Ever Oasis is the newest game developed by Grezzo, the same team that brought you titles such as The Legend of Zelda Remakes on 3DS, as well as a street pass game, and Tri-Force Heroes. Ever Oasis is their first original title that released a little while ago on June 23rd directed by Koichi Ishii, the same soul that had his hands in The Secret of Mana. Ever Oasis has some similarities to Koichi Ishii’s past work in the Mana series with the action RPG combat, but the comparisons stop there as Ever Oasis borrows from quite a few other games.
The first thing I noticed when I was just playing the demo, was the leveling up system was like Final Fantasy XV. The player collects EXP while fighting monsters, but doesn’t level up until returning to camp or oasis in this case. It’s an interesting mechanic but kind of weird. It may be in other games but the only other game I saw it in was FF15. As far as positives go for the game, the gameplay is pretty good mixing life simulation games such as Animal Crossing with the action RPG style of Secret of Mana.
There is not much to the story, just the typical: Character has a home, then has to start from scratch when it is destroyed by a dark force. It’s a lot like Dark Cloud in that way, having to rebuild a town by finding stuff in a dungeon crawling type experience. It is fun doing different side quests to bring in new villagers though, which also allow the oasis to grow and allow even more shops to be built. I did get annoyed with having to keep up with the different shops and making sure they’re stocked, but it’s something to do right?
The game is cute with the graphics, but that did push me away from buying it at first, since it kind of reminded me of a My Sims game as far as graphics go. The graphics aren’t bad and do work for the game and don’t take anything away from it. The music and sound was decent but I mostly kept the volume off since I was doing something else while playing through the game.
The gameplay is where Ever Oasis shines, but there are still problems in that as well. When exploring the vast desert, the character has two other characters with him/her. It is nice being able to pick from any of the villagers in your town to come with you. It gives the player a lot of choices of characters to pick from, and each character has their own abilities. That’s the problem with this game, a lot of abilities are required to get through the many caves and caverns of Ever Oasis. So there is a lot of switching characters. Luckily the aqua gate teleportation ability allows the player to fast travel back to the oasis and back to where they originally transported from. It’s still a pain having to go to the oasis multiple times in order to get the right abilities required to explore through whatever dungeon you’re in. The dungeon crawling is cool despite the constant transporting. They’re a lot like the dungeons in Zelda games, which makes sense considering Grezzo worked on the Zelda Remakes for 3DS.
The beginning was super slow though, setting up the story and teaching the player how to play the game although it’s simple enough but there are a lot of things to manage at times. Once getting past the slow beginning, it is fun expanding the oasis and exploring the desert. It is a nice change in pace after games such as Breath of the Wild or Horizon Zero Dawn. Ever Oasis is a cute little adventure game that is a very good time waster with its share of problems as it combines different games into one.