So far so good for this promising action RPG from the developers behind the 3DS Zelda remakes.
Back at E3 2016, I was immediately taken by the concept of Ever Oasis. Developed by Grezzo, the team behind the Ocarina of Time 3D and Majora’s Mask 3D remakes, this action RPG could deliver on the promise of a team that cut its teeth remaking some of the best games of the Nintendo 64 era. The fact that it’s directed by Koichi Ishii, one of the minds behind Secret of Mana, just sweetened the prospect. I spent about 40 minutes with the game at a Nintendo preview event and well, the promise I hoped for is on full display.
I took over a save file near the beginning of the adventure that highlighted some of the general flow of the experience. My party of three, led by main character Tethu, began in the main Oasis hub. I talked to a visiting traveler, a fellow named Jasper, who lost something out in the wilds of the desert. Accepting the quest, the overworld awaited me. The desert wasteland is filled with enemies to fight and dungeons and caves to explore, as well as a constant reminder on the map on the bottom screen of what direction to go to for your quest.
Combat is simple to start, as each of your three characters has a weak and strong attack at the outset. Tethu had a sword, the taller Miura wielded a spear, while the healer Roto threw a ranged boomerang. As your characters level up, though, more abilities open up. Tethu has access to a special attack that fires off a tornado at enemies - especially useful for flying enemies as it brings them to the ground. I also ran into another character who had a giant hammer that could be used for a powerful special attack. Along the way, each character also learns combo attacks that can be used to do more damage.
You control one character at a time, but can switch at the press of a button. I found combat to be light and breezy this early in the game, but I did get totally trounced by some big armadillo-looking creatures at nighttime. Ever Oasis has a day/night cycle, and the enemies get tougher when the sun goes down. When a party member falls, you can control another one to try to revive them by jamming on the A button near their lifeless body. If your whole party fails, you can be revived instantly once (not totally sure how that ability recharges). Fail again, and you have to revert to your last save.
Combat is but one part, though. The caves and dungeons house puzzles and secrets that can usually only be accessed by certain characters. A room off to the side of one cave could only be reached by combining Miura’s power to flip large objects and Roto’s ability to turn into a little ball. Miura set up a path for Roto to ricochet off, and then Roto bounced around to a side room. Other barriers I came across included large rocks that could only be broken by big weapons, sand piles that could be swept away by Tethu’s tornado ability, and buried treasure that could only be unearthed by a digging character.
As I explored the world, I came across Jasper’s lost belongings and started my trek back (made quicker by well-placed warp points). Along the way, I ran into other characters wandering the land. Talking to them would either unlock other optional side quests or encourage the character to visit the Oasis.
Heading back to the Oasis, I talked to Jasper again and cleared the quest. Jasper joined my roster after that, coming with the power to dig. Additionally, as night turned to day, a gaggle of visitors entered my Oasis and I was able to talk to some to trigger more quests. With the different characters at my disposal, I could build new shops in town, increasing the prosperity of the main hub area. I could also synthesize new weapons for my party, reorganize my three-character party, and stock up on supplies.
I left my demo of Ever Oasis desperately wanting more. The different aspects seem to work in concert as your overworld exploration and quest completion helps build up your hub area, giving you access to a bigger supply of characters, items, and more. June 23 feels much further away now after I played some of this intriguing late-generation 3DS adventure. It seems like it’ll be worth giving your Switch a break for this one.