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Sting RPGs

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Page 1:
Introduction
Solid Runner
Treasure Hunter G

Page 2:
Baroque

Page 3:
Evolution

Page 4:
Riviera

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Yggdra Union

Page 6:
Knights in the Nightmare

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Evolution: The World of the Sacred Device / Shinkisekai Evolution (神機世界Evolution) - Dreamcast (1999)

American Dreamcast Cover

Japanese Dreamcast Cover

European Dreamcast Cover

Sting sure loves their little treasure hunters. Although not technically related to Treasure Hunter G, Evolution weaves a similar tale about the youngest in a family of explorers. Unfortunately our hero, Mag Launcher, isn't very good at it, which has brought shame upon his clan. Evolution was localized by Ubisoft, and is technically Sting's first game to be released outside of Japan. The cover might seem cute, but the game is far duller than the character designs would lead you to believe.

Characters

Mag Launcher

Our not-so-intrepid hero wears a device called a Cy-Frame, which can be upgraded with various arms featuring different combat abilities. And yes, nearly all of the characters in the game are (rather strangely) named after weapons.

Linear Cannon

Linear barely speaks at all throughout both of the Evolution games, so she's only barely a character. Still, since she's a girl with an unknown past, you can count on her being central to the plot. Fitting in nicely with stereotypes, she's mostly a healer.

Gre Nade

Gre is the coolest character in Evolution because he's a shotgun wielding butler. He also has other skills, such as a cooking ability which will diminish enemy stats when they eat his disabling food.

Chain Gun

Chain is technically Mag and Linear's nemesis, but she (yes, she) ends up adventuring with them anyway. Much like Mag, she wears a Cy-Frame, although hers can fly. Also something of a tomboy.

Pepper Box

Pepper is the foxy new adventurer in town, and also tags along with Mag & Co for reasons which are mostly unclear. Her visor is pretty cool looking though.

Eugene

Eugene is an absurdly snotty enemy general who is obsessed with finding Evolutia for himself. He also takes an immensely creeping liking to Linear, so naturally he must be beaten down.

Evolution is more focused on dungeon crawling than your typical Japanese RPG, as you scour through randomly generated corridors to find treasure, find enemies, and locate the stairway to the next floor, only to repeat until you run into a boss. Although there are five playable characters total, you can only take three characters with you at a time. Like most of games of this type, the dungeons are extremely repetitive, consisting of the same few textures repeating over and over. The super deformed characters are charming, but the stale environments completely drain any potential life the game may have had.

Thankfully, enemies are visible on the screen, so you can choose to run from them if you don't want to fight. When you do decide to get into a scuffle, you're subjected to the same slow and boring turn based battles we've been fighting for years. The only difference is that enemies and party members can shift into three different planes, which changes the damage you can deal or receive, as well as your order in the turn queue. Characters have a lot of different abilities, which can be unlocked via points obtained from battle, but the battles still never feel like anything more than a chore. The game as a whole is tremendously short and not at all satisfying, as the plot is pretty sparse. What is there isn't very interesting, although the light sense of humor ensures a few mild chuckles here and there.

The only reason anyone ever payed attention to Evolution to begin with as because it was the first RPG on the Dreamcast. Otherwise, it would've just fallen through the cracks, where it belongs. But that didn't stop them from releasing a sequel.

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Evolution (Dreamcast)

Evolution (Dreamcast)

Evolution (Dreamcast)

Evolution (Dreamcast)

Evolution (Dreamcast)

Evolution (Dreamcast)


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Additional Screenshots


Evolution 2: Far Off Promise (神機世界エヴォリューション2 遠い約束) - Dreamcast (1999)

American Dreamcast Cover

Japanese Dreamcast Cover

Evolution 2 isn't so much of as sequel as an expansion - the characters, gameplay, graphics, pretty much everything is the same. The story picks up right after the end of the original, where Mag and friends head to the town of Museville in order to explore more ruins. To its credit, the plot is a bit more involving than its predecessor. And while there's a random optional dungeon that can be explored to level up your characters or find bonus stuff, most of the regular dungeons are premade, although they're still pretty boring.

Characters

Yurka

Yurka is the serious looking dude featured on the American and European covers of the game. He appears to be associated with Linear, and no one is quite sure whether he's friend or foe.

Carcano

A local pirate bandit is one of the primary antagonists of Evolution 2.

All of the dialogue is fully voiced this time, and Ubisoft left it in Japanese for the Western releases. So while it's an improvement, it's still hardly exciting. Given that it was churned out less than a year after the original, it was probably made to preempt better Dreamcast RPGs like Grandia 2 and Skies of Arcadia.

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Evolution 2 (Dreamcast)

Evolution 2 (Dreamcast)

Evolution 2 (Dreamcast)

Evolution 2 (Dreamcast)


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Evolution Worlds / Evolutia (神機世界エヴォルシア) - GameCube (2002)

American GameCube Cover

Japanese GameCube Cover

For some reason, Sting packaged both Evolution games onto the same disc and released it for the GameCube under the title Evolution Worlds. The gameplay is exactly the same, and the graphics don't seem to have been improved at all. Even though the two games have been combined to create one long narrative, a whole huge chunk of the original Evolution was cut out. The original game had five ruins (Blind, Descent, Shades, Heaven, Sheol), while the Worlds version only has you adventuring through two (Blind and Heaven) before you face off against Eugene and his army. This was probably done to speed up the pacing of the game, because even though the first game is pretty short, it definitely drags. The only other real change is that full voice acting has been added, and the Western version features full English speech instead of the Japanese voiceovers from Evolution 2 segment.

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Evolution Worlds (GameCube)

Evolution Worlds (GameCube)


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Evolution: Eternal Dungeon (神機世界エヴォリューション 〜はてしないダンジョン〜) - Neo Geo Pocket Color (2000)

Japanese NGPC Cover

Evolution somehow earned a port to the Neo Geo Pocket Color, courtesy of Sega. Subtitled "Eternal Dungeon", the basic plot and gameplay is practically identical to its bigger brother, although everything had to be scaled down into tiny 2D sprites. All of the dialogue and special attacks are accompanied by a variety of colorful portraits, and the entire town is navigated through a series of menus. The dungeons are also preset as opposed to randomly generated, and the game as a whole is quite a bit more difficult. Oddly enough, the English dialogue in the story scenes is very close to Ubisoft's fairly competent translation of the Dreamcast game, but the battle text is littered with type of hilarious spelling errors one would normally associate with anything SNK. ("Dameged"? ""Has beated"? "Has been in a faint"?)

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Additional Screenshots


<<< Prior Page

Next Page >>>

Page 1:
Introduction
Solid Runner
Treasure Hunter G

Page 2:
Baroque

Page 3:
Evolution

Page 4:
Riviera

Page 5:
Yggdra Union

Page 6:
Knights in the Nightmare

Back to the Index