Galerians: Ash (PlayStation 2) review
Scare factor: 6†
Fun factor: 7
Replay value: 4
This game carries at the end of the previous Galerians and has you begin the game by killing Dorothy. Then, the story picks up 6 years into the future and has you trying to destroy the last Galerians, who are trying to resurrect Dorothy and destroy all of human-kind, Ash being the ultimate last Galerian. They've also added some new features to the game. For example, instead of Rion's abilities only going up for a short while after using a skip, in this game they will be raised up a level permanently and all of Rion's abilities can be raised up to level 3. And if you didn't play the first one, it seems as though the creators assumed you hadn't (kind of sad, really), so there's an explanation of the storyline in the beginning of the game, after Rion is revived, and also inside of the instruction booklet. So, if you didn't finish the first one, or even play the beginning of it for that matter, then don't worry about getting caught up.
This game has really good sound, I'd just like to point that out. The music in the background is a mix of techno and ambience. I don't know what it is about it, but it gives the game a futuristic, metallic, feel. So, they did well achieving that. However, sometimes it tends to take away from any creepiness of the game. The voices in the game are also done pretty well, which adds to the story. That wasn't really a problem from the first one, and they didn't disappoint with the voice-acting in this second one either.
The graphics are also pretty good, they are a lot better than the first one, but since it's on the PS2 you can imagine already that they aren't the best graphics that you've ever seen. But grading them as PS2 graphics, they are pretty good. They gave Rion and Lilia nice new outfits with a touch of Japanese style on Rion's (which is pretty sexy). They also improved on the map (thank goodness), which was a major grudge I had against the first game. In this Galerians, it shows you on the map, where you are, and where other people or enemies are. The map is also color-coded, and well, just spiffy I think. But, again, like the first game, some of the areas can be a bit confusing and too similar to one another. Areas are a tad less confusing though, due to the new map, so don't worry about it too much.
The boss fights in this game tend to lean more towards very difficult and time consuming rather than fun and exciting, this adds frustration to the game. In fact, I'm on the second fight with a last Galerian and I still can't kill the darned thing. (I swear they made him invincible.) However, if you like that sort of thing, well then go crazy!
As I said before, this game lacks in gameplay. Rion can roll around on the ground, use a shield, and lock on to targets, but the camera angles stink, so you can't always tell exactly what's going on. While you're running or rolling around, when you change what your doing or change directions -or worse- get too close to a wall, the camera will zoom in towards Rion and do weird things, it can also makes Rion walk when it zooms in which is frustrating during boss fights. Rion's reaction time is a bit more on the slow side also; it takes him too long to get up and whatever. Also, Rion can't stop using a psychic ability in the middle of performing it, even if your enemy is smacking you around, which will have you using more of the recovery drugs than you'd fancy.
This game is no Resident Evil, but it is something different if you want a more detailed and in-depth storyline. I found it brand new for only $30, so it doesn't dip too much into your pocket if you're looking for something new. Also, if you really liked the first one, then you'll love the second one because of the improvements made. (the improvements help to cover up the faults of the game. Chances are though, if the first one passed you by, you've never even heard of this sequel. (They didn't do so well in the advertising department with this game.) Hopefully, Capcom will take over and do the next sequel in the series, that is, if they decide to make a third one. But I wouldn't pay a full $50 for it if I were you.
Community review by jill (July 31, 2003)
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