Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Ohno Odyssey (3DSWare) Review

We actually have two reviews planned for this evening. The first of which is a downloadable title from Big John Games, whose past work includes such games like Thorium Wars, Kart Krashers, and Coaster Creator 3D. Their newest game is Ohno Odyssey, which released last week on the Nintendo 3DS eShop. Here's our review.

"Oh, no" or "Oh, so good"?

Mobile devices and tablets have made it perfectly clear that folks prefer the majority of games on these platforms to be quick gaming fixes. Many Nintendo 3DS eShop game developers have taken this philosophy of making short but sweet gaming experiences on the go for Nintendo's darling handheld. Big John Games has such a title on their hands with their latest offering, Ohno Odyssey. Do these Ohno creatures deserve to be rescued?

The Ohno alien race travels on a spherical spaceship similar to a mini-Death Star-- well, without the pure evil and dark side of the Force. True to its name, an Ohno inadvertently knocks over a mug full of liquid, spilling it out onto a computer. This causes the ship to malfunction, sending 35 Ohno to the planet Earth below. It is your duty to guide each Ohno safely back to their escape pods.

Ohno Odyssey is a physics-based puzzle game. You're tasked in each level with putting down a predetermined number of objects to lead your Ohno to its escape pod. Easier said than done, as each level is made up of rails, straight, curved, diagonal, and windy. There's also hazards in the form of bombs to avoid.

There's a lot of trial-and-error to be found in Ohno Odyssey, and the game encourages you to experiment heavily. Thankfully, there is no consequence for having your Ohno fall off a given level (which it will do a lot). You simply select the return to editor option and have at it again. If at first you don't succeed and all that.

The numerous objects in the game to assist you vary by level. Some levels have a set number of ramps you can use, metal boxes that will stop your Ohno's momentum, bumpers that bounce your Ohno the opposite direction it was traveling, springs that allow your Ohno on your command to leap over chasms, and much more. Of course, it wouldn't be very challenging if every object was available to you right at the beginning. Ohno Odyssey slowly introduces new objects to the player, and limits what they have to utilize in each level.

Some of the fun comes in seeing the different ways you can go about completing later, more complicated levels that offer various paths. It would have been nice to have seen some type of scoring setup based on time taken to reach the escape pod and even some collectibles thrown in for replay value. As it stands, the 35 levels of Ohno Odyssey mean that once you beat them, you probably won't have much of a reason to return to them.

Ohno Odyssey isn't too particularly outstanding in its presentation. From the still-frame storyboard cutscene that sets the stage for the ensuing gameplay to the generic and repetitive music, to the sterile backgrounds, nothing about Ohno Odyssey is astounding. That's okay, however, as the game has the gameplay to back itself up. Just don't expect a feast for your eyes (Thanksgiving is tomorrow after all, so I had to use the word "feast" somewhere in this review...) and you won't find yourself disappointed.

Overall, Ohno Odyssey fills a nice hole in the Nintendo 3DS' online library of titles. Its physics are really well done, allowing some enjoyment tooling around in each level. It is a perfect game for bite-size gaming sessions, relaxing gaming times, or full-fledged marathon sessions. The game's brevity is a bit of a problem, and the presentation isn't the most amazing, but all in all Ohno Odyssey is a game you can say "oh, yes" to.

[SPC Says: 7.0/10]

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