REVIEW: ‘Echo Generation’ Is a Zany Coming-Of-Age Adventure (XSX)

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Echo Generation- But Why Tho

Set in the 1990s, Echo Generation takes all of the wacky nostalgia of the era and tries to pack it all into a turn-based RPG. Echo Generation was developed by Cococucumber, and the studio’s name alone sets the stage for the fun that’s in store when it launches on Xbox Gamepass on October 21st for both consoles and PC.

The first thought that popped into my mind when I started Echo Generation was Stranger Things. The comparison felt a bit cliche at first, but the story follows two young siblings and their friends in a small town investigating the supernatural. It’s a pretty accurate comparison, even if the two have plenty of things that set them apart. The premise of Echo Generation is that the main character you create is creating an alien movie alongside their sister and their friends in the small town, Maple Town. An unidentified object crashes in a nearby cornfield, and stranger and stranger things (pun absolutely intended) proceed to take place. The main difference between Echo Generation and Stranger Things is that Echo Generation has a significant amount of wacky and outright funny things, including talking raccoons that try to fight you almost as soon as the game starts. This sillier take on the supernatural genre makes for some fascinating storytelling and some incredibly diverse and interesting characters along the way, which I’ll get into later on.

Each character you encounter has their own unique personality, which makes exploring Maple Town all the more enjoyable. I am not usually one to stop and talk to every NPC I see or even explore every nook and cranny available, but Echo Generation made it almost impossible not to do so. As a result, I found myself constantly picking up new quests and uncovering new, fascinating secrets simply by exploring the area around me.

The enemies are also really interesting, and the design was truly breathtaking at times. I never felt like the bosses I fought were derivative of previous ones; they all felt really distinct. Every single character, human or not, in Echo Generation is a blast to discover and interact with. Oh, and did I mention there are pets? Yeah, there are. Hard to turn down a game with adorable pets to follow you around and help you on your adventure. The only slight downside is the voice lines are all text and no actual voice acting, but considering the era the game is set in, I didn’t really have an issue with that.

Echo Generation is, at its core, a turn-based RPG. Some of my favorite games of all time are both from the 90s and are turn-based RPGs, so the combat already had me hooked from the start. The weapons and attacks you can use are varied, from things like the hockey stick you start with in the earlier moments of the game to some out-of-this-world weapons like laser guns. The combat also includes timing-based button presses, making the action even more interesting than just selecting an attack or special move. I found that the combat never felt stale or tiresome, and the constant variety of enemies and weapons to use was really interesting. There are countless combinations and tactics you can bring into each battle, and I’m definitely looking forward to replaying Echo Generation with a different battle style in mind. The combat isn’t overwhelmingly deep or challenging either, so it’s something that even the most beginner of players will be able to pick up and play. Sometimes variety can be a bit overwhelming, but Echo Generation hit the perfect balance.

While the story, characters, and combat are all very good, the true highlight for me was just how incredible the world looks. The game takes place in a small town, so it would be understandable if the locales used did not vary too much. Thankfully, Echo Generation does an incredible job of making each new scene look strikingly unique with its beautiful voxel animation style. Every house feels special; every background is incredibly detailed and artistic. It truly is an atmospheric masterpiece. The game runs in beautiful 4K resolution on the Xbox Series X, which further enhances the beauty. The music also really helps contribute to the whole vibe, with excellent electronic music that puts the final candle on the delicious 90s cake that is Echo Generation.

Echo Generation does an excellent job of combining nostalgic feelings for the 90s with modern game development in a way that makes every second an enjoyable time. The characters are diverse and interesting, the combat is varied and fun, and the world is about as beautiful as it gets. Combine all of that with the fact that it’s launching on Xbox Gamepass, and it’s impossible not to recommend Echo Generation.

Echo Generation launches on October 21st on Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, and Gamepass for Xbox and PC.


Echo Generation
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

Echo Generation does an excellent job of combining nostalgic feelings for the 90s with modern game development in a way that makes every second an enjoyable time. The characters are diverse and interesting, the combat is varied and fun, and the world is about as beautiful as it gets. Combine all of that with the fact that it’s launching on Xbox Gamepass, and it’s impossible not to recommend Echo Generation.