Review by Anthony6969
Reviewed: 04/18/01 | Updated: 04/18/01
Nozgoth is (in a way) better than ever!
The second game in the series, Soul Reaver is the definitive game. Sure Legacy of Kain was cruel by killing your enemies and sucking their blood, now its time to get down and dirty with their souls. Just remember that the souls are the basis of growing more powerful and of this entire story.
If you didn’t play the first game (Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain), here is the story. A prince left a bar one-day and was killed by a group of assassins. A necromancer offered him this: become a vampire and destroy your enemies. Who wouldn’t take the deal? But after learning that it went much deeper than the pawns, he ended up restoring the nine pillars of Nosgoth to restore the land.
But hey, why stop there? He had the power, the energy, and the mastery of his form, so why not use it? He killed the protector (Ariel), destroyed all of the pillars, only leaving one standing: Balance. Unfortunately, he tipped balance in his favor.
Oops, why don’t we get to THIS game’s story? A millenium after Kain’s beginning rule, he had sons to back him up, and to always be under him. Think Sopranos: Kain is Tony Soprano and all his “brothers” are made men in the family. Well this time, the story takes place along the lines of the first born son, Raziel. Raziel salutes his master, and accidentally evolves his form, growing wings, before his master. Kain, being the ugly and jealous dude that he is, decides that he is a traitor because he is “better” than Kain because of the wings. So they cast him into the Abyss. You’re dead pal.
How could the story begin with your demise? You’ll find out when you play that an Ancient Elder wants Kain’s empire shattered, and believes you might have the power to do so. So he makes you the technical “Angel of Darkness”. The Soul Reaver. And you have the job you want: Go back and kick Kain’s ass.
These are the graphics that set the standard for Playstation. Environments look incredibly real and lifelike, characters move around fine, and everything looks absolutely gorgeous. There even isn’t any loading during the game (except when you’re LOADING a game up.)! The only problem is sometimes the game slows down drastically, you can get lost wondering around too much, and the graphics kind of slant and twist when you move too close to any wall. And it also looks like they ripped off the Dreamcast logo and made it green to show your life. Does Sega know about this?
The music really does repeat, and doesn’t sound that good in the first place. But the sound effects are very good, such as the flesh tear sound (boy is THAT gruesome!) and the monster who is crying in Agony. Those sound superb, although some of the sounds sound just plain terrible.
Has a learning curve, definitely. Also uses every button on your little teeny controller, so remember to read the instruction book. It teaches you inside the game, which is a plus. The game’s controls are so simple later, that it is extremely easy to maneuver your way around Nosgoth.
Problem Factor: 4
Mostly, the problem is the puzzles and Warp Gates. There are way too many puzzles. Everyplace you go, I bet there is at least 1 puzzle, or a confusing level. Warp Gates are so far away from each other, and it takes a year of walking and you have to walk all the way there! The second hugest problem is warping from spectral planes to go to the material plane or vice versa. Hopefully, you’ll realize that warping is the best way to get around, just very time consuming. Note to self: If I get to one more block puzzle, crack CD.
Yeah, this game is a little bit linear, but after you’ve attained every ability and glyph, your gonna have do nothing except look for Kain. That’s the only low point in the game, there are no real huge extras to look for and obtain. So pretty much this game is linear in just killing vampires and Kain.
Annoyance Factor: 6
Yeah, as I said before, your gonna have hell walking around. I hate walking all across the worlds just to get to one point. Also, some enemies are too powerful and ambush you in groups. The usual the way to kill them (and sometimes only way, these guys damage you too much!) is to use a powerful Glyph. Also, can I ask why there is no REAL form of dying in this game? First it’s warping back to the spectral plane (if you’re in material plane), and then warp to elder’s area. So? It’s not really a huge problem. But still, then you have to walk all the way back AGAIN! This makes me very mad sometimes. Very mad indeed. Also, when you have no weapon and you have the Soul Reaver, one hit and you lose your only weapon. YES! Now I have to find some kind of weapon, kill this guy, and take his soul. No weapons? No Reaver. Tough luck, run.
Only the Glyphs and showing your friends are the real depth. The other depth is walking around and clearing up everyone. Since you’re the executioner of the game, choose who to go.
Story line: 10
Yeah, it’s dark. Yeah, it’s evil. But who cares man? Being bad never felt so good! I love seeing Kain again, but as an enemy. Lets use evil to destroy evil. Everyone knows from the last game what a jealous boy Kain is, so why not show a little revenge! Also, the concept is good. How about revenge? What's the only REAL way to destroy a vampire? Its devouring its soul, and this game does it fine. Just wait until you see what the finale is…
Takes the very much used idea of Platform and combines it with Action, Adventure, and a tiny bit of RPG. That’s a pretty powerful combination if it succeeds, a very bad and reputation dropping consequence when it does. Lucky, it pays off very well. You’ll have so many ways to destroy your enemy and things to do its not funny! Many powerups were never thought of yet by anyone! But on the other hand, who is going to use Sunlight to kill someone in other games?
Fun Factor: 9
Minor/Major problems aside, Soul Reaver is a purely great game. Even if the story line isn’t for everyone, it’s a great game for beginners (they’ll be frustrated man!), and experts. You’ll be hooked man!
Overall ( Not an average): 8
Soul Reaver is a most have game for Playstation. If you don’t have it, buy it, it’s a great game to add to your collection. If you didn’t like the first one, it’s still a good investment.
Just remember to always be a Soul Man. That pun was not needed, but I needed to add one in this review. - Anthony
Problem Factor: 4
Annoyance Factor: 6
Story line: 10
Fun Factor: 9
Rating: 4.0 - Great
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