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Platform

Sega Genesis

 

Genre

Action side-scroller

 

Developer

Wolfteam

 

Publisher

Vertigo 2099

 

Year released

1992

 

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In Earnest Evans (EE), you assume control of an Indiana-Jones type character bent on stealing artifacts and defeating some of really bizarre enemies. To complete his quest, Earnest has a trusty whip (which flails like an epileptic snake on a vibrating bed) and the ability to jump, roll, climb ropes, and crouch. To help out along the way, he can also utilize a variety of "power-up" weapons such as rocks and a mace. The setup is nothing new but the real reason to play EE is the animation.

earnest evans,sega genesis    earnest evans,sega genesis    

Animation is unlike anything else available on the Genesis. All of Earnest’s body parts move individually, not unlike the characters found in Thunderbirds (a show starring a bunch of marionette puppets). This kind of animation is found throughout EE. The 

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graphics are good. The enemies are big enough to see but never seem to slow down the action much. And the anime touches are all right, too.

 

EE is on the higher side of mid-range when it comes to challenge. Levels are free form, meaning they can be approached in a variety of ways. Some of this is owed to the way Earnest can climb walls and use his whip to swing to other areas. Then there are the spinning launchers that 

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fling Earnest round and round then fire him great distances. Most of the challenge comes from avoiding traps like spiked walls and collapsing bridges. The various enemies and end bosses are cool to look at but ridiculously easy to beat. Just keep swinging the whip and you’ll be the winner. There’s hardly any strategy involved – no figuring out a pattern and attacking, just

attack and you’ll win. Of course, you have to watch your health meter because it goes down very quickly. Dying won’t really frustrate you since you can continue from the exact spot that you died so there are no, "Son of a . . ." situations, such as when you’re within sight of the end and accidentally bite it only to have to start at the beginning. What doesn’t help are the controls. They’re sluggish at the best of times and getting Earnest to do moves quickly is impossible. To make him crouch you must press down on the control pad once, then press it again to make him lie down. You’ve got to repeat the process in reverse to get him standing again. And when lying down, Earnest can roll but it’s never really clear where he’s going to end up so using it effectively is hard to do.

Sound and music are straightforward and completely forgettable. There aren’t any tunes you’ll remember years down the road. While the audio takes nothing away from the action it doesn’t offer anything to complement it either.

- Omni

 

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