Friday, July 14, 2017
Ever Oasis (3DS) Review
Chaos is taking over the entire land, and only the power of the water spirits can keep it at bay. You, as a new chieftain of the last oasis, must gather residents to help combat the coming darkness. That's the basis for one of Nintendo's newest 3DS offerings, Ever Oasis.
First and foremost, you will be gathering different people to live at your oasis. Sometimes you find characters in the wild, and they will agree to visit your oasis. Sometimes they visit if you have the right shops available. You will usually have to do some sort of small quest to have them permanently live in your oasis. It's pretty fun for me to track them all down and do their quests. I would have done so even if the oasis level and happiness meter weren't so critical in the game.
When a Seedling (one of the races in Ever Oasis) decides to live in your town, you can put up their specific "Bloom Booth" shop. Doing so the first time costs Dewadems (the game's currency), but you can move them around afterwards. There's also special items you can place that increase sales, which you can go around and collect a portion of. This is good because you will be the one resupplying them. You give them some specific raw items, and they make the goods and sell them each day. It's not as time consuming as I at first thought it would be, and it's pretty fun, too.
Battle is a relatively simple affair. You have two different attacks, but very small and limited combos (you get a few more as you level up). Your normal attack is pretty quick, while the strong attack takes more time, but packs a bigger punch. Some combos will knock the enemy over, which gives you a few extra seconds to hit them. You can lock on to enemies, which is really helpful on bosses. Many times the lock-on did give me trouble. It also centers the camera (for players without the New 3DS), which it tended to do when I would press it to lock on to a monster. Having to struggle with that made it much easier for me to get hit.
Your chieftain also gets a pretty decent dodge roll. You don't seem to get much (if any) invincibility from it, but it's pretty useful nonetheless. It was responsive, and went the direction I wanted it to, both of which are critical for in-game dodges. Characters can also get SP moves, which you have to build up the meter for (it starts empty when you leave the oasis). These are kind of helpful, but you get them late enough that I usually forgot about them.
Unfortunately, it is really easy to get hit in battle. Plus, you don't seem to have any invincibility on knock down, so enemies can chain hit you to pile on the damage. To compound this, character max HP is very, very low. Thankfully, your oasis happiness helps out with that. When you leave the oasis, it effectively increases your party's max HP by a lot. Also, you can resurrect on the spot a few times depending on your oasis' level. This helps even out the combat. While the chunks of damage you take did bother me, I will admit I rarely died...and even more rarely used healing items. It was usually easier to pop back to the oasis if I desperately needed to heal. When returning, your party gets the experience for any enemies defeated, too, so it was a win/win.
There are many areas and even a few dungeons in the game. Most have some light puzzle solving, like using a spear for a switch, turning into a ball to fit in a small hole, or using a crossbow to hit a high switch. I like that there are several uses for different things, like weapons and skills, but it can be a pain to switch to them. Teleporting back to the oasis isn't hard, and neither is teleporting back, but having to drag someone off the list to help you in one room can get tiresome. It's a bigger problem as the game goes on, since you get more abilities and weapon types, for more puzzle bits. Still, it was never enough to make me stop playing.
Ever Oasis is one of those games that takes way longer than it seems. It's also one that I would end up playing longer than I thought I would, simply because I would get wrapped up in recruiting new people or exploring new areas. It's not an overly hard game, though there are harder fights. While there were a few small things that bothered me, the game was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed playing it. I'd recommend it for action RPG fans looking for something new.
Recruiting characters has many benefits that quickly amass.
You can lose your health really fast in combat.
Serkah mouths are kinda creepy when they talk.
(Review code for Ever Oasis was provided by the publisher)