Review by willis5225

Reviewed: 05/27/02 | Updated: 05/27/02

Excellent game with some flaws

I walked into EB software hoping to buy some cheap Dreamcast games (Crazy Taxi was a lowly $8. Best. Deal. Ever.) and maybe check out the new X-box selection. There's a reason for that, but it's not really pertinent to this review. Anihoo, I had been a big fan of Soul Reaver and saw Kain's smiling face. Immediately shelling out the $50 I headed home and tried out this new gem.

Graphics - 6/10
In-game, they're not bad, but seem a bit too box-ish for me. Not quite as bad as some old PSX favorites, but not quite as good as say Munch's Odyssee. I'd say it's a matter of not trying hard enough with the graphics.

The FMV's (Does anyone know what that stands for? I'll usually say ''Cut Scene'' in the honor of the early 90's term) are a good deal better, but again they're a step up from our ol' buddy Raziel and a step down from The Master Chief. (the characters from Soul Reaver and Halo respectively)

Sound - 7/10
I'm embittered by the annoying sound it makes when you pause, which you hear six times in rapid succession when you save. I save pretty frequently due to another issue with the X-Box that I also don't want to go into, so the sound lost major points here. Otherwise, the sounds of battle are very battle-like and satisfying. And I was very impressed with the way Kain laughs evilly when you kill someone tied up and helpless. I just thought that was a nice touch.

The background music is good for its setting. The battle music is a tad repetitive, but it can actually get kinda intense at times, so you shouldn't be paying too much attention to it.

The voice acting is actually quite good. You can tell Kain-voiceover from Kain-talking, which has been troublesome for me in the past. No one is totally out of place voice-wise.

Controls - 7/10
My only major complaints are about turning about 180 degrees, which is sorta difficult, and t hen about jumping, which can be difficult if previously in the li'l battle stance. That and that there's precious little explanation of just how to do certain things in the game, like the Jump dark power.

Gameplay - 8/10
Overall, the game is excellent. I personally have problems killing innocents to regain health, unless they do something to deserve it first, so I'm having a bit of a tough time with it, but most won't have that problem, I'd think, so I'm not counting it as a flaw. Oh, and the weapons get a thumbs-up from me.

The bosses are really quite difficult at times, but that's to be expected. I mean, they're bosses. They're dumb, crazy, mad, *****in' hard, sometimes, but hey, that's why we buy the game, right?

Story - 6/10
It's honestly sorta weak, but that may just be because I've been playing Metal Gear Solid a lot of late. It's all very straightforward; you know exactly why you're doing something and you realize that you're serving everyone's ulterior motives as well as your own as a matter of course. It's good, good fun.

In years of late, the video game industry has basically made it such that you can't rent eight games out of ten and finish them, as you could in the days of the GenesisSNES wars of my bitter youth, and this is no exception. Unless you take a weekend and barricade yourself in your room with the game, you won't finish it. And the tutorial level is really a bit much to go through even once; you don't want to have to play through it twice.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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