
In all, this game is nothing short than amazing. The battle arena by itself is enough to get me back to playing this game in no time. When you combine that with the amazing story, stunning sounds and awesome challenging gameplay, you have a totally magnificent game
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/17/05
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