OverBlood 2 (オーバーブラッド2) is a 3D action-adventure video game developed by Riverhillsoft for PlayStation and directed by Akhiro Hino.
It’s the sequel to the game OverBlood, released on the same platform. The game was published in Japan by Riverhillsoft on July 23, 1998, while a PAL version was released in Europe a year later.
OverBlood 2 is set in the year 2115 A.D., 70 years after an event known as “The Sudden Death of the Earth” – in which the planet’s atmosphere became no longer habitable. As a result, all life on Earth is reliant on machines that regulate the planet’s temperature, keeping the air breathable.
You play most of the game as Acarno Brani, a 24 year old “junk blade” racer. After relocating from “Greyland” to “East Edge City” to further his career, Acarno finds himself involved with a group of freedom fighters in a war against “Hayano Industries” – a corrupt corporation that plans on choosing a select few to leave the planet on a giant craft, rendering all life on Earth dead in the process.
The below video from TheGamingBritShow on YouTube is the best video to watch if you would like to get a feel for the game and understand it’s story in-depth;
The game features seven episodes, plus a hidden bonus episode unlocked by earning 2000 “Clear Points” (points accumulated by playing the game).
Between Episodes – which are all set in different locations – the player generally has the option to explore “East Edge City” in order to buy items, weapons, talk to non-player characters and find hidden perks in the game.
- Episode 1 | Encounter
- Episode 2 | Awakening
- Episode 3 | The Underground Space
- Episode 4 | A Bloody Rose
- Episode 5 | The Deceptive Jungle
- Episode 6 | Edgy Kids
- Episode 7 | Another Future
- Episode 8 | Final Break Down [Bonus]
Production, Release & Reception
OverBlood 2 was developed by now defunct Riverhillsoft (リバーヒルソフト Ribāhiru Sofuto) – a Japanese video game manufacturer in operation from 1982 to 2000. They had notable releases for platforms such as the MSX, LaserActive, 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, PlayStation, Dreamcast, Game Gear and PC-FX.
The director of the game was Akihiro Hino, who previously worked as a programmer on the original OverBlood game. He would later become the CEO of developer Level-5, which he founded just a few months after the release of OverBlood 2.
The earliest article (I was able to find) which mentions a sequel to the original OverBlood game came from GameSpot in August 1997. The short piece – titled “OverBlood Sequel Announced” – briefly mentions a press event held by Riverhillsoft at which OverBlood 2 was announced. Interestingly, the article states that the game would be called “Battle for Condor”, and that players would play as the “game’s main character, Akaan” – neither of which reflect the final release.
A comprehensive writeup of what players could expect from OverBlood 2 was posted on the English version of Riverhillsoft’s official website (which can now only be viewed via the Internet Archive) not long after the event at which the game was announced. The article describes OverBlood 2 as a “3D active adventure” and makes several references to the game being vastly larger than the first entry in the series. An overview of the game’s plot is given, in addition to information about the characters.
Prior to the game’s release, Japanese gamers were encouraged to reserve the game for 6,800 yen – with a deadline of 22nd July 1998 – to receive a limited edition “Premium Disc” bundle. Limited to 10,000 copies, fans were either able to reserve their copy at their local store or by mail via a form inside various printed promotional publications released in Japan called “OverBlood 2 Preview Book”. Several volumes were released, each of which contained a mail order slip.
This bundle included a three page fold-out document entitled “MISSION MAP 2 plus α”, a leaflet detailing the game’s controls and also a disc within a printed cardboard sleeve named the “East Edge File” containing information and character profiles that do not exist in the main game.
In order to help promote the game, a CD presented in a cardboard sleeve was also released in Japan, which featured the intro movie from the game.
A demo for OverBlood 2 was released in September 1998’s edition of the Japan’s “Hyper PlayStation Re-mix” magazine (hyperプレイステーションre-mix). The fully playable demo (which can be completed in around 10-20 minutes, if you know where to go) features a level not seen in the official release of the game – you can see this for yourself on the Videos page.
Pictured; The cover of “Hyper PlayStation Re-Mix No. 9”, released in September 1998 (OverBlood 2 is mentioned on the left).
In addition to producing OverBlood 2, Riverhillsoft were also responsible for publishing in Japan and Russia – the game was released in these two countries on July 23, 1998.
Other OverBlood 2 releases shortly after include three separate strategy guides containing information about the game – all in Japanese and released around the same time as the game.
1999 saw the release of “OverBlood 2: Another Story” (オーバーブラッド２ アナザー・ストーリー)- a 288 page novel featuring five short stories that further explore the world, characters and story before, during and after the events which take place in the game. Authors included;
pril 13th). These dates can be found on the back of different physical copies as seen below:
Two PAL releases; Taken from the back cover of their respective releases.
