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- Summon and control monsters with the aide of five ancient rings
- Explore the corners of the world
- Recover the rings to stay alive
- Real-time combat
- Chain a variety of attacks together
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The setup to Summoner's sweeping story line is so slow at the beginning that anything good that comes later in the game is masked completely. As the story begins, you play as Joseph, a young gent who has vowed never again to use his summoning powers. This is because a demon he had summoned previously to protect his village actually burned it down and killed everyone he loved. Those who stick through this heavy exposition will be rewarded with a twisting, nonlinear plot.
The environments are carefully designed, built, and textured to convey a grand sense of scale and color. The castle's courtyard, for example, is a great place to visit--its booths and caravans are festooned with colorful cloths and coverings. The place is abuzz with people, many of whom want to chat and share information with you. The castle itself is immense, and dwarfs everything and everyone around it. The game's graphical splendor is cut somewhat short, however, by draw-in problems that give it a terribly disjointed look.
Summoner's combat system is pretty cool. The idea is to chain your attacks by pressing the controller's D-pad while your sword blow is being delivered. A little chain icon appears above your character's head and signals when to time your move. By chaining attacks, you can sustain your own offensive action, and make the attacks longer, more interesting, and a lot more fun. --Todd Mowatt
- Capable texturing gives the game a good, clean look
- Miniquests help make for deep gameplay
- Severe draw-in problems give the game a terribly disjointed look
Top Customer Reviews
The game has some interesting but perhaps little-noticed features: The particular armor, weapons, and clothes you equip your characters in, for instance, show up not only as they walk around, but also in the full-movie sequences!
The main negative about this game is that it starts out very slowly. In fact, when I first started the game I really hated it and wouldn't have kept playing had I had another game to pop in. However, once the backstory and tutorial are covered and you gain your first extra character, gameplay and plot pick up enormously. It's well worth the wait. I did feel that the characters could have been more attractive (they are very ashen-looking), but it didn't affect my enjoyment of the plot.
There is a lot of entertainment value here; I clocked over 70 gaming hours (probably over 100 real life)playing the game and still did not complete every quest, though I believe I missed very few. The game can be completed much faster, though, if you choose not to do the side quests.
I enjoyed this game.
I'm a father now, mid thirties, and frankly, I'm too old to judge a game by dazzling graphics. I don't care if this PS2 game has graphics that are at a PS1 level of quality. Although I must admit, the main character does look a bit like a corpse. :) So other reviewers can complain about dated graphics, but it doesn't bother me.
And other reviewers have made mention of the long, lesiurely plot, overly big areas to explore, and over-abundance of NPCs. Again, the reviewers are accurate -- those things do exist, and if they hate them, that's fine. But for me, a guy who likes games like BG1, BG2, and Arcanum, it was sooo nice. I get home late from work, I'm tired, and I don't want to play a game that requires lots of button mashing. I enable the options for auto-chaining my attacks, sit back, relax, and stroll through the game world, chatting with random characters, taking out a few bad guys, and working on my character's stats and inventory so that the next battle will be even better.
Of course, a few times the game's size did annoy me. I probably talked to each merchant in the Lenele market twice, just because I couldn't recall who was who. I looked online for a full complement of printable maps but never found anything. It would have helped me a lot to just have printed maps with each NPC flagged. But for some reason, that really didn't bug me that much.
What did bug me was the locked camera view in the cities. Out in the open, you can set the camera to high (overhead) view, or low (over the shoulder) view. But in the Lenele market, for example, the camera locks to high view.Read more ›
Graphics are good enough. Sound doesn't offend. Story is pointless. Gameplay is interesting (this is good). Advancement keeps me hooked.
Given that the story would have been better off with the (graphically amazing) minimalist effort of a Diablo II then trying to pretend depth, this is still a very fun game. You can summon things. To start with they sort of just die and cost you points from your max hits, but the idea of a nice big guy fighting while you watch...well, it's why I started with the Necromancer in DiabloII. You can develop your character as a fighter, spell caster, or "summoner" and you get a thief, mage and fighter to join you eventually.
The most interesting thing is the "chaining" attack mode. During an attack you can pause to pick specials like spells, thief backstabing (get behind and hit that skill button, it won't light up if you aren't close enough AND behind them already), etc. Or just let them attack. Each time your character swings you'll see a chain icon and you can hit a directional key to "pile on" some damage and make the next attack come very quickly. Chain 5 or 10 attacks in a row without miss timing your button press a few times and you can kill the bad guy without much damage to yourself. It's harder than it sounds and it gives you a huge reason to pick a faster weapon over more damage.
I found it a very refreshing balance between the pure (boring) roleplay of hitting the attack button until something dies, and the oppressive complexity of trying to merge in a fighting game.
All in all, I'm not at all ashamed to say that this is title gets most of my play time despite not being as visually impressive as Madden or SSX. Will I say the same in 6 months? No, probably not. But for now, i'm very happy they released Summoner when they did.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Disc came to me damaged. It plays but frequently freezes, it's very disheartening and makes for difficult game play.Published 18 months ago by Sean Clair
It came in terrible condition, and the game was pretty badly scratched. It still plays though that's why it gets more than one star.Published on February 20, 2013 by Eddie B.
Where do I begin, I loved this game when I was a lot younger. Now as an adult, I can see that I definitely looked past all the graphic problems and control problems when I was... Read morePublished on March 20, 2012 by J. Barrientos
I don't mind the barely-better-than-ps1 look of the graphics. The graphics were good enough. I was getting into the story, combat was interesting, I liked the way characters... Read morePublished on March 5, 2009 by Arthur Kimes