Evoland...Can its evolving nature keep you interested? Read on to find out.

So how does one tackle Evoland? Not high budget, not AAA and not from a major publisher. But should you ignore it? Does it provide enough, and is it different enough to warrant our attention. I was given this game to preview and my first impression was, ok this is an indie game but even then, why am I playing a monochrome Game Boy game? Now I'm not going to stand here and say that Game Boy games are not fun but what I will say is that, they may not have the appeal they previously had. So I dived into the unknown and if first impressions are anything to go by, I can admit this had to be the worst.

As you start the game, the only function you have is the right arrow key. Then the game starts to get interesting. It did something I am yet to see in a video game and it did it with flair which kept me wanting to play this game even more. You walk right and open a treasure chest to start off the game. This treasure chest then unlocks the functionality of moving left, then up and down. You now have access to movement. As I continued, I unlocked 8-bit graphics, attack, story, NPC's to 16-bit music and HD 3D polygon graphics. After around 3 hours of playing I'm still being drawn in by the notion of what will I unlock next.

The battle system started from a Zelda-esque free style to basic turn-based to a more now in-depth turn based system. The turn-based system is reserved for the battles taking place on the world map, where as in dungeons, free style battles are still retained. From basic free style battle; the battle system through functionality unlocks now provides me with a combo system, that not only is fun and enjoyable, but vastly satisfying.

The game continues to evolve, and though the story is nothing original, it does just enough where I am now to keep me interested in continuing. I was asked what made me continue playing? - And to be honest, it was the whole concept. The game was rightly named Evoland. That title has little to nothing to do with the main game, however what it does have something to do with is the way the game itself evolves from a monochrome game to something you would expect on say the Nintendo DS. The game play is entertaining, the presentation is ever improving, and at present I am unaware if the game will take another "evolution" for the better.

The game itself borrows heavily from that of Zelda and Final Fantasy, with similar style environments, battle systems, and even the inclusion of the "Crystal" and last surviving hero, all ideas brought by the now world renowned Final Fantasy series. This has two potential impacts. To those who are a fan of either series, familiarity and awareness of what your game playing experience will be like. This also means that you should expect similar naming conventions and styles throughout the game. If you are opposed to both those two games then this may be more of a hindrance to you. To me as an avid Final Fantasy gamer, this was a welcomed addition and helped me adjust and become more honed into the game.

Something not spoken about is the music. This is not because the game lacks music, or has a poor soundtrack. The music starts off non-existent. As you continue your journey, you unlock 8-bit music which adds to the atmosphere of the game. Eventual progression has lead me to 16-bit music. Some of the music is so memorable that I still find myself humming the music, very catchy and suiting to its environment. My only hope is that the improvement in the music continues and I am presented with greater exposure to the soundtrack. It is by no means a Nobou Uemetsu (Final Fantasy) masterpiece. It is however, greatly suited for the game and at present not a single tune has sounded bad. To the contrary, it's been pleasing to the ear.

The game itself however is made easier. Being an RPG you would expect equipment upgrades and weapon upgrades and you wouldn't be mistaken. This game delivers the lot; however you have no control on what you equip and when you equip them. Everything you pick up is equipped for you, which does deviate from the gaming experience. To me this was a big downer yet I also could understand why is approach was taken. It's easier for first timers and the complexity and annoyances of customisability are gone however, for the more avid RPG gamer this alone may be enough to make them turn the other way.

So at present can I recommend this game to anyone? It's tricky. If you have read what I have written and find the whole evolution concept interesting, which it is, and is the reason why I still at present playing the game, then I would say play it. The game, music, mixture of battle systems, and continuous evolving nature make this one of those games that despite it not looking great, not having an earth shattering story, makes up for itself through its merits and strengths and is enough to keep you wanting more.

With all that said and done, I cannot discredit this game. I still have the urge now to go back and play it and this is nothing short of the brilliant execution of the whole package. It is for this reason that preliminarily I would like to give this game a 6/10. It's nothing amazing but still worth your time, should you have nothing else to play.

6/10

(PC Review)

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