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     " While I can't lie and say it proved to be a memorable or compelling experience Twilight did fill lots of hours that I'm not sorry I lost. "

      Title: Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits by Sony

      Format: PS2 RPG

      Reviewing Monkey: Dungapult

      The Hype: Though technically the fourth game in a series primarily known only to hardcore Japanese title importers and those willing to drop heavy coin on the 2001 "Arc the Lad Collection", Twilight of the Spirits is not only the first one on the PS2 but also shares very little with its predecessors and, thus, won't penalize you for not having heard of the others. The latest in the long line of Playstation rpgs, Sony is hoping that Twilight will draw you in and fill your time in the surprising early summer roleplaying drought.

      What This Monkey Thought...

      Graphics: At times Twilight is down right gorgeous. Many of the backgrounds, effects, cut scenes, and character models will stand side by side with some of the best in the industry. Unfortunately, Twilight is also very inconsistent and those pieces of brilliance are interspersed among a majority of standard and midland faire. Not that Twilight of the Spirits is unattractive or even below average, only that at many times the remarkable graphics will be lost in a sea of "been there, seen that". 3.75 out of 5

      Playability: Every so often a game comes along that attempts something radical in the roleplaying genre. Most often than not these games are failures and ridiculed by both press and player alike, occasionally they are innovative and entertaining enough that they make a real splash, but either way they are risky for a game company and will alienate some quantity of existing roleplaying gamers. The majority of all rpgs, on the other hand, simply recycle and reuse the standards that have been in place for what feels like generations. They use the same basic magic, the same basic economy, and the same essential turn based strategies. That said, Twilight of the Spirits definitely opts to be the latter rather than any of the former and is very standard faire for anyone who has experience with the genre. In it you will travel from town to town, buying upgraded items, talking to random characters to advance the story, and encountering both random and boss-like enemies. Really the only thing particularly interesting about Twilight is the combat system, which while still the same turn based combat you will be familiar with, uses a 3D board and character movement to bring range into play. Still, though not notably original, it is good filler in the industry standard. 3.5 out of 5

      Story and Drama: Of course the heart of any rpg is its story and, much as with its playability, Twilight neither shines nor disappoints in its performance. Set in a world filled with strife and occupied by both demons and humans, Twilight tells the story of two half-demon brothers separated at birth who end up involved in related quests. And while it does provide two distinct viewpoints of play, always a really nice feature in any game, both character's and stories are pretty hackneyed and have nary a shred of originality between them. 3 out of 5

      The Verdict:

       All in all, Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits is a fun but unremarkable addition to a sea of games that have done it both much better and far, far worse. While I can't lie and say it proved to be a memorable or compelling experience Twilight did fill lots of hours that I'm not sorry I lost.

      The Good: Ranged combat, dual storylines, at times it's very pretty.

      The Bad: Inconsistent graphics and undistinguished play make this one of many.

      The Overall Ugly: Worth checking out if you really want an rpg and can't think of a better choice.

      What it's Worth: 30 bucks.

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