Ever Oasis: Yay, Nintendo wants to make me happy!

A while ago, I “finished” Streetpass Garden – a mildly entertaining, if frustratingly slow timekiller about growing flowers – and saw the name Koichi Ishii in the credits.

That … hurt, a little bit. Koichi Ishii had been one of those names that had been with me since the start of my videogame career. He made Secret of Mana, which was probably the most influential game for me, a very special gaming experience. Europe in the 1990’s wasn’t a great place for JRPG fans, so I played and replayed and replayed Secret of Mana for years and years. And each time I loaded up the game, there was the wolves’ howling, the gorgeous tree artwork – and the name “K. Ishii”. And now this! Seeing his name attached to some (comparatively) irrelevant Streetpass game, over twenty years later … well, it does kind of make you feel sad. Like the gaming joys of your youth are so, so far in the past. Like we’ve all lost our ways. Koichi Ishii should be out there making new RPGs that would shape the genre, dammit!

Ok, this is just the context you need to understand why I was completely thrilled by yesterday’s announcement of Ever Oasis, a 3DS action RPG by Grezzo … *drumroll*  … by Koichi Ishii.

Based on the first trailer and a gameplay video, I’m excited. The first associations are Fantasy Life, Animal Crossing, Zelda and – yes – Secret of Mana. The similarity to the latter mostly has to do with the battle system: three party members with unique skills that you can/must switch between? Secret of Mana! Good. I’d love if there was an option that would allow some kind of multiplayer co-op, to play with friends, but I have not heard anything of the sort and … shouldn’t just project my unfiltered SoM nostalgia onto this new game, right? ;)

Because aside from these obvious connections that any 3DS RPG player can’t help but notice, Ever Oasis seems beautifully distinct. The general, decidedly non-western look makes it stand out.The setting is described as Egyptian-inspired, to fit with the desert setting. Cool! I have to say, it also makes me happy to see a dark-skinned main character, seriously a rarity in JRPGs – and you’ll get to choose between male and female, too. Hey, can the feminist blogosphere maybe take a break from complaining about Link still being male, and acknowledge Nintendo’s new IP? ;)

Most of the characters in Ever Oasis appear not to be human, but some human-animal hybrid. And amazing penguin-owls! Koichi Ishii has brought us such distinct mascot creatures as moogles and chocobos. Will Ever Oasis‘ “noots” become as iconic? Fingers crossed!

Something to look forward to in 2017.

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8 thoughts on “Ever Oasis: Yay, Nintendo wants to make me happy!

  1. The biggest appeal for me definitely is that Koichi Ishii is the man behind the game! He’s such a legend in the industry! Ever Oasis was definitely a nice surprise from Nintendo this E3 despite them not holding a Nintendo Direct. 2017 is only looking brighter and brighter for Nintendo fans! Great write-up :D

    • Thank you for your comment! I love that this was a surprise – and that there was already quite a bit to show of the game, not just a logo and artwork or whatever. :)

  2. Oh definitely! When I heard Nintendo was going to announce a new IP, I expected maybe some concept art or a logo, not a whole trailer that showed off extensive gameplay and features. I love that the 3DS has become a sorts of RPG Machine (literally) as of late. With Fire Emblem, Bravely Second, Dragon Quest VII, Yo-Kai Watch 2 and now this, it’s positioned itself as the must have console for JRPG fans! ^_^

  3. Haha, I agree! Even though I think Final Fantasy XV looks gorgeous, it doesn’t have that unique “JRPG” feel that appeals to me. Or am I just being crazy? :P

    This post was very nicely written by the way, are you currently writing with any other sites or platforms as well?

    • Wow, thank you! :D I’m really just writing on this blog, for myself, trying to get into the groove…

      FFXV kind of makes me sad. I will always consider myself a Final Fantasy fan, but this game doesn’t speak to me at all. (Which wouldn’t be a big deal if it wasn’t taking so much time to finish. Let’s just get it over with and proceed to FFXVI!)

      • Haha, I know what you mean! I know I should be excited for and love FFXV, but for some reason I can’t get excited for it :P

        The reason I also asked about your blog is because I’m actually a community manager over at https://nowloading.co/ and I think your writing is great! If you’d be keen on the idea of sharing your work and to get some more writing experience, I’d be more than happy to show you how to go about getting started. If this is something you’d have an interest in trying, shoot me a message at paul@nowloading.co :D

        • Sorry – I was offline for a while and only just saw your comment. Thank you for the offer, but I find that I prefer writing in my own space on my own terms.

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