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From its glamorous opera opening to its grimy representation of New York City, Parasite Eve is a game that oozes style. Heroine Aya Brea kicks it all off in a fetching black dress and by the time it’s all over, she’s battled apocalyptic mitochondria (?) and witnessed the Statue of Liberty being destroyed by a giant baby monster thing. Eve’s tale is so far “out there” we think it’s one of the most unique and downright bizarre games that still manages to make sense in the end. But, as you might imagine, all this former glitz and amazing storytelling is suffocated by 1998 technology.
Above: Lookin’ good, triangle lady
Obviously and unavoidably the visuals are dated as hell. At this point in the article that’s a given. But even worse is the ‘90s-era Square-style presentation, with clumsy dialog, glacially paced conversations and awkwardly animated, vaguely human characters. The story itself, along with the battle system and aforementioned cutscenes are all top shelf – they just need a serious makeover.
Above: No, really, the cutscenes are nucking futs
Rebuilding the original Parasite Eve seems like the best way to bring this ‘90s artifact back into the mainstream. It’s more reserved and plays better than the sequel, and the stealthy PSP-only third game is unlikely to rekindle a massive interest. Bring Aya back, clean her up and just watch what happens.
What was once one of Sega’s proudest, most imaginative franchises has since become an utterly lost and wholly forgotten casualty. After a strong start, impressive sequel and bafflingly awesome RPG (all for the doomed Saturn), it disappeared for years, only to see a brief return on the Xbox with Panzer Dragoon Orta. Despite industry-wide acclaim, no one bought it, or else we’d have an XBLA/PSN version of the still-remarkable original by now.
Above: Captivating world, but it’s not holding up well
Dragoon is one of the strongest candidates for a revisit because the core gameplay remains flawless – it’s a 360-degree rail shooter that plops you on the back of a missile-firing dragon. Enemies range from swarming ships to towering bosses that leap all around you, firing and striking from any angle. All this while projectiles cascade around the screen and a breathtaking musical score narrates the epic (and damn near poetic) action.
Above: Just plain beautiful
The controls, concept and gameplay are all exemplary. Problem is, Saturn was never a true 3D machine, and as such some of this franchise’s majesty is lost in a jaggy mess of conflicting geometry. Sega, we know you have a raging boner for re-releasing old games, so don’t let one Xbox misstep kill an otherwise inspired series.