E.V.O: The Search For Eden

Okay, so this is the first time that I’ve actually pulled a game that is worth talking about on its own merit rather than two paragraphs of whatever followed by two sentences about the game. So here goes.

E.V.O: The Search For Eden, was a pretty innovative RPG for its time. It took RPG genre conventions in a pretty interesting direction and offered character customization that was rarely seen in consoles of this generation. The premise is this: Gaia, a personification of the spirit of Earth (man do JRPGs love their gaiaism), wants you to find Eden, but I guess she wants you to work for it so you have to run a darwinian gauntlet of no-holds barred eat-or-be-eaten paleolithic combat.

You start out as a pretty lame looking weak-ass fish.
You start out as a pretty lame looking weak-ass fish.

One of the things that the retro-goggles of my childhood concealed from me was the sheer amount of grind in this game. The levels are small and there are really no puzzles to speak of, just combat to get points to upgrade your fish into a way cooler fish. I had no time for this, so did what any hardworking games journalist would: I cheated.

Old and Busted
Old and Busted

Okay, so that was a little closer. But we can do better.

New Hotness
New Hotness

Yeahhhh!

So this exposes what I suppose is the only flaw of the game: that it has one but only one good idea. The game consists of getting EVO Points, getting sweet new body parts, and continuing. After awhile you have to fight a big shark who turns into some giant pieces of sushi, and then turn into a pretty stupid looking walking fish.

Hideous. Evolutionary dead end.
Hideous. Evolutionary dead end.

Oh, it gets worse, dear reader.

BEHOLD:

Ugh. Just. Why are you this way?
Ugh. Just. Why are you this way?

But mere seconds later I am a sweet dragonsaur, so it’s not all bad.

Yeahhhhhhh
Yeahhhhhhh

So this game is still pretty fun, but if you have any fond memories of it just look at these pictures and go on about your day with a smile on your face as you remember eating other, smaller creatures for kicks.

You’re welcome.

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Dungeon Master

These graphics are blowing my imagination away!
These graphics are blowing my imagination away!

Let us delve now, traveler, into the adventure-packed realm of Dungeon Master! Our four players will be Paul, Matt, Nick and Jason. I, Scott, will be the DUNGEON MASTER!

Scott: You stand in front of the cracked stone edifice, gazing warily into the utter blackness of the doorway. This is the dungeon that you’ve heard so much about. First, you must wander the HALL OF CHAMPIONS and select a player character!

Paul: Why?

Scott: You need someone to represent you as you wander around the dungeon killing monsters and finding treasure! Trust me, this will be great.

Paul: Fine. I’ll take…uh, “Iaido.” I’m a fighter.

Matt: I’ll be “Zed.” I guess I’m also a fighter, although specializing would be wonderful if I get the opportunity.

Scott: Ok, let’s mix it up a bit. Nick—why don’t you play as “Elija” the wizard?

Nick: Sure, whatever.

Scott: Great! Jason, how about you?

Jason: I’m “Syra,” a woman.

Scott: Right, but what class are you playing?

Jason: Woman.

Scott: You know what, let’s just get started. What are you armed with?

Paul: I’m a fighter. I have a falchion.

Matt: I would appear to be wielding a club, so hopefully I’ll have the opportunity to find a more useful weapon. While I appreciate that blunt objects are better against some kinds of undead, the club is rather unwieldy and is primar—

Nick: I have magic I think. Wizard.

Jason: Boobs! And being a whore! Ha ha!

Scott: Yes. Right then. You walk through the ancient corridors, the faint drip of water hitting the stone floor the only noise aside from your anxious breathing. It seems as if you’ve been wandering for some time when you come across a metal gate. To its side there is a small stone button in the wall. Beyond the gate, you can just make out what appears to be a figure wrapped in bandages.

Matt: We move forward cautiously.

Scott: You bounce off the door, each taking a few points of damage!

Paul: Wait, what? We just took damage from walking into a door? That’s retarded. Don’t be stupid.

Scott: Look, that’s what happens, ok? Maybe you should look at the button.

Matt: I’ll press the button.

Scott: Good idea! As you press the button, the metal gate raises upwards and the figure becomes more distinct. It’s a mummy!

Paul: What? Why? Why is there a mummy here?

Scott: I don’t know, but he’s standing over what appears to be a water skin, a club and an apple!

Jason: I’ll pick up the club and the apple.

Scott: The mummy turns and begins to advance!

Jason: I throw the club at it!

Scott: The club misses and falls to the ground at the mummy’s feet! He still hasn’t done anything yet, but he probably will soon!

Paul: I’ll hit the mummy with my falchion. There, 16 points of damage.

Scott: The mummy is destroyed! He leaves behind some corn.

Nick: Corn?

Scott: Yes, corn.

Nick: Like, corn corn?

Scott: Corn.

Nick: Corn, the vegetable?

Scott: Corn.

Jason: I take the corn!

Scott: You continue wandering through the dungeon. Here and there, you see a coat hook. Suddenly, you come across another door!

Matt: Does this one have a button?

Scott: Yes, this door is made of wood and has a wooden button in the wall.

Jason: I throw the corn at the button!

Scott: The corn bounces uselessly off the wooden button and onto the floor.

Paul: HOLY SHIT THIS IS STUPID.

Scott: I agree. Rocks fall, you all die. Except you, Matt. You’re already dead.

Matt: Your inside joke does not surprise or entertain me.

Jason: I pick up the corn again! HEY-O!