alex9234’s Sunday Review
Welcome to yet another episode of Sunday Review, and there was almost no review from me today, because, well, I didn’t know what to review. I was at the second to last Red Wings game at Joe Louis Arena during “Farewell at the Joe” weekend, and during that game, the crowd was presented with nostalgic recaps on the JumboTron from when the Red Wings were on the top of the NHL world and won back-to-back Stanley Cups in the late 90s. As I was leaving Joe Louis Arena, I was thinking that maybe I should review a game that I have that came out from that era. I thought about it for a while, and then it hit me. I said to myself, why not review another PS1 Square game? And that’s what I’m doing. Today, I dive into a game that some fans are divided on, and that game is the sequel to Parasite Eve: Parasite Eve II, which came out on the PS1 in 1999 in Japan and 2000 in the West.
Parasite Eve II takes place in 2000, 3 years after the events of the first game, and once again follows the story of Aya Brea, who now lives in Los Angeles, and now works as an FBI agent that is part of their Mitochondrial Investigation and Supression Team (MIST). While doing some Target practice at the shooting range, Aya, and her new colleague Rupert Broderick, are immediately dispatched to the Akropolis Tower in downtown L.A., as NMC (Neo-Mitochondrial Creatures) has been discovered. Upon reaching the top floor where the activity has been reported, Aya discovers that an entire LAPD SWAT team had been completely wiped out, and that the floor is crawling with NMC activity. She also learns that these NMCs can take on human forms. Upon reaching the tower’s rooftop, she encounters a humanoid Artificial Neo-Mitochondrial Creature (ANMC) called Golem No. 9. After fighting off Golem No. 9, it destroys the tower by detonating explosives set in the tower, but Aya and Rupert manage to escape in a police helicopter.
Back at FBI MIST HQ, Aya’s boss, Eric Baldwin, sends her to Nevada to investigate strange activity that has occurred in the Mojave Desert. Aya arrives at the small town of Dryfield, which is really nothing more than a truck stop with a motel, garage, and diner that is located on a highway. And of course, Dryfield is roaming with NMC activity. She then encounters a survivor, Gary Douglas, who runs the garage and motel, as well as Gary’s dog Flint. Gary acts as Aya’s main supplier of weapons, ammo and items for most of the game. She then rescues a private investigator named Kyle Madigan, who is also investigating the NMC activity in Nevada, and reveals to Aya that he has been working on a case that involves investigating the “Shelter”, a nearby underground facility that supposedly holds the answers to the recent outbreak of NMCs…
Parasite Eve II’s gameplay is drastically different from the first game’s. It plays a LOT more like a Resident Evil game than the first game, as some people have called PE2 “Resident Evil: the RPG.” Yes, PE2 has Resident Evil-style tank controls, battles take place in real time, there are no random enemy encounters, enemies will wander around in plain sight like in Chrono Trigger, and this gives you the opportunity to avoid battles you don’t want to fight and plan out strategies. It also has the same survival horror elements that are found in Resident Evil, such as a limited inventory, item boxes to store items, limited health items, etc., however there are 9mm ammo boxes present for your handgun, which carry an unlimited supply of 9mm ammo. It is also based off the same Metroidvania template as Resident Evil, as all the areas you visit in Nevada are connected to one another, and there are save points in certain areas. There are also 3 different endings as well, as certain decisions you make throughout the game will determine which of the 3 endings you will get, so make sure you get yourself a guide for this game. You’ll need it.
Making a return in PE2 are Aya’s PE (Parasite Energy) powers, and they are divided into 4 areas: Fire (Offensive), Wind (Offensive), Water (Defensive), and Earth (Defensive). Aya can use PE to hear herself, or cast offensive spells to attack enemies.
New to PE2 is the ability to buy weapons, armor, ammo and items. The in game currency is not U.S. Dollars, but rather BP (Bounty Points), which are earned by killing enemies. In the beginning of the game, when your main hub is the MIST HQ in L.A., you can buy weapons from Aya’s coworker Jodie, who runs the weapon depot at MIST. When you get to Dryfield, Gary acts as Aya’s main supplier for the rest of the game, and he resides in his trailer behind the garage.
Aya Brea – Age: 27 – Aya returns once again as the main character. She is biracial – her father was an American and her mother immigrated to the U.S. from Japan. She studied Criminology at the University of Virginia and then joined the NYPD, eventually being promoted to the rank of Detective. After her time with the NYPD, she joined the FBI and is now part of their MIST division that counters NMC activity. She has been granted great power from her dead sister Maya, as her mitochondria was transplanted into Aya during a corneal transplant. Aya is portrayed as strong-willed, and very intelligent. She is meek in her nature and does not brag to other about being a hero or possessing superhuman powers and abilities. Aya has a mature personality, but she is also very cold and sarcastic.
Kyle Madigan – Age: 29 – Kyle is an L.A. based private investigator. Like Aya, he is also investigating the strange activity of NMCs in Nevada. He tells Aya about the “Shelter”, an abandoned facility that supposedly holds all the answers to the recent outbreak of NMC activities in Nevada and California, and he works with Aya to put an end to the NMCs causing mayhem.
Pierce Carradine – Age: 31 – Pierce is an IT expert and computer hacker who does all the technical work at MIST. He is in charge of MIST’s training area and always gives Aya new information during phone calls.
Gary Douglas – Age: 56 – Gary is the owner of a motel and garage in Dryfield. He is a Vietnam War veteran who lost one of his legs in a minefield. After the war, he started a scrapyard business in Dryfield, and lives a quiet and peaceful life with his dog, Flint. He is also a gun collector and Aya is shocked by the amount of weapons he owns. He’s also very intimidating and doesn’t trust most people that he comes across. For most of the game, he acts as Aya’s main supplier of ammo, weapons, armor and items.
Rupert Broderick – Age: 37 – Rupert is Aya’s new partner. He is one of the survivors from the New York Blockade Incident that happened during the first game, and his daughter was killed by an NMC during the Incident. After the incident, Rupert joined MIST to fight the NMCs. During the Akropolis Tower incident, he worked with Aya to counter the NMC activity that was roaming the building. Because of an injury he recieved from Golem No. 9, he was unable to join Aya on her mission in Nevada.
After being impressed by the first Parasite Eve, I decided to check out it’s sequel. I’ve heard that there are mixed opinions from old school Square fans on PE2 – some like it and some don’t. Though it’s not as good as the first game, it’s still a pretty decent game in it’s own right. The gameplay is still good, and it controls fine, though it takes some time to get used to, like Resident Evil. I also like how Aya can now buy weapons and items, as in the first game, you get new weapons from the chests that are found in dungeons. The graphics are a major improvement over the first game’s, and the FMVs look great as well. Though the story isn’t as great as the first game’s, there are still a lot of great plot twists. However, there are some flaws. The soundtrack pales in comparison to the first game’s, enemies can be very cheap at times, casting spells can take a long time, and the camera angles are terrible. Despite all that, it’s still a decent game. It can’t compare to the first game, but it is still a game that you should totally check out.
My score: 8/10