(03.02.2002 - Winning Entry, Feb2002 Contest)
From the creators of Desire...
Those who expect the same level of suspense, intrigue, and drama
as EVE Burst Error had better
look elsewhere. Yes, this features the EVE cast. Yes, you need
to be familiar with EVE to understand what's going on here. But
this isn't EVE. Not quite.
The graphics. As time marches on, so does technology. If anything,
the graphics look better in ADAM than in EVE simply because it's
newer. The artwork, to put it simply, is outstanding, and the
detail and highlights that go into the smallest thing, such as
hair or even cigarette smoke, are superb. The character designs
of the EVE cast haven't changed all that much, except for new
tastes in clothing (Kojiroh still dresses rattily, though), and
the new characters look just fine. ADAM also uses the higher-quality
Lucid Motion 2 engine for its animation sequences, and it shows.
Sound effects and music haven't changed all that much from its
predecessor, as the game still relies on MIDI sound, but none
of it is really annoying, just mediocre. You'll either start tuning
it out after a while or simply shut it off. There's still voice
acting in the game, though except for Chief Kono, none of the
original VAs from EVE are back. There's nothing really wrong with
the new group, though, and the VAs for the new characters do an
above-average job, but there's something just slightly off with
the original characters from EVE. If you never played EVE before,
you probably won't notice it.
ADAM has adapted the "Touchable View" mode of gameplay,
which has its pluses and minuses. Instead of a bunch of choices
sprouting up at the bottom of the screen, you move your mouse
cursor around the screen and click on whatever you wish to interact
with. The upside is that this gives the player a sense of greater
interactivity. The downside is that it's just that, a sense, and
you'll probably be better off with the old "choice list".
This is only compounded by the fact that despite having the mouse
highlighting something important, sometimes you can't really tell
where or what to click to advance the game, and all you can do
is to simply click over every square inch of the image before
you finally discover the right spot. And, when you boil it right
down to the basics, there's not really much difference between
highlighting and clicking an object on-screen and highlighting
and clicking a text choice at the bottom of the screen if you
get the same results, which you do!
The good old Multi-Sight System that allows you to swap character
perspectives still exists in ADAM, and it still can drive players
crazy by trapping them in one character until they figure out
that they have to switch to the other one to trip a flag point
to proceed with the story.
Which brings us to the story. And that opens up a whole can of
worms. The translation of ADAM was being done at a time when Himeya
USA was about to collapse. And eventually Himeya USA did fall,
stalling the translation project for a long time. Somehow Himeya
Japan completed the translation and the port and decided to release
ADAM anyway without any script revisions and barely any beta testing.
And it shows. Misspellings and grammatical errors abound throughout
the story, and some sentences have to be read twice or even three
times before they can be understood. The mangled English isn't
all that incomprehensible; you just have to put some extra effort
into deciphering it. And it does get the story across, which is
important. That brings me to the story itself. Somehow I can't
really reconcile these characters with the same ones that appeared
in EVE. Sure, what happened in EVE was a tragedy that must have
influenced all who were intimately involved in the incident,
but it couldn't have changed them so dramatically, could it? I
just feel that the characterizations of the two main characters,
Kojiroh and Marina, were off in a subtle way, and I can't really
say why. I can only say "it's not like them to be like that".
And the plot itself squicks me. It leaves a myriad of unanswered
questions and dangling loose ends. And the sequence that appears
after the credits roll simply begs for a sequel.
The extras are the standard fare, a music hall and a CG gallery.
Nothing more, nothing less. No replays for the animation sequences,
though, which is a big BOO!
So what can I say about ADAM? In itself, it's not all that bad
if you can tolerate the flawed English, and those who missed the
sex in EVE Burst Error will be happy with the graphic depictions
in ADAM. And those who haven't played EVE Burst Error might find
it interesting. But as a successor to EVE, it falls short. Now
if only someone can translate EVE: The Fatal Attraction, which
includes both ADAM and its sequel in one game...