Sunday, September 4, 2011

Siren: Blood Curse

Both Siren and Forbidden Siren 2 were praise among fans for being very special horror games. Despite the horrible controls, the gameplay an concept were unique for it's time. In 2008 Sony announced that a “New Translation” of the original Siren game would come exclusively for the PS3. And I can tell you, this game were one of the few reasons I even brought the console. I had more than high expectations.

Siren: Blood Curse - Reviewed by: Anna Råberg
Developed by Japan Studio
Published by Sony Entertainment

Blood Curse takes place in 2007 and we're back to everyone's favourite town, Hanuda. As the opening starts, we see an American TV crew, witnessing a horrible ritual performed by hooded villagers. The ritual however is interrupted by a stranger and soon the sound of the siren breaks trough the air. After this, our main characters have to fight and outsmart the shibitos to once more escaped the cursed village.

The story have gone trough some slight changes. We're not treated to our Japanese crew, instead the main cast consists mostly of Americans. But in most aspects it's the same game only newer. One of the good things that they made with this game is that the story is much easier to follow. There's no skipping and jumping without you; as a player, knowing it. Therefore I see it as an improvement.

Speaking of the characters, it seems that the team working on this game decided to dump some. Yes, Siren Blood Curse have less characters than the original siren. Instead of 13 we're reduced to 8 characters. Most of these characters are also well developed; they have goals and personality's, something that makes this game seem more alive than it's ancestors. There seems to be a more balanced way between the females and male characters as well. They mostly take the same amount of hits to get down and their speed only variates slightly. And we all know it wouldn't be a Siren game if we didn't' have a child in here. Bella works just the same as Sho and Harumi; if a shibito catches up on you for to long; it's an instant game over.

The first thing I almost sang out in joy, were that it felt nice to play a Siren game that actually works. The controls feels great! You move your character with the left analogue stick. With the face buttons you do things such as; interacting with the environment and performing melee attacks. The command menu are now divided on the D-pad. Each arrow gives out a different command and one of them also toggles your flashlight. This system picked away all the problems I had with the first game. No longer do I have to worry about moving up and down a menu to find the command I need and risk getting the wrong one.

The combat runs really smooth. Your trusty three hit combo is still here as well as the ability to perform a heavy attack. Sometimes it seems like the shibitos still have their “first hit” rule and they have a nasty little habit of ganging up on you if you're not careful. The aiming system feels a little clumsy at times. It sometimes appears extremely slow and can get you a little frustrated. But in most cases it works good enough to get you trough the stages.

The graphic feels good. Sometimes the models seems a little off and stiff in their movements but overall they're nice. The environments are good and helps to add a creepy tone to the game. The lightning is a mess however. I can understand that a game like this is supposed to have dark surroundings but for people, like myself, who have slight problems with my sight, it's a pain not being able to get the brightness to the level I need. Unlike the previous game, I can actually remember music from Blood Curse. It has some great tunes that really brings you into the right mood to play the game.

Blood Curse have some re-play value. There's a load of archive items, including both files and every weapon that you pick up during the game. There's also two mini games that you can play if you're connected to Playstation network. Unlike the other two games, it feels like Blood Curse have more to offer.

Siren Blood Curse was a wonderful game. It had really made progress from it's ancestors and kept the best. The story is easier to follow and I'm happy to see such things as mini games once again appearing. And for once I don't have to plug my ears when the characters speaks. A long step in the right direction.

Story: 8/10 Gameplay: 7.5/10 Controls: 8/10 Replay Value: 6/10 Visuals: 6.5/10 Audio: 9/10
Total Score 9/10.0 - Close to Perfect
Recommendation: Buy This Game

Play Info: Anna played Siren BC on PLAYSTATION 3 for about 8 hours total.
First campaign playthrough took about 8 hours. Anna finished the game once.

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