|a game by||Shade, Inc.|
|Editor Rating:||6.3/10, based on 3 reviews|
|User Rating:||6.0/10 - 1 vote|
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Orphen isn't really a big name here in the States, but the character should be familiar to followers of the anime upon which the game is based. One of the few RPGs to hit the PS2 at launch. Orphen tries out some innovative ideas, but has a bundle of flaws that deaden the gameplay significantly. The realtime battle system fixes the camera and limits members of your party to a stationary position, which allows you to fight close to a dozen enemies at once without hindering the game's graphical backbone. This system gives you a lot more control over your fate than a turn-based one, which is good. However, the on-screen chaos that results from fighting a large group of simultaneously attacking baddies makes it very difficult to tell who is being targeted in your small party. Second, the game is far too linear for an RPG. You're specifically guided through three quests (which feel like one longer one, since they all feature the same characters), and there is very little action in each. Battle locations are scripted, and though the game purports to feature enemy encounters in the story (walking around) mode, I only encountered a small handful of opponents in the "field," certainly not enough to mention. Since your health resets for each scripted battle and there's little to hurt you in the story mode, non-weapon items are near-useless. There may not be many launch RPGs, but don't commit to Orphen until you've tried it.
Orphen has some insanely beautiful boss battles. That said, they are also boring. Which kind of sums up the entire game. Orphen has areas that are just amazing-looking, but as a whole, it just reeks of mediocrity. The regular battles are chaotic, the puzzles are trite, and the action sequences, thanks to unresponsive control, are aggravating at times. Oh, and it has the most annoying voice acting I've ever heard. Sure, I'm not a hard-core anime fan (I do enjoy them though), but if I hear that little blond chick's soul-piercing voice again, I'm going to hurt something. If you enjov anime. you might get a kick out of Orphen. If not. it's a rental at best.
I'm all for U.S. publishers localizing as many Japanese games as they can. provided the games are actually good in the first place. Featuring a sluggish, imprecise battle-system, good graphics in some places, bad in others, and possibly the most annoying voice-acting (Orphen himself is a jerk) yet committed to silicon, Orphen is bordering on awful There are some redeeming features to the game, such as the impressive, epic boss battles, some interesting effects, and, urn, that's it. But as we all know. It takes more than eye-candy. When you could be playing Majora's Mask, Skies of Arcadia or FFIX, there's no reason to mess with this.
The rumors are true: Activision is officially bringing Kodokawa Shoten's Orphen to the PS2 in America. This dark platformer promises some great gameplay elements, including both on-the-fly enemy encounters and staged battles using all party members.
During these scripted battles, the player can target any one of several attacking monsters and unleash magical, elemental or physical attacks in real time. The result is a fast and furious combat system without the artificiality of Final Fantasy-type recharge periods. The game further boasts tons of phenomenal lighting effects and textures, over 100 enemies and bosses, several playable allies with unique abilities, and dozens of interspersed cutscenes to introduce new characters and plot twists. It's due out here this spring, but we'll be importing this one.
This 3D action-adventure game, currently in development by Kodokawa Shoten and due to be published by Activision this spring, is based on the anime series Sorcerous Stabber Orphen. The star is a 20-year-old sorcerer named Orphen who is trained in the black arts.
The basic gameplay sounds a lot like Castlevania; lots of platform jumping and real-time combat with both a sword (for dose-quarterly fighting) and magic (for long-range and multiple targets). At one point in the game, Orphen meets other playable characters and the story branches--each character has his/her own set of levels. The action in Orphen is displayed in a third-person camera view, and every so often it will change to show off a cutscene or action sequence. There is also a targeting system that can be used for magic, but details on it are currently sketchy. Orphen will also feature lots of Castlevania-esque platform jumping and 100 different enemies to fight (including some giant-sized bosses).