Review by DB4E
Reviewed: 06/30/03 | Updated: 06/30/03
<b><i>It may be a little rough around the edges, but this ones a keeper!!</i></b>
When I first saw this game for sale I was like ''hey this looks kinda cool'' and then when I found out that it was the prequel to EverGrace I was like ''how in the hell did that game get a prequel?''. Don't get me wrong, im actually a fan of EverGrace[and now its prequel], but I never thought in a million years that it would receive a prequel or a sequel[at least outside of Japan], it just didn't sell good enough. But to my surprise Agetec decided to take a chance and published Forever Kingdom[EverGrace 2 in Japan] in the US. Anyways, enough of this meaningless talk, on to the review!!
Graphics: I personally thought that the graphics were quite good, the textures are nice, bright, crisp, and colorful. The shadowing effects were some of the best I had seen in a console Action/RPG, witch make the outside environments seem alive and simply breathtaking. There is a bit of slowdown and some nasty aliasing issues, but most PS2 games have aliasing issues so that's no big surprise.
Score-9 out of 10
Sound: Forever Kingdom's composer should be given some type of award, I haven't heard game music this original since Xenogears, and it just fits. The voice acting is good...it was just edited bad, whoever put the voices into the game did a terrible job, sometimes a characters voice will either be cut because its the end of a cutscene or it just wont be there at all. But all in all I liked all the voices they seemed to fit the game just like the music. The sound effects were done very well, from bashing an enemy with your oversized ladle to slicing them up with your sword to bonking them on the head with an enormous ice hammer, every weapon has a different sound, witch is amazing considering the mass amount of different weapons there are in the game. The other sounds are great to from crunching grass with your feet to moving slowly through some mud. Even though the graphics are really good, in the sound department is were Forever Kingdom really shines.
Score-9 out of 10
Gameplay: The gameplay is very original, maybe too original for its own good. You run around in a three person party and you choose witch character you want to control, witch is great, that is, if your other characters ever attacked!! Normally the baddies will all be dead by the time your other party members even swing. Luckily you can control there Palmira Actions so there not a total waste. Palmira Actions are this RPGs ''special moves'' or ''magic''. Each party member equips one accessory[there are quite a few throughout the game, but you start with 3] witch enables them to perform these ''actions'', and pretty much all of them are amazing. You can also use these to ''juggle'' an opponent by somewhat careful timing[hard at first but becomes much easier as you get the hang of it], if you perform a juggle correctly the enemy will drop palmira pieces[they come in red, yellow, and blue, and are all worth a certain amount of points], witch is used to upgrade the armor/weapons that you buy/find throughout the game. One last thing about the gameplay, YOU DO NOT LEVEL UP IN THIS GAME[your accessories do but the characters do not], you gain HP by equipping the armor you find throughout the game and you and your other party members share all the HPs, due to some nasty magic curse that is cast upon you and your friends at the beginning of the game, so if one of them die you all die, witch can make the game quite challenging[and annoying].
Score-7 out of 10
Story: I don't want to say too much about the story due to spoilers, but here are a couple of things. This is the prequel to the Playstation 2 game EverGrace. The story is mostly told during ''camp'' cutscenes ala Grandia and Grandia II, there not too spectacular but they get the job done. You will most likely want to play Evergrace before or after you play this game because it contains some backstory[or should I say forward story;)]. I found the story to be quite interesting and when you put both games together some stuff makes allot more sense.
Score-8 out of 10
Replay Value: The game is only about 10-12 hours long but you'll probably want to play it more than once[that's the only way you can get a certain accessory]. The arena adds some extra play time. But other than that there's not much else.
Score-6 out of 10
Overall Score-8 out of 10
All in all I found Forever Kingdom to be a great game, and since you can pick it up for about $20 right now, its definitely worth a purchase. I highly recommend this game.
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