Mad Science Forums

It's still here!
 
HomePortalGalleryFAQSearchRegisterLog in

Share | 
 

 Birkin Reviews: Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
W. Birkin
Veteran
avatar

Gender : Male
Number of posts : 488
Age : 31

PostSubject: Birkin Reviews: Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem   Wed Nov 24, 2010 3:22 am

I know a lot of you guys don't own a gamecube, or ever have, or probably even care about Nintendo. So I don't expect a lot of peeps to care much about this lil review I'm throwing together, but I wanna talk about a game that has all but consumed me for the past couple of weeks. That game being Silicon Knight's Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem.

Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem (Hence forth ED) is a third-person, action adventure and survival horror game produced and directed by Denis Dyack (Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, Too Human). The game was originally intended to be released to the Nintendo 64 but was pushed to release on Nintendo's upcoming Nintendo Gamecube. This explains the games in-game graphics, but more on that later. While ED wasn't a commercial success it has gained a praise by both players and critics for both its story and its character development, and over the years has gained quite the cult following.

Before we begin I'm going to tell you a little about how I'm going to rate this game. I'll judge the games based on the games pro's and con's in the following categories: Game play, graphics, sound, and note other points of interest on a scale of 1-5: 1 not worth owning, 2 being rental only, 3 being standard, 4 being above average, worth buying, 5 being must have.

Overview
"Deep into that darkness peering. Long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting.~ Edgar allen Poe", this is what greets the player as we begin our journey into Eternal Darkness, and it really does set up the theme of the approaching game.

Our plot is thus: Alexandra Roivas is awaken late one night to learn that her grandfather has been involved in a horrible accident, and after making her way to his estate in Rhode Island, she discovers that her grandfather has been murdered. The police have no clue as to what has happened, and Alex resolves herself to remain in the mansion until she finds out who killed her grandfather. She comes to realize that what she has gotten into is far larger than anything she could ever imagine, that her, her grandfather, and a select handful of individuals throughout time have been struggling to stop the resurrection of evil creatures known as The Ancient Ones, and that she is now the only one left who stands before Eternal Darkness.

As one can imagine the story's plot barrows heavily from classic horror writers such as H.P Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe, and even mentions them in a pile of books in the mansion's library, and while the story isn't all that original, it still works rather and serves the game itself nicely.

Game Play
When you get around to playing ED youíll notice that it shares a lot of similarities with the early Resident Evil games. From the controls and third-person shooter style of combat, to the puzzles and riddles that are scattered throughout the game. What sets ED apart is the sanity gauge and the magic spells.

Three gauges make up the players physical characteristics: Health (red), Magic (blue) and Sanity (green).
While the first two are self-explanatory, the sanity gauge is the most interesting. As progress through the game and encounter enemies, youíll lose a portion of your sanity gauge, and as it gets lower youíll begin to experience all sorts of psychological phenomena, or sanity effects. These include various disembodied sounds such as whispering, women screaming, phantom footsteps and babies crying, to visual effects such as blood dripping from the ceiling and walls, statues watching your movement, or your character spontaneously having their limbs hacked off! Though the effects do no harm, if your sanity gauge empties completely you will begin to lose health.

Combat is fairly straight forward. Each character starts out with a number of weapons at their disposal, or theyíll scavenge them on site. Anywhere from melee weapons such as the Gladius, or the Mace to ranged weapons like the crossbow, or shotgun. All of which can be enhanced with various magick spells. Magick

The magick in ED is basically a glorified rock, paper. Each Ancient One has itís own alignment which it bestows upon its minions, and each alignment is weak to another alignment. Itís glorified because in order to cast a magick spell, you need 3 things: 1. A circle of power, a medallion with 3, 5, or 7 points. The more points a circle has, the more powerful the resulting spell will be. 2 Runes, there are 12 to 15 runes, each with various effects (including 3 alignment runes), and lastly the Codex for each individual rune. The codex are needed to decipher the meaning of each rune, and while they arenít needed to create or use spells, they are helpful in the long run.

After youíve gotten the Tome you can cast any spell that youíve acquired throughout your game, such spells as the enhancement spell, can enchant your weapons to make them more powerful against alignment specific enemies. The recovery spell allows you to replenish your health, magick and sanity gauge any time you need a quick pick me up. While other spells allow you to create force fields, shields, and even allow you to summon monsters to do your bidding.

