Legacy of Kain 2: Soul Reaver
Review by Matt Paprocki
After a few months of off and on rumors, Legacy
of Kain 2 has been released on the Dreamcast. As a direct port of the PlayStation
hit, the game features the same gameplay that made the original an enjoyable adventure
title. The obvious sound and graphics upgrade make this one of the best DC adventure games
to date and a must play, even for those who spent hours on the PS One original.
The story revolves around Raziel.. Having been killed many years before the actual game begins (he evolved too quickly supposedly), he has been revived and is out seeking revenge for his death. This brutal tale is played out with fantastic voice acting, amongst the upper most echelon of video games. The deep and foreboding voices keep the somber tone of the game alive throughout.
Graphically, the game can't be touched. It's excellent texturing and rock solid frame rate showcase every ounce of the Dreamcast's raw graphical power. Lighting effects come from all angles and the water effects deserve special mention. The blood effects seem to be slightly overdone (in a good way), and they capture the gory world Kain inhabits.
The control remains virtually unchanged from the initial PlayStation release. Enemies still can't be killed outright as they must be stabbed, burned, tossed into water, or drug into the light. All of these gruesome deaths are easy to perform thanks to the intuitive button configuration. Locking onto enemies can be an occasional problem, but this happens only a few times throughout the games large world.
A major flaw tends to revolve around this massive world. Getting lost can be a common occurrence and losing hours of time looking for a single room with a switch leads to plenty of frustration. There are no loading times, but a few hints along the way would've helped....a lot. Also, the weak ending still remains from the PlayStation version. "To be continued" is not the proper way to end a game of this size and gamers have every right to expect more after spending 40+ hours of their lives with the game.
Setting aside the few minor quirks, the games non-stop memorable moments shine. The first boss battle alone is one of the most memorable in the years. Numerous other segments are also just as unforgettable making this game worth the price of admission. Even if you've played through the PlayStation version, it's worth one more play through simply to gawk at the upgraded graphics engine.
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