Look, on that hard drive! It’s an RPG! It’s a fighting game! It’s a shoot ’em up! No, it’s Evoland 2! I’ve had this game for about a week now and I’m still not sure what to call it other than odd. It combines genres of games a lot like how I cook: mixing things together until it looks about right, with an odd aftertaste that you can’t quite put your finger on. Evoland 2: A Slight Case of Space Time Continuum Disorder is the ‘spiritual successor’ to Evoland and boy is it wacky.
On the surface Evoland 2 looks like your typical Japanese RPG. You have your young boy hero tasked with a vague yet important quest to save the world, accompanied by a young, spunky girl who will play as his foil. However, after the first forest filled with animals that all want you dead, the world’s graphics and its gameplay changes again and again. Perhaps a stealth element is added, or maybe this particular level will be a side-scrolling platformer. The entirety of core gameplay features can be turned on its head, throwing you into a situation you had absolutely no idea could even happen. You never know what to expect because all of time and space is out of wack and it’s treating you like a rental car with full coverage insurance.
Just trying to explain the gameplay to someone is rather difficult since it changes fairly often. The beginning of the game is probably the most traditional. You have a sword, a health bar, an EXP bar, and a special ability granted by your companions. You smash up some monsters, such as deadly Ninja Squirrels or bears, collect coins and XP, and solve the occasional environmental puzzle. Next thing you know you’re in prison and you have to use stealth to escape. Then you’re in an arena fight and you have no more special abilities. Next you’re platforming through the obligatory sewer level (Which is still an annoying thing to have even if it’s a joke. I’m looking at you, Deadpool.) until finally you escape and– you get the picture.
After the first few changes the gimmick starts to wear a little thin. Just as you’re getting used to controls and gameplay cues your whole world will change beneath your feet. And while these are some rather nice looking worlds with some real polish on them, I would have liked a bit more time to explore. Perhaps the biggest draw back of the game is the fact that you never spend quite enough time in any given ‘time-line’ to really appreciate it. There is also little to no exploration outside of the linear path set for you in the game, and even when there is there’s often just an empty space and no reward for going the route less traveled.
While the concept of Evoland 2: A Slight Case of Space Time Continuum Disorder is definitely a unique one, satire and tongue-in-cheek jokes aren’t all a game needs to be great. With a little more freedom of discovery and a little less self-referential humor, this could’ve been a real contender in the marketplace. As it is, those of you hungry for something with a quirky, Japanese-style feel, and you’re not averse to set-on-rails storytelling, check it out!