sqlrob: (link)
Title: Okami
Platform: PS2
Genre: Action/Adventure
Complete: Yes
Price Paid: $39.99
Would Pay: $39.99

Okami is one of those games that have been getting attention from the gaming press for quite a while. Some of those are bad (Daikatana), some of those don't exist (DNF), and some live up to the hype. Okami is definitely one of the latter. It's style is different from any other game out there, as is it's mythos. It is Japanese art and legend come to life. The entire game is done in the style of japanese paintings, and you have the power to draw on these paintings to influence your surroundings. The first few hours of play made me slightly queasy, paintings just aren't supposed to move.

Game play, summed up in one word, is Zelda. You control the sun god in wolf form, trying to defeat the demon that originally killed you. Experience is seldom gained by defeating monsters, but by restoring the environment to an uncursed state and feeding animals. Killing monsters gets you money, both in the form of yen, and if done correctly, demon fangs. A large portion of the game is exploring and backtracking to open up areas as you gain new powers. This game is a definite contender for "Game of the Year", and would probably get it if it didn't have to compete with Twilight Princess and FFXII. The plot pacing brings you up and knocks you down, as [livejournal.com profile] jenbooks can testify to. Final boss already? Whoops, nope. Here we go, *now* it's the final boss. Whoops, nope, repeat a few more times. Although when I finally did get to the real final boss, the battle was epic, taking me a good hour to finish.

The game is not perfect, and would've been better if they left a few things out. They took a little too much from Zelda, and there's a Navi clone. He's not as insistent as Navi, but he's a crude bastard. You meet him as he comes out of a tree sprite's dress, and he makes rude comments to the various women in the game, such as telling one that he "doesn't like seeing her and her two friends" cry, when there's no one beside her in the room. And even Amaterasu, the main character you play, isn't free from some of the crudeness. Some abilities you can buy are "Golden Rage" and "Brown Fury" - you play a canine, so the exact implementation of those abilities is left as an exercise to the reader. I really don't need all this juvenile humor in a game like Okami. It would've been better left out, such juvenile things do not belong here.
sqlrob: (link)
Title: Dragon Quest VII - Journey of the Cursed King
Platform: PS2
Genre: RPG
Complete: Yes (mainline quest, first ending)
Price Paid: $49.99 (new)
Would Pay: $59.99

First game that I've ever felt was really worth it at more than the prevailing price. The graphics are good, the music is high symphonic, played by the Tokyo Orchestra. The game world is huge, with lots of nooks and crannies to explore.

This is an old school RPG, little changed from early console games. You go around, bashing monsters to get better items and level up. There are some minor changes (an extremely useful "Heal All" menu option), but everything it is quite close to its pedigree as a console RPG. It's the classic "Teenager's town gets destroyed, goes after destroyer" cliche, but with enough twists to keep you engaged. The sideline quests that opened up after the first ending brought to a close some loose ends that were nagging (and telegraphed from a mile away), and then closes loose ends you never even thought of as loose ends. The removal of the curse ranks right up there with the revelation of the precursors in the Jak and Daxter series. (and yes, if you've played both games, this can be construed as a spoiler ;)

This isn't the perfect RPG, but it's damn good. I would've preferred a save anywhere system rather than save points, but you have to admit, they were creative with the implementation of the save points, with a save being a "confession of your deeds to the Goddess". It took me a while to get used to the monsters, many of which are bad puns (such as the rabbit with a horn - a bunicorn). More disappointing is that they frequently reused models, simply changing their coloration. The more advanced level of the bunicorn, looking the same, only darker, was the "spiked hare". There was a minor bug I ran into with my team, where if they killed a monster with a special move, the monster would happily be standing there with his animations for the rest of the battle. This was the only bug I noticed, and unlike certain other RPGs, it was only cosmetic.

If you've played and enjoyed any turn based RPGs, you owe it to yourself to get this game. I've been playing it for some 140 odd hours, so it is quite the timesink. [livejournal.com profile] jenbooks swore she hated turn based RPGs, she can't stand watching the battle going in an order when they should just be pounding the snot out of each other. She is some 60 hours in now.
sqlrob: (link)
Don't bother with Pelican wireless controllers. Two xbox, one PS2, one Gamecube have *all* ended up with the identical problem. There is quite frequently a "bounce back" where you go in a reverse or random direction after the stick or gamepad returns to center. We haven't seen the same problem with Logitech nor Nintendo wireless controllers.
sqlrob: (link)
Title: Lego Star Wars
Platform: PS2
Genre: Action/Adventure
Price Paid: $19.99
Would Pay: $19.99
Completed: Yes

This game doesn't really fall victim to the Star Wars curse, but it doesn't exactly break it either. I liked the demo, and when this hit the Greatest Hits collection, I just had to snag it. Lego and Star Wars, what's not to like?