Over the years, players worldwide have noted various translation mistakes and inconsistencies across the multiple regional releases. In an interview with GameCulture, Mark Estdale – an industry veteran voiceover actor and sound engineer – looked back on his work on the voiceover localisation of the game (for it’s European release). He stated; “Years ago, I was asked to produce voices for OverBlood 2 (a PlayStation One game). I read the script. It was awful, translated to English from Japanese by Italians so I suggested rewriting the English to match the stylized Japanese, or making it into an acted comedy or to scrap the whole thing.
I was told the script was perfect and couldn’t be changed and that we must do it with seriousness. We squirmed and the actors wept. When the game finally came out we discovered amongst many painfully awful mistranslations that the hand bomb throwing device was a grenade launcher and the whorehouse key level was actually a warehouse. A bit like the classic football team with a clean sheet having clean bed linen in the French version.”
OverBlood 2 received a 5.7 average score at GameSpot.com compared to the original OverBlood’s score of 5.3. In comparison, the two games are cited as being very different, shifting from sci-fi horror/survival in OverBlood to a 3D action game in OverBlood 2. The story does however lead straight on from the first instalment, despite the difference in gameplay and presentation.
During the time of it’s Japanese release, the game was reviewed by many different gaming magazines, receiving average scores. One area both games were criticised on were the faults with the games graphics, animation and excessive dialogue in cutscenes. GameSpot’s James Mielke published an English review of the game on September 2nd, 1998 with the title; “If you were a fan of the original, leave it at that”. He cited a lack originality and lengthy movie sequences that “drag on forever.”
When the game was released in Europe over two years later, it received further English reviews, such as the one below circulated in the UK;
Pictured; An OverBlood 2 review in issue 55 of Official UK PlayStation Magazine back in February 2000.
The OverBlood series received more recent attention after being the subject of the popular online video series Super Replay by the editors of Game Informer magazine. During the Super Replay, the editors criticised the lack of the ability to skip cutscenes, the convoluted storyline and the general lack of direction. Since this release, there have been other videos playing through OverBlood 2 on YouTube – many of these share similar opinions on the game, but also praise it’s ambition.
Nearly all of interviews with OverBlood 2 creator, Akihiro Hino, relating to the game are in Japanese (the most in-depth of which are featured in the 3 strategy guides released in Japan only). However, speaking about both of the OverBlood games, in this article from Game Informer in 2015, he reflected on the series and is quoted as saying; “On OverBlood 1, I was programming all by myself. On OverBlood 2, I was directing, planning and writing scenarios. Those were some of my most hardworking days. That’s the way I liked it, but I really couldn’t sleep then.”
The "Game Ending" Bug
Many players have reported a “game ending bug”, which prevents the player from completing OverBlood 2 – however descriptions of the bug seem to vary.
Prior to this website going live, the only other written walkthrough in English for OverBlood 2 was by an online user named Samy on NeoSeeker. During Episode 2 of the game the author describes a game breaking bug, saying; “By going down and towards the black area on the left, you should normally get across a new area. Although, my screen goes black and, well, stuck. I can’t seem to be able to do anything… Stuck definitively then…” – the walkthrough and game was never finished by Samy and was last updated way back on 17th February 2000.
The Super Replay (the most popular OverBlood 2 replay online) by Game Informer did not have a glitch in their copy. However, the team say “the crew “faked” the glitch at the end of Episode 5″. According to them; “Episode 5 is probably most well known for being the episode in which the Replay crew “faked” the game-ending glitch that affected certain copies of OverBlood 2. This caused some controversy among some members of the Replay fanbase, who believed that the Replay crew had “given up” on seeing the rest of OverBlood 2.”
In November 2020, The Gaming Brit posted a fantastic review video for OverBlood 2 which details the game’s story in length as well as some facts about the game including the “game ending” bug – which he experienced first hand.
During the part of the video which discusses Episode 2 of the game, TGB explains how the freezing occurred while trying to enter a particular room. As the version of the game in question was a physical copy, it is thought the freezing occurred simply due to the amount of assets the game was trying to load.
The PAL version of OverBlood 2 was initially released by “Event” in 1999 – the copy played by TGB. It’s believed that the re-released version by “EON” in 2001 included some form of patch for the bug. This is why the PAL version of OverBlood 2 is often thought to have been released in 2001, instead of 1999 and explains why not everybody experienced the bug while playing a physical PAL copy.
The good news for players is that there are plenty of non-bugged physical copies of the game and downloadable emulator versions available. Head over to our “ROMs” page to start playing.