Nevermore is a lovely game series that I played ages ago. Like couple years ago when I played online games a lot more often compared to Steam and what not. This is going to be a bit of a long post since I will be reviewing all three in the trilogy in one post. As usual, I will provide a link to the games. Let the reviews begin!
Throughout the Nevermore series, you see the art that is uniquely associated with the series. The platforming aspects stay pretty much the same in the series so nothing new will be introduced in the series. The only difference between all three games, will be that the first one does not have any story at all. Also you will find that the series puts a lot of attention to not only the art, but to the background sounds you hear in the background. Ranging from the playing of a piano, the sound of the wind blowing or random characters saying a piece of dialogue to you.
Nevermore, the first one in the series is a little hard to review. I say that now and I probably will end up typing a bit about it. Your main goal in Nevermore is collect orbs that are scattered throughout the map, you do not need to collect them all. However, you must collect at least twenty orbs (or was that twenty-four?) to proceed to the ending. There is no story in Nevermore. It is just a platformer where you collect orbs. It feels more like an art game, you go through such a beautiful variety of terrain. One scene has you jumping on rocks, another has you jumping through a sky-rail station, the next has you jumping across a snow-covered city and you end up in a library as you proceed to your destination. The music is a little loud in the game at certain points. It is a shame that you could not mute the in-game sounds (although it does adds to the atmosphere).
To be able to at least change the volume of the sound to a more bearable level, rather than being used to the quiet volume it was at then suddenly when you enter a new area to have your ears be deafened by several decibel would be fantastic. Also the music is a bit buggy in the game. Dying in the middle of the game will cause the music tracks to overlap each other. Another issue in Nevermore is how some of the platforms are very touchy. You have find the sweet spot to jump onto the platform. I find that the game is not very clear or consistent in what objects you can or cannot jump on. The ending is a bit abrupt, since you jump to the ending scene then it is suddenly says: thanks for playing! leaving you go: what? that’s it? Nevermore is a pleasant enough game to play, the length of the game will vary depending if you get stuck on any of the levels. I played Nevermore to mostly enjoy the artwork and the simplicity of collecting orbs.
Nevermore 2 follows the same concept of platforming like its predecessor. This time however, it has a story for you to follow. You now learn the name of the little boy whom you control in the Nevermore series. Olek, the little boy whom you control and the protagonist of the series lives in a poor town called Shawbrook. You do not know much more than that, but what you can see from the town, it is obvious that the town has seen better days. After scaring the living daylights out of the squirrel (by chasing it briefly), you are told to see the town’s shopkeeper. He gives you a poorly drawn map that he claims to have bought off the black market leading to untold treasures. He tasks you to go on an adventure and find the long abandoned mine, finding the treasure could mean the revival of Shawbrook.
The game-play is a lot smoother compared to Nevermore. Olek’s world is more vibrant with color compared to its predecessor yet is still true to the quirky artwork of its predecessor as well. The dialogue is kept to a minimum, but not neglected to the point where it does not contribute to the gaming experience. Unlike Nevermore where if you messed up and died, you would have to begin from the beginning again. Nevermore 2 introduces a checkpoint system where you were allowed to begin at beginning of the level again (e.g the wall level, that was the one place I constantly got stuck at).
Nevermore 3 is the final part of the Nevermore series (or trilogy if you prefer to call it that). Personally, I think Nevermore 3 has the best graphics in the entire series. It continues from Nevermore 2 by keeping the same story of you going on a quest to save your village. However, it doesn’t go deeply into this plot till towards the end of the adventure. Again, the dialogue is kept to a minimum and the game keeps the sense of mystery that is not hindered by the game’s limitations. Nevermore 3 removes death from the game so if you fail a jump, you just need to back-track to your previous location and attempt the jump or platform once more. Luckily, you do not need walk long distances while back-tracking. Hey, if you mess it up you will most likely find a collectible hat. The hats do not do much, other than changing Olek’s appearance.
The only problem with Nevermore 3, despite all the improvements it has over the predecessors is not being able to tell which is solid ground or not. So you could be trying to cross the bridge and you suddenly fell cause the bridge was a lie.
The game’s ending is beautifully clever. I think the best part of the game’s ending is how it pays homage to the entire Nevermore series (including scenes from both Nevermore & Nevermore 2) as if giving a wink to the players whom played Nevermore from beginning to its conclusion (hello to my fellow Nevermore veterans if you happen to be reading this). That was the best thing about Nevermore 3 for me. The ending was beautiful and I loved how it brought the familiar scenes from the predecessors as Olek’s adventure is brought to an end. I also loved how it brought the concept of morality and redemption in the end.