According to ESRB, this game contains: Animated Blood & Gore, Animated Violence

Parents will probably want to skip this game if they are buying for a child not old enough to buy his or her own games. There are a lot of monsters to kill, there are lots of guns (and ammo, oddly enough), hearty splashes of monster blood galore and there's even a shower scene with the game's female protagonist to top it off. Of course, after reading this, I'm sure that gamers who ARE old enough to buy their own games are currently en route to do so.

Gamers in general will find a solid, if predictable, survival horror adventure. The graphics are in the top tier of current PlayStation offerings, and there's some replay to be had with three different endings, along with extra game modes and items which open up after completion. The combat difficulty is as easy as you'll find in these types of games, with only a few of the puzzles being stumpers at times. Most people will come away satisfied, and overall the length (eight to 10 hours) is short enough to be compatible with most attention spans.

Square fans will probably want to stay way from Parasite Eve II. While Square is known for taking risks and trying new things in their games (except the Final Fantasy series) Parasite Eve II is pretty far afield from what most fans might be expecting from the biggest name in RPGs. It loses most of the concessions that the original Parasite Eve had in favor of more closely emulating the current king of the bone yard, Resident Evil. While it basically succeeds, the result will probably turn a lot of traditional Square followers away.

Parasite Eve fans may or may not be disappointed in Parasite Eve II, depending on what aspects of it they originally enjoyed. Its more a sequel in spirit than in actual gameplay and design since combat is no longer handled with the green targeting sphere, and tinkering with items and weapons has been trimmed down to almost nothing. The core elements of story and character do continue, and people who played the first game will definitely get more out of it, though its nothing as epic as Square usually attempts.

RPG fans would be buying the wrong title. Dont be fooled by the Square logo on the cover theres nothing here for people looking for a "cinematic RPG," and the control scheme will likely send RPG fans into fits of frustration. Be warned, this is purely an action game with a smattering of RPG.

Survival horror fans will be pleased with the game. It scores direct hits enough times to make you overlook the misses, and its a well-made, if unimaginative addition to the genre. It doesn't dethrone current kings Resident Evil—Code: Veronica or Silent Hill and doesn't break any new ground, but if you feel the need to put some lead into dripping monsters while running through deserted towns this will definitely tide you over.

Brad Gallaway
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