Developer(s) – Shiro Games
After watching some of 30Chompi’s videos, I was intrigued by how good and interesting this game looked at first glace. Featuring a world, which evolves as players progress, it presents a combination of both turn-based RPG and real-time combat. Unfortunately, whilst the gameplay is very good, this title does have its flaws; so much so that I wouldn’t advocate paying the £6.99 asking price currently on both Steam and Desura.
Graphics – 6/10
The game consists of a nice blend of both 8-bit visuals reminiscent of classic Final Fantasy and Pokémon games, and cel-shaded 3D graphics synonymous with games such as Wind Waker and later Dragon Quest games. It was unique of the developers to have combined two distinct visual styles like they did, but the game isn’t so unique from a conceptual standpoint, bearing a striking resemblance to most entries on the Zelda series in its enemy and character designs.
Gameplay – 8/10
As a classic turn-based RPG, it works extremely well, since there is also the decent combination of that and real-time combat thrown in for good measure. It makes me respect this game to a certain extent, since it was able to do this far better than Final Fantasy XII; a game, which I deeply disrespected for this very reason. The developers didn’t try the same stupid tactic of combining elements of the two at the same time and presenting a title unbearable to play.
Controls – 10/10
The idea of top-down exploration in video games had been well and truly established back in the 90s with releases such as A Link to the Past, so there would have been real problems if there had been any issues with Evoland’s control scheme; but thankfully, there are none. It’s a straightforward game to play with no unnecessary complications.
Lifespan – 1/10
Unfortunately, this is where my opinion of this game starts to fall downwards sharply. It would take an average of no more than 4 hours to finish, which for a turn-based RPG that incorporates elements of Zelda games is absolutely unacceptable. I was stunned to learn about how little a time South Park: The Stick of Truth lasts after I played through it last year, but this game certainly takes that kind of disappointment to an entirely new level.
Storyline – 4.5/10
The story is also particularly standard and typical of a game of its kind. It involves the player character out to thwart an ancient evil that has recently been resurrected after laying dormant for years. The standout element of which is that the world changes along with the progression of the game, similar to Final Fantasy VI. The problem is that there isn’t a great deal present to distinguish it from the likes of Zelda, Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest in that respect.
Originality – 3/10
Though the combination of both visual and gameplay elements come together nicely to form something somewhat different, the fact of the matter remains that there are too many recurring elements seen in many prior games beforehand, and it makes me think that the developers could have put much more effort into it in order to make something a lot more unique than what was given. The enemy designs, at least, could have done with another looking at before completion.
To summarize, Evoland ended up being much less than what it could have been. Despite engrossing gameplay from start to finish, it lasts a cripplingly short amount of time for a turn-based RPG; I was bitterly disappointed by that revelation alone to not be able to recommend it.