Release Date: January 4, 2012
Platform: XBLIG, Xbox 360
Price: 80 Microsoft points ($1)
When playing with friends as a kid I always had a fascination with taking on the role of the villains. Whether it was The Shredder, Lord Zedd or the grey ninja in Ninja Gaiden’s opening cinematic, some part of me got a thrill out of being the bad guy. Chaosoft Games has tapped directly into that feeling with EvilQuest, an action-RPG where your end goal is to not just destroy the world, but kill God in the process.
Galvis’ thirst for blood knows no end. Power isn’t enough — it is merely a means to an end. The (lengthy) opening to the game chronicles the dark knight’s failure to overthrow the King — a bungled exploit that ends in betrayal and captivity. The game begins with your break from prison and follows your meteoric rise from the bowels of the world all the way to… well, it’s worth playing to find out.
Fans of Crystalis, The Legend of Zelda and Secret of Mana will find themselves at home here. You wander about the maps, slaughtering any and all creatures or people in your way, collecting the money they drop and upgrading your gear through shops or discovered treasure chests. Movement is free-range (and maybe a little too weightless) but you can only attack in four, non-diagonal directions. Your abilities grow as the game moves on through the use of things like charged attacks, magic or the ability to jump. There’s a pretty smooth distribution of new skills over the course of your adventure which helps keep the action fresh.
The game is a mixed bag when it comes to the music. Some of the tracks, like the fantastic open-world theme, are especially fantastic. You may find that others fall flat. We’re looking at you, first-song-in-the-game prison theme. Luckily, the graphics are lovingly crafted in an attractive 16-bit style. Aside from the occasional green enemy blending into the equally green grass, there’s little-if-anything to nitpick about visually.
My playclock read somewhere around two hours and twenty minutes when I was done, but my actual playtime had to be closer to about four hours. Save points are not liberally distributed and you may find that you die more often than you would hope. Death rarely discouraged my progress, however, and encouraged me to play more methodically afterward.
If you’re even slightly interested in action-RPGs, EvilQuest deserves your attention. It’s especially sweeter if you take pleasure in the suffering of others, small scale or large.