BADGP Reviews: Evoland

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Evoland (Shiro) 

Review: Walking the Thin Line Between Tribute and Theft

Alex Linna

May 16, 2013

Evoland is a short game. I completed it in less than 3 hours.  In that time, it was painstakingly obvious that the developers at Shiro really must love Final Fantasy VII, Diablo, and The Legend of Zelda.  In concept, such a tribute to these games by combining gameplay elements would be commendable, but there is little combining and more noticeable splits where the game shifts from the style of one game to another.  Like 3D Dot Game Heroes before it, Evoland pays tribute to the ways of Link, but throws in Cloud and some Diablo for good measure.  I just so happened to be playing through Final Fantasy VII for the first time as I was exploring Evoland, and that made Evoland look a little ridiculous in comparison with such obvious rip-offs.  Evoland makes a great first impression and has a measure of charm.  The game charts the progression of the 2D sprites to full 3D HD graphics in a short time.  There is fun to found in Evoland, but an incredibly high encounter rate in the Final Fantasy VII parts eliminates much of the fun.  Evoland has some good ideas, but does not execute them well.  It walks a thin line between being a tribute and straight up plagiarism.  It is recommended for those who would like to experience a quick history lesson of aesthetic game-design or people who also love The Legend of Zelda, Diablo, or Final Fantasy VII as much as the developers over at Shiro clearly do. Evoland’s brevity and lack of originality hurt its value proposition.

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4.6 out of 10    

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