Tag Archive: monster


evolve title

 

Behold this beautiful living planet! A place unlike any other with an abundance of exotic wildlife and fauna nearly untouched by human population and advancement. There is, of course, the small detail that everything existing on this world has a strong penchant for death and dismemberment – but that’s all just part of the fun! Oh, and let’s not forget the slight problem of enormously overpowered monsters that inhabit the world and aim to make it their own. But enough idle chit chat! Go and enjoy the beauty that abounds under foot, overhead and all around. Keep your weapons loaded and your wits about you. Welcome to Shear, Hunters!

Most people who see the words 4v1 will instantly have numerous thoughts fly through their heads such as ‘There is no way that is fair!’, ‘Someone must think themselves elite as all get out to expect to win solo against 4 people’, ‘This sounds totally AWESOME!’ Well, the creators of the much adored Left 4 Dead series have brought about a new world for fans of cooperative and versus multiplayer to annihilate each other in with Evolve.

evolveInstead of the usual 4 person cooperative against AI or 4v4 matches, Evolve introduces an asymmetrical fps experience that works amazingly well where no matter which side is represented, they will have to use every ability and know how in order to outsmart, out-maneuver and overpower the enemy before they end up gazing longingly at the winners circle just out of reach. Currently, there are 12 possible hunters that can be chosen from to include 3 assault classes, 3 support classes, 3 medic classes, and 3 trapper classes. The beauty of it lies in that each of the hunters all have unique weapons and abilities which can aid their team in different ways (however they do all share the same class ability whether that be a shield, invisibility, regen field, or mobile arena). This allows for numerous combinations and strategy when it comes to completing the objective or destroying the monster for that particular match. The monsters have similar options, though seeing as they are solitary hunters, there are only 3 variances as of right now to include the Goliath, the Kraken and the Wraith – each with their own devastating attacks and abilities.

Before even deciding which hunter or monster is to be played, there is the choice of map and objective which can greatly alter the outcome of the match if not taken into account. Evolve is so much more than simply the hunters and monsters going after each other for the kill. The heart and soul of the game lies in its Evacuation mode – a 5 map alternating circuit where the outcome of each match has the potential for beneficial or detrimental effects going forward for the winning and losing side, finally leading up to a finale where the fate of the planet is decided. Additionally, each map mode can be played on its own or rotating. There is hunt mode – where hunters track the monster throughout a decently large map and aim to kill it before it kills them; Nest – where hunters aim to destroy monster eggs before the monster hatches or kills the hunters in the process; Rescue – where survivors scattered and injured throughout the map must be revived and escorted to the dropship to safety before the monster kills them first; and Defend – where the monster (and its powerful minions) aim to destroy generators and ultimately the power ship as the hunters work to thwart its destruction.

Within each match there are also additional things to keep in mind besides hunters and monster killing each other evolve huntersand trying to complete the main objective. Hunters must be wary of the environment as well as each other as wildlife can easily incapacitate a hunter whether it is by elite albino creature or by man eating plant. Monsters have the additional tactic of up-keeping the games namesake and evolving by consuming fallen wildlife throughout Shear to reach the coveted and extremely volatile stage 3 monster.

The variances in maps, matches, monsters and hunters lead the game to having over 800 thousand possibilities with no two matches every being quite the same. But wait, there is even more! Each hunter can be leveled up in their unique weapons to become even more powerful and useful to the team; where monsters can do just the same to reach that ever desired Elite status of mastery. An overall leveling system unlocking hunter and monster perks as well as badges and other accolades are also tracked; and lets not forget the bragging rights on how high each class or monster is ranked on the leaderboards.

Looking past the concepts that make up Evolve, its core makeup is pretty solid in itself. Gameplay wise, the controls are smooth and fluid whether it is using the jetpack to traverse cliffs or get a birds eye view of the terrain to switching weapons and aiding teammates in need. Running, jumping and jetpack evasions all but scratch the surface as even the great size of the monsters is attributed in their great leaps and span over the land. Visually the graphics are beautiful from the plants and creatures found on Shear to the harmful effects of acidic gas flooding from destroyed power plants and airships flying overhead. The only problem is taking a second to actually enjoy the beauty all around as you careen across the landscape in hot pursuit of death itself. Evolve is truly a solid gaming experience all around no matter if you prefer playing solo with extremely intelligent AI bots or with friends and strangers through multiplayer rounds.

