Just to make this clear, this is not a review. Reviewing this game, or at least trying to, was my own personal hell. While I only played like about two hours, it was enough for me to just flat out hate this game. Why? Because I couldn’t get past that two hour mark without shouting! The game is punishing if you don’t know what the hell you need to do, and half the time, you don’t. But allow me to explain.
One thing to note: Orphen is actually a series of novels about a sorcerer named Orphen who is traveling with his two companions, doing some stuff. I admit I never read the novels, nor the manga. Nor have I even seen the anime. But based on what I heard from my friends, it is very popular. Hell, they did a crossover novel with Orphen and Slayers (another magic user series)! Gotta admit, that struck my interest a lot.
Now you notice I didn’t do much research with the series. Well then it shouldn’t surprise you that I didn’t do much research with the game itself, and I should have. Because this game came from the dark ages of gaming…the old PS2 eras. And for those who don’t know, not a lot of good games could really be found, especially anime games, which could range from decent to god awful. Where does this one rank? GOD-F******-AWFUL! This is one game Japan SHOULD have kept. I bet this was an elaborate plan to try and get less anime games here in the USA!
So let’s start with voice acting. Suffice to say…I wouldn’t call it bad, just out of synch a bit. It felt a bit awkward to me, but I did like some voices. Hell, the voice actor of Axel from Kingdom Hearts and Reno from Final Fantasy 7 does the voice of Orphen, and is about the only one I really care for. The rest are passable and not that annoying. Sadly, this was the highlight of the game. But again, the voices were awkward for the most part, and I mainly blame the scenes for that, since they tend to be a bit slow, leaving responses to have gaps between them.
And now we get into the bad. While the anime clips are decent to look at, the game looks like a high end blocky as all hell PS1 game. But for me, graphics aren’t everything. So long as the game itself is fun, it doesn’t matter, right? Well I thought that…but the game was horrid. The combat system relies on Orphen standing still, and usually he’s the only one fighting save for some situations. He stands still as you press buttons, activating spells, sword abilities, barriers, and reflecting spells. In order to win, you have to reduce the health of all enemies to zero, and make sure to time your attacks right. And using the environment to your advantage is also helpful, as is working alongside your allies. Sadly, this is a bit clunk, no RPG elements, battles happen only when scripted, and you can only heal if there are healing spirits in the middle of battle.
But you want to know what’s funny about what I just said last? You gain healing items, all throughout the game. And can you use them in battle? Nope, you can only use them in the open world. And that’s where the game descends further into crap. Wanna know how to make a game worse? By having limited controls and movements, all with a tiny HP that if it runs out, you have to start over. And the camera feels like a tornado, as it will whip around a lot very quickly if you press the button too hard. And exploring the world wasn’t enjoyable, especially during puzzles where I couldn’t even see up or down, where the traps were. And once I was it hit, BAM, all my life is gone and I have to sit through everything all over again.
And that’s pretty much it. The game does offer different paths, and when you take them, you can fight the ultimate boss. But I checked the ending for this game, and it would have been an insult had I finished the game. Wanna know what it is? It turns out this adventure was all just a simulation…Yes, they stooped to the lowest common f****** denominator, and said it was all a dream. Well, we know where Family Guy got the idea for the episode where Stewie “kills” Louis. Granted this kinda plot has only happened about, oh I don’t know, a million times in the millennia mankind has lived!
Can you imagine if I did a full review of this? I can’t, not without losing my sanity. But since I’ll only get a penny for this game from gamestop, I may review this game in full in the future, but if I do, I’ll try to do a video once I get the equipment, just to show you the mental torture this game has created for me. But hey, I only endured two hours of this. It wasn’t like 33 hours spent on…well, you’ll see that game soon enough in the future. What is it? You’ll see…