The decision to bring the franchise into 3D was inevitable. Ever since the late 90's, 2D was reminiscent of inferior gaming platforms. There was no going back to 2D gaming, so Capcom forged ahead into the modern age. Although it was initially conceived for the N64, it ended up being a PS2 exclusive. I think that the game benefitted from being delayed as the power of the PS2 produces some of the best visuals on the console. The character models have a unique style to them, balanced between a cartoon and anime aesthetic. The stage design is well thought out, and truly retains the spirit of the platformer genre.
|The first stage welcomes you with a musical score that you will immediately recognize|
As far as gameplay, control is tight and necessarily so. The double jump returns and is very necessary. Platforms, crevices, lava, poisonous water, falling ground, and other hazards are all around you, so you need to be mindful of your surroundings. Given its roots, the path to take is still fairly linear, as the environment funnels you in the general direction of progress. There are still areas to explore that are partially or totally obscured, and often they are worth the time to investigate. If you appear to be stuck, there may be hidden switches to trigger, in order to open a path.
Like all 3D platformers, the behavior of the camera can make or break a game's playability; in this case the camera does its best to keep your focus ahead of you, but if it strays due to changes in direction, it can easily be restored to behind you with a tap of the R1 shoulder button. This seems to be one of the major complaints of this game, but as long as you get in the habit of refocusing the camera before major leaps you will be fine.
|The life bar is a welcome addition|
|If this is what you're wearing, you don't have long|
Once disrobed, you can take a few more hits before you die. There are checkpoints throughout the stage, so you don't have to start each stage from the beginning when you die.
|You can breath a sigh of relief whenever you reach one of these|
|You'll have your preferred skills after a few playthroughs|
Your sword strength can be powered up as well. There are three levels to power up: the flaming sword, the glowing sword, which I presume to be lightning, and the purple havoc sword, each one more powerful than the last.
|The flaming sword is a start, but it gets better|
|Pay to save?|