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Backlog impressions: Fear Effect (PS1)

I really gave it my all here, I want you guys to know this. I've spent the past seven hours or so playing Fear Effect and I cannot any longer. It is quite possibly the worst game I've ever played.

Fear Effect
Release date: January 31st, 2000
Start date: January 7th, 2014
Finish date: January 8th, 2014 (the day I gave up on it)
Length of time in my collection: 5-6 years

I remember when this game came out I was dying to play it. It looked a lot like Resident Evil; the camera angles, the obtuse puzzle solving, and of course it had "fear" in the title. This gave me the false impression that it was a survival horror game.

While it plays much like Resident Evil as far as the controls and puzzle solving goes, survival horror it is not (not that I'm holding that against it; there's plenty of other things legitimately wrong with it).

Things start off promising enough. Set in a 1990's version of what the future looks like, you alternate between playing as three mercenaries who are hunting for a teenage girl who happens to be the daughter of a powerful Triad leader in Hong Kong. Though some are better acted than others, each of the characters, including the side ones, are interesting, and help carry what is an otherwise run-of-the-mill techno-thriller. It is hinted that interesting things will happen later in the game, but as I can't continue playing, I won't get to see for myself.

No, literally I can't continue, not unless I want to restart the entire game. You see, I'm halfway through disc 2 (of 4), and my game is saved at a point where I'm one hit away from death, down to three bullets, and blocked off by enemies I can't kill with said remaining bullets. I have a knife, but it's useless unless it's used for stealth kills. I've exhausted every possible idea to get though this part and there just isn't one.

A little bit earlier I was at a part where I got a game over for just walking. Yep, didn't get hit by an enemy, didn't do anything to get killed, nothing. I was just walking along and BAM! game over, completely random. There was another part where I fell through the floor and had to reset my system.

Not taking those little snafus into account, the absolute biggest problem with the game is the difficulty. Oh my goodness gracious, this game is hard. It's positively diabolical. Now, you have to know that I like hard games; hell, I beat Heart of Darkness!, but this game is borderline masochistic. A lot of times you'll walk into a new room and die within moments, not given any time to react, or even understand what just happened. Sometimes you'll have to go through that routine a half dozen times before you finally do figure out what you're doing wrong.

There was one section where I was watching a cutscene and it switched back to the game without warning (since the gameplay is presented with bars on the top and bottom of the screen as well as the cutscenes, there really was no indication) and I died instantly.

Now, the constant dying might be mitigated by some sort of continue option, but there isn't one. Every time you die, you have to reload your save. I cannot stress how much of a pain that is. There where many times where I died, reloaded my save, sat through the 10-15 second load screen, and then died again within seconds.

I didn't want to do another write-up so soon, but the exhaustion and rage that this game filled me with needed to be dispelled. Since I didn't finish this game I won't call this an official review, but if I were to score it anyways...

Letter grade: F
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About Better On Hollidayone of us since 10:45 PM on 06.14.2011

Although I had been playing games since I could remember, I think I officially became a gamer in the summer of 1998 when I used my birthday money at Wal-Mart to buy Resident Evil: The Director's Cut (I was 10, and my mom told the clerk it was ok). It was unlike anything I had ever played, and changed my idea of what a video game could be with it's (at the time) insanely realistic backgrounds, horrifying monsters, and (keep in mind I was only 10) engrossing story.

My favorite franchises include Max Payne, Warioware, Rock Band, Dead Space, Uncharted, Pikmin, Silent Hill, and of course, Resident Evil.
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PSN ID:Pocket_Fisherman
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