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     "The story line in this game is very dark and very complex. The best part is that it keeps getting more and more complex the further into the game you get. "

   Title: Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain

   Format: PSX (also available on PC)

   Reviewing Monkey: Simi N

   The Hype: In this overhead Zelda-ish action RPG, you control Kain, a recently created vampire who is on a quest to avenge his death. Of course things get more complicated than just killing a few bad guys, and the quest soon becomes very large-scale. This game is definitely not for small children. It has a dark story, and super gory game play. Blood will fly everywhere as you slash your way through thousands of enemies to reach your goal.

      What This Monkey Thought...

   Graphics: 2 out of 5 => The graphics in this game are not at all impressive even for the time at which it was created. Of course when this game was made computers didnít have the same capabilities as they did today, but the in play graphics could have been drawn with a lot more clarity, and detail. The other problem with the graphics is that they arenít very smooth. It seems as if your character has about 12 frames of animation, and the enemies have even less. But aside from this the graphics are at least based on some very cool ideas. There are just ridiculous amounts of blood, which, for us morbid types, is really cool. And everything has a dark, evil quality to it.

   Sound: 3 out of 5 => The sound in this game is sub-par at best. The voice-overs arenít too bad, although some of the voices are unnatural sounding and sometimes downright annoying. The sound effects also are not anything to write home about. They seem to be too melodramatic to be taken seriously. But they end up working in the overall creepiness that the game carries. There is nothing quite as satisfying as the slurping sound you hear when sucking the blood of a vanquished foe, and the contented sigh that always follows just makes it even better.

   Game Play: 4 out of 5 => Man oh man is this ever sweet. This game is just packed full of enemies to kill, spells to learn, and equipment to use. The whole game is presented in a birdís eye view, and you control your character much like you did Link in Zelda. But in this game, you kill humans, not monsters, and you suck their blood to sustain your life. Also in this game you get to use your vampire powers to their full extent. You gain the ability to change into a wolf, a bat, mist, or to disguise yourself as human. These abilities will help you get through some areas, and will also help you to solve some of the seemingly millions of puzzles throughout the game. Another thing thatís cool is that the game gives you the choice of what you want to kill. If you want to go around just killing bad guys, go ahead. If the villagers are more to your liking, then kill them instead. You can be as evil or as good as you want to be. By the way, when you find yourself low on life in a dungeon, donít feel bad about killing the people chained to the walls. For them I am sure, death is a release.

   Level and Environment Designs: 5 out of 5 => The levels in this game are the best part. Each screen is of course fairly squareish, but the designers still managed to put a lot of variety in the types of terrain you encounter, and the outlay of that terrain. You will find yourself in forests, mountains, lakesides, castles, houses, villages, and just all sorts of areas, each with more than their fair share of enemies. Of course all of the terrain helps to feed that eerie feeling you get from playing the game. The game is almost always dimly illuminated, and is filled with skulls, and sharp pointy dangerous looking objects. The only thing creepier than this game is when your best friend tells you that your mom is looking really attractive.

   Multiplayer: Not present, so no rating.

   Replayability: 3 out of 5 => This game is huge. It can have up to 100 hours of gameplay to beat it the first time around. So the chances of somebody going through the entire quest a second time are pretty slim. But the game makes killing enemies fun, so it is very likely that a person will go back an play this game just to satisfy that need for gore that we all get sometimes. But this alone will not be enough to keep a person playing through the whole game a second time.

   Story/Dramatics: 5 out of 5 => The story line in this game is very dark and very complex. The best part is that it keeps getting more and more complex the further into the game you get. Vampires, a necromancer, a wizard, the spirit of someone long since dead, Kings, and an undead knight named Malek will guide you through, or try to stop you from completing, your quest. This story could easily be found in the fantasy section of your local bookstore if someone took the time to write it all out. And the game gives you a sense of truly being a part of it all.

   Instructions and Learning Curve: 5 out of 5 => The instructions with this game are super easy to read through, everything is laid out for you in plain black and white, and the learning curve is extremely light. It wonít take you more that ten minutes to manipulate your character to his fullest capabilities.

   Installation and Real System Requirements: 5 out of 5 => Pop it in the Playstation, hit power, and Go!

   The Verdict:

       This game certainly has itís problems, but they are few. The game has a great story, and awesome morbid gameplay, and provides for hours of fun slashing across varied terrain. The game is easy to pick up, and even though the graphics and sound arenít that great, you will find yourself mesmerized and unable to turn away for a long time.

   The Good: Great morbid story, dark gory gameplay, cool puzzles to solve, varied terrain, 100 hours of gameplay.

   The Bad: Dated and choppy graphics, below average sound quality, little replay value.

   The Overall Ugly: The graphics arenít the best in this game, nor is the sound, but the dark story, morbid gameplay, and tons of enemies will definitely keep you coming back for more blood.

   What it's Worth: $30.00 is definitely the price cap on this game, but you should really try to find it for $20.00 or less. It shouldnít be hard to do so.

Buy it now from Amazon.com

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