Review of Orphen
Orphen is a young man with the power of sorcery in his blood. Disgusted with the society of sorcerers at the Tower of Fangs he has turned to a life free of their order and become a lender. He has two hanger-ons as he likes to think of them: Magnus and Cleo, who follow him on his journeys. Magnus is an apprentice of sorts and Cleo just goes along for the ride I guess.
The cast of this game can be annoying and refreshing at the same time. Most RPG story lines have goodie two-shoe type heroes or a cast that is too confident for their own good. This one is anything but typical. From a smart mouthed Cleo to the jerk-like attitude of Orphen himself, all the characters take on a unique air and do make you feel as though you are actually watching an Anime cartoon.
Most of the scenes in the game, play out using the real-time in game graphics and seem to flow seamlessly; my only gripe here is that none of the scenes are skipable, which would have been an improvement.
The control is different. You HAVE to use the left analog stick to maneuver because the D-pad is used strictly for calling up the menu and maps. It took some getting used to, but was hardly noticeable after awhile.
Overall I would say that about 90 percent or so of the battles are Static while the rest are the type where you can approach the enemy and do, as you will. The static battles, are done from a stationary position. What you do is assign weapons, projectile attacks, and magic, to different buttons and use them the best you can in battle. Strategy plays a role, but if you are doing bad and about to die, you can start over with different equipment and try again. This is definitely the way to go because as I said, the cut-scenes are not skipable and some are rather long.
There are of course items to be found and a few other things, but I rarely had to use them. You can only use items while walking around, not when in battle mode, and since most battles are in battle mode you will most likely end the game with a boatload of items left over.
Orphen has one of the best mapping systems that I have seen on a console game. When you pull up the map of the dungeon youre in you have full control and can even zoom through floors and walls. Unbelievable detail went into the maps, which are fully rotateable and will even show traps and switches, but not treasures. There is no world map, other than a 3D representation of Chaos Island, but this map has no use.
The games graphics are really pretty. Not the best, but the effects (very cool blurring) and detailed environments make it one of the better-looking early PS2 games.
The only real flaw was in the voice-overs. Some of them were way off. This is probably due to the translation and is a minor annoyance at best.
The sound in Orphen is average as far as the mood music goes. The real shining point is the voice-overs. Throughout the game all the scenes have voices, and they are done very well. Of course you may get a little sick of certain characters spouting off, but remember, thats the way it is meant to be.
Considering this is based on the Anime series, the characters seem to do a decent job at portraying the story through the voice acting... even if their lips dont move.
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'Orphen' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.
This review was written by Robert Gibson © Absolute PlayStation
Click here to view our 26 Orphen in-game screenshot slideshow
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