Unfortunately, the implementation leaves a lot to be desired. There are no camera controls, you are stuck wherever the game decides to put it. This leads to many, many deaths as you try to make a jump with screwy perspective. There are a lot of characters to unlock (I didn't bother to unlock all of them), but they are largely identical across character classes. Some characters are just plain annoying, namely Yoda. He's nigh on uncontrollable, and once you finish with him in the story mode you never want to bother dragging him out for the freeplay mode. Others, like Gonk are completely and totally worthless, just there as something to unlock. All in all, it's simply a mediocre platformer with a movie license. It has some rail shooter and racing segments, but these only detract from the experience. The best parts are the puzzle elements that you use the Force to solve, and the unique environment destruction. It's amusing to watch ships and enemies blow up into Lego blocks. The AI of the other player character is horrendous. At times it was tempting to plug in another controller and take it over so it just wouldn't get in my way. It didn't have any problems with the two person puzzles, so at least that part of it was implemented properly.

The worst part of the game was the manual. It was extremely condescending, making the assumption that only children play games. I grew up on Star Wars and Legos, so why the assumption that this wouldn't necessarily appeal to adults in at least a nostalgic manner?
sqlrob: (Default)
Wow, just wow. I was debating whether or not to continue my straight run through of the PoP series and take a side break to something else (like FFX), but now I'm glad I didn't. They managed to take all my complaints against PoP:WW and resolve them. The feel of the first game is back, but with the option of the combat from the second one. I'm a couple of hours in, already invested in the story, and have had a few cheer out loud moments, one of which with the new chariot race.

This is a far cry from my first impressions of the second game. Without any serious missteps and reasonable length, this has a damn good shot at getting at $49.95 rating.
sqlrob: (Default)
Title: Prince of Persia: Warrior Within
Genre: Third Person Action Adventure
Platform: PS2
Price Paid: $16.98
Would Pay: $19.99
Complete: Yes

They tried to fix the shortcomings of Prince of Persia:Sands of Time, and unfortunately, for the most part, failed.

Some of the changes are intended to broaden the audience, and these destroyed if for me. The music was mostly alternative instead of Middle Eastern. It didn't work for Scorpion King, it doesn't work here. There are more battles, and a lot more boss and miniboss battles. The fighting system is more flexible than PoP:SoT, but it' still annoying, especially since they throw a boss battle in before you're really ready for it in the beginning.

They addressed the length of the original, but not in a good way. You crisscrossed the area, often in different times, but it still felt like an artificial extension, and it was boring. The routes were usually slightly different, but not different enough considering it was usually go to a time fountain, switch times, come back across where you just were. It got to be boring.

The designers tried to add tension to the game by having an indestructible demon chase after you now and again. You had to dodge him, and the environment. It's here that the camera most often got in the way. The angle choice was usually cinematic, rather than playable. Many deaths resulted from this. A nice touch though, the demon often yelled incomprehensible things at you. I caught these sessions in backwards time every once in a while, at which point they became perfectly understandable.

My biggest gripe about this game is that it is far less forgiving than the first one. Traps are touchier and many have to be evaded absolutely perfectly and it's easier to fall off of cliffs in the middle of battles. It brings the frustration level of the game far above that of the first one. I think the primary reason I persevered through it was that a review for The Two Thrones said you had to finish the first two to really understand the third.
sqlrob: (Default)
Title: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Platform: PS2
Genre: Third Person Action Adventure
Price Paid: $19.99 + one rental
Would Pay: $29.99
Complete: Yes

After finishing Shadowman 2, I needed to play a good action/adventure game. Prince of Persia 3 was on sale last week, so I picked up 2 and 3 so I could do a straight run through of the series (well, technically 4,5, and 6, not 1,2 and 3).

I rented this way back when it came out, and made it about 80% of the way through. I got stuck on one of the fights and just quit, with a day left on the rental. Up until then I was pleased with it, and picked it up when it finally dropped down to $19.99.

This game is definitely the heir to the original Prince of Persia. The feeling of agility is incredible, running up and across walls, over spike traps, rolling under a spinning blade and under the door just as it closes. There's close call after close call, with plenty of knuckle-biting moments.

The game isn't overly difficult, but due to all the apparent close calls, there's a real sense of accomplishment in getting through the traps. There's two things that drag the game down overall. The first is the combat. It gets incredibly frustrating to deal with the hordes of regenerating monsters, especially when you also have to protect Farah at the same time. I did better than the first time I played, but I think it was because I used more wall jumps this time through. The second issue is the length. This game is short, complete-able in about 10 hours, less if you're better at the combat. Tone down the combat and add a few levels to the tower, and this would have been the perfect game.

Preview: Prince of Persia 2
I'm about an hour in, and so far, I'm not pleased. More emphasis on combat, which is exactly what I didn't like about the first. Lots of possible combos, but it's also not as "safe" as the first game. I've already thrown myself off the edge of cliffs many, many times pulling off combos, and I don't recall that ever happening in the first game. As of right now, I'm not entirely sure I'll finish it.
sqlrob: (Default)
Title: Shadowman: 2econd Coming
Platform: PS2
Genre: Third Person Action/Adventure
Price Paid: $5.99 - 10% (used)
Would Pay: $4.00
Complete: Yes

This is an extremely mediocre game. Not quite bad enough to quit, unlike others I could mention, but almost. The graphics were dark and bland. Levels were either wide open or tight confined areas, even when they shouldn't have been tight. The user interface was poorly designed, taking many clicks to get to commonly accessed things, like the map.

The developers could apparently read minds, and not in a good way. When you get through a section of jumping puzzles, sighing with relief, "I'm glad that wasn't timed", making the next one timed is not a good thing. Some of the jumping puzzles were harder because of problems with games - poor collision detection, poor clipping, poor control response all piled on each other to complicate things, often in the worst way possible - narrow ledges made effectively narrower by limits on jump;many tries needed to climb a ladder in a timed puzzle, wasting time; collision detection readjusting your position, pushing you off a ledge; the sameness and openness making finding the area shown in the hint cut scene a chore. Some crash bugs near the end causing random crashes almost made me give it up. I knew I was close, so I persevered but the temptation was strong.

The feature I liked most about the game was actually slammed by the author of the FAQ I was using when lost. Dying means extremely little, you are simply placed at the checkpoint of your choice. There is no loss of any other progress, any dead monsters remain dead, switches remain flipped, and, most importantly, the bosses remain damaged. There was no way I could finish the final boss without this. If death was anything more than an inconvenience, I would've quit this game much, much closer to the beginning.
sqlrob: (Default)
Title: Katamari Damacy
Platform: PS2
Genre: ???????
Price Paid: $19.99 (+ borrowed)
Would pay: $29.99
Finshed: Yes

Katamari is one of those game successes that makes little sense. It's not like anything else out there, had little advertising, and the graphics are far from state of the art. It still sold like hotcakes, and for a very good reason - it's fun.

The game itself defies description and classification. You have to wonder how many kilograms of LSD[1] were used in the production of this game. The whole goal of the game is to roll a ball, the Katamari, around to collect of things and make it bigger. It sounds strange, and it is, but the environments are even stranger, with wacked out combinations that make no sense. A pigeon driving a shoe like a bumper car? A teddy bear flying around in a basket? A bear on a rocket bike? No matter how strange, it boils down to "Am I big enough to take this thing into my Katamari?"

The soundtrack is rather catchy too, a combination of Japanese versions of American songs like "It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing", and songs that sound like they're original, written for the game. The soundtrack is on [livejournal.com profile] jenbooks' list of CDs to get, it's that catchy.


[1] For those unaware, the dose of LSD is ~100-200 micrograms. If I'm not losing decimal places any where, that's 10,000,000 doses/kilogram
sqlrob: (Default)
Title: Jak 3
Platform: PS2
Genre: Platformer (with weapons)
Price Paid: $19.99
Would pay: $34.95

An excellent entry in the Jak and Daxter saga, although I wouldn't call it a fitting end. It obviously wasn't an end, since Jak X Combat Racing was recently released, but they also left some holes open. You find out who Jak's father really is, and what his birth name is. The precursors also make an appearance in the flesh, and are rather unexpected. Their exact form has been hinted at since the first game, although not quite the way you might expect.

