Dynasty Warriors + 2000 years and guns = ...

User Rating: 7 | Beni no Umi 2 PS2
Crimson Sea 2 combines the spirit of a basic hack and slash game, with the addition of guns and some RPG elements to create a unique, but simple game that ends up feeling incomplete. Crimson Sea 2 is made by KOEI, maker of the famous Dynasty Warriors franshise. Like Dynasty Warriors, Crimson Sea 2 excels at being a pick up and play game. With a story and graphics that seem to be filler, the simple gameplay makes it a perfect pick up and play game.

Crimson Sea 2 is a story of two people, both playable, against an alien menace called, well, the Menace. The Menace range from puny armor ants to a lizard like creature to a beast with a huge mouth. Sho, the lead guy character, is part of the VIPA project, a widely ignored part of the game, leaving much of Sho's character to be questioned. Feanay is the lead girl character. Feanay becomes part of the game much later on, and her past is rarely talked about. Feanay has an "Anti-Vipa Wave" that will help her save the universe from the Menace, but keeps her shunned from the rest of society. Over the game, their relationship seems to go from rocky to love in just one mission. The vagueness of the story really leaves a lot of questions, drawing focus away from gameplay.

Like Dynasty Warriors, Crimson Sea 2 is a basic hack and slash game. The addition of guns, a "bullet time" system, the NeoPsionics attacks, and the Origin weapon level system add more depth. Both characters have a melee weapon and two guns. The guns end up getting overpowered, and the game degrades into a simple hold the trigger game that grows tiresome. As the player slaughters the numerous aliens on the screen, the NeoPsi meter fills up. When the meter is one-third full, the player can slow down time for five seconds and completely dominate the field. If the meter is full, the player can use NeoPsionics, a sort of super attack. During the game, certain enemies drop Origins after being defeated. The Origins help the player increase the range, strength, and speed of the weaponry.

One thing that CS2 excels at, is putting up to twenty enemies on the screen without much visual trouble. The enemies are so numerous that fighting flows from one enemy to the next. As the game progresses, the characters grow overpowered, making the game a snooze-fest. The Origins are dropped so quickly that the weapons can be maxed out before the final battle. The bullet time and NeoPsi abilities are rendered pointless by the sheer strength of the characters. The bosses become simple pylons that can be destroyed almost as easily as the grunt characters.

The missions vary from destory all enemies to save the villagers to time trials. The mission help add a little variety, but they do little to help keep interest. The game becomes more of a struggle than anything else as players trudge through mission after mission. There are around sixty missions, that take anywhere from three to ten minutes. The entire game takes around fourteen hours to complete and offers little replay value. The only reward for beating the game is a huge power up to weapons, when the weapons were too strong to begin with.

There is nothing impressive about the visuals, outside of the cutscenes. The environments seem poorly rendered, with some objects lying around for a futile attempt at creating atmosphere. The weapons look the best, with a smooth frame-rate throughout the shooting and slicing. There is little change in their simple look as they power up, but they look sharp nonetheless. The best thing about the visuals is the sheer number of aliens on the screen while being able to keep a smooth frame rate. The soundtrack does a nice job of mixing futuristic with adventure to create a nice soundtrack that fits the game well. The sound effects are few and far between, leaving the game with a feeling of being incomplete.

Crimson Sea 2 ends up feeling incomplete and shallow. The gameplay quickly degrades into a single button game as the characters grow overpowered, leaving much of the gameplay additions to waste. With a weak story, simple gameplay, and weak graphics, Crimson Sea 2 really feels hollow, not even warranting a rent. This is one game that should stay on the shelves.

My review can also be found at http://www.epinions.com/content_196995616388

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