All for one and one for all ...

User Rating: 8.5 | Forbidden Siren PS2
When "Siren" first came out I was wary of getting it due to lukewarm reviews and bad word of mouth, but in desperate need of a new game to sink my teeth into, and my love of Japanese folklore, I decided to plunk down my hard earned cash. Needless to say, I wasn't disappointed.
Immediately you are drawn into the horror that has befallen the village of Hanuda. It's inhabitants have been turned into "shibito" (literally translated - "corpse people") and are filled with nothing but hate and vengeance. Don't mistake them for mindless, slow moving zombies, shibito are intelligent and quick moving. They will come after you immediately once they spot you. To add to the horror ... they can not be killed again. Even if you take them down, they will be up and moving in a short period of time.
The game takes place during a 3 day period in the lives of several characters. You play the different characters at random times during the 3 days. What one character does at a certain time and place in the time line affects what another character can or can not do when they come to the same place later in the time line. For example, during one block of time the character Risa Onda must open the garbage chute door from the outside while in the Miyata Clinic courtyard before she completes her mission objective. If she doesn't, when the character Shiro Miyata later in the time line needs to drop an EEG machine down the same chute from inside the clinic, he won't be able to. He needs to do this in order to knock out a sniper shibito *that isn't there when Risa is there, so she is able to go into the courtyard without getting shot* after luring it there first by dropping a light bulb, and therefore she has to open the garbage chute door for him.
I thought it would be confusing playing the game as seemingly random events, but this turns out to be one of the best aspects of it. Instead of plodding through in a linear fashion, the shifting through the different events in the lives of the characters keeps you guessing throughout the game. What doesn't make sense to you at the moment will later on. It also makes for many twists and turns. In one case, your mission objective is to "Defeat Sniper". After going through a series of events and finally coming face to face with the sniper, you are truly shocked to find out who it is.
The characters are all interesting and each contribute something to the game. There is no one hero. Everyone does something in order to stop the spread of evil. Sometimes you are responsible for another character making it through the mission with you, and some characters make the ultimate sacrifice in order to do so. Things don't always end well for the characters and aren't wrapped up nice and neat at the end. This gives a human aspect to the characters that weaves itself through the game.

Zero Shot

A quick note:

I would like to thank the people for postiviely rating my review, I appreciate your support. For those who said the review wasn't helpful, I honestly don't know what to say as I felt I rated the game fairly and objectively. I also am a little confused that the next review got a much higher user rating, considering they took several sentences out of my review ... doesn't make much sense, but whatever .... Thanks, Zero Shot