Recently Finished: Evoland

This game is a pretty much perfect example of how to squander the potential of a good idea. Making an homage / a parody on the evolution of RPGs/games could have been SO GOOD.

But besides some neat bits in the early parts, many of the later parts of the game make it devolve into a bit of an inconsistent mess. You reach the final parts of “evolution” relatively early, around halfway into this rather short game (average for the main story is around 3-4 hours), which is a Final Fantasy 7 style 3D world (and that’s far from the only thing taken from FF7… sigh). After that, there are mostly small bits and pieces added/changed and many of them are just used for one area or aren’t of any consequence (like the inventory interface that is just used for some reference jokes and does not look good on a 4K resolution).

Several of the homage/parody elements also don’t amount to more than being a nuisance after being a one-time chuckle at best, like the “Loading” screen that you can upgrade from by spending a lot of money on a DVD Player in the shop of the final town. The chain combo that you unlock in a late dungeon is neat at first, but the amounts of enemies the game throws at you then don’t really make it fun. Then there’s the mini-map “evolution” that you get far too late in the game cause it really is only useful for the dungeon you are currently in, everything else where it would have been nice (like the fire/trigger puzzles you have to do for the amulet halves) is already over and done with at that point…

What little story there is, most of it seems pretty much ripped from FF7 with some elements of other games strewn into there. I guess some might see this as a cute homage, personally I found it pretty lazy, but to each their own. The way the different battle systems were employed as well as the system used exclusively for the final battle (I think that one was supposed to reference the Ys series) makes the design seem very inconsistent and just thrown together for the sake of having the references. I get wanting to cover the more important things, but there is too much of a good thing if your game is too short for it.

Overall, I sadly have to say: Skip this one, go straight to the second one (going by my experience with the second one so far), they aren’t connected anyway from what I can tell.

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