Forever Kingdom  
From Software Original, Stylish RPG is back.

PanuruHere it comes the second chapter of Evergrace, that strangely is not a sequel to the game launched few months ago (it was one of the first RPGs for PS2), but it is the prequel of the first episode. In fact From Software has announced for Japan (and this will probably implicate the American launch, with Agetec's distribution ) the future release of Evergrace 2.

As I've said, the game will be set a few years before the adventure released many months ago on PS2 and it will show the life of the protagonist Darius up to the disappearance in the mysterious dimension with which Evergrace opened. The first thing that can be noticed is the absence of the beautiful Sharline, the female heroin of the first episode, who will be replaced by two new characters. Besides the already quoted Darius (Yuterald in the Japanese version), From Software announced two characters who seem to be quite interesting:

Ryana Fillna Ryana: he's Darius' best friend (nearly a brother). After the death of the parents of Darius the father of Ryana decided to take care of this unlucky boy and he treated him as a son. Ryana is younger than Darius, but despite this, he goes with him during the adventure, looking for the man who's killed Darius' parents.

Fillna: she is a mysterious girl. Fillna has lost the memory one year before the events narrated in the game and she doesn't remember anything of her past. She joins Darius and Ryana in their attempt to avenge Darius' parents and all those people of the village killed by Morea, the villain, with the secret hope to reconquer her memory and the true meaning of her life.

Darius In general the quest of Evergrace 2 is more conventional than the one of the first Evergrace, but nicely connected to its sequel. Fights and dressing system of the characters, built on the most varied objects, will probably be the same. In fact the peculiarity and the originality of the first Evergrace was based on this curious game mode, according to which the characters could use the most bizarre and unexpected items not only to acquire skills, but also to win the favour and the help of some other characters. Obviously, From Software couldn't deprive players of this funny aspect of the game. Fights will be real time as in the first instalment and the system of Palmira gems should remain the same, maybe with the addition of new spells and abilities.

From the screenshots spread by From Software, it seems that developers made astonishing improvements in comparison to Evergrace. The new Evergrace seems to be free of all the issues that gave the first game a 32-bit, PSX look. In fact Evergrace 2 shows marvellous light effects and great care of details, especially in environments and monsters.

In brief: if you appreciated Evergrace part one, you will probably love its second chapter too; however, if you didn't like Evergrace, perhaps this will be the occasion to change your mind. Considering the improvements of Evergrace 2 in comparison with its predecessor, you could find interesting this title.

- Panuru (October 21st, 2001)