Its been a while in terms of game reviews, so I thought id start off with something a bid, well, odd. I borrowed this strange package from Japan from a friend of mine, and words can barely describe the oddball quality Odama has.The game takes place in feudal Japan, where you control the Odama, a large metal ball which is used to destroy buildings and soldiers, while you call your armies to attack, defend, press on and the like, in your name. You must use this for the Ninten Bell army, in the name of your doctrine, Ninten-do.
And you thought Katamari Damnacy was weird, this is almost on par with it!
But, despite the cool premise, some pitfalls make it a game that will more than likely be left in obscurity.
The game features few stylish graphics. There are low polygon counts, blurry textures and structures, wooden movement and framerate issues, and nothing stands out as WOW or AWESOME in the sense. The graphics are horrific, and if your a purest who loves technological games, you won't like this. They do, however, make Japan a great pinball course, with mountain chasms and lakes and gates all alike, but in the end it to, looks drab and plain.
Final Score- D+
Odama shines here, somewhat. The game takes pinball, and turns it into one of the most challenging and innovate pastimes I have ever seen. The players need to use good pinball skills, and be able to multi-task with the use of the gamecube microphone. The microphone is used to order troops around, with commands like attack, rally, retreat, defend, etc. The little armies do so on screen, all the while your throwing the Odama around, praying you don't run over your OWN troops. Hows about 'dem apples?!
Truth be told, the game is hard to do at first, but once you catch onto the mechanics, it is pretty fun. Some of the levels are cleverly designed for the player to use every inch of his pinball abilities. To bad Elton John isent here, because you need to be a Pinball Wizard to get through most of the levels, while using the microphone at the same time.
Unofrtanatly, some technical issues hinder it. Framerate makes it tough to see whats going on exactly, the mic is not always reliable, sometimes they fail to hear commands, and other times, collision detection is a problem. This can be messy ESPECIALLY if it's a pinball game. Overall, the concept is there, it just needed to be polished some more.
Final Socre- C+
The game has a great soundtrack, with some excellent voicework and funny lines emitted from your troops. Crashes and screams sound awesome as well, with a moody narrative that tries to put a semi-serious spin on this off the wall, funny game. The sound is the bright spot of the game for sure.
Final Score- B
I give Vivarium a ton of credit for taking a risk like this. Odama is an innovative game which I want to adore, but I can't in the end because of the pitfalls it has. That, coupled with a strong difficulty, out of date graphics, mechanical issues and only about 12 levels in the entire game, it makes me hard to reccomend it. Odama is simply put as an average game with a lot of potential, and in todays market, unfortanatly, average is not so good.
Final Score- C
Overall Score- C