Evolution Worlds
Game Info
Platform(s)
GameCube
Publisher
Ubi Soft
Developer
Sting
Genre
RPG
Official Website
ESRB Rating
Comic Mischief, Mild Language, Violence
 
Grade
The Good

• Anime quality voice acting
• Good RPG for people new to genre

The Bad

• Graphics are okay
• Monotonous gameplay
• Fairly easy

 
Grade
C

Evolution Worlds is a compilation of the two Dreamcast Evolution games, but with some graphical tweaks for the port. The story revolves around Mag Launcher, a young explorer from a family known for their history as ruin explorers. Some years ago, Mag's father disappeared, but managed to send a note with the young girl Linear back to Mag, informing him to watch after her. When the 8th Imperial Army comes looking for Evolutia, a legendary Cyframe (kind of like a mechanical augment/weapon that the characters use), Mag and Linear find themselves thrown into conflict. While the game starts out by just throwing you into the game, most of the history of the characters is revealed as the game goes along. Most gamers won't help but feel as though the story could easily pass for a Saturday morning anime like Pokemon.

Gameplay: At its heart, this game is a multilevel dungeon crawler. Players have a party of three characters that they must take through a few levels to reach the top of each ruin, picking up items from chests, avoiding traps and dealing with the occasional on-screen enemy. Once you come close enough to the enemies, you'll be brought into what boils down to be a standard turn-based combat. Each character will get to choose to attack, perform skills or talents, use items or even move, which allows you to move your characters back and forth between the ranks. Being on the front row allows you to cause more damage, but you also receive more damage. This aspect of the battle-system, while nice, seems to be only effective or of any real use in rare instances.

To use skills, a character must expend FP, which can be regained by performing normal attacks or defeating an enemy. Also, characters will gain points that can be spent to earn new abilities. Once back in town, the player can also upgrade their Cyframe to level up certain aspects of the Cyframe or (with the right item) add new slots to learn new attacks. While you find a standard range of healing items, there are some more useful items included that can affect allies and enemies position in combat and can even reveal traps and items on the level your progressing through.

For the most part, the pattern of the game is fairly predictable: cutscenes to push the story along, move around town to get supplies and add allies to your party, go through a dungeon, fight the boss, go back to town and repeat.

Graphics: Because it really is just a souped-up port, Evolution Worlds does look a lot like a Dreamcast title. The anime-style characters and enemies have a decent level of detail and some limited animation, but you will not be impressed by how the game looks. The dungeons, while having some nice textures, tend to look fairly similar by about three or four levels in. Unfortunately, each of the dungeons seems to be composed solely of halls and open rooms, with very little to break up the monotony. Except for the nicely polished, if simple, CG-rendered cutscenes, there isn't a lot here that will impress.

Audio: Probably the strength of the audio portion is the voice acting, which isn't on par with some of the more dramatic performances of Metal Gear Solid 2 or Soul Reaver 2, but is comparable to most Saturday morning anime. On the other hand, the sound effects and music are mostly forgettable and don't really add anything special to the mix.

The Bad: Let's not kid ourselves here - this games needs a lot more variety in both the design of dungeons and number of monsters. By the time you hit the second dungeon, which features ten floors plus the boss floor, you're going to grow tired of look at similar levels and fighting the same handful of monsters over and over again. If it wasn't for the dire need for experience points, you'd end up skipping most of the enemies in the later levels or each ruin just to get to the boss for something different to fight. On top of that, this game is easy on such an epic scale that unless you've never played an RPG before, you'll find yourself throwing items away as you've filled you 30-item limit before the fourth floor.

In all honesty, this title is just fine for younger gamers or those who need an introduction to the RPG genre. Seasoned RPGers will grow tired of this game fairly quick. With the mainstream anime feel of the story and the simple, almost introductory gameplay, I can not recommend this to anyone, except for those who have never played the genre before. And even then, I would suggest just renting.

- - Kinderfeld

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