[Review] Ever Oasis - Nintendo Everything

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[Review] Ever Oasis

Posted on June 22, 2017 by in 3DS, Reviews

System: 3DS
Release date: June 23, 2017
Developer:: Grezzo
Publisher: Nintendo

At E3 last year, Nintendo showcased a brand new 3DS game from Grezzo. An action RPG curated by the team that gave us the Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask remakes, Ever Oasis gives us a look into the developer’s own original ideas and concepts and very much showcases what they can do. Is this creative idea enough to revive life into the 3DS, or should everybody find their own oasis back on the Switch?

Ever Oasis presents itself within a cut-scene right off the bat, telling us the world is made up of Oases and when people who inhabit their oasis’ aren’t pleased, Chaos will reign. Here we’re also introduced to core mechanics of the game, which mainly fall into two categories. You’ll either be out and about scavenging materials and exploring the desert, or spend your time inside your Oasis doing a plethora of tasks to maintain happiness and make it the best it can be.

One of the biggest takeaways from Ever Oasis’ initial hours is its ridiculous hand holding and slow pacing. Even as an RPG that could be tailored to younger audiences, it should not take upwards of an hour and half for the player to be introduced to the core mechanics – especially when the title is on a handheld system, meaning extended play sessions may not be as frequent. It only worsens the blow when taken into consideration how simple the situation is to eradicate. An example is during a quest I ran into about two hours into my playtime. A young villager named Pami visited my Oasis and I needed to speak to her, so I traveled to where she was. As soon as I arrived, a cut-scene was initiated that had the camera zoom in on Pami and the speech bubble floating above her head. After the cut-scene, the camera cut to a shot where they once again showed Pami with her bubble before panning back over to me. Finally, I was returned to regular control over my character only to be immediately interrupted by my partner telling me “Hey! You should talk to Pami!”.

Looking past the hand holding and very sluggish start, however, we are greeted with a much prettier view on the horizon. Right from the get-go, you’re taught how to manage your Oasis, and there are a wide collection of tasks and duties at hand to keep things growing. You’ll be establishing and stocking stores, maintaining the happiness of residents through quests, and inviting and making room for new villagers.

These work in tandem with the other half of gameplay, where as soon as you step out of the confines of your home you’re whisked away into a sizeable world filled with monsters and dungeons to tackle. Out here is where you’ll gather everything necessary to keep the Oasis as vast as can be. Your party used for exploration starts with just a member of one, but as you advance farther in the mainline of the game, your group can grow and have members with all kinds of different abilities. Some members have staffs perfect for flipping switches, others are just the right size for fitting through small crevices in the walls, and some have magical abilities that are the only solution to thwarting evil – all of which are useful as you progress through dungeons and explore the world.

Going back to previously-explored dungeons with a new arsenal of members to grant yourself access to areas you couldn’t before is a nice, although generally a surface level feature. In fact, most of the exploration in this game feels like it falls into that trap. There are nice ideas that in execution fail to provide enough depth to make trekking through for a round two all worth it. The real rewards come in the form of your Oasis itself.

There may not be a lot of surprises to unearth when exploring the world outside, but the feeling you get seeing the Oasis gates rise and greet you after a tumultuous journey is nothing short of comforting and nostalgic, and then being able to exchange all your findings into happier villagers is just so satisfying it’s hard to refute doing it. Watching as the numbers of residents increase and the selection and variety of faces and shops make you forget all the time you spent unearthing and solving the same secrets time and time again.

Another peaceful distraction of the game’s shortcomings is the world itself. The world on a visual level is so whimsical and cheery it’s genuinely difficult not to fall in love with everything you come across. Though light on lore, the landscapes looming in the distance still had me intrigued enough to travel over there and see what it’s made of, and the cute villagers who visit and eventually inhabit your Oasis are precious like no other. It’s impressive that to the bright color palette and those aforementioned landscapes, Grezzo was able to make a world that takes place exclusively in the desert or in dank caves still look visually interesting. The great soundtrack also helps here and absolutely took me by surprise. There are some incredible pieces of music that definitely weren’t expected from a title like this.

