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Discussion of 'Summoner' for PS2

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Well, if you haven''t played PS2, do it. It''s got some sweet graphics, it''s got some good games, and it promises a lot. My girl''s lil bro got one this past weekend while i was at their house, so i chilled out and played some Unreal Tournament edition and Summoner between sessions of the newest Zelda game, Majora''s Mask. Summoner is a RPG style game. It casts you as the role of Joseph, a man with magical power who''s had a bit of a.. bad.. past. He''s destroyed a town before by accident.. by summoning a demon to try to stop a ramaping horde, no less Well, now he''s forced to be a hero.. when he doesn''t want to be one. Typical plot setup. The nice thing about this game is the ease of use of the PS controls vs the normal computer controls. The right analog stick controls camera motion. Zoom in/out, pan left and right. The left stick controls the character selected. The two in conjunction allow for fast movements around the screen. As you rotate the camera around the guy, the screen position changes. The left stick controls his motion based on screen layout. If you push up, he heads towards the top of the screen. If you rotate the camera at the same time.. he''ll run in a circle, since your camera is moving in a circle, and the top of the screen is constantly changing. Well, this makes it so you can run one way, and move the camera around to have him make a turn. So moving the camera while turning the character makes a hard turn, even resulting in a 180 if you try hard enough It takes time to get used to, but works well. Next up is combat. It''s fairly simplistic. It allows you to chain attacks together using the directional pad on the left. You can assign certain actions to the controls as your character learns new ones. You can not do two of the same action in a row. When your character begins to strike, a chain appears overhead and this is when you must press a button. Default for joseph is up - added blow left - confusion right - push down - desperation Added blow makes another attack, confusion makes them lose AP''s (action points.. what the system runs off). Push gives you a bit more time to make another chain, and desperation makes a harder attack the less health you have. It''s good because it resembles realistic fighting in a sense. You can keep on the offensive and keep someone else on defense for a good deal of time. However, it gets harder to maintain this as it goes on. the highest chain we could pull off was 7, with 4 or 5 being the average. You just have to time it all out. In all, a very nice system. You can turn chain attacks to auto, which makes the computer do it for you, but they usually only did around 3 or 4 chains, if any. Now.. the action points system. Everything uses AP''s, and they regain over time. Casting spells costs AP''s, backstabbing, everything. They''re the catch all thing the game uses to make any action happen. It''s really nice and simplistic, while not being altogether totally unreal. I''m still trying to find a way to justify healing as something that takes the same points as backstabbing does.. but i''m not complaining. I think the simplicity is nicer than almost any other system at this point.. it didn''t take forever to figure it out! The next great topic is the way you learn spells and skills. You have categories, heal spells, holy spells, swords, etc. And the more skill you have in them determines how well you use them, and what spells you get in that category. With weapons, you get access to all swords with the swords skill. With spells, you get different ones every other level it seems. Heal spells progess like this: heal - restore HP cure - rid disease, etc regenerate - slowly gain Hp''s over time resurect - bring back the dead This system offers a very simplistic way to provide the character with more powerful spells while also providing them with new spells. It''s not difficult to learn or figure out, and doesn''t try to be tricky.. a good quality for games like this. Finally, the gameplay. I think the game runs well; however.. you get overloaded with quests really fast, many which you''re unable to complete. Within two hours, i''d managed to leave my first village, get to the next city, and take on about 15 subquests in that time. I walked all over the city, which was rendered with awesome detail, and talked to everyone important in town. This resulted in my having lots of things to do, but no knowledge of where these things were. A lot of things are left up to the player to explore and figure out alone. This led to some frustration, as i couldn''t find the person i came to the town to find until about an hour and fifteen minutes after i''d entered the city. The next forty-five minutes were spent trying to find where the guy had told me to go to find him.. only to find out i couldn''t get into that place, yet. Of course, this is when you meet the second character, Flece. She''s cute. Joseph looks like death has overcome him.. LOL. Well.. overall, it''s a good game. It takes some patience and persistance to play. Oh, and you must save every so often. I ended up losing about 30 minutes of playing because i got into a fight over my head, and them golems laid me to waste! But. as stated, the graphics are unbelieveable. The loading times are kinda long, but when you consider what''s being loaded.. it''s not all that long. Just remember that the maps are rather larger while you''re watching the loading.. and then explore those maps. you''ll be amazed at simply how huge and expansive the maps are, and how detailed. Enjoy! J

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