Reviews from

in the past

if some early PS2 games are janky in a good, enjoyable way, this is probably the opposite. soundtrack is great though

A new personal benchmark for how bad a game can be.

It's interesting, you see a lot of recognizable stuff that'd become staples in later Souls games and even Elden Ring. There's definitely a lot that makes the game inaccessible but there's an equal amount of strange comfort I get from the world design and soundtrack, and even the sometimes-indecipherable mechanics

Nesse fatídico porém clássico RPG da hoje em dia consagrada FromSoftware, controlamos dois personagens, Darius e Sharline, mesmo separados ambos seguem o mesmo caminho em busca de saber o que aconteceu com eles, e apesar de divididos, seguem o mesmo objetivo: tentar entender o que aconteceu com eles e voltarem para seu mundo original. Por já ter uma certa bagagem com os jogos da From, sinto que pude aproveitar bem mais esse jogo, com claramente vários elementos que seriam utilizados posteriormente pela empresa, principalmente em Dark Souls. É fácil pegar as nuances e sutilezas que seriam polidas e trabalhadas nos títulos posteriores da mesma. Incrivelmente difícil e cansativo, mas com um twist interessante, extremamente divertido e com um mistério um tanto quanto convidativo na trama. Não consigo recomendar pra todos, mas é com certeza um ponto gigante fora da curva dos clássicos do PS2.

this game is incredibly cruel and unkind to the player. it's full of stupid bullshit, cryptic bullshit, annoying bullshit, and the controls are weird to get used to, but damn if i didn't come out enjoying myself. the music is great, the story is pretty interesting, and the whole aesthetic just speaks to me. the ending credit roll cutscene goes stupid hard for some reason too, i think they intentionally transferred it to VHS and back just for the aesthetic like holy shit??? yo??? based???
good game/10 but you might hate it if you can't handle the garbage it throws at you
also play it in japanese if possible!! idk how well the english version holds up, but probably not very well given that it's published by agetec

You know how everyone's favorite area from Dark Souls 2 is Majula because all you do is laying down there, vibing with delightful coastal visuals added with entrancing music, but not actually playing the game per se because the combat is terrible, maybe miserable at best you know?
Makes me wonder where they got that from...

puse la ost y mi madre me echó de casa

Actually after posting that review I went and did Yuterald's route up to the point it was the same as Shaluami's. I thought Yuterald's (Darius) route suffered from similar problems to Shaluami's - simple yet tedious puzzles (the mirror cave - once you knew how to make colors from the mirrors, execution was easy, but you had to run a lot.) I enjoyed the above-ground areas, actually, the whole opening sequence up to entering the castle was cool and really felt like proto-Souls.
After learning more about the story - it's kind of funny how similar FromSoft games are story-wise? Is the same person just writing the same story about some dude with a sign being trapped in some weird world? Anyways, that's kind of funny. While minimal and rushed, I did like Yuterald and Shaluami... kind of sad to find out Evergrace 2 is a prequel, but that should also be interesting, I hope...
Original review:
Overall, unique opening vibes (for sharline, idk about darius). Interesting ideas in the combat system but not executed that interestingly. Felt rushed

Kota Hoshino teve um derrame fazendo isso e eu amei

The soundtrack, as anyone will tell you, is an otherworldly masterpiece. I heard the main menu theme and immediately decided I needed to play this game. It just kinda sinks itself into your soul and makes you feel weird things.
Storywise it's that classic FromSoftware joint where your character stumbles into a dangerous and dying world where they have to survive, explore, and discover the tragic backstory at the bottom of all of it. Never gets old.
Gameplaywise it's much more forgiving than your average FromSoft game, but it's also more generic. You will cheese your way through pretty basic combat and do color coded puzzles to progress and upgrade your weapons etc etc. Not really a problem though since the soundtrack and the atmosphere are what we're here for anyway, and aside from an overly esoteric puzzle or 2 you shouldn't face too many roadblocks in beating it.

One time I went to take a piss and Kota Hoshino broke into my bathroom and locked me in forcing me to listen to every single song he has ever composed. Phenomenal game

FromSoftware's Evergrace is mostly what one would expect if King's Field went third-person: A deliberate action-RPG built around equipment skills and minimal direction, albeit following two level-based routes with sci-fi traits and a difficult camera instead. Buried in all sorts of comical jank and obtuse puzzles, its few real innovations were more technological than mechanical, but one compelling idea among those combines HP with stamina to dictate attack power regeneration.

