Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Oct 292018

Parasite Eve has always interested me, and after taking a vote on a horror game from my backlog to include in this year’s reviews, I finally played it.

Going into it, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew it was both a horror game and a JRPG, but how would those two elements come together?

Parasite Eve has the aesthetics of a survival horror game, particularly something like Resident Evil, with abandoned facilities to explore, mutated creatures to fight, and doors to unlock (although not nearly as many as in survival horror).

Yet it plays like a JRPG. Battles reward you with items and experience, and you level up to increase your stats. You even have a form of magic you can use, with new abilities learned as you level up.

As for the combat system itself, it’s a hybrid of action and turn-based systems. Enemies appear in set locations and you avoid attacks in real time, but when your ATB meter fills up, you choose your action like in a turn-based RPG. It’s a pretty cool system, and one of the best action/turn-based hybrids I’ve seen.

Upgrading your guns and armor is also a big part of the game. Equipment comes with special traits, and by using Tools, you can transfer traits and stat boosts from one piece of equipment to another.

Parasite Eve has a more story-driven focus like a JRPG, lots of dialogue, and even a hub area where you can talk to a few characters (although not to the same degree as in a typical RPG). The plot itself, however, is definitely horror. You play as Aya Brea, a cop who is attending an opera when the singer on stage suddenly makes everyone else spontaneously combust.

The culprit turns out to be Eve, a being that is essentially evolved mitochondria taking over the body of her host, and she plans to bring about a new race of superior beings.

In case that didn’t give it away, the science in Parasite Eve is absolutely insane. Its use of actual science is intriguing and helps with its survival horror vibe, but there’s definite JRPG-level insanity to this plot and its explanations.

I love it.

Now, so far I’ve only played through the main story. I understand that second playthrough includes a large bonus dungeon that unlocks the “true ending,” but that will be something for another time.

Parasite Eve combines two of my favorite genres, even though it had less survival horror elements than I expected, and I’m happy I played it. The sequel is definitely on my list of games to try.

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  8 Responses to “Celebrating All Things Spooky: Parasite Eve”

  1. I have the second one but I never finished it. You reminded me I should give it another go sometime. I wonder which is better though, the second or the first.

    • I’ve seen praise for both of the games (not so much for the third or spin-off or whatever it is), so I’m definitely going to play 2 sometime.

      • I didn’t know it was a spin off, that seems sort of weird. I remember being interested when I heard about it but never got it. Maybe one day.

        Happy belated halloween!

        • Yeah, I think the third game is considered a spin-off since it focuses more on action (I think) and is less directly connected to the other games’ stories.

          Thanks, Happy Halloween to you too!

  2. Sounds like taking Aya Brea over whomever Victor Sullivan is in GameFAQs was a good idea. (And without explanation.)
    And yeah, it’s definitely considered a JRPG there.

    Can you tell me more about Ms. Brea herself? How does she react to the scary insanity around her?

    • Yes, I’d say so.

      She reacts pretty calmly, considering how crazy things are. Horrified and upset by some of the things Eve does and how it relates to her personally, but completely prepared to accept her duty as the only person who really can fight her (since Aya is the only person Eve’s spontaneous combustion doesn’t work on). At the beginning of the game, when everyone else in the opera starts catching on fire, Aya’s reaction is to draw her gun and go after the apparent culprit, even though she doesn’t know yet how it’s happening or why she’s all right.

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