Evoland: Paying homage to RPG’s
If you’ve been following my blog then you’ll probably know I’m a gamer who was brought up on the Legend of Zelda series. These were the type of games that grabbed my attention – a game with a story on equal levels of magnitude. When I reached my Teens which would have been the late 90’s / early 00’s everyone was playing PSX games and naturally for me the Final Fantasy Games. Role onto April 2013 and a game I had been keeping an eye on was released, that game was Evoland.
Evoland is a RPG / adventure game that mixes elements found commonly in RPG’s such as the Legend and Zelda and Final Fantasy so naturally this caught my attention. The game and it’s gameplay begin in what was the “Old Days” of the RPG genre which you would have typically found on a Gameboy RPG (e.g Black and white graphics). Firstly the game begins with no sound or music and only the Right Key available to move your character to the right which coincidentally is where a chest containing a new ability is located. Evoland quickly takes the player through the earliest developments in video games. Very quickly you are given new abilities such as the Left Key to move to the left, 2D Movement, Basic Scrolling and then Sounds FX! Soon, the player finds their first weapon, a sword and shortly thereafter, enters the world of 16bit colors.
Evoland takes a leaf out of the Final Fantasy games found on the PSX graphical style later into the game with their method for moving about the game world as a hub and then placing towns / Areas on the map as pre-rendered backgrounds. As well the graphics and gameplay features evolving as you progress so does your encounters with enemies.
In Evoland they have done a good job of encompassing the different types of battles you can end yourself engaged in. Throughout the early stages of the game in which you are walking about in the World Map the battles are very similar to them you found in a Link to the Past which were to hack and slash at your enemies until you defeated them. As the game progresses the battle system changes into a Turn Based system, similar to that you would find in a Final Fantasy game. Granted this is only a basic version of a turn-based battle system but it does a good job of including the necessities without making it overly complicated.
Evoland also pays homage to the mini game included in Final Fantasy 8 called Triple Triad with its own version which they have named Double Twin. The aim of Double Twin is the same as Triple Triad in which you have to turn over your opponents cards by playing higher valued cards on a 3X3 grid. This version of Double Twin is a more simplistic version of the mini game found in FF8 but nonetheless it does offer some light relief to the game and aptly pays homage to an addictive side game.
Conclusion: To me Evoland does a great job of playing homage to the Legend of Zelda and Final Fantasy franchises in it’s own unique way. The gameplay moves at a decent pace and keeps you wanting to progress further. Even though the developers don’t have the budget of AAA triple they have done a good job focussing on the elements which I was able to recognise from my childhood into a single game. Overall a game that is definitely worth a play if you want an RPG that has the potential to make you feel nostalgic of RPG’s from yesteryear.