One Night at McCool’s
Oh, the curious case of Secret of Evermore. The only game ever designed by Square in North America, word upon release was that this was a Western spin-off of Secret of Mana (with which it shared many qualities), when Square hadn’t ported the superior Seiken Densetsu 3 (Secret of Mana’s actual sequel) from Japan. That’s been denied by Square, but it didn’t save the game from receiving unfair backlash: Evermore is a flawed but good RPG with some genuinely unique elements, one of which is its soundtrack.
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The only problem with combat is that on the game's recommended Regular difficulty, it eventually turns into a cakewalk. This is satisfying in a way, of course -all the points I pumped into maxing out my handgun skills, thus becoming best gunslinger in the galaxy, did actually make me feel utterly invincible. But, it also meant I didn't feel pushed to explore the game's slew of combat-adjacent mechanics nearly as deeply as I would have hoped. Things like elemental damage, equipment modding, companion synergies, and the special effects allowed by consumables (which, by the way, are incredibly difficult to parse in the game's icon-heavy menu), could all be safely ignored. The Outer Worlds has a "flaws" system that lets you purposefully shoulder restrictive debuffs in certain situations in exchange for an extra perk point, but it's completely optional and rarely worth the tradeoff. Jumping into the "Supernova" difficulty level in a subsequent playthrough changes all that, however -combat danger increases, your ability to save your game becomes restricted, and survival mechanics like hunger and thirst are introduced, making all of the game's mechanical considerations feel far more vital. The game is more challenging and interesting because of it, but its demanding nature definitely makes it more of a second-run option.