Graphics
While the graphics in ED werenít that bad, they werenít that good, either. Not even by second-generation
standards. Granted that the game was originally intended to be released for the Nintendo 64, you canít really use that as an excuse given that games such as Resident Evil 0 (also ported from the N64 to the Gamecube) were visually on level with games created specifically for he Gamecube.

There are a lot of parts in the game where you can barely see anything, if at all. For the most part, such areas youíre given torches, but this in itself means youíre not allowed to use a weapon, either. The torch can be used to kill some of the weakest enemies, but at best it can only momentarily distract them, and while this is a neat little sentiment, it can be come a hassle in specific areas of the game.

Perhaps the best graphics in the game belong to the creatures themselves. From the various shambling ghouls, the sinister little bonethiefs, to the lesser and greater guardians. Though most of them share a common basic structure, their visual design changes depending on what Ancient One youíre fighting against.

Sound
Some well known voice actors were brought in to lend their talent to ED, and itís benefited greatly from them, too. Actors such as Cameron (Cam) Clarke (Akira-Shotaro Kaneda, TMNT 89: Leonardo.), Rino Romano (Re4-Luis Sera, The Batman-Bruce Wayne.), and Jennifer Hale (MGS-Naomi Hunter, Extensive work in cartoons. O-o Lots.). Its easy to get sucked into the game when you have good talent behind the characters.

The sound track and the sound effects themselves were mediocre. After having played through the game 3 times within the same month (one time for each alignment) I can honestly say its hard for me to recall a single thing about the sound track itself. I can name off a number of sound effects, but not the music itself. So, take that as you will.

Pros & Cons
Alright, time to wrap this baby up. Here are Eternal Darknessís pros and cons.

Pros
- Sanity Effects: Easily the best part about this game is the crazy shit you begin to see as your sanity gauge drops. They make for some of the most interesting moments in gaming. One scare in the game even made it onto ScrewAttackís top 10 OMGWTF moments in gaming history.
- Great Story: Despite the aggravation the game may present you, you just canít help yourself as you play, wanting to unravel the secrets behind ED is what spurs you to bowl over any obstacle put in your way. Trust me, each and every ending is worth the effort.
- Voice Talent: What can I say that hasnít been said about this? The voice work for this game is excellent and you canít help but fall in love with these characters. Especially Maximillian Roivasís autopsy reports on some of the monsters!
- Zombies!: Every game can be improved by adding zombies, and ED serves up 4 delicious flavors of zombies, too. Careful though, 2 are flammable, one explodes and the other can re-grow its limbs. Yikes!

Cons
- You cannot skip cut-scenes!: Ok this is only half true. After youíve beaten the game you can by pass most cut-scenes youíve already seen before. I know that this is a minor complaint, but for a first time player, itís incredibly frustrating to have to sit through the same cut-scenes over and over again, especially given that they can be anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes each.
- ItĎs A Trap!: One of the most frustrating part of the game is the Angkor Thom Temple Stage. This Temple Of Doom will have you begging for mercy as you make your way through the lower levels, which are riddled with traps. Most of them are avoidable, but there are some youíre forced to trip, and serve no purpose other than to slow your progress and pad out the game. Not cool.
- No Stamina!: Much worse than the traps above is the Stamina system theyíve got set up. After youíve run for a certain amount of time (usually a 10 to 15 seconds) your character begins to slow down and become winded, forcing you to stay still for just as long to recover your stamina. Of all the unbelievable things in this game, why did they feel the need to include this nugget of realism?
- Bad Camera Angles: Just like the old re games, ED suffers from piss poor camera angles, too. Though its hard to tell if its intentional or not, considering the camera shifts and changes depending on your sanity.

Rating: 4 / 5
I first started playing Eternal darkness a week before Halloween and it definitely fit the mood perfectly. The gameís atmosphere, the excellent story, captivating characters and the quirky sanity effects just caught me by surprise. And though I thoroughly enjoyed the game myself, I can see why it was considered a commercial flop. Visually it didnít look as good as some games that had come out at the time, or games that would come out later. While the game had some unique and interesting features, people obviously felt that it didnít have enough to hold it in higher regard. But if you can look past its flaws, youíll find that ED is a very enjoyable game and its worth playing. I give it 4 out of 5.

