GBAtemp Recommends #88: Secret of Evermore

Discussion in 'GBAtemp & Scene News' started by Hadrian, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. Hadrian

    Hadrian Better than Craigslist

    Former Staff
    Oct 12, 2004
    Welcome to the 88th issue of the GBAtemp Recommends Revival Project! This is a weekly feature where we share some our favourite games and the occasional "something else". Some may be well known, others I feel have been ignored but all are fantastic and deserve at least a play.
    The first ever American developed SquareSoft game with a nice little 80's family sci-fi didn't sell because RPG gamers are dicks. :hateit:

    The Secret of Evermore used the Secret of Mana engine but had a more "real world" and 80's family sci-fi look to the game. You play this young lad who along with his dog, gets transported to a fictional world of Evermore. In Evermore you start off in a Prehistoric style land called Prehistoria, from there you have to find your way out and get through other eras like Antiqua (an ancient civilisation world), Gothica (Medievil) and Omnitopia (futuristic). The prehistoria is actually fairly dull and has turned a lot of gamers off but once you get out of it you find yourself into an engaging RPG.

    The battle system is pretty much the same as Mana, its done in real time but its a little more limited with only a few type of weapons. The dog can also help you in battle, though all it can do is bite it does change breed in each of the era from Wolf up to robotic pooch. Disappointing battle system aside it is lifted by the lovely use of alchemy! This masgic system is a personal favourite of mine, you'll meet other alchemists as you travel who play around with certain ingredients to make some nifty potions. You'll need to collect ingredients so you can make potions but that isn't much of a chore at all. Your trusty canine companion will help you with this by sniffing the ground and digging up the items. Potions will help you heal yourself, increase your level among other things. Of course the more you fight or mix potions, the more chance you have of leveling up to become more powerful.

    Outside of theme, another great thing about the game that makes it more than just another RPG, is how you use currency. While other games in the genre may have the same type of currency (even those which involve time travel or different worlds) this one has its own type of currency for each of the time periods. Not only that but also each type has its own exchange rate. You can also buy and trade items in the Antiqua and Gothica worlds and sometimes trading is cheaper than using currency. This adds a little strategy to the game as you'll get to learn whether or not to buy or trade.

    Graphically this game is amazing to look at, each time period looks different enough to the last one. The sprite & backgrounds are very well made, detailed and animated. It is such a treat to look at. The sound is my only complaint about this game, though it has a good quality its just dull and mediocre. The music is completlely forgettable.

    The game didn't sell well despite its great reviews and the team behind it was sadly sacked. For whatever reason gamers (who are dicks btw) just didn't want to play a RPG in this style and story...assholes. They'd rather play a generic fantasy title that has been done a million times before...basically the same reason why Earthbound got left behind in Japan for the 3rd game. To hell with a quirky, humorous story full of charm, lets just play a game with by the numbers magic shit instead. The staff from the development team later on became Humongous Entertainment who went on to create childrens point and click adventures like Putt Putt, Pajama Same & Freddi Fish. They also made the excellent strategy game Moonbase Commander. Nowadays they might fucking awful games in the Backyard Sports range. What a bloody waste.

    There are some people who claim that this game is bad, I reckon that they've only played the first time zone as the rest of the game is an excellent and well made title. In a genre full of fantasy themed games its refreshing to see one that is different. In my opinion RPG fans owe it to themselves to give this underrated, overlooked gem a long play. Sure the game may be simple for seasoned RPG players but the story and theme really keeps this going and had this come out on the GBA/DS people would have been more open to it.
    2ndApex, ladypoodle, SignZ and 2 others like this.
  2. EZ-Megaman

    EZ-Megaman Likeanator

    Aug 11, 2009
    It's a fun game, but I personally prefer the Mana series and Soul Blazer trilogy to it.

    I think the dialogue puts it above contemporary games, though, and the game was humorous at points.
    GHANMI and SignZ like this.
  3. Hadrian

    Hadrian Better than Craigslist

    Former Staff
    Oct 12, 2004
    Yeah it's no Secret of Mana for sure.

    This could have easily been a review for Atari 2600, C64, Wii and even n-Gage. One day I'll feature you day.
  4. TyBlood13

    TyBlood13 Weeaboo Trash

    Jul 1, 2012
    United States
    This is on my list of SNES games to buy/play, I'll get around to it eventually.
  5. LoyalZero1

    LoyalZero1 Former Videogame & Movie News Super Blogger

    Aug 27, 2013
    United States
    Orlando, Florida
    I've been meaning to give the Mana series a try. I think I will after my Star Ocean marathon.
  6. calmwaters

    calmwaters Cat's best friend

    May 27, 2013
    United States
    happy land
    OMG, this sounds awesome. I like the idea of time periods. It's similar to Chrono Trigger, but the layout is different and it sounds like your only companion is your dog. (See what I did there?) Ahem; and then magic seems like a common theme in most RPG's. Mario doesn't have magic, though... maybe Super Mario RPG; but he himself doesn't have it...
  7. Elrinth