The difficulty of Jak 2 has been toned down quite a bit, at least in most areas. There are a few missions that hearken back to the pure platforming days of Jak and Daxter. Wheeled vehicles are new in the mix, and just don't feel as fun as the rest of the game. I skipped most of the racing side missions, and based on my experiences here, will probably not get Jak X.

The extreme difficulty of Jak 2 was toned down, but not really enough. Act III's overall difficulty was too frustrating, with many gun placement and rail shooting missions close together. Other missions in other acts took many tries, but they were rarely as frustrating as these. The others felt like you were making progress, many of these felt like cheap shots. In the first form of the final boss for instance, the hits from the boss took less than an eighth of your health. However, at random times, with no indication why, the same type of hit would kill you no matter how much health you had.
sqlrob: (Default)
Title:Sly Cooper 2 - Band of Thieves
Genre: 3D Platformer
Platform: PS2
Price Paid: $19.99
Would Pay: $39.99

This is, in one sentence, Ocean's Eleven as imagined by Chuck Jones. Because it's a game about thievery, it's by and large a sneaker. As indicated by my rating, it's still a good game despite my bias against sneakers. Everything has the exaggerated feel of a cartoon, making sneaking fun rather than a chore. Getting caught is seldom an issue, dying doesn't set you back very far. Rather annoyingly though, how much you get set back varies from mission to mission. Some missions set you back to the beginning of the mission, where others would drop you at the end of the previously completed section. There is no way to tell which is going to happen until you die.

This is one of those games that shows the rating is irrelevant to how fun the game is. It is an E (with one minor slip-up). It looks like a cartoon (even more so and is more "classic cartoon" than Zelda), but certainly should not be tossed aside by the discerning adult gamer.
sqlrob: (Default)
Title: Castlevania: Lament of Innocence
Platform: PS2
Genre: 3D Platformer
Complete: Yes (with cheats)
Price Paid:$14.99 - 10% (used)
Would Pay: $17.99

This is the first of the 3D entries in the Castlevania series. I've only played a little of one of the GBA, so I can't really say if this does the series any justice. My first impression of this game is "Devil May Cry", the main character even looks like Dante.

The second impression is "damn, this is short". The percent complete counter went up awfully quickly. The manual implied that the counter was for each level, but it wasn't, it was for the entire game. The majority of the game was relatively easy, and it was a blast exploring the castle, whipping the shit out of monsters with various combos learned throughout the game.

Easy, until the final boss at least. The last level is the first place that difficulty really started ramping up when it should've started ramping up far earlier. The final bosses however, were beyond what I could do. It took me two tries to get by the "final" boss, I was hurting and out of potions, but I did it. Then I get slammed with a much, much more powerful boss with no chance to save or restock. Sorry, not fun anymore. A little digging for the cheat code for infinite health to toast these suckers and see the closing movies.
sqlrob: (Default)
Title: .hack //Infection - .hack Part I
Genre: RPG
Platform: PS2
Price Paid: $14.99 (Used) - 10%
Would Pay: $29.99
Complete: Yes

This is a single player, offline, massively multi-player online role playing game. Confused yet? Hope not, since this is the part that makes the most sense. It takes place after the events of the anime series .hack Sign, covering events the the MMIORPG "The World", news in the "real world" and e-mail discussions with some of the other players. I waited until I had watched the entire .hack Sign series before playing this. It doesn't help, but there is the bonus of recognizing some of the areas, as well as some of the characters if you watched the bonus disk from the last volume of .hack Sign.

This is basically a hack and slash RPG, which I started after being reminded of the fun of these by Golden Sun:Lost Age on the GBA. There's some strategy added by the various monsters having different elemental resistances and weaknesses, and your weapons and armor have the same issues. The pacing leaves a little to be desired, especially for those that play cautiously. One of the required missions was a level 20 dungeon, and I wanted my character up a few levels first before trying to tackle it. So off to the side dungeons I go, level grinding away. Then I go to the dungeon, only to find it blocked by the administrators, and then lower level story dungeons open up so I can get the items I need to unseal it.

Leveling was different than most other RPGs I've played. It's a constant 1000 experience points between levels. The amount you're granted by killing monsters changes, based on the difference between your level and the monster's level. You can gain levels pretty quickly by going to a dungeon a couple of levels higher than you, provided of course, that you survive.

Although I marked this as completed, I'm still actively playing it. There are still some missions to complete, to get better items and level up. Then on to Part 2!
sqlrob: (Default)
Title: God Of War
Genre: Action/Adventure
Platform: PS2
Complete: Yes
Price Paid: $49.99
Would Pay: $24.99

sigh The search for a game worth the standard initial release price continues.

