Review by ShannRD

"If only they would just BE QUIET!"

It's funny, I'm sitting here trying to think about the good aspects of this game to comment upon, and I can't think of any. Yet I still gave this game a 6, slightly better than mediocre. It is kind of best explained this way: I enjoyed playing the game, but I don't really know why! Maybe its just easier and more obvious to nitpick the bad things about it.

Graphics-wise, I have no complaints. Chaos Island is gorgeous, and the characters are really detailed. The sound is okay but there was nothing memorable about it. The only thing I can think of right now is that once I started concentrating on the fact that I could hear the footsteps it started driving me nuts!

Orphen is pretty easy to control, but for some reason I kept forgetting which button did what so I ended up plunging off cliffs because I hit the wrong button. That may just be me though. The battle mode was interesting but a lot of times the other characters were totally useless, like when Zeus would use the Mace over and over with airborne creatures (which has no effect on them). And I never used any other magic spells than the Bite of Lightning!!!! and the Hand of Pyro!!!!! (you have to say those very enthusiastically). Items were totally useless. I stopped picking up treasure chests halfway through the game.

One of the worst aspects, according to myself and every other reviewer, is the awful cut scenes that you couldn't skip! It would be one thing if they all had valid story points to make, but so many of them consist of ''what is that?'' or ''you stay here, I'll be back''. The anime FMVs are cool but kind of disembodied, if that makes sense. It seemed like they were thrown in there at random points just so the game could say it had them. And if you could skip these, how much trouble would it have been to make it possible to skip the others? And I want to echo my fellow reviewer's hatred for the voice acting, especially Cleo. There was never a point when she opened her mouth that I wasn't annoyed.

As far as the game itself, I enjoyed playing it. Sure, it only lasted me 10 hours, and I may never play it again, but it was kinda fun while it lasted. The story is, well, interesting. In the end, it all makes sense, sort of? I was kind of left thinking, huh? One thing that I didn't really think about at first but after it was over is that the main characters really didn't get any development. Why is Orphen such a jerk? Why did he shun the sorcerers of whatever? Magnus was sort of reduced to a ''my teacher is so mean'' role, and his potential as a sorcerer is never discussed. And Cleo, not only is she totally useless, but who the heck is she? Does she just follow Orphen around for kicks? Does she love him? Why is she TOTALLY useless in battle?

A few other quick things:
-The best part of the game was in the Mar segment in the Frozen Wasteland. In the cut scene you can watch as the cat skates around in circles over and over while everyone else is talking. Cracked me up.
-What exactly was the point of the Monster Picture Book? Who cares?
-The re-equip and return to battle sort of made things even easier, but thank goodness it allowed you to avoid seeing the cutscenes again.
-I really liked the Tower of Sound. I thought it was interesting even if it was a little cliche.
-As I said, I will probably never play this game again. I liked it once though, so I suggest you rent it. You can easily beat it in the time given.

All in all, this was a good game to play once. It annoyed me, sure, but I ended up laughing at the sheer ridiculousness of the millionth time Orphen shouts, the Hand of PYRO!!! or says, ''I'll go on ahead. You two can catch up later.'' Its so stupid its funny.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 12/31/01, Updated 12/31/01

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