In 2000, Square released Parasite Eve II for the PlayStation. Aya Brea is back in the lead role as an FBI agent who has left New York behind and resides in Los Angeles. More mitochondria have been evolving into dangerous creatures and now the government may have a role in it. Would the sequel be as good as the first or did the series evolve too fast? I sure hope there’s a shower scene in this Parasite Eve II review!
Parasite Eve II Plot:
If you recall from the first Parasite Eve, our protagonist, Aya Brea, was in the NYPD when an opera singer named Melissa turned into a mitochondria monster and ignited her audience on fire. Aya chased the being now called “Eve” and discovered that Aya had mitochondria powers herself which made her body resistant to Eve’s powers. They do battle throughout Manhatten and after some intense encounters, Aya comes away victorious defeating Eve and her ultimate evolution child.
Fast-forward three years to this Parasite Eve II review, and Aya has quit the force. She lives in Los Angeles working for the FBI and the M.I.S.T. squad. (Mitochondrial Investigation and Suppression Team) One night the Akropolis Tower is attacked by NMC’s (Neo-Mitochondrial Creatures) and Aya gets a hot lead that these new NMCs are coming from the Mojave Desert.
She travels to a desert town called Dryfield that is abandoned except for a few NMCs and a man named Mr. Douglas who runs the local scrapyard. Soon, Aya meets a private investigator named Kyle who is also investigating the NMC sightings. They decide to work together and travel down the road to an abandoned mine where most of the NMCs are coming from. They become separated as Aya discovers that the mine is a top-secret scientific facility run by government officials who are genetically creating and encouraging evolution.
Exploring the facility deeper reveals a giant underground zoo filled with NMCs. Aya finds a girl named “Eve” that is used to control the hostile NMCs with her mitochondria powers and that Eve was cloned from Aya’s DNA. Eve is kidnapped and it’s up to Aya to rescue her again. The final battle is Eve being manipulated into an NMC that Aya has to destroy to free Eve from her form. With the military locking the facility down, Aya is free to take Eve and form a “normal” life with the young girl.
Parasite Eve II Gameplay:
I enjoyed the recap of the previous events that led up to Parasite Eve II and what Aya has been up to since the first game. When starting my Parasite Eve II review I noticed two things right away, the first is that you can press conversations quite a bit. Most characters will have three or four things to say before they eventually tell you to get lost. The other thing that stood out was the new combat system that I wasn’t expecting. I loved the combat of the original game and was disappointed to see that the combat was severely changed. Instead of a more traditional RPG with wait times on attacking, Parasite Eve II changes the formula for a more action-oriented system that relies heavily on offensive attacks from Aya’s guns. No longer will you constantly swap out guns or change ammo types. Instead, the weapons are much more realistic to what an FBI agent would have in the field.
In the first Parasite Eve, Aya has her choice of where she wants to investigate or travel to with the police car around Manhatten. Parasite Eve II is very linear and feels smaller than the first. Manhatten felt huge with multiple areas to explore. Parasite Eve II only offers three areas of exploration, the tower in LA, Dryfield which is essentially a hotel and a junkyard, and the research facility. These areas are filled with fantastic descriptions but it just wasn’t enough for me to explore during my Parasite Eve II review. When I did explore, I found it odd that Coca-Cola must have sponsored the game as there were coke magnets, signs, and even bottles that restored your health and magic points.
I’ll say the puzzles were tough in this game and sometimes I didn’t understand what I was doing during my Parasite Eve II review or how to proceed without help from a guide. The puzzles in the Neo-Ark section I just looked up but there were problems with clever solutions like using the magnet to pull the key up from the vent. If you weren’t solving puzzles, you were likely killing NMCs. I think the monsters were more frightening in Parasite Eve II than in the first game. You’ll kill camel-like creatures with human faces and dinosaurs that resemble humanoid creatures.
Boss battles were tougher but I enjoyed the challenge during my Parasite Eve II review. The garbage monster took a few tries and Eve took like ten times to beat. It was frustrating because the process to beat her is about 25 minutes long and many times I’d get into the last section before dying. Thankfully this time you can skip cut scenes if you’ve watched them before because there are a good ten minutes of dialogue before the final battle. One of the toughest areas of the game was the Neo-Ark but yet there’s no save point in the entire section! I hated that because if you died down there you were out of luck. If you wanted to save you’d have to go five minutes out of your way and travel back up the facility to find a phone. I felt very alone in this game. Aya takes on the majority of her mission by herself instead of with help like she did in the first game. I liked working with others but I didn’t have that luxury in this game.
There was some weird dialogue near the end of the game with Kyle making sex jokes with Aya right before she fights Eve. It felt out of place and unexpected with nothing leading up to that. I’m all in for a good sex joke but it caught me off guard.
I remember seeing the cover to Parasite Eve II in my childhood many times but never playing it. I’m glad I downloaded it from the PlayStation store. I loved the first game and the second one was a decent follow-up.
Parasite Eve II Review Score:
A drastic change to the combat system and a government plot makes Parasite Eve II not my first choice in the series but it’s still a quality game that will give you hours of action as you explore a new case with Aya.
Parasite Eve II scores an 8.5 out of 10.
What would you write in your Parasite Eve II review? Do you remember when Parasite Eve II first came out? Did you like the first or second game better? Did you like the combat change? Let me know your memories and thoughts, I’d love to read the comments!