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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Evolution: The World of Sacred Device Review

Original release:
Japan: December 16, 1999
North America: December 16, 1999
Europe: December 16, 1999

Game details:
1 Player
Standard Controller
VMU Compatible

Evolution: The World of Sacred Device is your typical RPG. If you've played Skies of Arcadia (which you probably have if you're reading this) you'll be very familiar with this. But Evolution is basically about grinding and grinding. (Grinding meaning that you go around killing creatures to gain experience and level up.) It has the same battle mechanism as Skies of Arcadia, Grandia, Final Fantasy, etc, etc. That could very well be a good thing. But in this case I feel that it's a bad thing; it doesn't bring anything new to the genre. If you've played these games before, it'll be a bit boring. It's the same thing over and over. And, worst of all, there's an awful lot of text. When in cutscenes, the game turns into a button masher. This makes the game a little unclear because it isn't a linear RPG. I often found myself clueless about what I'm going to do. I could run around for hours, just to find the right character, the right building and so on and so forth. While you could blame for being lazy and not reading the text, well, there's too much text.

With you, as your sidekick, you have a girl. Her name is Linear, ironically enough. She follows you wherever you go. And, as always, the AI is stupid. She jumps when you jump, she talks when you talk and she makes the game freeze for a split second when jumping. And you can't prevent this. The only option you have is not to jump. The gameplay itself is pretty decent. If you don't mind repetetive gameplay, it's a nice play. I found the different skills and spells interesting. You also focus on different aspects like attacking or healing. I just let my sidekick be the healer and I did the dirty job. Because someone's got to do it.

It features a story. But a very complex story. If you read all of the text it may be a bit less complex... But if I understood it right, you have to find this device. Hence the title ”Sacred Device”. After that Linear gets kidnapped. And, yes, you'll then have to go rescue her.

For me, this was the highlight of the game. Even though the graphics have a cartoon-manga style, they still look pretty good. Lighting effects are great. During the cutscenes, the character models look great and they are designed well. Although, when running around in villages, the colors are kind of vague. They are very similar to Skies of Arcadia.

The music is great. It fits the different environments extremely good and compensates for the repetetive gameplay. But some of the soundtracks are a bit annoying.

If you got tired with Skies of Arcadia (or any other RPG for that matter) and want to try something new but similar, try it out. If you just got the flu and you're staying home, try it out. You might find it entertaining if you like the genre. But as a real conclusion, this is your generic turn-based RPG.


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