From the very moment I pressed ‘New Game’, I fell in love with Evoland. It’s a game that integrates evolution of the action/adventure, RPG and JRPG genres in its mechanics, starting out with a GameBoy black and white Zelda-like experience and ending with a full-fledged 3D boss battle. It’s simply amazing. But.
It doesn’t really hold up as a game that well. Ironic, isn’t it? It’s a great, and, most importantly, niche experience. If you’ve played video games for the past 15-20 years at the least, or you were/are interested in a lot of old games before your time, I think you’ll find this nostalgic trip quite enjoyable. I mean, come on, you get to buy an upgrade that removes CD loading times (that were indeed put on purpose) from the PlayStation era locations. How cool is that?
But the game is very basic. It’s got mechanics from Zelda, Final Fantasy and Diablo, and they all, while present a solid foundation, don’t have much depth to them. There are clever moments, don’t get me wrong, and the part where you time travel between Old and New graphics has got to be the most enjoyable section of the game, but it doesn’t feel enough. The soundtrack is really cool though, and game-related humor is amazing.
Still, this brings up an interesting question. Does a game need to have flawless mechanics that do not get old quickly to truly enjoy it? Perhaps that’s a topic that requires a more detailed discussion later. But at least in case of Evoland, I can honestly say – no. No it doesn’t. I loved every second of it.