evolve wraithNow let’s take a moment to explore the more controversial side of Evolve: the reviews! If you look around the Internet, likely you will come across a huge array of reviews having outstanding scores to dismal ones. How could this be possible? Well, there are two sides here – those based on gameplay experience and those based on sales experience. The gameplay experience reviews will likely be the higher of the two in regards to the actual gameplay, graphics, sound, replay-ability, controls, and ingenuity (basically, everything the developers worked hard to implement into the game); the sales experience reviews will be the lower tier, most not even giving the actual game much chance because of disagreement with involvement from a monetary standpoint. What is frustrating is that for those gamers on the fence about trying this game, it leaves them little help in what to think when enough negative reviews may make a large enough impact to scare them away from trying a game they might actually truly enjoy.

So why the money issues when it comes to Evolve? Well, it mostly boils down to the $60 price tag, day one dlc, a season pass and pre-order bonuses. I will honestly say that I can see their point, but I wholeheartedly disagree with where they are coming from. Here are some thoughts on it –

The price tag: yes, it is the full price that most new games retail at. Take into account the amount of time, effort and resources the developers put into creating a game such as this and it does add up. If it is too much, simply wait for the price to go down – it will.

The day one DLC: I agree, it is frustrating to see at times. Why put out a game when there is still additional contentevolve creature that should be implemented into it originally and force gamers to pay extra for something that could have simply been launched from the start? I get it. However, the day one DLC complaints are really not an issue at all because of one simple thing: what could be bought had zero impact or advantage to playing the game. If buying weapon and character skins is really that big of a deal, well then just don’t buy them – they certainly won’t make you play better and is just for those who like to stand out from the crowd a little bit (something that most players will likely not even notice amidst everything else going on).

The season pass: Most games these days are coming out with them, however it comes down to each individual game if paying the extra for all additional content is truly worth the price. Take Borderlands 2 for example, is the season pass worth it? Most definitely! What about a season pass for a game that simply offers a couple extra maps and weapons? Well, maybe not so much. Evolve’s season pass is hard to pinpoint right now as nothing additional has come out for it yet. More monsters and hunters have been announced and speculated and perhaps even additional maps or game modes, but we will just have to wait and see what lies in store.

Lastly, the pre-order bonuses: How this is even an argument baffles me, and yet I have seen it mentioned. In today’s retail world, pre-orders are what guarantee sales for companies and in return they often offer free exclusive content to those purchasing the game. Taking advantage of this benefit is not only held by a particular group of people – anyone can do so simply by pre-purchasing or putting a small amount down on the game before its release date. That said, the bonuses for doing so are non-game changing: skins, extra characters, a map or maybe a weapon. Most games coming out have pre-order bonuses linked to them, and whether people decide to take advantage of it or not is purely up to them.

evolve goliathSo take what you will from media and user reviews and decide for yourself what is truly worth your hard earned time and money. Not every AAA title with great reviews is loved by all and not every low scoring game is a complete waste of time. Play what you want and then make your own opinion of it. Sometimes it doesn’t even matter what the game is so long as you are having fun with friends.

Regardless of it all, Evolve is a solid multiplayer experience for next gen consoles and pc that already has accumulated over 100 years time in gameplay since its launch a couple weeks ago. Whether it is fighting and dying with friends and strangers or showing off solo superiority, there is much awaiting on Shear for all.

It is out there. Waiting. Fighting. Hunting. Dying.

Evolving.

Theirs was the story of a promise; a tale of the great ruler of monsters and the boy who gave his all to her, and the eternal bond that they shared.

For as long as they have existed, humans have always wished to turn a blind eye to things they do not understand. Monsters, ghosts, vampires, werewolves, spirits – the list goes on; and most, if not all, of these beings are simply chalked up to fantastical writer’s musings and creative minds.

But what if they are wrong?

This world in which people live is a dangerous place where being different and going against the norm can entail severe consequences. So what if the world suddenly came to realize that these “fictional monsters” were in fact very much real? A world where vampires, beastmen, and other wonders walk amongst humans on a daily basis; simply using their fictional status as a shield against harm. However, the time for hiding away in secret has finally come to an end.

