The original Playstation has had a fair share of amazing games and hidden gems since its North American launch in 1995. Crash Bandicoot and Tomb Raider, along with Spyro the Dragon and Metal Gear Solid really owe their success to Sony’s first console. Yet other games truly stood out on this system too. Parasite Eve is Square Enix’s horror RPG title and was one of the most unique and tense games that have ever been released.
Today, remakes and remasters of older titles have emerged with successes like Resident Evil 2 and Final Fantasy 7. Today, more and more games are starting to get a remake or remaster of their own, like Shadowman and Bloodrayne. There are so many Playstation titles that deserve a remake, but we feel Parasite Eve stands out.
Released in 1998, this game was a step toward a new direction. In the hopes to compete against Resident Evil and Silent Hill, this was Square’s answer to get into the horror franchise. Though a niche game type in its time, the horror franchises began to grow and become some of the hottest properties in gaming by the mid-to-late 2000s. This makes us feel Parasite Eve could become a major hit if it was remade for a new generation of gamers.
Started Off As A Book
The game itself serves as a sequel to the Parasite Eve novel, which in turn got its own movie adaptation in 1997. One of the biggest differences with this book is that it feels more like a romance novel than a typical horror novel. That’s not to say, however, that Parasite Eve isn’t full of surprises and scares.
The plot involves that Eve can influence others through her mitochondria and even rewrite the genetic codes into people. She causes a car accident with someone who she was in control of and had her cells transferred into the organs of another person. The scientist, Toshiaki, starts being influenced by Eve to create the ultimate life form.
This story isn’t necessary to know to play the game. It does, however, get mentioned briefly throughout a third of the game’s length. If you’re really curious though, you can find a kindle version of the novel pretty cheap. If you’re into a hard copy though, it’ll cost you a lot.
Big Trouble In The Big Apple
Taking place in New York City, the plot of the game follower Aya Brea, a rookie cop who was on her way to the opera with her date. Everything starts innocently enough, and ironically, takes place around Christmas Eve.
During the opening performance, a singer, Melissa (later known as Eve), starts off her solo by singing beautifully. Then before anyone could react, many of the audience spontaneously combusts. This forces Aya to draw her gun and bring in some justice. Adding to the complication, mutants start to appear from monstrous animals to Eve herself.
Later in the game, Aya gets flashbacks of herself and a young girl in a hospital room. To the gamer, this suggests she’s somehow connected to all of this. After escaping the mutated creatures and reporting back to her chief, Aya and her friends must find the monster Eve and find a way to get rid of these monsters that are terrorizing New York.
Unlike other horror-based games where the cause is some kind of virus or curse from a haunted book, the whole explanation is that Eve can control the mutations and combustions through mitochondria. Making this game more rooted in biology and human physiology.
Mitochondria is a part of the cell that converts oxygen into energy. The reasoning for this is that Eve can affect the mitochondria in the cells of most living beings. This includes not just spontaneous combustion, but also mutations and melting living beings into a slime. It’s something that shouldn’t work for a horror setting. Yet somehow it works well.
This inclusion might not seem much to anyone, but really it has a huge impact on horror. Having a being that can control what is pretty much in everyone’s body makes it that much more terrifying. Like no one is safe from this monster. Except for Aya, it seems.
How Does The Game Play?
Square Enix during its early years has usually stuck with turn-based RPGs like their Final Fantasy series. Anyone who has played those games won’t find much different here. You have to wait till your ATB (active time bar) fills up in order to perform an attack or action. Every time you win, gain experience points and items.
The player controls Aya and not only her attacks, items, and abilities, but also where she can move. Yeah, an RPG where you can move the character in real-time! This small addition allows the player to position themselves in a much more tactical way since the weapons have range limits. Also, this means you have the chance to dodge and avoid attacks coming from your enemies.
In between missions, you can visit the police station to stock up on ammo and tune-up guns. Throughout the game world, you’ll find a variety of weapons, armor, potions, and even tools to upgrade your weapons. You get to explore key locations in Manhattan like Soho and Central Park.
Although outside of gaining more items and experience, there’s no real purpose other than to progress the story.
Aya’s Character Development
Since Aya Brea is the only character you control, you basically have moments where you see flashes of her childhood happening. It turns out there is something special about her that not only makes her immune to Eve’s control but even makes her capable of facing her and her monsters.
Later, Aya finds out her mitochondria are similar to Eve’s, even allowing her to use special powers and transform. It all comes back to her after thinking back to when she and her twin sister were in the hospital as children. After learning of this, Aya is that much more determined to face off with Eve.
