Everhood: Eternity Edition takes the cult hit indie game and brings it to PlayStation with some exclusive new battles to master. For those out of the loop, Everhood is an adventure game with disarmingly basic presentation that quickly pulls the rug from under you, subverting your expectations with outrageous visual flair, fantastic music, and a strange story.
Playing as a wooden doll whose arm is stolen, your quest to get it back kicks off a game that aims to shock and surprise at every turn. Half the game involves musical battles against enemies, placing you on a board and tasking you with dodging notes as they hurtle down each column towards you. Later on this concept evolves in some neat ways, but each fight is a unique challenge that matches the character you're fighting and the music that's playing — and there's barely a dud track in the soundtrack.
While the combat is described as rhythm-based, we'd argue it's more bullet hell. You're not matching the beat, you're avoiding an onslaught of on-beat attacks, either side-stepping or hopping over them. It can get very tough, and even on the easiest difficulty setting, it can still be a handful. We ran into an unfortunate bug that froze the game completely, and with manual saves only, we lost a good chunk of progress — not fun when the late-game fights get this hard.
While the main game has an understated retro look, the presentation explodes in some of the battles. These are visually arresting scenes, but can be extremely overwhelming, combining screen shake, chromatic aberration, rotation, warping, colour shifts, and more. It's eye-melting stuff; there is an option in the settings to reduce the visual noise, though it doesn't get rid of everything.
The world you're exploring is a surreal but intriguing one, with plenty of characters to meet. Unfortunately, while most of them are likeable, they're mostly underdeveloped, which makes some later revelations of the story ring somewhat hollow.
There's a lot to like about Everhood, with its unorthodox but engaging battles, bizarre world, and interesting story. While we didn't gel with many of the characters and found some of its insane visuals a little too much, overall we enjoyed the journey.