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Old 15-04-2005, 10:41:10   #1
Darkstar
will bitch for beer
 
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Rocket City
Y's The Ark of Napishtim

This is another PS2 console RPG. What can I say? I like console RPGs. This particular one is a RPG/Platform (you know, as in, jumping and special jump move between platforms) game.

This is a fairly short (a little over 15 hours) game. Which works out, because they made new CG scenes for the English version, but by using a cheat code, you can reactivate the original anime cut scenes in the game (with English or Japanese voices). So, it takes 2 play throughs if you are interested in seeing both sets of cut scenes. The CG versions are a good bit longer, and puts a slightly different spin on the game, but it probably isn't enough to matter to the average console RPG player.

Anyways, in the game, you are a world famous pirate/adventurer with a heart of gold (who has already saved the world at least 3 times... this is a sequel, after all) in a thinly disguised buckaneer earth. You end up getting knocked overboard in a battle, and end up washing up on a magical chain of islands. You, being the adventurer you are, set out to find fun, riches, and trying to get off the island chain and back to the real world. You end up having to save the world, once again. Of course, washing up, barely alive, on the island and being nursed back to health has left your strength and fighting ability withered. And your knowledge has also suffered greatly (hence, you are level 1 again). But don't worry, you get to beat down on the native animals, monsters, and bosses, all you like, and will once again achieve legendary buckaneer status while adventuring and saving the world (again).

So much for the setting. It's a fun game. The adventure side is fairly well down. It's single path adventure with only a very few minor side quests, but the level of detail of the game setting is a bit thicker then most short play time RPGs. Much more of a living world detailing then many games with twice the play time and quests.

Graphically, the on screen/dialog character illustrations are done in fairly typical anime style (which is what interested me about the game in the first place, something different). The in-game graphics themselves are old school, in small "chibi-like" style. It would look the same back on a PS1 or Sega or early IBM. Classic console.

Combat wise, it uses a simple on main map combat. This is good, as it means no transitioning to any sort of battle/tactical zone, with its obligatory blank or "loading" screen for a second or two before and after a fight. And you will do a lot of fighting. Fighting itself is nothing but simple hit the attack button, character whaps whatever is nearby with his sword of the moment. You start with a sword, trade up to a magic sword quickly, and enventually end up with 3 magic swords. After a bit of simple sword improving, you get to invoke the magic sword's attack power. Very useful, and sometimes required, when fighting the various bosses.

My only complaint with this game, is that it has a special move, and a special move-jump combo (which lets the character jump slightly more then normal running jumps). And of course, a few of the dungeon maps require you to perform the move-jump combo to get through the map. These are always irritating in a game, especially when it's only useful for such "jump puzzles" in the game. This is the only serious negative game play experience with this game. Hopefully, future sequels will move away from such things.

If a platform jumping game does not bother you, and you like classic console adventure (RPG) games, then this game should be on your "check it out" list. If platform jumping drives you absolutely nuts, do yourself a favor and stay away from this game.
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Last edited by Darkstar; 15-04-2005 at 10:52:41.
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