I just bought a Gamecube, this game has me interested...

#1 Posted by Sackmanjones (5215 posts) -

So I bought my gamecube pretty much just to play the two Resident Evil games I haven't played before, but I have always been a little interested in this game.  I really don't know a damn thing about it except that your head just randomly pops off sometimes ( this is where I got my interest) and that its survival(?) horror. I was just curious if this game still holds up or if its even really worth playing.  Thanks for the help!

#2 Posted by Sinkwater (525 posts) -

I haven't played it since it came out, but I remember really liking it. You have a meter that represents your sanity, and when it gets low, weird stuff starts happening - even fourth wall breaking stuff. I would give details, but it's better to be surprised by that stuff.

#3 Posted by WarlordPayne (710 posts) -

I haven't played it in a long time so I don't really know if it will hold up, and the actual gameplay was kinda bad even back then, but it was a pretty incredible experience at the time.  If you're at all into Lovecraftian horror I'd say it's definitely worth checking out.

#4 Posted by Sackmanjones (5215 posts) -
@Sinkwater: Cool, could you give me some insight on some mechanics? Basically, is it a survival horror game orrr what? How would you describe it?
#5 Posted by FateOfNever (1863 posts) -

It's certainly a unique experience. The graphics don't hold up particularly great, but, if you've been playing the old RE games, that shouldn't be much of a problem. I would probably still play it just for the experience. I won't tell you WHY it's a unique experience as that sort of ruins part of the charm of the game I think (though I'm sure someone else will come in and tell you all about it.) It's better if you experience it for yourself though I think.

#6 Posted by Hailinel (25787 posts) -

The game was worth playing back in the day, though it's been so long since I've played it that I'm not sure how well it holds up. The game encourages multiple playthroughs with the three Ancient alignments and has a pretty neat story, even if it blatantly cribs from Lovecraft at every opportunity (though it certainly doesn't hide this fact, given the number of homage references made to Lovecraft's work). The game can definitely get freaky when the sanity effects start piling on.

If there's one knock I have against the game, it's that the game makes it very easy on the player by the way it handles magic. In addition to being able to craft a "Restore Health" and "Restore Sanity" spell, you regenerate magic power by running. So if you're ever low on health or sanity and you have those spells, you can cast both spells in an empty room and then run in circles a bit to let your magic refill before moving on. When you don't have these spells, the game more tense and challenging, but the Restore Sanity spell doesn't really help the mood that the game is trying to invoke.

That being said, I'd say it's worth playing based on my memories of it.

#7 Posted by joshthebear (2704 posts) -

I haven't played this since it first came out but back then it was amazing. The insanity meter effects were great and completely messed with your head. Dont want to ruin them but the fourth wall breaking stuff was ridiculous.

#8 Edited by FateOfNever (1863 posts) -

@Sackmanjones said:

@Sinkwater: Cool, could you give me some insight on some mechanics? Basically, is it a survival horror game orrr what? How would you describe it?

Definitely survival horror. It's kind of a hard game (or can be at times) and having to worry about both sanity and health plays into the survival aspect. I don't know how often you'll actually get 'scared', but it does things to really build up a horror atmosphere even if you don't actually get that scared by it (some things might freak you out a little though, but I don't know about actually getting scared.) One thing I will say is that you do some jumping around time periods and you're sort of piecing a story together from modern times. It plays a fair amount with the supernatural and if you have an appreciation for H.P. Lovecraft, you should at least be able to appreciate the tone and story of the game.

#9 Posted by EchoEcho (845 posts) -

I actually replayed the game just a couple years ago, because my girlfriend had never seen it, and it held up decently. It's clunky in that old-school survival horror game way, but no more so than the Resident Evil or Silent Hill games, so if you were planning to play some RE on your Gamecube, then it's not going to stand out like a sore thumb by comparison.

Visually it's serviceable if not great, even for a Gamecube game, though that is at least partially due to it starting life as an N64 game before getting pushed to the Gamecube. However, it has some genuinely interesting (and creepy) stuff going on in the visual design department, and the atmosphere easily makes up for any shortcomings in the graphics, with some great stuff happening with the sanity effects in particular. The writing in the script is also very intelligent, with some genuinely good voice acting (Pious Augustus, I'm looking at you).

