ESRB rating: E
Review rating: 2.5 stars
Nostalgia can be as enjoyable as it is deceitful. I have fond memories of several games I played years ago, but playing them now is a painful experience. Apparently, some things are best left in the past, and the PC game called "Evoland" proves that point to the extreme.
Rather than create a storyline beyond "save the town and destroy the supreme bad guy," the developers have turned the journey into the story. "Evoland" basically showcases the evolution of action games with amusing references to gaming features that have either become completely outdated or integral to modern titles. Sadly, an intriguing story was not one of those concepts.
Players begin their outdated adventure by controlling a two-dimensional hero in a monochrome world who can only move to the right. By discovering chests, he soon unlocks the ability to move left as well as unlocking background music and basic combat. Eventually he unlocks high-texture visuals, a mini-map and even three-dimensional game play.
Most players will love how "Evoland" pays homage to familiar games like "Zelda," "Final Fantasy" and "Diablo." I admit that it's cool to unlock a traveling companion that fights with the hero as well as the ability to summon a monster. One area that is particularly enjoyable is when I got to switch between 2D and 3D visuals by whacking crystals, but that feature came and went too quickly.
Even the turn-based combat is fun, at first. It's just too bad that random battles every few steps ruins this feature. Sure it resembles the random battles of past games, but some features are more annoying than they are fun. Similarly, it's cool to gain the ability to increase my character's level, but it would be nice to see how many experience points are required. Another oversight is the lack of a sprint feature in the evolution process.
"Evoland" is an interesting concept that should focus more on enjoyable game play than simply invoking nostalgia.