Technically, there's little to fault in this game. The graphics are gorgeous, bordering on next-gen. There is almost no clipping, something practically unheard of in any of the other 3D games I've played over the years. The camera is automatic, not user controlled, something in other games I would roundly slam. It's implemented near perfectly here.

Then comes the game itself. For the most part, it's a blast. Wielding the blades of chaos through hordes of enemies, ripping off Gorgon's heads, all loads of fun. However, at times the game is very, very unbalanced - too many of too powerful monsters, horrendous traps some of which have to be tried over and over again to finally get right. These segments just sucked the fun out of it for me, dulling the rest of the game. If those segments weren't there, I would've been incredibly pleased with the game, ranking it up there with my favorites. Instead, I'm considering selling it back and that's something I have yet to do with any game I bought.
sqlrob: (Default)
Title: Beyond Good And Evil
Platform: PS2
Genre: Third Person Action Adventure
Complete: Yes
Price Paid: $4.99
Would Pay: $17.99

This game is the bastard child of Zelda and Jak II, with Zelda play mechanics and a Jak II storyline. This should not be seen as a negative, the game was a blast. And miracle of miracles, the main character is a normal female - no inappropriate clothes, normal proportions. I can't think of any other game I've played where this is the case, not off the top of my head anyway.

I had played the demo, and decided not to get this game. A large portion of the demo was a sneaker, one of the genres I don't like, and it had also crashed on me. The reason I finally picked it up is that I could snag it for $5 at a sale. It was definitely worth it. There is a large proportion of sneaking in the game, but it is well implemented. It is easier to do than in the demo, since by the time those areas are hit in the real game, the controls are second nature. Failing at the sneaking is not such a big deal, most of the time. You can usually run away and wait for the heat to die down, or much, much more commonly, die. Dying is not a big deal and usually only places you at most a few rooms back.

The story was interesting, having to photograph all the animals was fun, but some areas really did take away from the enjoyment of the game. A few of the sneaking areas were downright hard and required perfect timing and positioning and many, many retries. Ditto with the final phase of the final boss, where the phase would be reset every time you got hit. These areas almost made me toss in the towel a couple of times.

<rant> And Ubi, I know you published this game. There's no need for an unskippable video of your logo. Almost every (if not every) one of my other games lets you skip the logos. And why do I have to select the game's language every single time? Look at my freaking memory card. </rant>
sqlrob: (Default)
Title: Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2
Genre: Third Person Action Adventure
Platform: PS2
Completed: Yes
Price Paid: $9.99 - 10%, Used
Would pay: $14.99

Raziel's back to kick some more ass and suck some more souls. This game is much like the original, Tomb Raider with teeth and more violence. Unfortunately, this game did not capture the feel of the original. Where the original felt large and open, this was confined. You kept tramping back and forth in the same areas, sometimes in different time periods, but the only noticeable differences were the weather, enemy models, and some slightly different paths.

The story and the puzzles in the forges made up for the other portions. These were similar in idea to the temples of the first game, but there were no optional ones granting additional powers. The spells gained from the temple in the first game would have been welcome at times, but I understand why they weren't included. What surprised me about this game, and something that I really liked, is that there were no traditional boss battles. The difficulty ramped up, but at no point was there the massive/powerful boss monster. Every place I expected one was only a cutscene that advanced the story. The only creatures that could be considered "bosses" were trivial because of another story event.

I have two major complaints with this game. First, it's save points. I would've finished this sooner (real time, not game time) if they were better placed or if there was at least a "save and quit" option. There were quite a few times I wanted to play some, but knowing that the next save point was probably 45 minutes away or more kept me from even starting to play since I didn't always have the time for more than ten or fifteen minutes. Which brings me to the next problem - even without playing as much as I really wanted to, I finished this game quickly. The same area was repeatedly backtracked over, and not much of the map on the map screen was really used, less than half. I was not expecting something this short, especially with the epic story.
sqlrob: (Default)
Name: Ratchet And Clank: Up Your Arsenal
Platform: PS2
Genre: Platform
Price Paid: $39.99
Would Pay: $39.99
Complete: Yes
I started out the Ratchet And Clank series with the original purchased at a going out of business sale, and fell in love with the game. I purchased the second one full price, and wasn't disappointed. Insomniac is on a roll, with the third one of the series as good as all of the previous ones.