It isn't the scariest survival horror game out there, but it's one of the most intelligent, and -- for me, at least -- it still has the ability to unnerve when played alone in the dark.

Back in the day I played through the game on all three paths in order to get the special ending (and some other secrets), and I very rarely replay single-player games. The last couple of stages in the game can be a bit of a slog, but otherwise it was a great experience. It's considered one of my favorite games of all time for a very good reason.

#10 Posted by Apparatus_Unearth (3539 posts) -

I want to play it but every time I see it it's so expensive.

#11 Edited by HarlequinRiot (1092 posts) -

I played it earlier this year for the first time, actually. The gameplay is fine, but it's not amazing or anything (I remember the IGN review making the spell casting out to be some amazing mechanic, but it's really not). The controls could be better, but they aren't much of a hassle, especially since the game isn't hard once you get more spells. If the story/tone/concept interests you at all (very Lovecrafty), then you'll really enjoy it for that. I loved the mood and atmosphere of the game, personally.

EDIT: Why haven't more games been made like it? It's style isn't revolutionary or anything, but so few games seem to use it. It's a shame.

#12 Posted by BrockNRolla (1725 posts) -

Loved it back in the day. Couldn't tell you if it holds up though.

#13 Posted by Shivoa (689 posts) -

Y'know, game developers (and even their publishers) don't make a penny from used sales. Buying a rare game on ebay doesn't support the industry. It wouldn't be the most evil thing to look at emulation (or a soft-mod? no idea if that even exists for the GC or Wii's GC BC mode) and an illegal download. And now, the post I wrote before I realised this was a resurrected old thread...

Survival horror but with a control system not designed to primarily piss you off (no it isn't more realistic that a terrible tank control system makes me unable to move around rapidly, if you want to make a character hard to control then you put the block between the controller then the character, not between me and the controller - see lowering a player's run speed to slow them down vs requiring them to stick a nunchuck up their ass before the analogue stick works, the first is a design decision to immerse you in the reality of the world, the second is stupid), which wasn't a universal thing at the time.

And a story that is a romp through history in a lovecraft-y lite taste of the great evil that infects all of history. It's not Assassin's Creed but you do get riffs on real events and how they 'really' happened integrated into your story.

And a few good shocks and great gotchas for when your sanity starts to wear thin (look into the abyss and it rips your reality from you, even if you're not getting hit and losing actual health by the unspeakable things that are emerging to devour you). They really make the game and you should use under standard traditional horror conditions (lights off, alone, sound up) to get into the mood. I'm not sure how the visuals stand up today so maybe that would be reduced (man, an HD remake for the next gen consoles could be really good, or just another story in that universe - although I'm not sure if SK have it in them to bottle magic twice).

It's at the top of my GC favourites (and favourites of all time, thinking back to it) and a lot of people have a lot of love for the game so I'd definitely think about giving it a shot.

#14 Posted by DeF (5226 posts) -

@FateOfNever said:

@Sackmanjones said:

@Sinkwater: Cool, could you give me some insight on some mechanics? Basically, is it a survival horror game orrr what? How would you describe it?

Definitely survival horror.

I've played it but had I not, the word "survival" would give me a wrong impression of what the game is. As long as you don't go in thinking it's like Resident Evil, you're fine.

#15 Posted by fini_fly (789 posts) -

I wish they would remake this game. It has to be up there on my list of all time favourite games. Enjoy the game!

#16 Posted by fox01313 (5176 posts) -

Holds up pretty good when I played some of it on the Wii but when you get it, be sure to get a version with the huge manual as there's a lot to the game & would be much harder without that info nearby.

#17 Posted by Nightriff (6466 posts) -

@Sackmanjones: Did you ever end up getting the game and/or playing it? It being my favorite game ever made, I'm curious what others think of it.

#18 Posted by csl316 (11072 posts) -

It's not half bad. It doesn't control great, but the combat system can get pretty in depth with all the magic stuff. I like Lovecraft, so I liked the Lovecraftian influence. Cool story, too.

But I will say I started it twice and never finished it. Granted, it was years after coming out so I jumped in as more of a curiosity than something I intended to play all the way through.

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