Review: Parasite Eve

The following is a review of Parasite Eve, for the Sony PlayStation (1).

Almost six years ago, back in 2005, I found and picked up a copy of Parasite Eve. I don’t recall the exact circumstances on why I picked it up, but I’m willing to bet that seeing ‘Squaresoft’ on the jewel case had more than a little to do with it.

With The 3rd Birthday’s U.S. launch fast approaching, I put the first Parasite Eve back on my list, having not played it since a short time after I bought it, and even then not having finished the game. Thanks to a YouTube user’s help, I started playing the game again, from the start, and finished it one very late night a few days later.

Parasite Eve is our first experience with New York copy Aya Brea, who over the course of 6 days battles against forces unleashed upon New York, before they expand to the entire world. Overall a pretty solid story, although bits of the quasi-science are laughable. An initial play will take from 9 to 13 hours, although seasoned hands can finish the game in around 7 hours. (I completed the game in around 11 hours and 45 minutes, doing everything that I could in my first play through.) Once the game has been completed an EX game is unlocked, which allows you to replay the game, keeping some amount of your character’s goods, and possibly unlock an additional ending. As noted above I actually finished the game late one night (early one morning), since I felt compelled to see the game to the end.

The game is an action RPG, involving leveling of your character and her weapons/equipment, with battle portions allowing you to move around while your action gauge fills. So, a sort of cross between Secret of Mana and Final Fantasy VII. Overall, I personally found it to be rather enjoyable, once I got into the hang of how the battles play out. The camera is stuck in place, much like the first Resident Evil games, but generally has little effect on battles. (You will have to watch for chests.)

Thankfully the game does not feature tank controls (which I can’t stand), and was part of that group of PlayStation games that allowed analog controls (but at the price of being able to use the d-pad). I played the game on my 80 gig PlayStation 3, and experienced no issues, outside of one of my controllers seemingly having the analog stick stuck ‘up’ at times. (Swapping out another controller resolved the issue.)

It’s obvious what generation the game is from because of the CG, and the normal graphics are flat, but despite that the game has held up extremely well. Of course, that may be because I found the battle system so enjoyable, and because the graphic quality fits with the darker atmosphere of the game.

The game does have a Mature rating, but what I assume gave it the rating is a character model later in the game that could be compared to Shiva’s model in the Final Fantasy series. There’s some talk about sexual themes as well, but nothing that a teenager doesn’t know about from school. (The EX game’s ending may feature content that pushed this game into the M rating.)

Overall, this is an amazing game, and I look forward to doing an EX game run very soon, and perhaps even moving on to Parasite Eve 2. 5 of 5 stars.