What makes Aya such a great protagonist is how even knowing all of this, she’s still doing her job as a cop. It was almost like she was a female version of John McClain from Die Hard. Someone who was put in a tense situation who would otherwise not be part of it.This is the main reason that why one should seek chiropractic care – Saving Money on your Overall Health Care Costs Thirty-one million Americans cheap tadalafil no prescription http://pamelaannschoolofdance.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Recital-Checklist.pdf have lower back pain at any given time. This factor still persists, despite the fact that most of these online pill purchasing viagra in canada sellers are scams? These companies affirm that the pill will give you guaranteed results. So now, that buy cialis pills person not only has your email address, but also has the email address of everyone you forwarded the message to. Exercise: It is vital to work out at least 12 viagra cialis cheap months, so any potential cash shortfalls can be addressed long before the situation becomes acute.
Musical Tension & Stylized Cinematics
The music in this game is very chilling and appropriate for the tone. It was composed by Yoko Shimomura, who has made music for games like Kingdom Hearts, Street Fighter 2, and Super Smash Bros. If you’ve ever played the game, you know Parasite Eve has a unique blend of opera hymns mixed with electronic music.
One could argue that this music is on par, if not better, with some of the soundtracks found in Resident Evil. The music adds a great amount of tension without being too cliche. This music makes the game feel like a horror-themed NCIS episode.
In addition, Parasite Eve also has a good amount of CGI cutscenes that were pretty cutting edge for the late 1990s. The animation for some of the scenes gives it a real cinematic feel. Even with the lack of voice acting in the game, this feels like Square Enix wanted to make this special from their Final Fantasy games.
Was This A Product Of Its Time?
There has been plenty that has been said about Parasite Eve. Yet even with all its bells and whistles, there are a few issues that need to be addressed.
First off, the game looks pretty decent for how old it is, but the gameplay is a bit unusual. Certain weapons take longer or faster to recharge to use in your action bar. What’s even stranger is that you can actually run out of ammo for your weapons. This is especially true if you decide to use automatic weapons like sub-machine guns.
The game isn’t very long either. On my first playthrough, it took this writer roughly 8 hours to complete. Parasite Eve was released in a 2 disc set, with most of that space filled with CG cutscenes. However, even Resident Evil 2 was a 2 disc game and had a ton of content. Everything just feels linear.
Another issue is that the RNG aspect of the game makes it hard to tell what enemies you’ll face and how much damage they do. This means you will die a lot unless you really perfect the dodging and rationing out the health packs.
There Are 2 endings?
Yes, that’s right, the first time you beat the game, you only unlock the normal ending. The true ending involves a second playthrough and while still on the first disc, you have to do what is essentially a boss rush in the Chrysler Building. Not the worst thing to have right? The catch is that the building is broken up into 77 floors.
The worst part about it is that encounters with enemies are random, as is the layout of the floor to the next stairs. You can eventually find keys that will help get you to the next floor up. Even still, it’s not very fun. The navigation is just awful because you can’t pull up a map to find your way.
It’s because of this that I really couldn’t get the true ending. Because we just didn’t have the right amount of ammo to go through it. While many gamers like the idea of multiple endings in a game, Parasite Eve definitely doesn’t do too strongly on that front.
Special, But Didn’t Cause Enough Waves
The sad part about Parasite Eve is that it was very unique and successful enough to earn 2 sequels. However, there just wasn’t enough interest to keep the series going as long as Final Fantasy. The main issue was that it was trying to get itself out in the horror scene to get a head start.
The worst part about this is that it was released between Resident Evil 2 and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Talk about bad timing. The problem may have not been the game itself, but the competition it had to deal with.
Combat wasn’t as intuitive as it was with Final Fantasy IX and lack of voice acting really didn’t make this as cinematic as Square Enix had hoped. While Final Fantasy 7 didn’t have voice acting either, the story and characters really drove it home.
Here, it feels like it should be a masterpiece, but something is just missing.
A Remake Could Revive This Series
With Square Enix already making a remastered version of Chrono Cross and working on a fourth Kingdom Hearts game, a remake of Parasite Eve would really spark some interest in this cult classic.
While it was teased that there might be a remake in the works, no one seemed to confirm if this is still happening. There would be a lot of great opportunities for the game. Updated visuals, opting it to be a third-person shooter, and full voice acting. The sky is the limit to what they could do.
Considering how well Square Enix was able to handle Final Fantasy 7’s remake, Parasite Eve could really use one. Plus, when you think about it, we’ll likely be able to get this well before Bloodlines 2 comes out.