"A bad start to the series."

Earnest Evans is the prequel to the classic El Viento. Earnest Evans was released in 1991 by Wolf Team on both the Sega Genesis/Megadrive, and the rather common Mega CD release (it was one of the first titles for the system after all), which was released only in Japan. From what I’ve gathered, the Mega CD release just adds a CD soundtrack along with animated cut-scenes. Unlike El Viento, this game is just a mess, and should be avoided.

Since I’m a nice and lenient person when it comes to games, I’ll start with the good first. The game casts you as Earnest Evans and you are looking around the world for some sort of book that will apparently stop the summoning of a powerful god named Hastur. The ending makes room for a sequel, which is usually a good thing. For this game, I’m not too sure – as the game was bad the first time around, but at least the sequel was improved. The story is just like its prequel, meaning this game's story is involving and told through some pretty decent cut-scenes. It’s a shame the Mega CD release didn’t make it outside of Japan, because it’d be nice to see the animated cut-scenes. Apart from the story and cut-scenes, the only other thing that is good is the music, which is fitting to the game, but it won’t stick with you long after you finish the game.

The game plays a lot like its sequel, which is somewhat of a good thing. The bad thing is that there is more bad than good.

The game's biggest problem is the movement, Earnest moves like a robot, he even looks like one! Getting more in depth, each limb of Earnest rotates much like a 3D model would in games that use 3D graphics. However, being strictly 2D, Earnest looks more robotic than human. Some people hate it, I only like it from the programming aspect but it looks out of place. The enemies have rotating limbs, but its okay, as most of the enemies you are going to face are not human anyway. The other big problem is the fact that at times Earnest will get into poses that aren't so easily reversible and might frustrate newcomers, it’s simple to overcome though. This problem is mostly caused by Earnests whip, which causes more trouble than it should.

Just like many other the other games in the genre, this game lacks replay value, which is a good thing as I don’t want to play this game anymore.

Earnest Evans had a lot of promise, but these technical and gameplay problems just ruined my enjoyment of the game. Thankfully, everything was almost fixed in the sequel, but for some people, it was too little, too late. The game is rather cheap and somewhat common, so you can easily get it and judge it for yourself.


Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 10/07/03


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