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Neon Genesis Evangelion (For N64)

Review by: Ikusabe Wataru

After staying quiet for several months, GAINAX once again proves that the EVA series still has the power to attract people's attention.  Together with one of the most famous and well respected gaming companies, Bandai, they released the first N64-based Evangelion game cartridge late September this year.  Unlike all the previous EVA game titles, this time the game is all about the EVA units.  Starting from the first episode as in the series, you will battle out with the Angels as seen in the series: one on one close range combat with the 3rd and the 4th Angel, fighting the 5th Angel with the positron rifle, synchronizing your attack with Asuka against the 7th Angel (since you will be controlling the game as Shinji) and so on.

The game itself is divided into three difficulty levels from easy, normal to hard.  Each time after you beat the game on these levels you will receive a certain omake (special) function, the sound test chamber, 3D CG gallery and the mission selection screen which will allow you to jump into any of the missions after beating the game.

One other thing that makes this game special is that the game not only contain the storyline from the original series, but also those from the movies as well.  Out of all 13 missions in the entire game, three of them are battle scenes taken straight out from the Evangelion ending movies. They are the battle scenes between Asuka's Unit 02 and the JSSDF VTOL planes and tanks, Unit 02 versus Production Models and the final battle of Unit 01 versus Production Models (the only scene that is not exactly the same as shown in the movie throughout the entire game).

During one on one close range combat with the Angels you will first have to neutralize your enemies AT field -  as in the anime - before your attacks will become effective.  There are also several other elements that will affect your performance during these combats, the sync rate, the power cable and the distance between you and your target.  If your power cable is broken, your EVA is switched to on-board power and you will be given the usual 5 minutes to kill the Angel or your EVA will go down.  Your sync rate is directly proportional to the amount of damage your EVA can do in each attack, so the higher the sync rate, the more damage.  As in the anime, if the sync rate drops to zero, your EVA will deactivate itself.

Overall, this EVA game is a great improvement compared to previous EVA titles but it doesn't meet the standards the previous titles had set, which in my personal opinion, proved only one thing: the EVA series is great as an anime, but lousy as a game. ^_^;;

Review Info File
Shin Seki Evangelion [J] / Neon Genesis Evangelion [E]
Nintendo 64 game cartridge * (Rumble Pack compatible)
Production:  Bandai
Rating:  B-
Amazing 3D real-time rendering with incredible details and smooth motion make the EVA units come alive, but like all the EVA games that came before, players are restricted to play only as the story was written.  The control is a bit slow as well, especially during one on one battles with the Angels.

*  North American Nintendo 64 system owners will have to purchase a converter (ranging from $3 - $10US) before the import cartridge can be run on the domestic system.  The first release of the game also comes with a small pack of Cardess Masters Cards.

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