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An underrated Playstation 2 adventure game from Sony Computer
To very vaguely summarize the plot:
A sprung ordinary everyday goth girl (Jennifer) learns her luck; to re-establish the balance to the primal forces of existence with the adviser of a mysterious gargoyle (Scree) and the hidden power contained by her.
In order to restore the primal forces; she and her adviser must travel into what seems another dimension of worlds. There are 4 worlds Jen and Scree must travel to; fixing the chaos of what has become of them. Each world has a different race of creatures she must interact and, most of the time fights with.
The plot story is deep and strong; and should keep you interested until the game's completion.
The graphics are certainly pleasing enough (Some worlds more then others). Beautiful rendered worlds; together with a movie-like score, certainly brings the game to life. (Especially, if you have a widescreen television and a Dolby Pro-Logic 2 sound system)
The gameplay is exceptionally great; swapping control of both Jen and Scree; is essential to get past certain paths in the game; as one can do what the other cannot. The main elements of the gameplay involve exploring each world and solving the problems of the race it occupies. This is no easy task; or at least it's time consuming as each world is HUGE! Despite the massive areas of the worlds; its difficult to get totally lost in, mainly thanks to the great map that is displayed by pressing the `Start' button.
You are able to save your game; at mostly anytime; which is a great asset, as you don't have to worry looking for save points in the vast areas.
Whilst in combat (only Jen can fight and be hurt from enemies!) the shoulder buttons of the PS2 control pad is used. The enemies are ever so passive in the game; you probably are able to always win by attacking and then retreating.
The controls are given in-game. But they don't last on the screen for long and a good read of the instruction manuel is advised before setting off in your quest; or when Jen learns a new hidden power! Mature gamers will find this game easy; with only a few baffling moments.
The biggest drawbacks are when in battle (yes, this is a widespread for 3D games!) the camera angles may be bad and you may not get enough time to adjust it using the `right analog stick' before you are attacked.
There are several graphically bugs and glitches in the game and would not be surprised if the game crashes at least once during your quest; which is unfortunate for console gaming. Also, some of the puzzles are not difficult but are frustrating due to sometimes unresponsive nature of controls; you may find yourself trying to do something three times before it actually works! (Though this problem is very superficial in terms of the actual gameplay)
Overall, excellent graphics and sound. The Gameplay is solid but a bit of a complex controlling system giving the illusion of unresponsive controls lets it down.
A good gaming experience; especially with a widescreen TV and a Dolby Pro-Logic 2 sound system!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'm a Xenite, and I try to follow up on what ever project the former
Xena: Warrior Princess - actors/actresses are doing now after the
series are concluded. Seeing Hudson taking the leap into video gaming,
warms my heart greatly. But, did she pull it off? Did she do a good
job? I also used to watch Babylon 5 as long as the only Norwegian TV
channel that sent did send it, and yes, I liked G'kar very much. He
appealed to me in a much stronger degree than, say, the minbari.
Andreas (hey, that's my middle name too!) has a very unique voice, and
voice acting suits him. But I still ask; did he pull this one off?
The game itself is right up my alley. Quasi-Christian themes, goth-like atmosphere, metal rock soundtracks and kick-@$$ action. And the concept of having two main characters that is being controlled by the same player finally comes to its real right here. (Now, don't get me wrong; the idea is not new OR revolutionary. ICO was first, and stand its ground as the innovator on this concept. Primal is merely showing that it has learned from a master.) Goth-waitress Jen and gargoyle-statue-come-to-life Scree, the main characters are quite the pair. It really great to see them travel through the worlds of the Ferais, the Undines, the Wraiths and the Djinns. The levels are massive in size! And the story is very entertaining, with a lot of plot twists. They might not be superb designs, but I'm not going to complain. After all, this game have to compete with giants like Tomb Raider, ICO, Shadow of the Colossus and God of War. I'm impressed by the mere attempt from Siny on this project. And that they have included huge personas like Hudson Leick and Andreas Katsulas to do VO, and 16Volt, a very impressive up-and-coming band, to deliver the score, is a huge bonus. For those who have read my MGS2 and MGS3 comments, you know I love unlockables, and cutscene collections. Primal's got that too. They have a 'Scene Select' option and a card collection options. Also, for each level you complete, you unlock a bonus featurette. One of them being a "Actors' Feturette" where there is a short interview with Hudson and Andreas. In this interview, Hudson says she bought a PlayStation2, and was completely hooked. She couldn't understand how people could combine both playing video games AND going to work. (No sweat, Huds. I do it all the time. It's just a matter of taking off time that is specifically reserved for gameplay. Say, 2 hours every other day.)
So, after completing the game twice and being both a Xenite and partly a B5 fan, did Hudson and Andreas pull it off? I would say... Yes, but only to a certain degree. I would say that they took on a very difficult task as this was both their first time doing VO for a game, and probably knowing that they were such celebrities that they would probably have to carry this whole game on their own. AND constantly being compared to Callisto and G'kar all the way. I say that Primal is not Dah Big One, but it's damn close.
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