EvilQuest

EvilQuest confused me.  In it, you play as the villainous Galvis, a magnificently evil bastard whose goal is to murder God and destroy the world.  Let’s see: in touch with his emotions.  Goal-oriented.  Has a spiritual side to him.  Hey hey, I think I found someone I can bring home to my folks if things don’t work out with Brian.

"Mr. Aladdin, Sir, what will your pleasure be? You ain't never had a friend like me!"

But while Galvis is at times utterly delightful to play as, what with his fondness for casual genocide, or the fact that he’ll ignore the pleads for euthanasia of a frost-bitten old man just because letting him linger in pain and suffering is that much more evil, he’s also a bit of a pussy.  Despite being somewhat billed as a character who breaks all the rules, Galvis walks the line with such determination that he might as well be wearing a hall monitor sash.  He still pays for items from stores with actual cash.  He goes on fetch-quests for random people.  Sure, he’ll occasionally knife someone after they helpfully give him an item, and in the end of the game, spoiler alert, he makes the human race extinct.  But come on, paying for items?  That’s not evil.  Even little kids have the balls to shoplift.

So I’m going to ignore the whole “play as the bad guy” stuff because Galvis is provably less evil than Lindsay Lohan and just treat EvilQuest like the generic action-RPG that it is.  And, let’s face it, that’s the only way to describe it.  A lot of people are calling it “Zelda-like” but that’s a load of crap too.  Zelda had some puzzles.  EvilQuest is all action, all the time.  You walk around killing baddies, then you walk around some more.  Sure, there’s the occasional switch, or maybe a maze-like dungeon, but really, it’s just knifey-knifey, killy-killy, walky-walky for the entire length of the game.

I will admit it’s a little fun.  Not a whole lot.  I certainly don’t get why the XBLIG cheerleader brigade is constructing a human pyramid with only their erect penises to act as support beams over EvilQuest.  It’s a bit on the busted side.  As you progress through the game, you can level-up your stats.  As is my typical strategy in these situations, I just pumped every single point I earned into my attack power.  As a result, by game’s end I was able to kill most of the enemies in a single whack.  Two tops.  And bosses would take me about ten seconds to beat, even on the medium setting.  There was no point in forming any strategy to take them out.  I was easily able to max out the amount of health potions I had, quick-map them to the Y button, and then just tap it while attacking.  I went into the last boss battle with 99 hi-potions and was able to finish all four stages of the fight in about a minute tops, only using 6 of them.  In retrospect, I wish I had played the game on hard.  On medium, EvilQuest was about as easy as kitten piñata.

EvilQuest would have probably been a really strong game about twenty-five years ago.  In 2012, it’s basic even by the standards of modern retro-games.  I will say that it at least looks the part.  It successfully fends off the uncanny valley effect of looking old but having a feature that is decidedly modern ruin the entire feel of it.  And I would like to thank the guys at Chaosoft for including an option to disable flashing effects so that epileptics such as myself can more comfortably play their title.  It was a classy move, and hopefully the start of many developers adding similar options to their games.  Of course, Galvis wouldn’t stand for that himself.  He would intentionally try to set off a seizure in me, then skull fuck me while I was twitching.  Or maybe not.  I mean, if he’s willing to tip a stripper with a C-Note, he can’t be THAT evil.

EvilQuest was developed by Chaosoft

80 Microsoft Points said, spoiler alert, if he kills every human, doesn’t that mean he mercifully put the frost-bitten old man out of his misery in the process?  Wow, talk about a mixed-message in the making of this review.

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21 Responses to EvilQuest

  1. funinfused says:

    Evil Quest is much more Crystalis than Zelda. Or at the very least more like old Zelda. It’s only the new Zelda games that have trended to being more puzzle heavy (a trend I personally hate).

    • Kairi Vice says:

      I’ve never played (or read much about) Crystalis. I guess it does look similar. I want to stress that I certainly didn’t hate anything about EvilQuest. I just felt very underwhelmed by it. They didn’t really take the whole evil gimmick far enough.

    • I’ve never played Crystalis, but EvilQuest isn’t very Zelda-like. The Zeldas from A Link to the Past onward have been very puzzle-centric, and even the very first Zelda required a bit of trickery to progress.

      In the absence of Crystalis experience, what EvilQuest reminded me of most was something like Illusion of Gaia or Secret of Mana (though not up to the exemplary standard of the latter, of course).

      • Oh come on. Not like Zelda? Even in the slightest? I’ll admit it’s more like old Zelda than new. It has an overworld, multiple themed dungeons, swords (with a ranged attack), even the equipped items appear as they do in the first Zelda. Plus, yeah, the whole ‘complete dungeons to get a specialized item, thus enabling you to access other dungeons / parts of the world, all leading to that one big final dungeon thingie’? That’s So Raven… No, no. I mean, That’s So Zelda. Sorry about that.

        It’s a bit on the easy side (and I played pre-patch), especially if you abuse the leveling up system, which I did, as well as the potions trick at the end, but I had fun with it (and yes, I am moderately erect as I write this —damn funny line—), certainly enough to overlook the flaws.

