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Primal for the PS2
This brilliant adventure game has Jen as an intelligent 21 year old woman who learns she has supernatural powers - and must use them to keep the world from ending.
The characters are extremely realistic, smart and savvy. This isn't a brainless bimbo having to 'learn about life'. Sure, she doesn't know about her supernatural powers at first, but she's quick on the uptake and takes care of herself. This is definitely a chick that girls can look up to and that guys will want to get to know.
Along comes Scree, a fun gargoyle that gives her a hand. The combination of Jen's abilities and Scree's special powers makes the puzzle solving and adventures even more fun, as you figure out which would be better in a situation. Yes, there's some fighting. But this is NOT a button-mashing game. The intro sequence definitely sets the pace. This is more like an interactive movie in which you actively affect the plot, rather than a run-around-gathering-coins brainless activity.
There are different worlds and different characters you meet, and the PS2's graphics have really been tested in this game. The heat waves that rise from torches, the steamy breath in the wintery world, the reflective lighting, the detail on the characters - it's all extremely impressive and helps immerse you in the game.
The sound is great too. Unlike other games that feel you need an action-packed thumping soundtrack while you explore a quiet environment, this game gives you the soft noises you'd expect - very realistic ones at that. It makes the times where something is jarring - like the snarl of a nearby monster - really affect you. The Heavy Metal thumping only jumps in during battles, where it doesn't seem intrusive.
The game definitely isn't for the wham-bam-thank-you-maam type of gamer. Puzzles won't be solved in 3 seconds by jumping up platforms. You have to really examine your environment and consider what might help you out. Which is good for most gamers, but will be frustrating for gamers raised on instant gratification.
Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the game is that it wasn't QAed thoroughly enough before release. The game had numerous problems with freezing up and stuttering speech, meaning that I had to save frequently to ensure lots of work was not lost. Perhaps it's understandable with a game this complex, but another month of testing and fixing would have been well worth it.
Jen - the Heroine
Scree - the Gargoyle
The World and Characters
Buy Primal from Amazon.com
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