A Very Mitochrondria Christmas

Welcome to Jill’s Sandwiches. I’ll be your waitress, or waiter, whichever you prefer.

This little cafe will be for chitchatting about whatever: games, anime, yada yada. Generally games, I’d think, since it’s a huge part of my life and a gaming blog, but whatever. So without further ado, let’s begin on our first feature!

I recently purchased Parasite Eve; it’s consistently been rated one of the better PS1 games that ever came out for the system, and is one of the pre-Squenix era Squaresoft games. Personally, I don’t really see what people find so repulsive about Square Enix games versus the old Squaresoft games — seems more like nostalgia bias to me than anything else. Having not played a single PS1 game until perhaps a year or two before I got my PS3, I’m not influenced by any such nostalgia, leaving me free to view a game in a fairly unbiased light, I’d say.

That said: Parasite Eve is worth owning. The game is so over the top and ridiculous it’s not funny. The basic premise of the game is that you are female police officer Aya Brea of the 17th Precinct of New York City, and there’s a heap of confusing stuff going on with mitochondria. Yes, the little things inside cells that produce ATP. The game evidently had some research behind it, but if you actually know anything about real cell biology, even in general, you’ll notice some odd inconsistencies and staggeringly simplified information.

The game has a fixed camera setup with prerendered backgrounds, in the style of Resident Evil. Unfortunately, this means it’s extremely difficult sometimes to see where you’re going on the linear paths, but thankfully your control scheme is pretty normal compared to Resident Evil’s original tank controls. This leads me to the battle system, which is pretty neat.

Parasite Eve is basically a survival horror RPG light on the horror aspect. The RPG element is mostly just leveling and spells, along with some stat gain. Your weapons are all guns, with rifles being arguably the best (I ended the game with the G3A3). Your only two stats that you can really tweak are item capacity and Active Time (the amount of time it takes before you can move again). You have free movement during battles, but all action is related to the Active Time bar, which gradually fills until full, at which point you can use an item, spell, or attack.

So yeah, this game is over the top. Everything about it is. People spontaneously combust, you’re a cop with guns who owns people, there’s even a stereotypical black guy who has a tendency to punch people, an angry and evil German mad scientist, and a meek Japanese scientist who reminded me a lot of Otacon from the Metal Gear Solid games. And yet the plot is somehow so simple it’s brilliant, all because of the little details that fit together.

The game nonetheless has some terrible dialogue and absolutely abysmal difficulty at times. There’s a sidequest not indicated to be one at all that is very tough appearing about halfway through the game, and the final two bosses are leagues tougher than any other enemy in the game by far. The final boss is seriously one of the most ridiculous I’ve fought in some time, consisting basically of an endurance match…with no chance to save followed by a chase where the chaser can instantly kill you with one touch. Oh, and you have to find your way through an unexplored area. Kind of ridiculous considering the ease of the rest of the game, but them’s the breaks.

As per usual, the end of the game allows you to save and access EX Game, where you keep your last equipment (gun and armor) and restart. It might seem cheap to not keep levels too, but you don’t need them, not when you can easily power yourself up enough in 5-6 runs to oneshot nearly every enemy in the game.

Overall, is it worth it? Resounding yes. Just don’t spend ridiculous sums of money on it.


~ by Vaikyuko on May 23, 2009.

2 Responses to “A Very Mitochrondria Christmas”

  1. Nice review! Another one of those games i have to add to my “must- play-on-PSX”list…

  2. Ooh, nice review. I’ve only played Parasite Eve 2.

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