    Elrinth :Master beyond your imagination:

    Nov 6, 2002
    I remember asking my dad to buy this game for me. Back then we didn't have 14 day open buy rules in sweden so if you bought a game and wanted to return it, you didn't get all your money back but only like 50% or something like that.
    So I got the game, and I started it, I was immediately disappointed. The game was in greyscale and didn't feature that good music of Secret of Mana had. Whiny and crying I told dad to return it and get Secret of Mana instead. Dad was furious and he returned it, tho I never got any other game since he didn't get all the money back. Had my 11½ years old brain understood you didn't get all money back I would have definitely kept the game. Seeing the game is still worth the same amount of money today I really regret my decision. But I was young and stupid.

    This is a game I'll be trying to purchase again sometime soon.
  8. RchUncleSkeleton

    RchUncleSkeleton Skeletron 9000

    Feb 2, 2009
    United States
    California, USA
    My brother and I played this when we were kids, I was about 11 and he was 16. We could never figure out what the hell you were supposed to do, we'd always just from being in the forest too long. In all honesty though, it took me like 30 minutes to figure out that you had to talk to Melchior in Chrono Trigger before Lucca's exhibition would open. I guess I'm not that much of a "try to talk to everyone to see what happens" kinda guy.
  9. Rob Blou

    Rob Blou GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Jul 16, 2013
    Thank you for posting this! It's my favorite Snes Game and I'm a hardcore JRPG Fan ;) Imho, it's better and more original than Secret of Mana and ever Chrono Trigger. FF6 is following really close behind but it might be because of the suprise effect I had with this game ... I was expecting nothing and I was blown away.
  10. Clanver

    Clanver Advanced Member

    Mar 14, 2009
    i still have this game along my many other snes RPG´s. I too bought this thinking it would be some kinda Secret of Mana but i quite enjoyed it. The only thing putting me off was that there was no multiplayer even though you had this dog!

    And it was scary as fuck for me! This sound effects, these monsters . .it was dark for the young me^^
  11. TobiasAmaranth

    TobiasAmaranth GBAtemp Fan

    Feb 6, 2009
    United States
    One of my all time favorites. Loved the alchemy system, loved the humor, and I loved the overarching sense of adventure in this. It can really pull you in as you progress through the ages.

    I can agree the music is forgettable, but that works in its own right for the atmosphere it was making.
  12. Cyan

    Cyan GBATemp's lurking knight

    Global Moderator
    Oct 27, 2002
    Engine room, learning
    I tried to play that game 4 or 5 times, but always stopped while in the forest (second level?), I find it boring and not appealing :(
    I guess I expected too much a "secret of mana" sequel. (French magazines advertised it as another secret of mana, so...)
    I still want to try and play it fully, one day...
  13. ladypoodle

    ladypoodle GBAtemp Regular

    Apr 8, 2009
    United States
    This somehow left me a smile on my face.

    I will give this game a try!
  14. DJPlace

    DJPlace P!ssed OFF Pyscho of GBA!!

    Apr 16, 2008
    United States
    this is like a JRPG of earthbound. how ever there is a rom hack where you can attach it to the rom to make it two players where someone can play has the dog... sadly i never tried it. (the rom hack i mean) played the game for bit then i got stuck.
  15. servant

    servant GBAtemp Regular

    Jan 30, 2012
    United States
    Ah my first RPG, while it was never the most impressive it holds a place in my heart. With nostalgia goggles it still looks as appealing as evermore.
  16. Bladexdsl

    Bladexdsl ZOMG my's over 9000!!!

    Nov 17, 2008
    i dont know why people don't like this game sure it's no mana but it's still fantastic. it has some great mechanics in it like having to collect ingredients to use spells, the markets (always love doing them) all the time periods on 1 planet and being able to visit them all. i still play it from time to time on emulation.
  17. Chocolina

    Chocolina GBAtemp Fan

    May 28, 2012
    United States
    The hell is 80's family sci-fi?

    Did families gather around together to watch sci-fi shows in the 80's or something? Do they even do that now?
  18. orcid

    orcid GBAtemp Fan

    Sep 14, 2009
    The game was released too late. I already had the playstation with its shiny new 3D graphics. Other people had a new playstation or saturn, too. Also many waited for the N64.
    Another reason for the small succes in europe was the month of the release. February is nowadays a bad month, but in 1995 it was the worst date you could choose, because the majority of gamers were children and got games only at chrismas or birthday.
  19. Bladexdsl

    Bladexdsl ZOMG my's over 9000!!!

    Nov 17, 2008
    it was released here years before the psx
  20. Hadrian

    Hadrian Better than Craigslist

    Former Staff
    Oct 12, 2004
    Sci-fi made in the 80's aimed at families.


    And yet many games released afterwards did very well.