EvilQuest: A Game That is Stunningly Average

EvilQuest is a game that tries to reach the quality of Crystalis but only does an "Average" job in it's attempt.
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Recently, I picked up a game called EvilQuest. Upon looking at the screenshots, my thought was that it looked a lot like an amazing NES game called Crystalis. I thoroughly enjoyed Crystalis when I played it years ago, so naturally I was very interested in this game. Little did I know, this game was a mediocre attempt to imitate the greatness of Crystalis.

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The Story

EvilQuest, as the name implies, is a quest where you play as an evil knight Galvis, who aims to be the conquerer of the world. (What else would you want as an evil knight right?) The game opens with a cutscene explaining Galvis’ ambitions, which he acts on by gathering an army and attacking the castle of the king. Things go haywire. Galvis gets betrayed, captured and put into jail. That’s really the only really complex part about the story. For the rest of the game, the plot gets bland and to-the-point.  

After his imprisonment, Galvis decides he wants to destroy God itself, then become a new God to destroy the earth itself. That’s where the plot stays for the rest of the 3 hour game. The story is as I said in the title: average. It doesn’t do anything special, but in the little towns that you visit you do get some backstory or interesting tales on the inhabitants. It would’ve been a great story if the game expanded on these backgrounds and made little quests out of them. 

Gameplay

Like the story, gameplay is average. You’re equipped with a decent library of useful spells, but to use them you need Magic Points. Sadly, the game doesn’t allow you to use a lot of Magic. These spells are expensive, especially toward the end game. Some of them will drain a third of your Magic Points, leaving you to wait another 20 seconds or so before you can use magic again.

Magic aside you have two more ways to attack enemies. You have a regular jab attack, which is just you pointing your weapon forward in the direction you’re looking.  Later in the game, once you get the ChargeCrystal, you can charge up an attack and shoot a wave of energy at enemies, like in Crystalis.

Sounds great, right? The charge attack is very useful when attacking a wave of enemies, but you have to stand still to charge your crystal. So mostly you’ll be using the jab attack. This attack is a huge flaw in the game’s combat. The enemies might move slower than you, but combat is incredibly unbalanced besides that.

You might be able to run back and forth, stabbing enemies, but if one makes contact with you, it’ll knock out about half your health. What happens if the enemy hits twice? Exactly, game over. But that must mean you can beat enemies in only two hits, too, right? Wrong. Usually, enemies take up to 5 or 6 hits to beat.

There’s one more problem with enemies. You’re on a quest to become the ultimate demon and kill all of humanity, right? At some point, you’d have to become pretty powerful, and be able to kill things more easily.  But the game doesn’t allow you to do so. You’ll ALWAYS be weaker than your enemy, no matter what (unless you go back to earlier areas of course). That’s what’s so average about it. The game feels alright, but the fighting itself is really flawed.


Every boss encounter in EvilQuest imitates those in Crystalis. You get a limited amount of space to move around.  Both you and the boss can attack each other at will. I always looked forward to the bosses. But as the game went on, I realized how stupidly easy all of them were. With most bosses, you can just stand at a distance and shoot charge shots at him. This gets even worse after you get the OniHelm, an accessory that allows you to rapid-fire charge shots, making bosses even easier than they already were.


That brings me to equipment. The equipment you get throughout the game is systematically placed in dungeons. Every dungeon has a set of armor and shield that you can collect, and it’s always better than the last set of equipment. The weapons you get are story-based. So the only real freedom you get is in choosing your accessories. The game gives you rings that boost certain aspects like HP, MP, Attack, etc. I can’t help but once again compare this to Crystalis, as it used a similar mechanic for getting equipment.

Sound & Music

Up until now, I’ve called everything average or less than desirable. But the music really, REALLY is the worst part about the game. Music is always something I’m extremely excited about in games, but I don’t have any idea what this game’s music was trying to accomplish. It is just awful. The only theme I endured was the Castle theme. The rest of the themes were either incredibly bland, too busy, or they sounded like what a 10-year-old would make in one of those free music creator programs.

I feel like the developers were aiming for an oldschool feeling with the music, but it really didn’t work well at all. The sound effects were just insulting, Some were clearly stock sound effects, and other sounds just cut off halfway through. 

Graphics

I don’t really care much about graphics, but that’s the one thing this game did right. This game tries to get you back to the look of the SNES days of titles like Secret of Evermore and Secret of Mana. And it works perfectly. The graphics are crisp and nice to look at. Everything blends together, and the areas you visit (volcanos, ice caverns, and sewers) feel reasonably realistic. While the music fails to convey the themes of each area, the graphics do this perfectly. The little cloud effects and animations they put into it are well-done, too. The only thing that I found bothersome was that your feet seem to swell up a bit when you walk. 

 

Final Thoughts

Sometimes it feels that EvilQuest was more of a tribute to Crystalis than its own standalone project.

Would I recommend this game to you? While it might seem like I’ve been picking on everything in this game, I did enjoy it quite a bit and would even replay it if I was craving an average game to delve back into.

So yes, I’d recommend this to you, at least to give it a little try. If you’re a fan of NES games like Crystalis and the original Zelda, I’m sure that you’ll get your enjoyment out of this 3 to 4 hour game. EvilQuest is available on Steam for $2, and I think that’s a fair price to ask for a short, average game.

As of right now, the developers are working on a sequel called EvilQuest II, which I hope will fix a lot of the issues I had with this first installment. But who knows? Maybe you’ll find something better than average in this title. Give it a try and see for yourself.

Story: 5.5/10
Gameplay: 7/10
Audio: 3/10
Graphics: 8.5/10
Overall: 6/10

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EvilQuest: A Game That is Stunningly Average
EvilQuest is a game that tries to reach the quality of Crystalis but only does an "Average" job in it's attempt.

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TheFreezingApple
I'm just a guy that loves to play and critisize videogames for his own (and hopefully yours as well) amusement