Orphen: Scion Of Sorcery, taking his characters from an anime, couldn't make use of CG videos, as for example happens in the Final Fantasy series. To narrate the story there are in fact many beautiful animated sequences. The quality of these FMVs is excellent; the characters are smoothly animated, the colours are bright and the environments are eye-catchy. Orphen has many of the qualities of great contemporary animes, and the characters, even if rather stereotyped (but aren't stereotypes the fundaments of many great games?), are well characterized and have a clearly defined personality . To tell the truth, these sequences constitutes a small portion of the narrative parts in Orphen. A great part of the plot comes from spoken dialogues between the characters, in which the in-game engine is used. However, the alternation between a few anime sequences and a lot of these dialogues is not unpleasant, thanks also to a wise direction.
The characters are built with a big number of polygons and the textures are good and varied. As many other Ps2 launch titles, Orphen suffers from many aliasing problems that, depending on the circumstances , become more or less evident and annoying. Bodies' animations of Orphen and his companions' 3d models are nice but the faces are completely motionless and inexpressive. During the in-game dialogues you will never see the lips of Orphen moving or his eyes communicating any kind of generic expression. Big care has been used on the sceneries, that often are able to surprise the player. Lights and shades are usually very well done and the skies ( I like wonderful skies in a game!) have some nice colours. There is a good care in details in Orphen even if this game doesn't reach the maniacal perfection of Summoner's environments. However, I have to admit that I have strongly appreciated many areas of the game, especially those with a nice fantasy style. The battles are a good example of the greatness of the graphic engine. To give clashes a fast pace, Orphen's developers did a good use of dynamical shots and special light effects; Orphen magic attacks are wonderful, and shows something of the Ps2 power. The enemies you'll meet during your roamings in the world of the game are surely some of the most solid 3d bosses ever seen in an RPG. These polygonal models are gigantic, detailed and animated with art. Besides many aliasing problems and the motionless creepy faces, Orphen graphics are really worth seeing.
A characteristic that makes Orphen different from other RPGs is the massive use of spoken dialogues, instead of written dialogues. The voices are those typical of a cartoon, with exaggerated accents and a certain childish emphasis; they are strongly characterized but they perfectly fit the game characters.
The music are good, both during the battle and during the explorations, and they cleverly succeed in capturing the atmosphere of some moments of the game. Many good sound effects, that become excellent during the battles, complete the picture, allowing us to say that sound is one of best features in Orphen.
Orphen is an easy game and you'll get rid of it in about 13-14 hours. In comparison to other RPGs on the shelves at the moment, like Eternal Ring or Summoner for Ps2 or big part of PsOne RPGs, Orphen: Scion Of Sorcery is very brief. The game proceeds in a linear way and the possibility to explore the environments is nonexistent. The puzzles are too easy and the battle system, that could have revealed itself a valid alternative to the classical RPGs menu system, hasn't been developed enough and it results on the long run repetitive.