The two titles highlighted in this post would likely be categorized as horror (or survival horror) games for the PlayStation but neither of them hold the same iconic status as two other horror franchises that got their start on that same console, Resident Evil and Silent Hill. However, the generic category they fall under and the platform they are played on are essentially where the similarities between these two games end.
Clock Tower 2 is the sequel to the original PlayStation Clock Tower (which itself was a sequel to a Japanese only release of the same name) which introduced players to a scissors wielding maniac & a protagonist named Jennifer. In the North American sequel, you play as a teenage girl named Alyssa with split personalities attempting to figure out who brutally murdered members of her family and what kind of spell she may be under thanks to a pesky amulet she insists on wearing to keep her alter ego at bay. If the protagonist chooses to remove the amulet she then turns into her alter ego, Mr. Bates. Clock Tower 2 offers the player an opportunity to complete tasks and progress through the game as either Alyssa or Mr. Bates. Some events can only be completed as one character or the other. Trial and error will be the primary means to determine your proper course of action and even then, the means to the end may result in 1 of 13 different endings! The gameplay itself is more of a point and click adventure than action based, which may turn some gamers off. In addition, the graphics leave a little to be desired for a 1997 release but Clock Tower 2 is still effectively creepy and at some moments downright scary.
Parasite Eve, on the other hand, is more of an action-adventure RPG game that has similarities to Final Fantasy VII in terms of gameplay and battle sequences. Parasite Eve takes place in New York City and does a wonderful job of transporting the player there by including well known landmarks such as Carnegie Hall, the Statue of Liberty and the Chrysler Building. Your character, Aya, spends the game investigating human mutation and mass murders as well as general destruction and chaos in Manhattan. Parasite Eve contains numerous gorgeous cinematic sequences which takes up much of the 2 disc set to progress the plot along. Parasite Eve utilizes a real-time combat system for battles and Alyssa can defeat enemies through weapons, items, magic (Parasite Energy). I wasn’t a fan of Parasite Eve’s odd choice of making you play through the game twice in order to truly complete it but at least each play through isn’t that long so the overall experience is still shorter than many games released today. In all, Parasite Eve is a fun and challenging game with definite RPG influence tacked onto it’s fairly linear horror storyline.
Currently in my collection:
Clock Tower 2 – game, manual, case B-
Parasite Eve – game, case (missing manual and bonus disc) B+