Published on March 5th, 2009 | by Greg0
Swords and Scares: Dragon Quest V and Fear 2
A few days ago we focused on RTS PC games. Now, it’s time to look at other systems and types of games: Fear 2:Project Origin, the 360 FPS sequel to one of the scariest games ever made, and the latest update to the Dragon Quest series for the Nintendo DS.
Fear 2 tries hard to live up to the name- bringing back more of the same formula that worked the first time, with a few twists. Unfortunately, what felt reasonably fresh a few years ago hasn’t aged quite so well, and though the game looks and sounds pretty great the scares just aren’t as scary this time around. The environments feel a bit cliched and similar, but that won’t stop you from having incredibly fun gunfights, against a good AI, and enjoying every minute. Not as atmospheric and claustrophobic as Dead Space, and lacking the inventive mechanics of Gears of War or the plot of Halo, it nonetheless makes a great weekend of fun.
The worst part though is the multiplayer, which is pretty sparse in comparison to other major FPS titles these days. And with only ten hours in the single-player mode, that is a bit of an issue. If it sounds like we’re being harsh on Fear 2, we only hurt the ones we love, and we did love a lot about the game. It’s a great thing though, for gamers at least, when so many fantastic titles have come out recently that an ‘merely’ excellent game like Fear 2: Project Origin isn’t at the top of the heap. Reliable fun, solid gameplay, and plenty of thrills- available on PC, PS3 and 360 for about $50.
Dragon Quest V was originally a Super NES game, and like the previous iteration in the series that we reviewed, it’s a sublime port of a well-loved title. Basically, if you like RPGs, you’ll probably like DQ5, and should make some room in your library for this DS title. The story likely won’t wow anyone who has played through other major role-playing games before, but is still pretty touching in parts.
One of the coolest parts of the game is that you can recruit a wide variety of monsters to join your party- an addition that makes for nearly-endless replayability and really interesting mechanics. There aren’t a lot of endless extra missions, which we liked, but you can still spend 20+ hours working through the game. And while the hero doesn’t say a lot, you still manage to grow attached, wanting to play more, even when other games (Empire: Total War, I’m looking at you) try to draw you away. DQV is a pinnacle of the genre, a great portable game, and essential for RPG/DS fans. $40.