A fighting game with a back story...? They threw in a lot of information into the game for anyone who wants to take the time to read it, surprisingly enough. Still, they did make an effort to try and make something a little different. The average fighter lineup also appears to be atypical for such a game concept, with things like young male mages and such. Interesting variety! I was also surprised with how much depth they tried to give the cast. (Tried in the sense of the effort was there, but I do not they succeeded 100% with it).
Gameplay: 4 / 10
I think this might have been the lowest point of the game. They made the fighting concepts a bit simple, given they went to such trouble to make it a 3-D fighting game for the PS1. There is not a great amount of variety between the cast's abilities and what they can do in combat. There is some differences in damage, special abilties (when you charge them up) and throw techniques, but hardly a learning curve between all the warriors present. In effect, this creates little incentive to fight with anyone but your first random pick. Even the original Street Fighter 2 for SNES had far more different fighting styles for each of their warriors.
The fighting itself plays out... okay. The pace is fast in some ways, but it feels sluggish in others. Also, the health bars are unspecified during battle, (There are character names near them, but they are rather distant from the bar which is along the bottom sides of the screen, so you need to know which side you are on right from the start of else you waste time with that instead of clubbing your opponent with moves).
Controls: 4 / 10
The game did little to take advantage of the real potential of the playstation controller, but at the same token it was not so bland it negated it's purpose. The directional pad, attack and guard buttons were really all that was needed to play / win / lose, etc.
Music: 7 / 10
I think this was a strong point for the game. The soundtrack did not have a lot of different tracks, but there was decent variety, plus most of the music was upbeat and able to keep up with the action.
Sound Effects: 5 / 10
The game effects did it's job. They neither stood out nor held the game back, so they worked fine. The voice acting behaved in much the same way, but I noted they put a lot of it into the game with a great deal of dialogue between characters. Would have been nice if they tried to match the lip movements a little more...
Graphics: 6 / 10
An interesting mix of graphics was used through the game. The movies and many sequences were done in a very serious, professional-style anime, helping to boost the curiosity and interest for this game. I think the movies are the strongest point though, as the in-game graphics felt a bit lacking. To be fair, however, PS1 can only so many 3-d vertices on the screen at a single time before causing slowdowns, so it does make some sense that the backgrounds are a bit spartan. The models' complexity turned out alright, though I wonder with some of the textures if they worked out right for the design.
Evil Zone is one of those games you either got into liking right from the start or you end up hating it, putting it away on your shelf and never bother to look at again.