Ever Oasis is very clearly a project brimming with passion and love, but unfortunately still failed to hit some of the marks for me. In some ways, it feels almost like a picture book. The pictures may be beautiful and done very well, but without all the other pieces that make a book so captivating are absent, it’s not as desirable a product. The highs are certainly some highs, but with too many lows found within the gameplay it doesn’t quite make that perfect blend, and at the end of my experience I was left feeling slightly unsatisfied with the time I put into it.

The Verdict

While it’s definitely not the title 3DS needs to keep it afloat, Ever Oasis is a valiant and respectable effort and an interesting first look at Grezzo’s first solo ventures. If you’re looking for an RPG that’ll whisk your summer hours away, this might not be quite the title for you. As it stands, Ever Oasis is a game that has some shortcomings that prevent it from keeping up with the current competition the system has to offer. It could be worth the pickup for enthusiasts of the genre, but unless you’re dying to spend time looking at cute things or with your 3DS, there are other options to consider.

Ever Oasis review copy provided by Nintendo for the purposes of this review.

Leave a Reply

  • Exposer

    Hopefully it could get a sequel on Swtich, but i dont know, it depends on how it sells, the potential is there.

    • Tlink7

      My guess it is going to sell badly, due to the game coming out very late in the 3DS’ life, it being new IP, it looking graphically mediocre and it being visually unoriginal

      • carlos holguin holguin

        mediocre? dude it looks good.. the art style is really great..

        • Tlink7

          It is just what I personally think, feel free to like it 😀

      • Dascylus

        You’re using a lot of buzzwords there, so I hardly see any true valid criticism.

        • Tlink7

          How am I using buzzwords? ”SJW” or ”brexit” are buzzwords. If you don’t like what I said, present a counter argument instead of going ”your words are poop” 😛

      • ジョシュ

        “My guess it is going to sell badly, due to the game coming out very late in the 3DS’ life” …… they said they’ll support the 3ds in 2018 and beyond so no..it’s not coming out late.

        • Tlink7

          More than six years into a console’s life is late. Someone who is 80, but may live to 90 is still old even though they have a few more years ahead of them

          • Advance*

            People can argue about the visuals and gameplay, but I don’t know how anyone can say it’s not coming out late in the 3DS’ lifespan. I’ve been playing my 3DS regularly for years but haven’t touched it now that I have another Nintendo handheld to play. Safe to say the 3DS is nearing the end.

          • Tlink7

            Same… people treat ”it is pretty old” like a grave insult. It is just a fact, nothing more, nothing less. I love my 3DS, got a 1000+ hours in it, but I feel the time is soon approaching for Nintendo to advance to the next platform

          • Fore

            “I’ve been playing my 3DS regularly for years but haven’t touched it now that I have a Nintendo hybrid to play.” Fixed that for you 😀

          • Lindsey Stewart

            What did people expect? Its on a 240p screen graphics are not what usually drives an rpg, take final Fantasy 1-6

          • Evan Gustavson

            Someone who is 60 is Middle Ages though. 6 out of 8 is as close to the middle as it is to the end, and besides, you said “late”, not “old”
            Late means close to the end, old means far from the start.
            I could be over 40 hours in to a JRPG, but if my clear Time clocks over 100, that’s not late game, regardless of how long I’ve been playing.

          • Tlink7

            ….”somebody late in their life” equals ”old”. 6+ years out of 7-8 is old.

      • Aline Piroutek

        It will suffer from Golden Sun Dark Dawn syndrome:
        Good game not Zelda/Mario/Pokémon released on the endlife of a console, poor sales.

        • Lindsey Stewart

          I bought it, its what’s keeping me from returning to Hyrule

  • Zeebor

    Well I bought it still.

  • carlos holguin holguin

    i dont understand this review.. its a rpg (usually these kind of games take a long time to finish) and you still complain about the time the player could spend while playing it?? like… really??

