Easily a contender for my favorite game of all time. The story is a fantastic example of handling serious issues without being preachy, never forgetting to be fun and amusing. The blend of 2D stealth, puzzling and platforming gameplay is just about perfect, and challenging without being excessively punishing. The controls are similar to Tomb Raider, in that they are very precise; they follow strict rules, and your every move is calculable. The visuals are also pushed to the absolute limits of the PlayStation; you won't find any polygons in this one, and the cutscene-to-gameplay transitions are so seamless it's uncanny.
The only reasonable gripe I can see people having with it is the difficulty. The game is not without its trial and error, for sure, and this game lacks the quicksave option of Exoddus. I've heard some describe its challenge as ranging from "unreasonable" to "impossible." On the front of the old PlayStation jewel case, you'll even see it blantantly say it has "inexplicably challenging gameplay," and all you have to deal with that is a functional brain and infinite lives (you'll need them.) Oh, and magical powers. The game might have "forgotten" to tell you that until the third level... whoops. Yes, all this game teaches you are the basics. There isn't much hand-holding, and you will likely get the bad ending on your first playthrough. However, you will get a chance to fix that, starting from the beginning of the final level. This was certainly a deliberate design decision. If you have reservations about the difficulty of this game, play Exoddus first, for the quicksave, and an even larger game.
Posted: December 16th, 2013