Evil Zone suffers from been there

Evil Zone
Genre
Reviewed On
PlayStation
Available For
Difficulty
Intermediate
Publisher(s)
Developer(s)
ESRB
ESRB
Author
PlayStation
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I must start out this review by immediately making it clear that I’m not the biggest fan of fighting games in general. Now, some good ones have come along, like Tekken 3 and Marvel Super Heroes, but for the most part, it is very difficult to do anything in a fighting game that hasn’t been done before. While there is some freshness to it, the inevitable fact above is what Evil Zone primarily suffers from.
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First off, let’s start off with the name — Evil Zone. What?!? What kind of name is that? Who got paid to come up with that title? A third-grader could have come up with something better than that, but I digress. Next is the premise. Nine warriors (only 9, I mean Tekken 3 had like what 57) gather to defeat the great evil sorceress Ihadurca (don’t try to pronounce it, just read and move on).
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If she is not stopped, Ihadurca will destroy the planet I-paraseru (don’t ask). A tournament of warriors throughout the galaxy, is held to see who will fight Ihadurca and stop her.
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Hello?!? If I remember correctly, isn’t this the exact same premise behind the original Mortal Combat. Some originality please, people.
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Onto the gameplay. Fighting game afficionados will right away realize that you only use two buttons in this game, attack and block. If you’re looking for a gigantic series of Right, Up, Left, Triangle, Circle, Down, Right, Put your Left foot in and put your Left foot out, you do the hokey pokey and you shake it all about, to pull off your most amazing moves, look somewhere else.
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Depending on your point of view, this can be either a welcome change or a complete rip-off. I come down somewhere in between. It certainly is simpler to do most of the moves, but after a while you begin to feel a little cheated as obviously the range of moves that you can do is somewhat limited.
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Now some of the moves themselves do look very good. But again, not to the extent that your jaw drops to the floor and you say, ‘gee golly that’s something I’ve never seen before.’ However, when you lay the smackdown on your opponent with one of your big moves, the camera angle immediately changes to the best possible spot from which to see your move. This little added feature was definitely a nice touch.
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Strategically speaking, the game, thanks to the prominent block feature (there are only two buttons to use after all), keeps the bouts from being an offensive slobberknocker like so many other fighting games. Again, depending on your of view, this is either a gift from a good witch or a bad witch. I personally can’t stand a fight that’s over before you even have a chance to yell ‘Mommy, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up,’ thanks to someone busting out their biggest whuppin’-stick move as the word ‘FIGHT’ has barely even disappeared from the screen.
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The nine characters themselves are graphically speaking, very well done. If you look closely enough, you’ll notice that their hair actually gets messed up during the battle, a nice detailed touch. A majority of the characters though are throwaway copycat stereotypes that seem to come with every fighting game. Alty Al Lazel and Kakurine are the wizard and the witch, respectively. Midori Himeno and Erel Plowse are the punk girl and blond bombshell girl, respectively. Keiya Tenpouin is the man in black and Danzaiver is obviously the Ryu character of the game, but even more obviously he is the red Mighty Morphin’ Power Ranger. I smell a lawsuit.
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Two other characters though will automatically catch your eye, although for very different reasons. Linedwell Rainrix looks like a cross between Marilyn Manson and Sid Vicious. He has what certainly looks like to me to be a pentagram scratched into his chest and I swear during one of his big moves, he appears to stab himself with his sword. In a word — he’s awesome.
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The other character is Setsuna Saizuki. She is an Asian schoolgirl complete with skirt and blazer. I don’t think I need to elaborate any further as to why she has been singled out as a good character.
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Last, but not least, is Gally ‘Vanish’ Gregman. He is what can easily be termed as the big, dumb, strong guy, found in nearly every fighting game. However, I’ll use him to dive into what is the best feature of Evil Zone — the story mode.
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The Story mode is when you take a single character and play through the game, but instead of just moving from one fight to the next until the end, it is treated like a television show, where each fight is like a singular episode. Most of the stories of the characters are boring and repetitive, but Gally’s is top to bottom, hysterically funny. The voice acting is so top notch over the top that I was laughing after every &#34;episode.&#34; The Story mode is one of the most imaginative features I’ve ever seen in a fighting game and one of the few redeeming qualities the game possesses.
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People who gobble up fighting games like skittles will probably like Evil Zone (despite the title). However, Story mode notwithstanding, the game suffers from the glut of fighting games that have already come along and done just about all there is to do with two people facing off and trying to pound the heck out of one another.

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