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Evolution Worlds

Preview By: Siou Choy

Developer:  Sting
Publisher:  Ubi Soft
Genre:  RPG
Est. Release:  October 2002
Posted:  7-20-02

OK, anybody familiar with Evolution: The World of Sacred Device and Evolution 2: Far Off Promise for the Sega Dreamcast raise your hands. Hmm. OK, well, all three of you should be right at home when Evolution Worlds is released for the Gamecube this October. You damn well should be; Evolution Worlds is nothing more or less than the DC’s infamous RPG duo packaged together and reformatted to play on the GC. Well, OK, they claim there’ll be a few changes, albeit ones that remain, in the grand scheme of things, essentially cosmetic in nature. Of the few substantive changes to the game, the most important will be the addition of the voice acting. DC gamers who just had to buy every available title will no doubt recall that Sacred Device was practically soundless (shades of the Saturn!), while Promise featured Japanese cast voiceovers (subtitled into English for the US release). Just to make up for it, over 100 new voices have been added to the game. Of course, anime fans will hear me when I express my hope that Worlds offers the option of choosing between Japanese language with subtitles or the new English dub in regards to Promise (however unlikely this may be to occur). And wait for it…new dungeons will be added to the game that can’t be found in the Dreamcast versions. As if two games full of nothing but those damn dungeons weren’t enough…

Being a traditional RPG, Worlds will be chock full (perhaps too full) of battles with monsters in castles and their dungeons, searching for treasure, and the standard turn-based fight system made popular by the likes of Final Fantasy. One thing that distinguishes Worlds from the run of the mill is the use of CyFrames, devices found throughout the game which can be attached to any given character and give specific powers to the wearer, such as the ability to project boulders at enemies. Mag, for instance, can equip the Hammer CyFrame, thereby gaining (duh) hammer attacks, or he can try on a Mind CyFrame, allowing him to use more powerful spells. Better yet, each CyFrame is upgradeable: additional parts can be attached to the CyFrames for further tinkering or modification, so you can build your own personal super-weapon (shades of Parasite Eve!). Funkiest of all, certain upgrades will allow characters to equip multiple CyFrames at a given time, which should seriously super-size that can of whoop-ass.

The skill system is the same as in Sacred Device, with characters earning technique points in battle which can be exchanged for new skills. Another thing that makes Worlds a bit different from the average RPG is how Sting has come up with some amusing and clever attacks, played strictly for humor value (one character throws food at his enemies!).

Those who missed out on the Dreamcast version of Evolution: The World of Sacred Device and Evolution 2: Far Off Promise will get another shot at getting it when Evolution Worlds is released on the Gamecube this fall.

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