Evoland: Legendary Edition is a compilation of two games called Evoland and Evoland 2. They are both by Shiro Games and the Legendary edition just combines them into a single executable. As such, I’ll talk about each game individually and review both games and combine them for the full package’s final score.
Evoland is a parody of the RPG genre while remaining true to that formula at the same time. It’s a rather hard game to review because it does so many things but quickly evolves away from most of them before they grow stale.
The start of the game is simple. The player is in a row of tiles, which has two chests between them they can only move to the right and as they walk in that direction they open the chest and suddenly are rewarded with the ability to move left. The chest on the left allows movement in the “second direction” and players can then move up and down along with left and right.
This is the very early experience of Evoland, but it expertly shows the style of gameplay. Evoland isn’t just attempting to deliver an RPG experience, but instead, explore the RPG experience and bring the player on a journey that allows them to watch the evolution of the RPG over the years, including graphics, gameplay elements, style, and more.
If Evoland was only that, it’d be an enjoyable game, however, Evoland tells it’s own story and while pieces of it are heavily influenced by many RPGs, most notably the Final Fantasy Series with a focus on Final Fantasy 7, the story in Evoland keeps the player involved.
The player journeys through a lot of different styles of gameplay. The early game will feel familiar to fans of Zelda. The game will then mix in several tropes and features from many games, mostly focusing on Zelda, Final Fantasy, and eventually Diablo. Each feature and dungeon is well-timed and the game quickly progresses through each genre. The only section that seems to become a slog, was the Diablo section near the end of the game and it’s only a couple minutes longer than it should be.
The final boss of Evoland is perhaps the only challenging part of the game, though I believe that’s forgivable for what it is.
Evoland is an excellent journey though, I’ve played through this game twice, once in the base edition and once in the Evoland Legendary Edition, and both times I’ve enjoyed myself. The only true issue I have with Evoland is it stands on the shoulders of giants to reach the heights it does and players without an understanding of the games shown here or their tropes may not find this as clever.
The one other issue with Evoland, which is that it lasts only about three hours, though the journey is worth it.
I give Evoland a 9/10, though I would only recommend this game for fans of the RPG Genre.
Evoland 2. Where Evoland was a parody of the RPG genre, Evoland 2 is more of a classic adventure game similar to the classic Legend of Zelda game that still explores and looks at the RPG genre and others games closely and finds some humor.
Much of the game is played in a style similar to the early Legend of Zelda games, which is a good thing because that’s a great style. However that’s hardly the only style of gameplay in Evoland 2 as it again explores the RPG genre, but this branches out to others. While there’s a specific dungeon that is based on Chrono Trigger, and a strategy RPG style gameplay, there’s also references to Metal Gear Solid, and Professor Layton, however many of those are just namechecking the feature or style of the game and then moving on without looking at them at a deeper level.
Where Evoland wanted players to think and consider how RPGs evolved over generations, Evoland 2 is simply happy to remind you of different games and calls it a day. It’s still a very enjoyable RPG, but the spoofs and references to other games are weaker and the game is inferior due to that.
Evoland 2 fixes a major major complaint of Evoland, where the original game was very short, taking only 3 hours, Evoland 2 will take players closer to 15 hours with a far more advanced story and deeper sections.
To say more about the style of Evoland 2 would be a spoiler, but I would recommend fans of Chrono Trigger to try this game out as there’s a piece of that game found here that not many games try.
I give Evoland 2 an 8/10. It’s a good game but not as funny or strong as the first Evoland.
So with both games being combined for Evoland: Legendary Edition I end up giving Evoland: Legendary Edition a
I weigh the second game heavier in this evaluation because it is about five times as long. Both games are excellent and worth playing but this is a game meant for fans of the RPG genre already, and new fans to the genre may not enjoy it as much.
I played this as part of my coverage of the Humble Choice September 2020, if you want to see my further thoughts on this game or that bundle, you can find them: