by QuadGrinder (firstname.lastname@example.org) - [Monday, February 01, 1999]
In general RPG games are fun despite the quality of graphics, but with the hi-res backgrounds, and characters in Evolution, it is just icing on the cake. Never before have I seen explosions like the ones in this game, they are transparent, and have no pixelization or blockiness to them. Smoke really looks like smoke, and fire really looks like fire, the green poison fog put on you by enemies really looks awesome, like you could walk right into the stuff and choke on it. The characters actually have expressions on their faces, and even the enemies are not limited to "3 frame" animations. Only flaw that this game has as far as graphical presentation goes is there is some slight slow-down during a couple of spells that are cast, which involve the floor being ripped up, and enemies flying everywhere, while many special effects are being used at the same time.
Although this title is extremely fun, it really does not offer anything new in the world of RPG gaming. Even though the menus are all in japanese, simple trial and error will have you a Evolution professional within a half an hour. Albeit there are times where it would be helpful if you knew what the other characters were saying, you get an overall feeling what the story is about, and never once did it bother me. As in most RPG games there is your standard Item shop, Magic upgrade shop, your bar, your home, and other peoples houses to visit.
Mixed feelings arise along the lines of music in Evolution. While sometimes the BGM can be repetitive, and cheesy, a lot of the musical scores in the dungeon are very well done. As far as the Effect sounds go, they are top notch, each enemy has their own "effect sounds". The explosions sound great, guns, flames, power ups, etc. all sound realistic.
I first have to say, congrats to the ESP/STING team for even including VMS screen support, as we missed it on games like Tetris 4d and VF3tb. Each Evolution game save only takes up 8 blocks on your VMS, so storage space is not a problem. The only thing that is rather annoying is, if you have 2 VMS's in order to save Evolution to the 2nd vms, you must have it in the one player controller, very annoying since the weight of 2 VMS's in your controller is a little to much for my taste. On the VMS screen during gameplay, your Characters name, and HP are displayed, and updated in real-time, although this is redundant while in the dungeons where your hp is always displayed, it is a nice feature to have while walking around town.
After defeating this game, you will think back to how cool those bosses were, and you will want to take a trip back on memory lane, and start up Evolution for another go. This time you will be smarter, and the game will actually be better the second time around. It was for me at least!
Importers will not be sorry they bought this game, as it is destined to be a genuine Dreamcast classic to set the way for other RPG games for the DC. I will have fun beating this game over and over again!
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