If the Dreamcast was such a bad system, then why are there so many games being translated over to the new systems? Just off the top of my head; Panzer Dragoon, Sonic Adventure, Crazy Taxi, Jet Set Radio, Phantasy Star and now, Evolution Worlds. It honestly makes me yearn for the system that kicked the bucket just over a year ago (sniff, sniff).
Which brings me to today's topic, Evolution Worlds. Evolution Worlds is the third Evolution game in the series and the first on the GameCube, which is kind of strange unto itself since Evolution Worlds seems to be the first two games recreated, put together and then added on to. Either way, Evolution Worlds offers a classic RPG in all its predictable (not necessarily bad) fashion.
Graphically, most players over the age of 12 will be put off as the game definitely has a child-like quality to it. Virtually every character is either goofy looking with exaggerated facial qualities, or is a kid. This includes the self-described sexy woman, who, early on in the game, appears to be about 14 years old. While this is fine for your average adolescent, it made me a bit nauseous. Things like this make me wonder all the more, since the game has a decent storyline that doesn't really gel with the kiddie graphics.
After playing a couple of hours, the graphics didn't bug me as the game's other qualities started to shine through, specifically the fine voice work. The game's characters actually speak and even though the words are on the bottom of the screen, I found myself enjoying the voice acting. It was pretty spot-on as far as the characters appearance goes. Another plus for me were the controls. Without even looking at the manual, I was easily able to use the game's friendly interface. Some might argue that the game didn't invent it's own combat engine but I say, 'If it isn't broke, then don't fix it'?.
With an average playing time of 50 plus hours, Evolution Worlds could be the RPG you have been waiting for. And although the graphics aren't as mature as I would have liked, the good vs. evil storyline and strong audio made me forget all about them after minimal amounts of play. Definitely worth the purchase for RPG lovers.
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As one of the first RPGs to come to the GameCube, Evolution is getting a lot of attention --perhaps more than it deserves. But that's only natural when you're one of the new kids on the block.
The game focuses on the adventures of Mag Launcher of the famous Launcher clan of adventurers. He's a spunky and determined lad who whiles away his time searching for hidden treasure in the plentiful dungeons near his home town. Unlike many RPGs that focus on creating a rich landscape brimming with colorful characters and baroque locales, the world in Evolution is almost entirely confined to huge mazes full of enemies and traps. Each of the two lengthy chapters in the game is anchored by a single, small town, meaning there isn't much real estate in the Evolution world.
Where it does resemble a more traditional RPG is in the turn-based battles. You'll fight foes using the power of your CyFrame, a special kind of weapon with upgradeable parts that Mag (and some of his comrades) can use. As you earn experience from fighting enemies, you can enhance your CyFrame with a number of special attacks or learn spells of your choosing. Mag can buy new parts for his 'Frame that let him heal his allies or flatten his enemies with a giant hand. His devoted butler, Gre Nade, has powerful martial-arts attacks and a whole set of spells that can only be used to benefit Mag.
The majority of the game's dungeons are randomly generated, which means you'll have a slightly different adventure each time you enter one. But this also precludes many of the clever design elements (puzzles, secret rooms and the like) you might expect from most RPGs. In short, don't expect this to be the next Final Fantasy.
But that doesn't mean you can't find something to like about this game. It seems as though the developers made up for the brevity of each quest with an enormous amount of spells and skills. The idea behind Evolution Worlds is to get there first and hope for the best.
Dreamcast owners might remember the original Evolution titles. They were fairly simple RPGs with randomly generated dungeons and turn-based battles reminiscent of Grandia II's combat style. In fact, they were almost entirely dungeon crawls, with very little taking place outside the confines of the various labyrinths. Worlds is a melding of the first two games with very limited improvements to speak of outside of a lot of new English voice acting. Still, it's not a bad deal for the RPG-starved GC crowd.
Evolution Worlds, the latest from series developer Sting and publisher Ubi Soft, is purported to be a mix between the original two games in the series, although these screens closely resemble Evolution 2. Once again you'll be joining the hyper-cute anime kids Mag Launcher and Linear Cannon (yes, everyone in the game is named after weapons--don't ask) on their Indiana Jones-style adventures. Of course, Indy movies never have three-hour sequences of Harrison Ford traversing a randomly generated maze; let's hope that Evolution Worlds doesn't have that either, for once. We do know that the series' excellent turn-based battle system will be back.