The ridiculous weaponery has continued, somehow managing to top even the last game. The best strategy remains overwhelming firepower. It's great tossing black holes at enemies and watching them get sucked in. The low point of the game though was the new hovercraft battles - I much preferred the space battles of Going Commando to these. The controls were awkward to get used to, and nothing like the ease of turning Ratchet into a flea on crack armed with nuclear weapons.

Although I marked it complete, I really am far from complete. As with Going Commando, you unlock Challenge Mode by finishing the story arc. You can further upgrade the weapons to spread more mayhem. I also hadn't completely collected all the Titanium bolts (36/40), nor all the trophies (about half). Also toss in multiplayer, which I haven't even tried yet, and probably won't since [livejournal.com profile] jenbooks thinks I'm a camping bastard.
sqlrob: (Default)
Title: Leisure Suit Larry - Magna Cum Laude
Platform: PS2
Genre: Adventure/Minigame
Price Paid: $5.99 (Rental)
Would Pay: $9.99
Complete: 2/3

To quote a lament from Larry Laffer in the game "Whatever happened to old fashioned point and click?". Gabriel Knight made the transition to 3D fairly well, but the same can not be said for poor old Larry and his nephew. There is not much to this game, there is a world you can wander around as in most adventure games, but there are little to no actual puzzles. Everything happens in minigames. The selection of minigames is rather small:
  • Press the right button at the right time
  • Press the right button to music (aka DDR lite with horizontal scrolling instead of vertical scrolling)
  • Steer the sperm to the right conversation choice
  • Tapper clone
  • Collect items and don't get caught
  • Deliver items in a time period
  • Quarters
  • Aim a squirt gun
  • Pong clone


  • That's the entire game. Play those games to get money, and play those games to advance. Later in the game it starts costing money to play, at which point I said forget it. Make a mistake and you have to go around collecting money to play again. It feels like something done to stretch the game out (I played about 10 hours and was 2/3 done. If I wasn't trying everything, it would probably have taken less time). Without having to bother with collection, I would guess there's maybe an hour left. With money collection, five or six.


    The only thing that kept me playing this was seeing what they were going to do next. I never thought I'd say this, but Al Lowe must have been a moderating influence on the original Leisure Suit Larrys. Those contained a lot of innuendo, but this was bordering on soft core porn. I don't know how this ended up with an M rating over an AO. There's lots of toplessness (strip line dancing anyone? How about strip trampolines?), a manically masturbating monkey, and a fountain to the "greek goddess" bukkakis (what she's the goddess of and what the fountain looks like is left as an exercise for the reader).
    sqlrob: (Default)
    Title:Ico
    Platform:PS2
    Genre: Third Person Action Adventure
    Paid: Borrowed
    Would Pay: $0

    *sigh* Two in a row uncompleted. Not doing so hot on these reviews.

    I really, really wanted to like this game. Gorgeous graphics, interesting puzzles, except for one thing, its exactly the type of game I like. Unfortunately, it's one big escort mission and my prejudice against those won out. It got too frustrating for me and it just wasn't worth finishing. If it's not fun, why play?

    Unlike Hellboy, this is an extremely well done game, I have nothing against it in that respect. Plain and simple, it's not my cup of tea. If you don't mind escort missions, by all means give it a try.
    sqlrob: (Default)
    Title: Everquest: Champions of Norrath
    Platform: PS2
    Genre: Third Person Hack & Slash Action RPG
    Price Paid: $19.99
    Would Pay: $19.99

    A nice hack and slash based on the Baldur's Gate:Dark Alliance engine, except based on EverQuest instead of Dungeons and Dragons. Not overly original, but at points this carried unoriginality to a level that made me groan at times. Come on, Shelox the giant spider? Or the Cloud Giant King that I saw in the cut scenes "Hey, that looks like Zeus" was my first thought. Then he tosses a lightning bolt at me.

    Unfortunately, some of the bugs that existed in BG:DA still seemed to crop up here. Bad timing on alert sounds (weight/mana), some camera flakiness, and any creatures you control could suddenly appear in front of you if you outpaced them. The voiceover between acts was also frequently cut off.

    I was originally planning to give this game a higher rating ($29.99 most likely), but the final act changed my mind. A good chunk of the level was a freaking escort mission. I hate escort missions. The beings you had to escort would frequently get in the way, making it impossible to get at the missile tossing enemies. Write off a lot of hitpoints and/or some of the beings you're supposed to protect. This part was throwing controller frustrating for me.