I’ve always had my own form of “Collector’s Mentality” when it comes to everything I get. If I start a series, I always want to own every single item in order, which is why I never get Superhero comics. When I play through a game series or read through a story, I have to do it from beginning to end unless there’s absolutely no continuity.
But my collections don’t always involve game series. As a younger child, I absolutely loved browsing around my local game store, looking through the used games just trying to find something I thought looked good. When I was younger, I didn’t care about suggestions from other people, and I lacked regular access to my now beloved internet connection to access website reviews, which at the time I doubt were even big enough anyway to matter. Sure, I played the classics such as Super Mario 64 and The Ocarina of Time, but my childhood will always remain in those games I just grabbed off the shelf and bought purely from the art and description on the back.
I decided that I should start buying games like this again from time to time; just see if they’re worth it. To start off, however, I feel I should go back to some of those games I played as a younger me. The first of these games, to start off, is a game for PS2 which I honestly shouldn’t have been playing when I was that young. It’s a game called Trapt.
Trapt was a unique game to me, but I know that none of my friends or acquaintances have ever heard of it until I told them about it or they saw me streaming it online. The game is made by Tecmo who, in the past, have made other games with similar concepts(of which I have not had the pleasure of playing, much to my dismay).
Allura (originally Alicia), a princess who was accused by her step mother, Queen Catalina, of killing the king with the power of the Fiend, acts as the main protagonist. She’s weak and always vulnerable and defenseless, and the gameplay reflects this. The player has no means of directly attacking the pursuing bounty hunters, castle knights, and various other forces out to kill them.
What Allura can do is discovered upon a venture to an old mansion previously owned by the royal family. Once there, the originally pure Princess Allura finds herself with a new companion; the very same Fiend she was accused of harboring upon the king’s death. The devilish Fiend grants Allura the power to set various traps around her, all of which can be remotely activated by the flick of her now-possessed right arm.
This setup leads to gameplay that, up until I had picked up the game, I would have never considered. The player starts out every match being introduced to two starting enemies who have the sole intention of murdering the player for the status, reward, or just to be loyal to Catalina. As soon as the characters make their introduction statements, the player gains control of Allura’s movement and, upon a button press, a frozen-time look at the room where the player currently is, split into a large grid. The player has the ability to set up a maximum of three traps; one ground trap, one wall trap, and one ceiling trap. Allura always has access to three of each, but no more, and must set up these traps about the map to kill off her pursuers. Enemies will follow after the character and, depending on what class they are, will attack from different distances. Knights, archers, axe-wielding suits of armor, and mages are all amongst the different enemies Allura will face.
Traps can be set off in combos to maximize points and kill enemies in quick succession. For example, a spring floor trap could launch an enemy into a pendulum, which would launch them backwards into a wall where the guilty lance, a set of wall spikes, could shoot out and stab them twice. Players are free to experiment with these combinations and, on top of the traps the player can set up on their own, each map has various other traps that can be activated either automatically or through a crystal. The first area, for example, hosts a large hanging chandelier in front of the entrance that is activated upon stepping over a crystal. Anybody beneath it is crushed with immense damage.
Out of all the traps I observed during the game, the worst for me was The Man-Eating Music Box. During an early battle, an ice mage had managed to step over a bomb I set up on the floor. With the click of my X key, I blew him up and sent him flying off the stairs and to the ground floor. Without even knowing it, I had set off one of the darkest traps in the game. Standing up and now on flames, the ice mage ran around frantically. When he stepped on a blood-stained carpet the middle of the room, the screen suddenly flashed a very eerie blue. The camera showed me two candles near the bottom of each staircase. I was confused, especially with the dark music playing, until the wall opened its jaws and launched out a large clamp, grabbing the legs of the mage. Dragged against his will, the mage found himself crushed repeatedly within the gears of what seemed like a large clock. The Man-Eating Music Box, after enjoying its meal, spat him out from a hole high up on the wall, dropping him down right next to where I just happened to be. Had the game been more modern in its graphics, I’m certain I would have been holding my hands over my eyes, occasionally peaking through to see what was going on.
Things such as this worked in tune with the story to make me feel something I don’t remember ever feeling in a video game; true guilt for murdering the enemies I faced. This feeling didn’t last too long, as the later enemies were less and less likeable as they all embraced the idea that Allura was a violent murderer, but it was a change. I want more games to make me feel that way. I want games to give me a moral dilemna instead of leaving everything black-and-white, good-and-evil. I want to have to fight with myself to decide whether that man should die or leave.
Overall, the game has been highly enjoyable, and after obtaining it again for the lucky price of $3(sadly without a case or guide book) I found myself overjoyed at reliving my quite brutal childhood. If you can find the game definitely pick it up, but don’t hold your breath. It’s still around $40 on Amazon if you buy directly from them, and I had to go about 5 miles out of my way to get the one I came across.