Mar 25, 2015

Review: Oceanhorn

Script: Hey Nick here with a review of the game Oceanhorn available on Windows over at Steam for $14.99. Also for iPhone and iPad for $8.99. For this review I played it on Steam.

When writing a review I try not to describe a game by saying it's like another game. In this case I feel I don't have a choice though. Oceanhorn has so many similarities to The Legend of Zelda series from collecting heart pieces too this guy who looks a lot like another familiar character. Not a big deal really since the game makers were just heavily influenced by Zelda I'm guessing, but hard for me not to bring up Zelda in this review.

Oceanhorn has you going around to different islands to find items, and spells so you can battle the sea monster that's named Oceanhorn. Each island has puzzles, enemies, treasure to collect, and sometimes boss fights. Half of the puzzles in the game were a good time, but the other half were usually too simple. Usually the puzzles just involved pushing around blocks, or touching a button. The enemies in the game were not that fun to be around, and I'm not just saying that because they were enemies. Most of the enemies were just not fun to destroy. Most of them just required you to put up your shield, wait for them to attack, and then hit them with your sword. The bosses in the game were pretty fun as it required more skill, and planning to conquer.

Maybe the enemies weren't boring. Maybe it was the controls. They were a bit sluggish. I always felt like my character should be moving a little faster. There's even a dash button, but it doesn't do much. Plus my stamina bar would run out quickly. I feel like Oceanhorn would be a lot better if the timing was fixed. Things are either too slow, or too fast. Waiting around for fire, or spikes to stop always felt like it took longer than needed. Then when they do stop it feels like I barely have enough time to get past it. The enemies walked around pretty slow, and took a couple hits to kill usually. Then the longest waiting part is the sailing portion of this game. You don't control the boat, but just wait until you get to the next island. You do get a cannon to shoot at things, but long sailing trips get a bit boring after awhile.

There were things I did enjoy with Oceanhorn. I enjoyed the music, and even the look of the game at points were stunning. I enjoyed going around finding new items to equip, and use. The game does a good job of giving you things to do as well. Each island has a set of side goals for experience points that you can complete. Then there's the leveling up system that gets you upgrades like holding more arrows. Then the final mention is that the game is beefy. Many islands, many people to see, many things to collect, and many things to do.

Final Say: This is a tough one because while the game is great looking, and did prove to be fun at parts. There's just too many negatives for me to say it's a great game. I still don't think you should scrap it from your brains, but looking for a sale is the best path I could put you on.

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