The 3rd Birthday: Memorable or Forgettable?
In this follow up to the classic Parasite Eve games, Aya Brea is needed again to battle a force that threatens humankind. New York is under siege from a paranormal force called the Twisted – essentially an army of tentacles that reach up from the ground and even oceans, enveloping and destroying much of The Big Apple.
Aya, with her background battling the paranormal, is recruited by the CTI, or Counter Twisted Investigation team, to assist with the effort to understand and combat the Twisted invasion. A new technology called Overdive will enable Aya’s psyche to travel through time, and inhabit the minds of soldiers and others involved in events at key moments of the conflict.
With the game dropping tomorrow, I thought it would be good to look into the buzz surrounding the game, and I must say I was a bit disappointed with what I found. While gameplay and cut scene trailers had me optimistic, the early reviews are pretty mixed, and overall a bit unfavorable.
Consistent complaints include frustrating gameplay. Battles, purportedly, can feel lop-sided for the wrong reasons. The controls, especially when fighting bosses, seem sluggish – Aya’s standard run speed and evasive maneuvering make it difficult to keep her from harm’s way, and enhancements that make her move more quickly are too short-lived – and her attacks don’t seem powerful enough.
The resulting effect is boss battles that become wars of attrition between you and your patience (and the manual dexterity of your fingers on the PSP’s limited controls).
However, for hardcore fans of the series, the game also promises some rewarding gameplay elements. The new Overdive combat system allows gamers to project themselves into the psyches of non-player characters throughout the map, so if you’re getting ready to die, you can inhabit a fresh body. Overdrive combat options give players the power to use powerful psychokinetic attacks on foes. And the cut scenes really do look great on the PSP.
So in short, is this game worth playing? Well, I definitely wouldn’t go out and buy a PSP just for this one title. And, if you never played the first Parasite Eve games, or don’t care to revisit the PE universe, then I don’t think passing on this one will hurt your chances of sleeping at night. But, for the many nostalgic Parasite Eve loyalists out there, it looks like this new installment will have enough positives to justify the indulgence.