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Developer:
Racjin
Publisher: Square Enix
Platform: Playstation 2
Release Date: January 18, 2005

by James Eddy




Fullmetal Alchemist and the Broken Angel is an RPG romp through the world of alchemists. You play Edward Elric, a young man with a mechanical arm and leg which he received during the taboo act of human transformation. This act also produced Alphonse Elricís current form, a huge suit of armor, empty except for the younger brotherís soul. The two travel in search of a way to fix the mistake they have made.


During the game you use the analog sticks to move Ed along. You do not directly control Al, but instead give him commands by a press of a button. I tended not to use him much, as he was never much help to me, and focused on Ed. By charging up an alchemy bar, you can change nearby objects into traps, weapons, or items that would be useful fighting the slew of enemies you encounter along the way.


A few things annoyed me in this game. For one, there are a few jumping puzzles which require you to line up Ed in a certain spot to get him to jump to levels above or below him. I found myself missing quite often and having to go back far to try again. Another thing was the camera angles. Although there is a button that lets you adjust the camera angle, it tended not to cooperate. I would constantly be attacked from behind while playing with the camera. Also, when you would leave an area and go back to it, all the enemies would respawn. Great for leveling up, but not so great for the times you accidentally left the area or when you took the wrong entrance and you had to backtrack. The game is incredibly easy. I only died two or three times, and that was in boss battles. The difficultly skyrockets in the end, making the transition a bit unbalanced. The storyline isnít exactly epic, mostly depending on the whims of Ed rather than outside forces.


There are a few good points as well. I myself received many moments of satisfaction hacking my way through a hoard of monsters. The weapons that you transmute are also very entertaining. You can create a boomerang, a plastic hammer, or even a mounted machine gun, which is very fun when you unload point-blank into the face of an oncoming goon. There are animated cut scenes which add depth to the story, and although they were short, I quite enjoyed them.


When I heard that a game was going to be created on the anime Fullmetal Alchemist, I knew I wanted to play the game. Being a huge fan, I ignored the poor reviews that others had given it and demanded to make up my own mind about it. Unfortunately Iím forced to agree with most. Unless youíre a diehard fan of the anime, I suggest you rent this puppy first.


Final Grade: 78%




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