Despite giving this a middling score, I think it's still absolutely worth playing if you have any interest in From Software's pre-Dark Souls output. The soundtrack is unlike anything you've ever heard and the atmosphere is fantastic. Really feels like a fever dream in the best way possible. The combat is beyond simplistic and the puzzles are uninspired, but it's worth looking at despite the gameplay.

Evergrace is pretty disappointing. Almost everything about it feels unfinished or simply bad. I believe this game was initially being created for the PS1 and shifted to be a PS2 launch title late in development -- it definitely shows.
The combat is chunky and measured, like a 3rd person version of King's Field, but enemy movement is much faster and controlling your character's facing is much more awkward. Enemy windup is usually instantaneous and many enemies instantly and infinitely block attacks from the front, so you end up just running around them waiting for an opening. You can see From reaching towards Demon's Souls here, but with none of the precision or responsiveness. Additionally, no lock-on, bad character control, and camera control that only consists of swinging the camera (sort of, unreliably) behind you makes the game an extreme chore to play throughout.
Evergrace indexes hard on enemy resistances, to the point that enemies heal when struck with many of your weapons. You end up swapping weapons around to try to find a weakness, which is more tedious than fun. There also isn't super good UX to support the system -- I didn't have a clear idea of how to read my character and weapon stats until the very end of the game.
One interesting system is how stamina works in Evergrace. As in King's Field, your weapon does more damage if you let your stamina build to 100%. The difference is that your stamina bar is also your health bar, so as you take damage and the bar gets smaller, it takes less time for it to fill to max (though the maximum damage you do remains the same). If you are very low on health you can attack much more quickly at maximum power, creating a risk/reward sort of play that makes you feel a bit like a berserker in a very unique way even though it isn't very thematically relevant to the game.
Weapons and armor also grant you magic abilities (more as you level up your equipment), but they require and use a full stamina bar and usually delay stamina regeneration when you use them, so they usually end up just being a liability in combat, despite some interesting options and flashy effects.
Visuals here are very rough. You can see some inspired designs and concept art for the game reveals some truly unique characters and beautiful environments, but none of that is visible in game. Models are low poly, animations are stiff and often broken, and environments are often repetitive and uninteresting.
One cool aspect is a fully realized paper doll system, where the two characters you can play as will change their models for each of the pieces of armor you equip. The creativity here is obvious, with strange helmets and unique weapons and armor.
The dress-up system feeds directly into the other aspect of the gameplay, which is the puzzles. Most of these involve putting on a specific piece or specific color of gear in order to get through a door, activate an elevator, or trigger some switch. Rough translations and obscure requirements make these puzzles harder than they should be and nothing about them is actually very interesting or fun, unfortunately.
Nothing in this game makes any sense narratively. Events and characters seem arbitrary and are unexplained in a way that feels simply unwritten or unconsidered rather than mysterious and intriguing. This feels like a jumble of stuff thrown together at random, with no identifiable throughline or understandable consequences.
It isn't even that Evergrace is purposefully obscure (a technique From utilizes expertly in future games) -- it has so much to say in character dialog and cinematic events. Characters talk about events and each other without explaining or illuminating any of it or giving the player any way to understand how they are connected or what is going on. A lot of what happens seems to hint at an interesting world and place, but there is just nothing here to deliver any of it.
Doing some research into the story can give you an idea of what is going on in the game, but none of that exists for you to find while playing.
You can see some Souls DNA in the gameplay here and there are whispers of an interesting world, but none of the systems really come together. Evergrace is simply a mess to play or try to understand.
There isn't much reason to revisit this one, unfortunately.

So I'm just going based off of my memory here from playing this 20+ years ago... my pre-teen self despised this game with every fiber of his being. All I remember is the gameplay being atrocious, and the game being unbelievably ugly. I especially HATED the stamina/power meter going down as you ran which tied into your attack strength output... I never did get very far in this game though as I opted to play almost any other game I owned instead of this.
Color me shocked as I look and see this was one of From Software's early games... that is a crazy revelation to me. Since now when I think back on it... I see very early pre-Souls like design here. How far From Software has come since these days is honestly incredible...

It tries to do a lot of cool things, and... I don't know if many of them land, to be honest. I don't mind the "clunky" controls a lot to be honest; my two main issues are the lack of transparency about why your attacks aren't working against certain kinds of enemies, and the long backtrack to the item shop to try another weapon at random. I assume a lot of the storytelling got cut because of the localization and the whole PS1 development ordeal, but what is there is pretty interesting to me (plan on reading the novelization some time). The interaction between the amount of health left and the stamina regeneration rate was pretty fun to mess around with even if pretty basic. The "doll system" that makes your equipment show up on your character is still really cool to me, but I wish the clothing puzzles (and the elemental ones) weren't so obtuse half the time. Soundtrack is like an acquired taste and I'm all for it.

