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Platform : PlayStation2
Rated: Teen
3.2 out of 5 stars 106 customer reviews
Metascore: 74 / 100

Price: $39.97 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details
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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
6 new from $39.19 80 used from $0.01 11 collectible from $4.00

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Product Description

Product Description

Sometimes it's just too hard to try to do things all alone. Take, for example, Joseph, who is on a quest to find some ancient rings. As a summoner--a type of sorcerer who can conjure creatures out of the ether and make them do his bidding--Joseph has the luxury of calling in a little reinforcement help when things get a little too hot. However, the summoner has had some bad luck using these special powers in the past. As a result, he has to be especially judicious in summoning. Thankfully, not all of his help comes via incantation; along the way he'll run into others who can join him in his mission. Summoner, one of the first role-playing games for the PS2, includes a multiplayer party-based mode.


Summoner highlights all of the reasons that many publishers steer clear of the role-playing game (RPG) genre. Most RPGs are heavy on text, light on adventure, and thus--for most gamers--boring.

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

Product Information

ASIN B00004U47F
Customer Reviews
3.2 out of 5 stars 106 customer reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #11,172 in videogames
#553 in Video Games > More Systems > PlayStation 2
Pricing The strikethrough price is the List Price. Savings represents a discount off the List Price.
Product Dimensions 7.5 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
Media: Video Game

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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on December 4, 2000
I have completed this game, and I felt I had to give it five stars because of the storyline. This is the only game I have ever played that I thought of almost as a book in that I was always anxious to see what would happen next. It is the only console game that has kept me interested enough to the very end to enable me to finish it--with all others on any system I have gotten bored partway through.
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.
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I thought this game was great, for the same reasons that other reviewers hated it.
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.
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By A Customer on November 8, 2000
In 6 months I hope to be ashamed of this 4 star rating, but for now this is way above the launch average of the 7 games I've played.
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.
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I am shocked by how much I have enjoyed this game despite mediocre reviews. And let me say right now that I am a RPG connoisseur, and have played and finished the best of them. Granted, the draw-in is horrendous, and even the most insignificant NPC has enyclopedias of text to throw at you. But if you are somewhat selective in who you talk to (as is aided by the game's indicating who has something important to say with an icon above their head), and you relax and enjoy the wonderful architecture of the environments as you undergo the sidequests, you will find an extremely immersive RPG experience. Also, I really did enjoy the battle system. THQ has made several daring innovations in combat, including random encounter locations, rather than individual battles, and giving you control over one character at a time in battle with the ability to switch on the fly. Yes, there is some Vagrant Story derivative chaining, but nowhere near as much an integral part of the battle system. The story is very well written, and the voice acting is some of the best. I am not a huge fan of the gaunt character design, and Jekhar looks like he has a mullet, but the spell effects, and battle animations are decent. People protest that the graphics could have been done on the PS1, but that is not true. While the characters do not look the cleanest, the texture mapping of the environments, and the architecture of the world is astounding, which is where the power of the PS2 is evident. I agree that this is not a must own RPG like FF9 or CC, but it is an excellent foray into the potential of a PS2 RPG until FFX reaches us.
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