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Crimson Sea 2
  opened by paleface at 03:40:58 07/15/04  
  last modified by paleface at 03:45:57 07/15/04  
  paleface [sys=PS2; cat=Shooter_3D; loc=NA]
You're a super heroic dude in the future who, with laser guns and swords, combined in sparkly combos, defeats horde after horde of stereotypically reptillian alien menaces in rather generic space-station-like environments.
At least that's how the first few missions go. The colors are drab, the combat sound effects muted, the music hypnotically dull, the enemies incessant and brainless. The less said of the plot, the better.
And yet it isn't what you could call a bad game. The action is okay, for the most part, if a little repetitive--and this is coming from someone who normally doesn't think of shooters or beat-em-ups as repetitive, but you start to wonder when you wander in to the upmteenth generic dark box room and SURPRISE! a horde of slobbering monsters spawns in around you.
Anyway, the action: you can sword it or shoot it, or combine the two in combos. Comboing against a large bunch is pretty easy, and once you get to 30 or so you get automatic bursts of slow-mo which supposedly help you kill things better, but which I found so distracting in their brief five seconds that they were more disorienting than helpful. Maybe I'll get used to it eventually. You get cash for completing stages ("missions") and can use this to buy healing items or upgrade your guns and swords.
There's some advanced action, like "Gravity Blade" manuevers initiated by pressing backwards while using the sword, or psionic powers unleashed once you've built up power by slaughtering monsters. Through the first two missions these have been completely unnecessary as you can just strafe left and right while holding fire on your rapid-shooting gun, and kill everything handily.
So it's kind of dull if you stop and think about it. Maybe it gets more eventful later. It's a step up from the Xbox original, at least, which had a horribly twitchy camera and no monsters larger than a large cat for the first set of levels. At least here you have big things to shoot pretty much right off the bat. And the framerate holds pretty steady.
I had great hopes for the advertised co-op play, but this seems to be limited to arena-type battles, and can only be considered some kind of joke.

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