YOU PLAYED Evergrace Original Soundtrack IN FRONT OF THE HOES

torturous and deranged game, I love it

shame how one of the least fun, most insufferable to navigate games of all time also has the best music in the medium

Jesse, play Evergrace full OST
even if we scare the hoes

Modern fromsoft will never make something this interesting that souls cash cow is too good

This game is weird. The music is great. The combat is... interesting. I'm glad I tried this out, but it's a bit too janky for me to want to finish it, so I'll just listen to the soundtrack instead.

There's so much to say about this game that I feel like cannot properly capture the magic and ethereality that is Evergrace. It is an awkward, clunky, jank of a mess video game with the most atrocious dialogue and questionable story, BUT MAN does it FEEL so good to play. I'm not saying in the "oh this kinetically plays well," but in a "this game is so weird and unusual but I cannot find myself to stop playing and exploring its world" sense. The environmental design of this game is really unlike ANY game I've played, and I feel confident to say there really is no game LIKE Evergrace in terms of environmental design.
If I HAD to describe Evergrace though it would have to be a fever dream high fantasy type of game where the monsters are confusing to look at, the world doesn't make sense, and the people are just as confusing. Everything just looks desolate and macabre. I know with the limitations of the PS2 console there's only so many objects and NPCs FromSoftware could place without crashing the game (lord knows I've had some terrible frame drops just from more than one enemy spamming attacks at me as well), but something about that emptiness really brings out the macabre and desolate vibes that I want to say is more coincidental than intentional. The game just oozes atmosphere and surreality for days.
The gameplay is okay though. Aside from the dialogue and story which I will touch on in a moment, the gameplay while clunky and awkward functions well enough in the bare minimum aspect. It is not your usual hack and slash type of game. While you CAN hack and slash, it's more than just about how fast can you pull off combos, but being diligent and precise with your attacks because attacking is contextualized through pressure. Meaning, the harder you press the square button the harder you hit. So you can't just hit willy-nilly whenever you want and how often you want. It's weird, but I actually don't mind that as much. Seeing how FromSoftware went with their SoulsBorne games, I'd say its on brand with their programming and design. Just don't expect anything high paced like Devil May Cry.
I will say that this game is definitely not a "proto-souls" game as Kingsfield is probably more appropriate for that, but I will say that this game is probably more ideal for getting beginners into the Souls type games. The game feels like a "SoulsBorne for kids" type of game with its fun literal character customization where you can dress your character up in anything you want and the "grinding" aspect of the game isn't that tedious at all. You don't really need to grind to beat the game unlike most other games.
The story and dialogue is probably the worst aspect of the game, mainly the story as I don't know WHAT the hell went on, but it's not worse as in its not redeemable, but more as in its so bad its hard not to just laugh at it and say "well, they tried!" People speak so out of context and the dialogue often does not match what is subtitled so I found myself chuckling at how clumsy it is. I know some games you'd need to play through them more than once to understand the story, but I genuinely don't think this game is one of those stories because MAN I seriously do not know what the hell went on during this playthrough. I'm not hating though, I went in knowing that this game wouldn't be great story-telling wise. It very much is an A for effort kind of ordeal for me though.
One thing about this game that I think helps add to its "what the hell am I playing" appeal is the music. I don't think the environment alone would make this game stand out so much as it does as the music is just absolutely wild. It's a fusion of many different genres, mostly just some different styles of indigenous folk and rock music, but the compositions feel very calculated and intentional. I know the composer Kota Hoshino is a making music by ear individual rather than using theory, and I think this game GREATLY benefited from that.
Overall, I'd say this game is DEFINITELY an acquired taste to beat, but I think should be experienced by almost everyone who is into JRPGs/obscure video games as it feels like such a unique and unusual game that is lost in the sands of time, but hopefully with ThorHighHeel's YouTube video on FromSoftware video games this game will have garnered more attention!
I'd recommend this game to the following:
-Fans of FromSoftware SoulsBorne games
-Fans of JRPGs who are looking for something new and weird
-Into games with really weird visuals/music
-Video game preservation enthusiast
-oddly enough, if you like Zelda you might like this game as it does capture that same dungeon design but more unforgiving.

greatest soundtrack of all time kota hoshino tha god

great soundtrack. has cool ideas and some sort of weird/uncanny charm to it, but the execution is really sloppy