Echo Generation – Review
Follow Genre: RPG, Adventure
Developer: Cococucumber
Publisher: Cococucumber
Platform: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Tested on: PC

Echo Generation – Review

Site Score
8.0
Good: Amazing graphics, Not afraid to be itself
Bad: Slightly unbalanced and lots of running up and down
User Score
0
(0 votes)
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With Echo Generation, it’s time to go back to a time when games still made sense. Back to when your favorite games were not controlled by multi-million dollar investors, but when they were crafted by free people with passions that were crafting awesome stories. Echo Generation not only takes place around the 80s but also gives you nostalgic feelings about games you might have played around that era.

Story

Echo Generation is special. It has a story that borrows vibes from Stranger Things while incorporating¬†the weirdness from games such as Earthbound or Undertale. It’s not stealing anything though, no, it’s a totally unique product that will find its way to many game lovers’ hearts by staying true to its own world and rules. This includes mostly dialogues full of absurd witty humor and characters who don’t take the game seriously by i.e. referring to themselves as NPCs.

The story is about a bunch of 80s kids whose love for themes such as sci-fi and D&D inspired them to make a movie. Before you are at the point of actually shooting the movie though, you might already have experienced absurd situations that involved real aliens, raccoons as your most arrogant enemies, murders that are apparently normal to kids, and so on. Without spoiling too much, it’s at least safe to say that Echo Generation’s story brings heaps of unique fun situations, where you never know what you will find around the next corner. A downside to all of this is that the story never seems to progress as you’d expect.

Graphics

By combining voxel-based art as well as pixel art in a 3D environment this game looks absolutely stunning. It’s been a while since we saw this much detail in such a well-organized game. Everything looks pretty much perfect with tons of special effects, many beautiful layers, and a different setting on each and every screen. The game clearly has great art direction that spent countless hours organizing everything to perfection. With countless (battle) animations included, the graphics are without a doubt the greatest thing about Echo Generation, even though the rest of the game also offers nice things.

Sound

The sound design is also done very, very well. The game brings you great tracks that are very reminiscent of games and movies from the 80s up to the 00s. For each and every area you enter (small town, school, forest, cemetery, etc) there’s a new great track, and they all fit perfectly. Throw in some environmental sound effects, such as wind and bubbling oil, add some effects whenever you i.e. open the menu with a backpack zipping open and closed, and you hear that the sound design has matched the graphic design in an equally exemplary level.

Gameplay

Echo Generation has its RPG gameplay divided into two types of mechanics. You will be running around a lot for one. While running, you have to find quest items that you can use in other locations. Sometimes these quest items make a lot of sense. As an example, you might be looking for a CPU and it’s clear where to find it. Other times, the quest items might be placed at illogical locations or you don’t know where to find them at all. You talk to people, try to not miss a spot at a location, and sometimes aimlessly walk around. As the game increases the number of locations you visit, and since there’s no way of fast traveling anywhere aside from some shortcuts, this gets frustrating quite fast. The running back and forth, especially when you don’t know where you should look, is definitely the weakest part of the game.

The other side of the RPG involves classic battles, albeit with a twist. Like Pok√©mon or Final Fantasy games, each character gets a turn to either perform a basic attack, a special attack, or use an item. What’s really cool about Echo Generation is that using special attacks prompts you to interact with a mini-game. Do it well and you do a decent amount of damage (or defend yourself from damage), do it poorly and your damage shows that you did bad. That being said, the outcome of this is quite binary, as you simply receive either full damage or around half or 75 perfect of that or add that percentage to the damage you deal. Still, you will need to do your best if you want the best chance of defeating your foes, which does create an incentive to commit to clearing these mini-games the best you can.

New special attacks are found throughout the game in the form of collectible comics, and they give each of the two main characters about nine special attacks in total. Aside from the main characters, you can also get a number of pets, which also have a few special attacks to collect. While there are multiple pets, this is another part where the game does miss its mark slightly. As there are barely any spots to grind experience points, it makes absolutely no sense to switch your rather strong pet for a weak level 1 pet. This feeling is further enforced by the fact that you need all your strength to win some of the early-game battles to actually progress. On top of that, you’ll try to save money for quest items, and if you don’t use a pet with healing capabilities, you will spend loads of money on healing items. There’s also the opportunity to heal for free by sleeping, but that means running up and down towards your home all the time. Even though the game’s combat is great, the balance between running back and forth and leveling up your pets doesn’t feel right.

Conclusion

Echo Generation should be applauded for the originality of its weird story, the amazing graphics, and the great soundtrack it boasts. While the gameplay is good enough while fighting, the game could have used more balance in how it handles experience points for your companions that might not ever see the light of day. At the same time, there’s a lot of running going on that the game could do without. These minor remarks aside, this is truly a diamond in the rough that just needs a tiny bit of extra polishing.

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Icecreamvamp


I'm a game designer, developer, and reviewer. I've been reviewing for 3rd-strike.com since 2017.

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