Thursday, 6 July 2017

Nintendo 3DS - Ever Oasis (RPG) Full Review (Spoiler Alert)


It's no secret that I'm really enjoying the Nintendo Switch game The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I have defeated the end game boss and bought the expansion pack as well (the master sword trial is making me cry haha), but I must say that I do miss adorable games like Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing.

So as soon as I saw the trailer for Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, which is a role-playing game (RPG) with super cute graphics (right up my street!), I quickly registered my interest. It's not a massive game like Breath of the Wild, but both me and Abby have fallen completely in love with it!

Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis (pegi 7, RRP £34.99. Free demo available from Nintendo EShop) is a single player role-playing game, where players play as a Seedling from an oasis that was under attack. He/ she was saved by his/ her brother and landed near a water pool, where he/ she met the water spirit Esna who resides there, and together they are to create the last oasis in the world, while having to protect it from Chaos, which has been destroying all the previous oases.


Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

The game flow is sort of controlled by the story, and places will unlock when you reach a certain point.


Character Creation & Game Saving:

Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

There are 2 data slots for players to save their game, and players will be given the opportunity to create their character by choosing their sex, skin and eye colours, and finally the name. I chose a boy and named him Baba Boo, only realising afterwards that it sounded a bit like something evil that gives children nightmares, oops!


Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

I did regret not choosing a female character after Abby started playing, because she is encountering different things than I do (such as chaos butterflies in the above picture, which doesn't appear in my game), let alone that her clothes are prettier! If you want to try out the game using both male and female characters, at least there are 2 slots available for you to do so.


Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

The game tutorial will start after the character creation, and it will last for about 5 to 10 minutes before players can save the game. Afterwards they can save the game any time they want, and the game will save automatically at times as well.


Create and Expand your Oasis:

Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

To make the precious oasis flourish (such a gorgeous design!), players will have to attract visitors and get them to become residents. The higher level the oasis is, the bigger map you'll get. Players will however be able to Fast Travel between places inside the oasis, so they don't need to run the full map to get to where they need to go.


Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

1. Residents and visitors
Seedling residents can open shops that are called Bloom Booths, and residents from other tribes can help with exploring outside the oasis, harvesting materials needed for the Bloom Booths, as well as help with questing.

Visitors that can't turn into residents are Noots who are big spenders, and merchants will provide special items for you to buy and trade.

The more residents you have, the higher level your oasis will become. And the more Bloom Booths you have, the more visitors you will receive, hence attracting potential residents.


Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

2. Bloom Booths
Seedling open Bloom Booths, which sells a variety of things. The income, Dewadems allow you to buy and upgrade Bloom Booths and corresponding buffs, upgrade weapons and accessories, as well as buying materials and sometimes special items from merchants.

Bloom Booths can be upgraded further and sell up to 3 items each booth. The problem I encountered is that the more items you stock, the more materials you need to find to keep booths fully stocked, which gets challenging later on.


Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

It is kind of important to fully stock Bloom Booths each morning though, because deliveries makes residents happy, and happy residents means that your hp bonus (called Rainbow Boost I think) will reach the maximum, which will affect you during your exploration when fighting monsters, especially bosses.

To restock, you can either visit each booths to stock them, or later on you can also stock them all in one go through a Seedling.


Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

It is not necessary however to get so serious of course. Like Abby, she doesn't turn it into a daily chore (unlike the overly responsible me!) and will do whatever she feels like at the time, not being affected by the amount of bonus health she gets because, when you faint (there is no death in this game, not even for monsters, which you are merely exorcising them from chaos posession. I just love how considerate the developers are and make the game suitable for younger children too), you can wake up again with about 2/3 of your health, so she isn't even bothered about stocking up on healing fruits and potions (but, it feels so wrong!)!

She also built this musical wheel (a Bloom Booth buffer, there are others as well) on a Bloom Booth spot (I just think about maximising space for as many booths as I can!), which her character can run on and make really cute music! It's so cute it made her chuckle out loud haha.


So fun wise, an adult can have as much fun (with lots to do) as a child (who can play the game care free) in Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis.


Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

3. Gardening and Exploration
A bit later on in the game, players can plant seeds they bought from Merchants in their garden, and send an exploration team (not your own party) out, both to collect materials to restock Bloom Booths and create weapons and accessories.

Players will be able to assign other Seedlings (those without a Bloom Booth however) to tend the garden for them later.

Every little helps and these feature will give players more time to explore outside the oasis.


Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

4. Host Festivals
To increase trade and attract more potential residents that are from other tribes, players can collect stamps from Bloom Booths and open themed festivals (Gourmet, Novelty and Fashion). Festivals last for a whole day, and at the end of it, you will also be awarded a 100% Rainbow Boost, even if the booths aren't restocked or requests not fulfilled.

You can go about and do your usual things, or you can use a festival to your advantage and host it right before you are about to do something big, like face a boss.


Quests and Explore outside Oasis:

Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

To stop Chaos, find materials and investigate places where travelers are rumoured to be located, players will have to venture outside the oasis. Later on they can start adding up to 2 residents into their party to make things go smoother.


Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

1. Form Party and Teleport
Players initially form a party by choosing stronger fighters who can help them fight off monsters. You can gear up Seedlings using items you've created, but not the residents from other tribes. Players will soon find that they will be partying with other members who are weaker at fighting, but have skills that will help in the quest ahead, for example, when a dungeon requires an archer to shoot at unreachable buttons, or a member that can create a wall simply to deter a rolling boulder.

This means that players will have to go back to the oasis frequently to change party member through a dungeon visit. The good news is that they can go back either by using a temporary one off portal, called Aqua Gate, or using permanent warp points (see above picture, the fountain looking portal standing behind the party) to go back and forth.


Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

I think there is enough portals in the game, and with the Aqua Gate, you can basically go back to the oasis as and when you want. However I do find it a bit of a bother to have to stop what you are doing and go back, just so that you can open a gate. This gets a bit worse when there is treasures (high level weapons and accessories can sometimes be found in them!) and materials to be collected nearby, which although doesn't affect you moving on if you just leave them behind, it's really hard to just let go!

Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

2. Combat and Level Up
When encountering monsters (or chaos possessed creatures), players can use their normal attacks, but they can also use special and combo attacks. Different party member uses different weapons and skills, and some are better against a certain type of monster than others. It's very easy for players to swap to the member you want to control, and it is possible to find that you are better fighting using another member (I'm better with the archer, for example).

Players and party members, as well as residents that were sent out to explore on their own for materials, can all be levelled up. This will increase their basic stats, and occasionally granting them new or upgraded skills.

Monsters however won't be levelled up, but higher level monsters can be found in higher level areas. The experience points you get from lower level monsters is probably the same but wouldn't help much with your levelling later on.


Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

4. Create items
As mentioned above, players can create items (at their home) using certain materials. As players and their party members level up, better weapons and defense is needed to fight against stronger monsters.

Items created aren't just for the player's character to use however. They can equip Seedling party members with the same items as well.

The only items that doesn't affect ability are clothing, which are more for fashion purpose, but there are some really pretty outfit in the game! Again, this will be different for girl or boy characters.


Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

3. Chaos and Bosses
When you reach a certain point in the story or have achieved a certain requirement, chaos will appear and haunt your oasis, keeping the story going while you have fun exploring and expanding your oasis. I've reached passed the point where I get to know more about the details, and the story is really quite sad. I just hope that it's a happy ending at the end!

There will be boss fights, which require some sort of tactic to fight them, but Abby managed herself so it's not overly difficult for a child either, and she's certainly proud of what she can do even though she was nervous about it!


Other Fun Things:

Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

1. Achievements:
There are hidden achievements you can unlock, such as chopping down a certain number of cacti. When you have done a certain number of these achievements, the residents will give you a gift, which are a pair of statues that stand behind the fairy fountain (fairies start to appear with a higher level oasis, and once a day you can collect materials from them), framing the water spring in a lovely picture. You can see the night view above, with the Chickie Statue framing the centre of the oasis.

I'm not sure what unlocks new statues, but I'd love to find out what else I can get!


Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

2. Road Pattern
Players can beautify their Bloom Booth streets using different patterns for their road. I'm actually not sure about the seashell patterns I'm using at the moment, I might change that later.


Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

Menu and Manual
You can access these on the touch screen most of the time. It's really handy to find out your character and the oasis' status, as well as catching up on any resident requests that you might have missed (only 1 quest can be activated, and those from residents will be removed from quest log until you speak to the quest giver again).


Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis, Nintendo RPG games, video games for kids

Graphics and Sound
We absolutely adore the cute graphics and the sweet tunes (really good soundtrack overall but we prefer the cute ones than the nerve wrecking ones of course!). The 3D graphics quality is fantastic on the Nintendo 3DS, and the characters as well as Bloom Booth and Oasis designs are just super kawaii! When I saw Abby's character run on the musical wheel (picture above under the Bloom Booth section), my heart just melts! The more the oasis is expanded, the better the design (just look at the fairy fountain!), I just hope that the story ends well and chaos chased away (it gets gloomy when chaos is here). I can't wait to see how the oasis will look like at the end!


Overall
Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis is a mix of classic RPG and "city" building with adorable graphics. The storyline is refreshing, there is plenty to do to keep players going, but it gives the players the flexibility of doing more or less too, making it very addictive to play for different gamers like me and Abby.

The dungeon maps are well designed, and puzzles are fun to solve. Although party size is limited to 3 characters, by allowing players to easily teleport back to the oasis and swap characters for skills gives developers the flexibility to design a good variety of puzzles in the game.

I think if the developers can perhaps spend a little bit more time proof reading the dialog, shop and character details, and perhaps slowing the in-game time down a bit, it will provide an even better gaming experience.

We also think that Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis can do with being developed into a bigger game, one that can be played on the Nintendo Switch with bigger screen, so more of the gorgeous graphics can be appreciated. With bigger and slightly more complicated dungeons, and with perhaps a party of 5, it'll definitely be another great game to play. It's even possible to upgrade it to Ever Oasis Online, or even just LAN playing, because me and Abby would certainly love to be playing it in the same party!

Summer holiday is here soon, and there is no doubt that we will aim to complete the game during the holidays. We definitely recommend checking Nintendo 3DS Ever Oasis out, and since there is a free demo available on Nintendo EShop now, there is no reason not to give it a go. I hope you enjoy the game as much as we do!