Review by Lagunathemoron
"Meet Orphen, the"
At the moment, There isn't that many RPG's for Playstation 2, there is Evergrace, Summoner, Ring of Red and it'll only be a few months when another RPG comes out, at the moment, Orphen : Scion of Sorcery is the best, but it is not ''HARDCORE''. I am a big fan of RPG's, and would by just about any RPG what came round the corner, so I got this. This is not your normal RPG though, it has a weird system, and horrid characters (Yes...some characters in this game are even worse then the ones in 102 Dalmatians.... well, you try thinking of a better example.)
Storyline - 8 : This is not a linear storyline, where you start with a basic plot and go along a line to the main story, Orphen : Scion of Sorcery is a little different. The game starts with Orphen, a young man who thinks he is funny and cool, and worst of all, Gods gift to women (You can tell, by the way he usually acts), well anyway, Orphen is with his two pupils, Magnus and Cleo are in a port town, and are attacked by Volcan and Dortin, two young boys, who lead Orphen and his pupils on to a ship. You see a familiar RPG scene... a long pink haired woman with jewelry with her eyes shut, you'll instantly think that this is one of those Mystics who jabber on about nothing, but you'll just have to wait and see. During the journey, the ship is in a middle of the storm and begins sinking. The ships passenger, Zeus fights monsters whom are attacking the ship, The pink haired girl is escaping and the two boys, Dortin and Volcan are thieving (Neither the time or the place). Orphen get near the deck with both Cleo and Magnus, but both take different directions, you choose which one now, both lead to different stories. There is another story hidden away, you'll have to explore a bit first. Orphen has a lot of surprises, and you might be surprised on some of the things what happen, you might class some of the things emotional
Sound and Music - 7 : The music is fantastic in the game, it fits in the atmosphere well, like in a creepy, indoor graveyard, it has creepy music, which could even send a chill down you spine (Just looking at Orphen, the character might send a shiver down your spine). The game has a lot of voice acting, like every other Playstation 2 game I have played (I have played 6 so far, excluding demos), and is done great. Orphens voice fits a moron like himself, but Cleo’s and Magnus' voice can get annoying. If you want to know about the sound, it is very strange, the sound effects sometimes doesn't sound like they are meant to. I have heard some noises in the game, like spikes or the sound of an item changing (the items are in a circle, you must rotate it to get what you want) sounds a lot like a vacuum cleaner. Overall, I think the music and sound is okay, but if a sequel is planned, they can at least tweak it up to scratch.
Graphics - 6 : Orphen : Scion of Sorcery looks a lot more of a Dreamcast game then a Playstation 2 game. If you have played games like Zombie Revenge or House of the Dead, you'll notice that Orphens graphics look a bit like them (with no Zombies *wink* *wink*). The character models are like that of a Dreamcast as well, I don't mean like character models off Shenmue, I am talking about House of the Dead 2 graphics again. Orphen is based on a Japanese Animation Cartoon called Orphen and the game, takes a few cut scenes from the show, showing Cartoons instead of blocky characters. I am a big fan of Japanese Animation, and its good to see a Playstation 2 game to have it as an element. A lot of Orphen is set inside, so Backgrounds aren't much of a thing you'll see. When you are outside, and you see a background, you'll find out that they have been done very well, The sunsets in the game look great, but its not exactly pushing your Playstation 2 to its limit. I don't like the character animations all that much, but in Battle mode, the animations do look a bit good, but I have seen better on the Playstation One. The game is far too dark in dull places, like the ship graveyard, I had to scrunch my eyes up small just to see the characters, I think it was because it was a bit sunny outside, and was shining in, but I thought I'd just add that.
Gameplay - 7 : Like I said at the start of the review, Orphen : Scion of Sorcery is a ''Different'' RPG. First, we have Field mode, These field modes are the main thing in Orphen, it can be either outside or a dungeon, or even just a room. In the field mode, you will stay to the task what’s been set, this is either getting something, escaping or looking for someone. You'll solve puzzles to get to your destination, or sometimes, take control of another character. Orphen handles well in field mode, but the jump is plain awful. At one point of the game, you'll control Cleo and you will have to jump across barrels, which is one of the hardest things to do in the game, due to the awful control system. Once you are controlling a character in field, you cannot switch between a character, the others just follow you, but sometimes, the computer makes you control the others. During field mode, you'll most likely be attacked by monsters, these do not go into a long battle mode, you will have to think fast, and do a field attack, like a small magic shot or a sword slash.
Next, we have the Battle mode. Sometimes, you might fight alone with a character. When fighting alone, you will use a weapon, this can be a sword or a chain or whatever the character uses, and they can use other skills, like magic. A character can also defend them self from enemy attacks, but not for long. If your character attacks an enemy when you just tap a button, it may not do big damage, but if you hold down the button, it will charge up, and the character will do a massive attack, doing massive damage. If you are fighting in groups, you can do everything I explained above, but the other characters will help in combat, or just stand there and do nothing. Unlike most RPG's, there is no random encounters in the game, and no leveling up either. Battles only occur on events, or if you enter a special place, enemies will get you with no warning.
Replaybility - 8 : There are three stories in the game, and each one is a bit challenging, and will last you a fair time. If you beat a story, you can take all your spells and magic on to the next story, which might make it a bit easier. There is a lot of items and magic which you'll want to unlock!
Characters - 4 : At first glance, you'll most likely like the characters, but after a short wile, you might get sick of them, especially Cleo. There is only two characters who I really like, and that is Zeus and Mar. These characters are great, but the other characters are not, some have very irritating voices.
Overall - 7 : Orphen : Scion of Sorcery is a alright RPG, you can tell Activision have put a lot of effort in to this game, but it needed a lot more work for it to be a classic. Orphen is a good choice if your waiting for a RPG, much better then Summoner (that has a much more ''PC'' feel, and I hate most non-turn based PC RPG's) and better then Evergrace. You might as well buy something else, or wait for Final Fantasy X.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 07/25/01, Updated 07/25/01
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