_________________


Obedience breeds discipline. Discipline breeds unity. Unity breeds power.
Power is life.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Birdman
Failed Experiment
Failed Experiment
avatar

Gender : Male
Number of posts : 2
Age : 31

Character Sheet
Name:
Weapons: None
Items: Nothing

PostSubject: Re: Birkin Reviews: Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem   Wed Nov 24, 2010 3:39 am

Too drunk to be very... sane. But...

I have a lot of respect for the Gamecube. It was my primary console for two years between the N64 and PS2. As such, I know it to be extremely underrated. Truly, it has some of the best games of all time. Any RPG fans that has never beaten Tales of Symphonia needs to kill themselves.

Anyway, your review has intrigued me. I always wondered about this game, but never gave it a try. I will have to change this.

_________________
Cheesy
Back to top Go down
View user profile
W. Birkin
Veteran
avatar

Gender : Male
Number of posts : 488
Age : 31

PostSubject: Re: Birkin Reviews: Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem   Wed Nov 24, 2010 3:48 am

I'm glad that my review could intrigue you enough to give it a try. ^_

I agree that the gamecube definitely didn't get as much appreciation as it should. Out of the
3 last-gen consoles, I've only ever owned 2: The Cube and the PS2, and I've been through
3 ps2s, but I've only ever had the one cube.

_________________


Obedience breeds discipline. Discipline breeds unity. Unity breeds power.
Power is life.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Birdman
Failed Experiment
Failed Experiment
avatar

Gender : Male
Number of posts : 2
Age : 31

Character Sheet
Name:
Weapons: None
Items: Nothing

PostSubject: Re: Birkin Reviews: Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem   Wed Nov 24, 2010 3:53 am

The cube is... strange

Mine broke for a couple years, then magically started working again in... 2005? It still works to this day.

Unfortunately, I gave all of my games to a friend during the time it was broken.

_________________
Cheesy
Back to top Go down
View user profile
W. Birkin
Veteran
avatar

Gender : Male
Number of posts : 488
Age : 31

PostSubject: Re: Birkin Reviews: Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem   Wed Nov 24, 2010 3:57 am

The only problem I ever had out of mine was perhaps the power button sticking for a little
while, but it eventually worked itself out. I would call it my companion cube, if not for that
joke being entirely lame now.

Interesting note: Out of all the three Ancient Ones, 2 are male, 1 is a female, and the female
of the group looks incredibly phallic in design. It's funny.

_________________


Obedience breeds discipline. Discipline breeds unity. Unity breeds power.
Power is life.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Birdman
Failed Experiment
Failed Experiment
avatar

Gender : Male
Number of posts : 2
Age : 31

Character Sheet
Name:
Weapons: None
Items: Nothing

PostSubject: Re: Birkin Reviews: Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem   Wed Nov 24, 2010 4:01 am

pics or it didn't happen

_________________
Cheesy
Back to top Go down
View user profile
W. Birkin
Veteran
avatar

Gender : Male
Number of posts : 488
Age : 31

PostSubject: Re: Birkin Reviews: Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem   Wed Nov 24, 2010 6:56 am

http://www.flyingomelette.com/oddities/sab/xellotath.jpg
Xel'lotath

Perhaps out of all the guardians, Xel'lotath is my favorite. She's literally the most interesting to
listen to. She has a sort of multiple personality thing going on, of course given she's aligned with
sanity (or the lack there of), it's no surprise. She'll often speak in a bold voice, stating one thing,
and then in a lighter whisper, she will say something more, usually contradicting herself.

"He lies! (As do we all...)" ~ Xel'lotath
"Make sure that he is dead!... Or insane... Perhaps one, then the other?" ~ Xel'lotath

_________________


Obedience breeds discipline. Discipline breeds unity. Unity breeds power.
Power is life.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: Birkin Reviews: Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem   

Back to top Go down
 
Birkin Reviews: Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» Eternal Dream Official "LOL Pictures" Thread
» My guide to Nomad's Requiem :]
» About Eternal Dream
» Love this bright darkness <3
» Requiem of a Warlock

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Mad Science Forums :: Game Centre :: Games Room-
Jump to: