Eureka Seven Vol. 2: The New Vision - PS2 - Preview
Eureka Seven Vol.1: The New Wave left us with a lot of questions. Will peace win out? Will LFOs continue to evolve? Will the soap opera saga between Sumner and Ruri come to a close?
Given that the first title was referred to as Volume 1, it only made sense that a second volume was in the making. The next volume, titled The New Vision, will pick up where the last game ended.
Gameplay is once again divided into two forms: air board racing and Mobile Suit Gundam-style combat. There is also the element of NPC interaction, including several hours worth of dialogue. But if you’re not into the chat-with-the-locals, watch-a-cut-scene aspect, many of the story scenes can be skipped. The only ones you’re forced to watch are those that reveal something important about one or more of the characters (or when new characters are introduced).
The intro is very long, rivaling the Final Fantasy series in real-time sequence length. Numerous flashbacks are shown to remind players of the previous game’s events. Though you don’t have to play the original to get into the sequel, you will have a greater appreciation for the characters – and be more intrigued by the frequent, gameplay-interrupting dialogue sequences – if you know the series’ heritage.
In Vol. 2’s current state, the air board levels are a mix of racing and environment adaptation. The boards don’t move particularly fast. When cruising through an open area, they feel pretty slow. But that’s only a part of each race. Most of the trials involve tricky navigation through beat-up structures and underground passageways. There are several quick corners, and a few steep walls that must be flown above with only a few seconds notice.
Air board controls give the game a free-roaming, aerial combat feel. Players can fly wherever they please, but the game will warn you to stay on course. The left analog stick controls all navigational movements, allowing you to move in multiple directions (up and down, not just left and right) while flying forward.
When it comes time to take charge of a mech (referred to as LFOs in this game), Eureka evolves from its gentle, race-oriented story to something a bit more intriguing. In addition to their various attack types (lock-on gun / missiles and hand-to-hand strikes), mechs have the ability to transform into tank-like vehicles. It is not known how deeply this feature will be expressed in the final version, but right now it serves as a cool alternative to the standard attack and defense style. Tank controls are different, adding a more traditional style of ground combat. The standard mode is true to Gundam and the other games and anime that led to (if only in spirit) its creation. It’s fast, jumpy, and full of destructive moments.
As far as quality is concerned, the story is the same as before: good voice acting, semi-cheesy dialogue. The characters are interesting enough to become likable, and have the amazing power to make some of those cheesy lines seem believable. If you think you have to be a fan of the show to appreciate the entire saga, think again. I’ve barely touched the anime series, opting to get my Eureka fix from the game series.
Without giving away any of the game’s surprises, I can tell you that the journey does not begin inside an LFO’s command post. There are several brief events that must unfold before you’ll get back to your trusty mech, and a handful of battles that must be won before a key story element can proceed. Fans who couldn’t get enough of the first game will find it hard not to shout the title in excitement – “Eureka! Eureka!”
Shipping to stores this summer, Eureka Seven Vol. 2: The New Vision brings new content for series enthusiasts to sink their teeth into. Expect the expected: tons of brief battles, several brief races, and an insurmountable number of real-time movie sequences.