    • Dascylus

      This really is the only negative/middling review I’ve seen for the game so far, everywhere else is giving it between 7.5-8.5

    • Brian

      Hopefully Vincent can chime in here, but that’s not what I’m getting from his review at all. He doesn’t seem to be bothered with it taking awhile to finish – he cited things like the hand holding and pacing (which is much different from completion time). Also, remember: opinions are a thing that exist.

      • carlos holguin holguin

        “but unless you’re dying to spend to look at cute things or spend time on your 3DS, there are other options to consider.”

        • Brian

          That’s not a criticism of the game length either.

        • Lindsey Stewart

          Which is?
          So far the only other rpg like ever oasis is fantasy life,
          Yeah “there are other options to consider ” is bulldust.

      • JasonBall

        Do you think the late embargo could be indicative of a bad game?

        • Lindsey Stewart

          Not even bad, its well thought out and there are very few ARPG with simcity elements sprinkled in.

          My verdict
          Buy it so i can play the sequel on the Nintendo Switch.

          • JasonBall

            Oh, I’m aware, I bought it.

    • I feel it goes without saying that a games length isn’t indicative of its quality, but in certain cases if the game’s length impedes the overall enjoyment it can be frustrating. The highs are highs, but when I feel they are so few and far between, it makes me question whether a full commitment to this title is up my alley.
      I also speak on this as an avid RPG fan, having completely 100% titles like Ni No Kuni, Shin Megami Tensei #FE, and any recent Fire Emblem entry. I feel I’ve found a good sweet spot for fun content contribution over game length, and this title wasn’t where I would’ve liked to have been.

  • ジョシュ

    It looks like a very fun game for me so I’ll buy it.

  • Aline Piroutek

    The game looks cool, I’ll try it.

  • R.Z.

    It looks like Grezzo picked up some bad habits from working on all these Zelda games …
    I’m getting this regardless, it just looks too charming to skip.

  • Vigilante_blade

    A non-glowing review on Nintendo Everything? That is welcome and refreshing.

    I was surprised to see a lot of terrible Wii U games get reviewed highly last year.

    • JasonBall

      I think Mario tennis got panned, Rio16 was lukewarm, right? This is simply a site run by people more in sync with Nintendo and their design choices.

  • Garrett Myers

    What are some 3ds games of this genre that you would recommend over Ever Oasis?

    • Dray

      Yo try fantasy life, it’s similar in some regards, but honestly this is the best 3ds game to come out for awhile. To me anyway, I’ve already put more time and got more fun out of this game than Pokémon moon.

      • Garrett Myers

        Absolutely. I was pretty worried for the first 5-7ish hours with how hand-holdy Ever Oasis is, which some of it I believe is necessary for how much stuff you need to know how to do. But I’m now past the 10 hour mark and I’m really starting to see how amazing this game is really going to be, 10 hours in and I’m feeling like I’m only now just getting past the tutorial. How many hours have you played so far?

        • Lindsey Stewart

          Hand holdy? I didn’t feel like I was constrained, i actually went to the north cave, a lv 2 sharkobra one hit me.

      • Lindsey Stewart

        Never tried fantasy life and likely wont until the end of the switch lifetime

  • TheDonRob

    I’m about 10 hours into the game at this point and while I do have to agree with the reviewer about the sluggish start and excessive hand holding, I am really enjoying the game beyond that. Especially since I have broken through the initial slow start the game has been an absolute joy. I really hope people don’t decide to pass on this one merely because of this review. To be honest, I usually place a lot of weight on the reviews on this site, but am disappointed in this one. I hadn’t read this one until now because I was already certain I was buying this game. I disagree with the point about dungeons not being worth a revisit after initial clear. And, like he said later in the review, the world is so beautiful and immense that, to me, it is very pleasant to wander through dungeons I have explored before. Yes, the hand-holding is excessive in the beginning, but if that is the biggest complaint about a new-IP RPG from Square Enix, I can definitely handle that. Please don’t miss out on this one. So far, for me, its great!!!

    • Lindsey Stewart

      If it was by Square enix people would be biased.

Related Game Info

Platform: 3DS
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Grezzo
Release date: June 23, 2017
OWN IT: 2 [I own this game]
BEAT IT: 1 [I beat this game]
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