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Developer:
Silicon Knights
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Gamecube
Release Date: June 24, 2002

by Asa Waterstraut




Gamecube – Eternal Darkness

Originally scheduled to be released years ago on the N64, Eternal Darkness was delayed in order to be improved upon in every aspect on Nintendo’s next-gen console. They bumped up sound quality, image quality, made the controls friendlier, and increased overall game size and therefore experience. They succeeded, and produced arguably the best title Gamecube has to date. In many categories this game even surpasses the infamous remake of Resident Evil on the Cube, making it easily one of the scariest titles out.


Graphics and Sound

Best on the Cube in any game, period. The built-in Dolby Pro Logic Surround Sound mode comes in nicely if you can actually experience it, babies crying to the right, babies laughing to the left, and heavy breathing on the back of your neck. Never once during the 3 full times I played through this game did I turn it off because I was sick of playing, every time I was playing at night, cause that’s the only time to do it, and I turned it off cause it was scaring the crap out of me. I realize that’s not something 20-year-old men often say, but too bad, this game scares the crap out of me with sound alone. Onto the graphics: amazing. Flawless in every sense, it runs smooth, depth perception is perfect, and some of the effects done with the insanity meter (explanation later) are extremely original and effective.


Gameplay

I have to start by talking about the insanity meter, or sanity meter, whichever you wanna call it. It’s one of your 3 bars in the game: health, magick, and sanity. When your character sees a monster, it makes you twitch a little, and you lose a little sanity. Once you’ve killed that monster, however, you can deliver a finishing touch to them, regaining your lost sanity. This is not always an option, or sometimes there’s just so many that the dead enemies vanish into thin air before you can deliver your little fatality. Hence, there are times when you don’t have much sanity left at all, and this is when the game shines like nothing before it EVER has. Say you walk into a room… and your arms pop up, just fall to the ground, no reason why, then your head, then your legs, and the game leaves you there for a second as a headless quadriplegic flopping around, helpless. BAM. A bright flash of light hits the screen and you’re standing in front of the door to the room you just entered, and the only sound is the water dripping from the dimly lit cavern’s ceiling and your character screaming and weeping like a baby. Other insanity effects include your character fading into the floor as if it was quicksand, the room being upside down, statues turning their head and looking at you, and so on. Flawless.


Storyline

The game begins with the main character, Alex Roivas (a girl), waking up to a phone call. Next scene: she’s at her grandfather’s mansion where he’s been murdered, and she’s the only remaining kin. Nobody knows just how he was murdered, and the only sign of struggle is that his head is missing, hence Alex is left alone for the night by the cops in the huge mansion, on her own to discover what happened to her last family member. Eventually she discovers the Tome of Eternal Darkness, the book which will carry all your spells, and through finding chapter pages of the book written by her ancestors who date all the way back to early Roman times, she is warped into the consciousness of each character, playing through many different time periods causing many different events that eventually lead to the truth of her past, present, and future, as well as the future of mankind. It’s amazing.


Overall

This game is everything anybody wants, there are no flaws. My only even semi-complaint was that the cinemas could’ve been slightly better, but that’s hardly a valid complaint. Voice acting is perfect; some characters actually even speak in their native language, graphics are surreal, and the control interface is very easy to learn and use to your advantage. Last but definitely not least, replayability hits a real high note on the fact that you can play through the game 3 different times, choosing one of the 3 main villain “alignments” each time, causing different bosses and different story aspects each time, finally unlocking an “Eternal Mode”, which I won’t explain… it’s just awesome. If you don’t enjoy this game, you deserve a really horrible fate.


Final Grade - 95%




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