Evasive Space Review: Lost In Space

Evasive Space
Lately, it seems it usually takes a really good reason for a lot of Wii owners turn on their systems, sit down, and play something that isn’t “Wii Sports,” “Rock Band,” and/or ”Guitar Hero.” After all, those are some of the best party games that have been released in the last few years, and that’s why the Wii has become a party system for a lot of owners – only to be played when guests are over. However, if you look really hard, there are a few reasons to turn on your console, and load up a game, and sit and play, even if company isn’t over. “Evasive Space” is one of those games, developed by High Voltage, and published by Akinai Games, it was released last week via WiiWare. It may not be “the next big thing” but it does offer quite a bit of fun in a small package.

“Evasive Space” has a very loose story about a Stellar Guardian named Konki who has to reignite the universe by collecting stolen constellation stones, and defeating the evil Dr. Dark Matter. It’s not a great story by any means, and it’s told through text boxes that preempt each level. The blandness of the story, as well as its presentation is one of my few complaints about the game, but it’s easy to look past, when compared to the gameplay. In fact, you’ll most likely find yourself ignoring the story completely, and focusing mainly on beating the levels, after all that’s really the heart of this game.

The controls are very easy to pick up and understand, but will take a long time for you to master. You control Konki’s ship using the Wiimote as a pointer, aiming at where you want her to fly and giving the ship gas by pressing the “B” button. It sounds really simple, so simple in fact, that it should remind many older gamers of playing the original “Asteroids” in the arcade. While it is a pretty basic control scheme, it’s the amount of practice that really requires some finesse to perfect. It’s not a perfect system, but it provides just enough challenge to make each level fun. As you fly around, you can pick up power-ups that upgrade your ship, allowing you to improve your shields, controls, or even speed up of the ship, all making the game just a little bit easier.

Evasive Space

There are three different types of levels that you’ll encounter throughout the course of the game’s twenty levels. While the two more open style of levels offer their own unique type of challenges, by forcing you to avoid asteroids, and collect stranded spacemen and derelict ships to progress to the next level, the maze levels are where you’re really going to find “Evasive Space”’s real frustration challenge. These levels are twisting corridors that you need to traverse in a set amount of time, in order to collect the level’s constellation stone, or simply make it to the exit, but usually it’s both. As you’re battling the clock the you also need to avoid various obstacles throughout the board, and, of course, crashing into the walls.

Every time you make it to the end of a level there’s a level of satisfaction that few other games offer, and somehow that’s one of the game’s downsides. It’s too damn short. While twenty levels over the course of five acts will keep you busy for quite some time, you’re still left wanting more. I realize that it is only a WiiWare title, and not a full retail release, but, and this could be the masochist in me speaking, you still want just a few more levels.

Evasive Space

As if it’s an added bonus, “Evasive Space” also offers a selection of local multiplayer levels that allow you to challenge your friends to some of the game’s most difficult levels. Go head-to-head at collecting as many spacemen as you can in the shortest amount of time, and see who wins. It’s a nice little addition, and it encourages you to play through the game’s single-player levels in order to unlock more multilayer ones.

Not since “N+” was released on Xbox Live has a game driven me as close to tears as “Evasive Space” did, due to the sheer amount of times I repeated each level, each time a little more determined than the last. That’s the draw of “Evasive Space,” it’s simple enough to draw you in, but it’s challenging enough to keep you playing until you beat each level, which usually results in hours of “just one more time,” or, “ I swear this is my last try.” As long as you’re willing to put a little effort into perfecting your style on the controls, “Evasive Space” is well worth the effort, and frustration (you know, the good kind).

Rating: ★★★★☆

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