  2. “I certainly don’t get why the XBLIG cheerleader brigade is constructing a human pyramid with only their erect penises to act as support beams over EvilQuest” oh dear god I can’t stop laughing! Best. Line. Ever.

    It saddens me that EvilQuest was so damn easy, especially considering I addressed the issues of skill dumping and potion hoarding in play test. If a tester points out a design error in your game than why don’t you fix it?

    Let’s hope my RPG is a little bit more balanced and more fun for players like Kairi.

  3. mayaterror says:

    Hi Kairi, Josh Ferguson here – lead artist on EvilQuest. I’m continually amazed at the wide range of responses reviewers are giving the game – we’ve had scores from 1.5/5 to 5/5. You’re probably the first one to say “too easy.” We’ve had other reviewers pitch fits about how hard the game was – literally talking about ragequit throwing their controllers to the ground. I’ll agree with you that it is easy, but of course you’re also playing it post-patch while many other reviewers played the initial release.

    Due to player and reviewer feedback, we made some difficulty tweaks for the patch and added the 3 difficulty levels, and eventually decided to come down on the side of easy rather than hard because most players today, the younger generation especially, seem to prefer playing an easy game that they can complete with minimal effort rather than a face the sorts of hair-pulling challenges you had on many classic console titles. For many players, gaming has come to a point where seeing a Game Over screen is a deal-breaker that may result in them never playing the game again – sad but true. Hard difficulty on EvilQuest is definitely more challenging, especially in later stages, but I know you don’t like to replay games so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

    I think our whole team would agree with your assessment that Galvis could have reacted with greater malice in many situations. Eventually, we were faced with getting the game done and released or spending another year on adding more evil to it. It repeatedly came down to the question of “will this feature actually result in more sales for the time it takes to implement?” and the answer more often than not was no. Overall, we’re still pleased with our accomplishments and proud of the game, and we will be taking our critiques and lessons to heart and apply them to our next project.

    Thank you for taking the time to review the game. I feel like we got off relatively easy by Indie Gamer Chick standards, so thank you, too, for not ripping the game to shreds and taking your customary giant shit on it. Best regards~

    • Kairi Vice says:

      -files this one under the “Classy developer response Hall of Fame”

      You know Josh, my boyfriend just pointed out to me that I’ve come down on developers for having games me too hard, with my argument usually being it’s better for a game to come down on the side of being too easy than too hard, so I’ll concede that point to you. My main gripe with EvilQuest really is about the premise and writing being a bit “not evil enough.” When I read about the direction the game was going, I was like “oh, this should be good. No boring fetch quests, no cliches like shops and upgrades.” And then it had ALL of those. It was such a letdown. The gameplay was fine, even if it was too easy.

      I do want to say, the epilepsy patch was one of the classiest things I’ve seen an XBLIG developer do, and thank you for that. Now get cracking on a sequel that doesn’t fuck around with the whole “evil” thing. Come on guys. Winona Ryder stole stuff. You have to be at least as evil as the chick from Beetlejuice.

      • I don’t really have a problem with Galvis buying things from shops. There’s this thread running through the game about how he can’t stomp around, murdering and setting fire to things, because he has to keep his larger objective in mind. Obviously an excuse, certainly, but a valid enough plot justification for using game mechanics that work rather than spending an additional year of development time wrestling with trying to fathom an alternative mechanic.

        Sometimes games have to be games, even if it means being slightly out of character.

        Having said that, EvilQuest certainly has flaws. They’re just not the ones you’re pointing out. :p

        • Kairi Vice says:

          But he breaks that rule by murdering a couple dudes in the towns after being told not to. He sticks one guy for talking too fondly about King Jerric, and there were a few other dudes he stuck as well. So they weren’t totally consistent with this plot point.

  4. The overworld is too small, there is nothing to do except the item fetch / kill enemy / walk around thing and there are bugs that cause you to get stuck in the scenery(if you don’t have the teleporter you have to start the game over).

    As a Crystalis clone it’s decent and maybe in a sequel it can be fine-tuned a bit and be more awesome.

    • Kairi Vice says:

      I never did get stuck in scenery. I will say that I didn’t realize you could save in the overworld until the end of the game, and that would have cut down on a few headaches. I only died once though, and it was when I got frozen by some dragon’s attack and couldn’t use my potions. That was on the very last floor before the final boss fight, and I had saved. So it was no biggie.

  5. Mike says:

    I too found EvilQuest on the easy side (and I played prepatch) but I also dumped all my points into a single stat. I enjoyed the game and story. I think we should have a public list of the reviewers who complained it was hard so we can mock them without mercy. I’d say this might mean Kari and I are on the same wavelength but anyone who thinks of Winona Ryder as the chick from Beetlejuice is clearly wrong. She is the chick from Heathers.

  6. Other Mike says:

    Yes, the fact that he pays for items confused me to. Then I realized he is only doing it for the sake of capitalism, the most eeeeevil of economic systems!

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