The day is December 24, 2029…Christmas Eve. You are at the Grand Opening of the first Japan Space Station Hotel when bizarre creatures invade and begin slaughtering guests. You are knocked unconscious and wake up to find yourself trapped inside a security monitoring room. Your only contact is a hotel employee named Rio. She’s armed, beautiful, and she’ll do anything you tell her…well, almost anything. With your voice, you are to navigate her around the space station. Your alliance with Rio is your only hope for survival. And possibly your only lifeline.The graphics are detailed to a point. The small objects which you must identify aren’t detailed enough to where you will automatically know what that object is. What you think is a tablet pc of some sort is in fact a magazine which is just sitting on the table. The animation is done very well from the characters’ facial expressions to their body movements. The character designs are also nicely done. Rio looks absolutely gorgeous while the aliens you encounter are absolutely hideous. The other characters are also nicely designed, most of them at least.
Lifeline’s level design is quite good. Although it is repetitive at times going into a different room that looks like the room you were just in, but what can you expect? It’s a hotel in outer space, all the rooms need to look the same. The deserted hallways of the space station gave off an eerie feeling thanks to it’s design. The game also has many Full Motion Videos which helps to show the graphical beauty of this game.
Overall the music in Lifeline wasn’t too bad even though most of it came from the battles and cut scenes. The sound effects were pretty decent, there was nothing bad about them. The character voices were decent as well. Most of the voices fit the characters.
The controls take some time to get use to since you are using your voice. I found it difficult at times to communicate with Rio, but as the game progressed I finally got the hang of things. The controller is used, but is only used to check the maps, open doors, and to open communications between you and Rio. Basically, it is as if you are in the control room yourself and only a control board at your hand to help Rio. You can earn points based on your ability to communicate with her. If she completely understood your command, then you gain points.
If we look past the voice recognition flaws, this game would be awesome. But, because of the voice recognition flaws, Lifeline for PlayStation 2 will start to irritate whoever is playing. For example, the operator says, “Living Area”. Rio thinks you said, “Leave the room.” There are many other voice recognition flaws that need to be worked out. There isn’t much replay value to this game since there isn’t anything new besides some bonus options that you can unlock.
Konami has once again brought us another innovative game. The idea of using voice recognition in Lifeline to play the game was an interesting concept and could have been great, but there were too many flaws. The game turned out to be fun but required some patience to get through it.
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