Evoland is a game heavily steeped in nostalgia, very heavily in fact, and that’s the games hook. Evoland comes at you fully cocked with a very interesting and unique idea, to take the gamer on a journey through about two decades of gaming. From the graphics of your grandpappys era, to the high definition 3D that dominates these modern times.
So essentially it’s a gaming time machine, you’ll begin close to the Jurassic era of gaming with extremely 2D black and white graphics and no music. As you progress through each level you’ll constantly unlock new graphical options, such as color, funky music, enemies and everything else that makes games pretty. It’s a very enjoyable premise, it’ll give your nostalgia sack a delightful tickle, and it’s inspiring to see how far games have progressed in such a short time.
But there’s more to this game than just graphical progression. With the increase in graphics comes an increasing nod to fan-favorite RPGs. There’s dungeon crawling, turn-based combat, puzzles, and even items that will make you, the gamer, reminisce of Diablo, Zelda, Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest and numerous others. There’s witty dialogue throughout that winks at the flaws, or strengths depending on your opinion, of past generation games, NPCs that are directly referenced and a sword you’ll definitely recognize. All of which are smile inducing, at least on the inside.
So as I guess you’ve guessed, this game is a big nostalgia kick, and unfortunately that’s about it. The games hook, it’s graphical progression, dries up about half way into the game, and like other things in life that’s when the fun ends. Once you’ve hit the best graphics you’ll find Evoland doesn’t offer much, it’s just a mediocre game, with a typical and lackluster RPG story; find two halves of an amulet, save a town, beat a boss and be a hero.
True, it’s a very interesting and unique concept, and developer SHIRO should be applauded for their ingenuity, but nostalgia alone cannot fuel a successful game. Once that resource runs out all that’s left is a Diablo, Zelda, Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy mash up that has none of the spark of either. Dungeon Crawling is uninspired, and the turn based combat is very basic, lacking options for both attacks and enemies.
However, it is an experience, a love letter to the games of yesteryear, so if you’re a fan of nostalgia, and you’ve played the games I’ve listed in this article then give this game a go, I guarantee you’ll find at least the first half of this game enjoyable. It takes 4-6 hours to complete and is currently cheapish, clocking in at £6.99.
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