E.V.O. Search for Eden Review by: rcarter2Playing In a Time Machine
Survival of the fittest. All life forms in the animal kingdom play into this concept in some way. You are either weak and can't survive in the world, or you are strong and benefit off the failure of the weak. Also, anyone who has gone to high school knows this concept in their discussions on evolution. E.V.O Search For Eden is a game that is completely based off of this concept. As you start out on the bottom of the food chain, you bite, ram, stomp, or bash your way to the top. In this game, you get to start close to the beginning of animal life on earth and go through all the significant eras up to the age of the primates. This game is like playing in a time machine. Whether or not you like or hate the thought of evolution, this game can provide entertainment to all.
E.V.O is just what you love to see in an SNES game. The first thing I have to comment on are the environmental graphics. This game is top notch in variety of environments. You get environments ranging from under the ocean surface, the first formations of land above water, caves, forests, deserts, Ice Age terrain, and many more. Each one is also done very well. They paid attention to detail all the way down to the random bubbles and seaweed in separation from ice and snow in the glaciated areas. The colors are bright, but also very well shaded to give it a more in depth look. But as much as there is variety in environments, you will get just as much with the sprites in the game. First, for your character alone, there are 100s (if not at least a 1000) different looks you can have. In this game, you can make the slightest changes such as what type of teeth or tail you have or whether you are smooth, armored, scaled, or furry. Each change is small, but is made very clear in the graphics. Your enemies are just as diverse, as it seems a lot of them follow the same guidelines as you do. There are so many different looking enemies, I can't count them for you. Even better, they are done just as well as your character. You don't get that cheap effect of making enemies look crappier than your character. Great job for the SNES.
I have said it before, and I'll say it again. If game developers take the time and effort to give you a great variety of music in a game, that normally says a lot about what you can expect from the game overall. This game has some pretty great music, and with a variety of appropriate tones. For the most part, the music is either happy/cheery (and very catchy). However, you also get a variety of other tones such as dramatic/action, sad, gloomy, and creepy/eerie. These tend to play on the more key events of the story such as SPOILER (kind of) the death of the dinosaurs or when the yeti baby is orphaned END SPOILER. It really does a good job at setting the appropriate mood in the game. The sound effects are also pretty nice. Granted, the sound you hear the most will be when you chomp on an enemy and when you eat its dead meat. But even the little things such as landing, running into walls, starting to run, etc. have their own little sound effects. Overall, sound is done extremely well.
This game is a perfect combination of an engaging story, active game play, and variety. The story itself, is one of the more unique stories I have seen in an SNES game. It is highly creative. And in each new location of the game, you have new problems going on that all tie into the purpose of the overall story. You pretty much end up playing a significant part in many of the events that happen. It also give a lot of variety because you could literally play this game 100 times and get a different experience if you so choose. This is because you can customize your character at anytime of your choosing by spending evolution points. For the fish levels, for example, you could play through it one time with strong teeth, huge body, and armored scales, and play again with a sword nose instead of teeth, fast, smooth body, or small. Or you could do combinations of that (those are only a few of the fish traits you can customize). It is just fun to play around with the traits to make the most effective character, the weirdest looking one, or the most BA looking one.
The game does have one small flaw, which will be explained here soon. The story overall is, as I said earlier, very creative and engaging. The main aspect of the story is this (not a spoiler because you can get this from the scenes before the game. The sun gave birth to 9 children (even though we know now that it is 8 children. Pluto doesn't count anymore). Only one of those children supported life. Her name is Eden (Earth). Eden decides that she needs to choose one of the lifeforms to be her partner to guide life on the planet. She chooses you. To become her partner, you must be able to live through the trials of numerous animal eras to make sure you are the best choice. The part of the game gets a lower rating is the side part of this story. Throughout the game, you are allowed to use these mysterious crystals that cause different kinds of evolution. For the most part, you will likely ignore these as they seem to help you out very little. You hear a little about it through the game, but not much. You eventually find out how they get there, but that just comes up so suddenly. The story could have been a lot better if they could have put better development into the role of the crystals in the game. Oh well.
One thing I gotta make a small note is that the game play can get a little repetitive because in each era, you start out at bottom. You have all the weakest traits and you have to eat other enemies to get points to spend to get better ones. This can get a little taxing as some parts are just absolutely impossible to complete with some of the weaker traits. You will find yourself repeating levels or staying in one just building up points to get better customization. Why is the depth still a 10? There is still so much you get to do. Each era is a new type of animal such as fish, amphibian, dinosaur, mammal, etc. Each eras animal type give you an all new experience in game play. It is significantly different for each one. What is better is that you can further the variety in experience by making whatever character you want. If you make the right combinations of traits, you can even make flying creatures, a mermaid, and even humans. However, you have to pay attention to find out how to get the right combinations. Another nice little touch is that you have the option of making game ending choices. At various parts of the game, some bosses offer you the choice of joining them. If you do, the game is over, but you get a nice short story of what happens to you and the boss you joined as you dominate in power and eventually get killed. Anyway, the huge customizing opportunities in this game gives you so much for a game.
This is the other slight downfall of the game. For the most part, the difficulty of the last levels of the game is no harder than the difficulty than the beginning or middle of the game. Everything is pretty universal in difficulty. However, there are three bosses in particular that are specifically a hard and will likely give you a challenge. There is one in particular that can still frustrate me, and I have beaten this game like 5 times. As some of you may know, difficulty for me is a good thing as long as it isn't due to glitch problems or bad controls. This doesn't do too much to satisfy my thirst for difficulty.
In conclusion, this game is just good unique fun for anyone. You get to play a variety of types of creatures. You get to customize them in SO many ways to give yourself a new game play experience every time you play. The music is so catchy and fun. The graphics give a great variety and depth in both environment and characters. The customizing option makes this game have a high replay value and gives you so much to do just to play around. The overall story is fantastic and engaging, but they made one extra part an important aspect in the game, but don't develop it well until the VERY end. Lastly, the game is pretty easy once you get the hang of it, with the exception of 3 bosses that come to my mind. These together give it a very solid score. If you have not played this, you really need to, in my opinion. You won't be disappointed.