Announced during the Treehouse Live that Nintendo broadcasted in the week of the recently completed Electronic Entertainment Expo, the new Nintendo 3DS RPG ever named Ever Oasis immediately caught our attention as soon as we discovered its developer's name: we are talking about Grezzo, a company that has already led sull'handheld Nintendo remakes of both the Legend of Zelda for the Nintendo 64 Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, plus the latest Tri-Force Heroes and the Legend of Legacy. But Raw is also known to have at the helm a certain Koichi Ishii: name the most probably will not say anything, but it's a real big guy who directed the very first three Final Fantasy. Not only. Ishii has basically imagined some of the most important issues of the franchise square, such as the legend of the crystals, and designed moogle and chocobo. Above all, Ishii created Seiken Densetsu's saga, first leading Final Fantasy Adventure, the Secret of Mana and many more. With such a curriculum, how can you not have huge expectations about your new game, Ever Oasis?
The trailer and the twenty minutes of play we've been able to watch a few days ago have revealed some very interesting details about what seems to be a fresh and original title, embellished with a lovely artistic direction and an adorable character design that is inspired by the myths Egyptians. In Ever Oasis we drop in Tethu, a "Seedling" that we can personalize at the beginning of the game, choosing, for example, male or female.
We are in a desert, and our main goal is to establish an oasis for the outposts for tribes in the fight against the forces of evil that are bribing creatures all over the world. Seedling like Tethu has the power to shape an important resource called dewadem: this currency is not only for shopping, but also for building shops and services in our oasis. Somewhat Fantasy Life a bit Animal Crossing, Ever Oasis proposes a truly original management component that intertwines with the progression of the player outside of the oasis. It's like a cycle: Tethu dewadem accumulates and builds new stores that attract in its oasis members of other tribes, among which that of Noot, quirky and cute cross between a penguin and an owl. Oasis visitors can shop in the stores we have erected, and the peculiarity lies in the fact that it is the player who supplies the diadem store and the materials, which brings visitors to spend their possessions and multiplies our dewalds. The Oasis visitors can be recruited: Tethu can start the adventure in the company of two other characters at a time that artificial intelligence soul during our travels, but we can control at any time by pressing a button. Changing character is crucial for two reasons. First, each of them wielding different weapons that offer a variety situational and strategic: Jethro, for example, can hurl a medium-range chakram, while Miura wielding a powerful spear. The developer has anticipated that the elemental weapons attributes will also be important in the game, which we can actually manufacture, along with the rest of the equipment, in the Tethu lodge, obviously after gathering the necessary materials and unlocking the specific projects.
The other reason why one needs to change character on Ever Oasis is the puzzles that fill the various dungeons scattered around the desert. In the pure Secret of Mana style, once we leave the oasis we will be able to wander around the desert which, divided into screens, offers enemies to fight and abundant gathering materials. Apparently, the day / night cycle will affect the appearance of creatures and resources, forcing the player to divide between moments of relaxing material gathering and fighting with the monsters of the turn.
In this regard, Ever Oasis is certainly not an action game at fulmicotone, and indeed, clashes with normal enemies did not seem particularly exciting, although their behavioral variety seems satisfactory. It is clear that the heart of the game is all in the puzzle solving that characterizes the various dungeons and that, as we said, is double-stranded with the expansion of the oasis. Each visitor possesses a special ability, but it is unclear whether it depends on the tribe or the individual. The fact is that Tethu can blow away a wind gust that can sweep away dust and reveal treasures and switches, while Miura can use its spear as lever to trigger mechanisms or move obstacles and Jethro can crawl over to cross pipes excluded from his comrades . In the dungeon shown during the Treehouse Live, you had to use Miura to move a step that covered a hole in the wall, then change the character and choose Jethro to crawl and go through to reach a special switch that can unlock the path to the boss. The latter, a gigantic chimera called Baastu, gave the twist to Tethu and his comrades, revealing a really promising design level. In practice, he had to repeatedly strike his core - after revealing it using the powers of Tethu - and escape from his explosive attacks, anticipated for a few moments with a visual effect on the clash.
The complexity of this first boss leaves hope for the next ones and we are pretty sure that the following dungeons will require a good job of meningi, although we can not help but fear that the game implies a concrete dose of backtracking, especially if one needs to reach Dungeons and then find out that our adventure companions are not fit to solve their puzzles. In any case, the game will be released in 2017, so Grezzo has all the time to finish the gameplay and tackle some technical problems, such as the rather long loads that break the exploration of the oasis and the surrounding desert. Needless to say, we will follow Ever Oasis´s development with great interest.
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