Vampires have made their presence known and the ruler of the vampires, Mina Tepes, has announced the creation of a place called the Vampire Bund – a place where all vampires can live in safety. Humans, and even some vampires however, are not so eager to accept this agreement and arguments over the bund, vampires, and their overall relationship are thrown into question at a rapid pace.

Meanwhile, Mina has been reunited with her sworn protector, Akira, with whom she made a lifelong promise with as a child. Akira is a member of the earth clan and is also a werewolf; but due to the failure of an important mission involving the vampire true bloods one year ago, he has lost nearly all of his memories and constantly struggles to piece his past, and his life, back together. Of those memories, one of the first to return is the promise he made to Mina as well as his love for her. Although his protection at first lies wholly on instinct, it soon forms into a duty he would lay down his very life for.

Dance in the Vampire Bund is a supernatural anime series involving action, romance, and malicious plots from every angle. The goal sounds simple enough: to create a specified area as a haven for all vampires of the region – but no plan is ever so flawless. Various Japanese politicians plan to withhold support and backing for the bund, a rebel band of humans and vampires called Telamir take constant action to destroy any peaceful prospects between the races, and the three true blood leaders bear their fangs and power in hopes of marrying the princess and continuing the blood line. Even amidst all of this turmoil,  a glimpse as to how humans are dealing with the emergence of vampires is seen through the academy Mina and Akira both have connections to. As students either run in fear or become vampires, the lines begin to blur between friend and enemy; and knowing who to trust can make all the difference.

As characters go, in general most people will form some kind of opinion of them whether it be love, hate, endearment, annoyance, envy or admiration. But what happens after all is said an done? Oftentimes, many of these beloved characters fall to the background – gone but not forgotten.  Every so often though, a character may emerge that truly stands out. Mina Tepes is one of these characters. She takes the form of a young girl with long blonde pigtails dressing in all fashions from school girl to Lolita to medieval dresses. But despite her appearance, Mina is anything but a child. Being one of four true bloods and the ruler of vampires, she is not one to be taken lightly as she is much wiser than her 9 year old appearance implies. She is a strong willed spirit that will stop at nothing to ensure her goals are reached; yet at the same time, she has a caring heart and even through the most difficult of situations she retains the perfect image of strength and courage. Although she wishes for humans and vampires to be able to coexist, she does not hold this above the safety and well-being of her own people. One of her main purposes even for building the bund was to provide a sanctuary for the fangless – vampires who voluntarily removed their fangs so as to not feed on the blood of humans. Mina draws her strength not only from within but from those loyal and close to her; especially Akira, and the unwavering trust they have for each other.

I honestly wasn’t too sure what I would think of this anime for the first couple of episodes, but somewhere along the line it drew me in (and don’t even think of comparing it to Twilight…just. don’t.). Some people criticize it for certain elements within, particularly concerning designs and occurrences with Mina in her childlike form; but from what I saw, they are not present enough nor create such impact as to mar and detract from the story being told. The story itself weaves a twisted path and oftentimes no matter how you want to feel about a character, their decisions dictate an automatic response – at least temporarily. Perhaps what drew me in was that the vampires, werewolves, and other beings have actual reasoning to what they do and how they exist. For example, vampires are generally destroyed by sunlight, however when a certain substance is spread on their skin they are allowed to walk in daylight for a limited amount of time unharmed. It does not simply magically happen. Perhaps it is the masterminding political intrigue that keeps everything between humans and vampires in a tumultuous state of order. Or it could be the relationships the characters form with each other. Or maybe it is simply a tried and true method of the princess and knight in shining armor deal, which even in all its overused glory still holds a certain charm.

I must admit that this short 12 episode series that I had very little expectation for has intrigued me – more so now than ever. I do plan to read the manga for this as well, and who knows how my thoughts and inclinations may change afterwards regarding what I have written here.  But regardless of reason, I am glad to have found this and look forward to reading more into it.

Even if you end up as the world’s enemy, I’ll still be your knight – Squall, FFVIII

Interesting fact: Mina’s name in the series comes from two distinct and well known entities. Mina is the name of the original woman Dracula sought as his bride in the original novel. Tepes is the Romanian word for ‘impaler’, originating from the historical warlord Vlad the Impaler.  This was a man often recognized by his patronymic name, Dracula, and who’s excessive cruelty was known and feared throughout Europe during the mid-1400s.

I also recommend listening to the opening theme: Friends ~ Aika Nakano