Evoland 2 is the spiritual successor to the original Evoland with its graphics style changing as you travel through time and its gameplay evolving as you move along the storyline. It is also a much bigger game and a classic RPG at heart, with a complex scenario based on time travel, dozens of characters with their own backgrounds and ambitions and vastly different gameplay styles that are linked to the story and the player’s actions.
Full of humor and references to classic games, the aptly named Evoland 2, A Slight Case of Spacetime Continuum Disorder brings a truly epic and extraordinary adventure, unlike anything you’ve ever played before!
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I didn't play the first Evoland game, but when I had the opportunity to meet up with Shiro Games on gamescom 2015, the first thing they told me was that they took the time, over a year, to analyse what could have been better on Evoland and make sure that their next game would show an improvement. I just finished the game, and I can clearly tell you that they did, all in all, a good job with this new Action-RPG title. One of the most critical points for Evoland was that it was far too short and it somehow let people empty-handed. My first playthrough, played very casually but still trying to unlock additional content, just clocked at 23 hours, in-game time. Even if some stages or scenes can feel a bit lengthy, there's always something to do in this game: you can progress through the story, you can explore the world and try and find hidden chests or new items or you can spend hours trying to defeat tough opponents in their card game. You are never bored when you explore the world of Evoland: there is always a hidden reference for you to catch. You will be meeting up with characters from your favorite video games (Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite, Sakura from Street Fighter, Lara Croft...), you will notice items coming from different universes (mention to the Valley of Wind shop with Captain America's shield on a wall just next to a Buster Sword and Link's Hylian shield). To be honest, at first, I even thought it was too much, all the time, and I had the feeling that this game might even get sued for being just a huge pile of copyrights infringements. But when you decide to play the game for what it is, a sort of homage to past glories like Chrono Trigger or Secret of Mana, you are just having a blast. Nicolas Decasse, one of the developers, introduced himself as a huge fan of Chrono Trigger, and the scenario of the game clearly shows it: the plot of the game will have you travel through time, using magic stones erected by a now disappeared civilization, while making sure you learn that this power shouldn't be messed around with and that your actions can have dire consequences. As every hero, Kuro, your avatar, will meet new friends on the way, and create special bounds with him. They will help him explore his environment, and he will be able to call on their power to progress through the game, by removing obstacles or creating paths for him. Once their power is fully unlocked, you will be able to use special summons for each of your three partners, like you would be able to in Final Fantasy 6 or 7. Time travel is represented in a way that a lot of retrogamers are going to enjoy: depending on the era you're in, the more old school the graphics. 8 bits for the past, 16 bits for the present and isometric 3D for the future, you won't be able to forget in which era you're wandering. To explore certain areas, you will have to switch very regularly from one era to another, as some of the puzzles will involve removing obstacles or getting specific items in a different era to progress in the timeframe of your mission. This feature is very nice, but to be honest, from times to times, it just hacks the story telling: backtracking to one of those special stones to change something in another era before going back to the original era you come from and go back where you were is just a pain, at least in the first hours when you have no way of transportation. However, Evoland 2 always finds a way to renew your interest, by breaking the habit and having the player to explore regularly new video game genres: you will have for instance to defeat a boss in a versus fighting mode, you will try to save an entire civilisation playing a tactical RPG mode, you will have to escape a mountain fighting your way through a bullet hell... You never know what to expect in your first playthrough, and I certainly didn't expect to have to play a mix of Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero in an Action-RPG! My only problem with that is that it reinforces the general impression that the game is just a pot pourri of references and that it lacks a bit of personality: you play a game that talks and shows more of other games than itself. One of the main criticisms I'll have for this game is that some of the puzzles it offers are just extremely hard to solve, and not because you need a master's degree to solve them. No, I'm just referring to some tricky hitboxes or silly point of views that actually make you think you're stuck when you just have to move a couple of millimetres to see where you need to go or finally manage to destroy something that was blocking your way. I spent one hour looking for an exit in a forest, knowing where the only exit was, and not managing to open it because of the hitbox of the bush I was supposed to destroy was very tiny and made me think that I couldn't go there just yet. But all in all, the puzzles are kind of tricky in the game and you will have to think for a couple of minutes to solve most of them (just have a look at the discussion boards on Steam and check the numbers of "Blocked in XXX" threads). All in all, I can only recommend this game to all players who are somehow nostalgic of the golden age of Action-RPGs, who have a massive geek culture or who are just looking for an enjoyable game to entertain them for about 20 hours. It has some downsides, for sure, like the fluctuating rhythm in the action or the fact that allies are reduced to a very supportive role (you never get to fight as one of them), but the diversity in the gameplay and the many references, served with a brilliant soundtrack, are making Evoland 2 a very enjoyable game.
For myself I didn't enjoy the game as much as others do, but that is because I personally haven't played most games ( if any ) Evoland 2 references, but I still liked playing it. I loved the way the 4th wall is broken over and over, I would almost consider this game to be satire because it comments about it's own stereotypes..! I laughed a lot while playing this! The game itself is also very well made, it looks really nice and I can't imagien how much effort has gone into each stage!
This game was actually a big surprise to me. I didn't expect much from it but boy was I wrong. This game has a really Gameboy-like feel to it and contains a lot of little easter eggs to other games or movies. In this game you also switch art styles and all three of them look absolutely gorgeous! This is a game you have to own if you want that old-school feeling of playing a Gameboy game!
Take Evoland, a game in which the creators look to iconic jrpg titles, putting all of them into a single game. Expand this feature to make a 20-30 hours title, this time with a great plot, and you have Evoland 2. Really focused on references, Evoland 2 provides an amazing gameplay that constantly re-invent itself in a way it never bores the player, providing some challenges, some smiles, and a lot of fun. Graphics are amazing and actually reproduce very well the mood and the style of the titles they are referencing too. Highly suggested if you are looking for a good rpg title in order to go back directly into your past.
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