It's easy to be hesitant about Obscure: The Aftermath. For one thing this is a sequel to a middling Resident Evil knock-off with a small cult following. And to make matters worse, the game came out a year and a half ago on the Wii and PlayStation 2, earning mostly negative scores from the critics. I worried that this port would be nothing more than a cash-grab; an attempt to recoup the money it cost to make the game and maybe even turn a profit. But what I found was a mostly enjoyable survival horror game that was on par with your standard Hollywood horror flick.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm definitely not saying that Obscure: The Aftermath is something you need to rush out and buy right now, because it's nowhere near the top of the must-own list this year. The game is littered with problems that many gamers won't be able to look past. However, my reaction to this horror game was mostly positive. If you're a PSP owner looking for a solid (albeit not perfect) scary game to celebrate Halloween, you could certainly do a lot worse than Obscure II.
Don't worry if you missed the five year old original (released on the Xbox, PlayStation 2 and PC), the set-up to this sequel fills in all of the most important details. Apparently two years ago a bunch of high school students uncover a bunch of Resident Evil-style experiments and were forced to fight for their lives while being trapped in their creepy high school. This sequel starts up a couple of years later, just as all of the surviving cast members have moved on with their lives.
Like many high school graduates, the kids of Leafmore High have moved on to the university in a neighboring town. One day a bunch of strange looking flowers sprouted up all over campus. While some didn't think much of it, others did what college kids do and experimented with the flowers looking for the next big high. What they found was not only a drug that produced extremely vivid dreams, but also a substance that quickly became deadly.
Much like the first game, the students of Fallcreek University are forced to investigate the terrible happenings at their college, battle creepy characters that are out for blood and ultimately get to the bottom of the mystery (uncovering deep dark secrets that add better clarity to the first game). Much of this is done in the confines of the university campus, which means that this is, for better or worse, another game where you're stuck in a creepy school avoiding certain doom. The good news is that the game does take you away from the school long enough to get some fresh air and feel like you aren't just repeating the story of the first Obscure. On top of the college, the game will take you to a creepy hospital, on a dark road, through a spooky damn and even back to the depths of Leafmore High. The scope of the adventure is definitely bigger in this sequel, even if the core of the game is you fighting baddies in a haunted school.
While many games in this genre are limited to one character at a time, Obscure: The Aftermath almost always has you paired up with a second player. Early on the game will be very particular about who you are paired up with, but before long you'll be able to pick and choose the people you want at your side. Players can quickly switch between characters simply by pushing a button and you can even bring a second person in on the action ... assuming they have a PSP and a copy of the game.
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