Review by EasternDragon
"A Game Not Given The Time Of Day"
Orphen: Scion of Sorcery, a game that made the release of the PS2 and, for me, is one of the most memorable PS2 games to date. Although slightly flawed, the game has plenty of good sides that people tend to overlook constantly...that they tend to ignore.
At release the graphics were the best on the system and to this day still hold their own. With as graphic-dependant as people are anymore I'm surprised people don't love it just for this. Beautifully done in a way that makes you wonder if anime can be anymore 3D than this.
The story is another wonderful aspect of this game. You're constantly pulled from one point in time to another as you hurry to unlock the island's secrets, bound and determined to help your companions claim what they are after. You'll get hooked easily, and confused thoroughly until you see the last chapter of the story where all the pieces fall together.
The soundtrack to the game is top-notch, most of the music is extremely catchy and the sound effects are stunning. It only lacked in a few areas where the sounds just seemed a bit weird (some magic attacks) or a little dated (On the ship, for instance).
Aside from the story developing nicely, the characters do so as well. Sephy, Zeus, and Mar all have distinct personalities and traits that make them all memorable. The static characters (Orphen, Cleo, Magnus, Vulcan, Dorten) are memorable in their own rights. They're a touch out of the anime with attitudes that just lends a great deal of humor to the game.
Here's the one area that really hurts - Controls. You can't use the d-pad to move at all (Gets frustrating since I had the menu popping up every ten or so seconds). The button layout is alright but the analog-stick is confusing after awhile. The movements are also blocky, making it seem like they're walking with lead heels.
The battle-system is excellent, a nice mixture of turn-based and real-time systems. Most people complain of how the HP is done, but I think it's great, you never know how many hits until you die. Keeps you on your toes and trying to win.
The game is excellent for replay. Getting through all the quests practically demands it. Conquering the game demands no less than three replays after the initial quest is done.
A great game that's fun to play over and over again. Minor problems with the sounds and some bigger ones on the controls, but overall a title that's ran through the dirt far more than it should be.
Buy or Rent? Buy. It's cheaply priced, but I honestly don't mind having spent $50 for it.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 07/29/03, Updated 07/29/03
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