I love Zelda, and before BOTW came, my favorite was Wind Waker. Travelling through islands and solving puzzles, in an “open world” map felt great. When Oceanhorn released first on android I skipped it, reason behind it. I hate playing games on my phone. A “console” without controller, using only the touch screen is very strange for me.
Thanks god later the game was released for the Nintendo Switch, and boy, I enjoyed it a lot. Travelling between islands, solving dungeon-puzzles, fighting off monsters was great fun, I have actually enjoyed it as much, I wanted to double dip with the Limited Run release, but unfortunately, I missed the initial release.
When I heard Oceanhorn 2 will be released, I’ve got really excited. Then my excitement died quickly, when it was announced it’s going to be an Apple Arcade exclusive. I was shocked, how dare they, I asked, but then I’ve realized, the team behind OC and OC2 is quite small, and if they can make some extra money with the exclusivity deal, good on them.
To be honest I knew, eventually they will releasing it on the Switch, as it’s a match made in heaven. Travelling between islands, solving dungeon puzzles with a new third person view on your Switch is just perfect. I know, most people comparing OC2 to Zelda, but I will not doing that in my review, as it has its own characteristics, and its own charm.
OC2’s story is probably the weakest point of the game. The story takes place a few thousand years before the first one, so we can actually call this a prequel. The story sees you taking the role of a hero who just got knighted by his father, after the short prologue/intro.
Then the real threat appears, in the form of the steampunk-y robot warriors who just crashed in the nearby forest. This dark army was summoned by the warlock called Mesmeroth, who was once defeated many-many years ago and returned to take revenge and destroy Gaia. Our mission is to unite the great nations of Gaia to defeat this monster.
When you booting up OC2, the first thing what hits you, is the massive graphical update, compared to OC1. This extra dimension gives this game an AAA game feeling. While you are exploring the semi-open word of Gaia, two companions will join your cause to finish the dark warlock once and for all.
The gameplay keeping the same game-loop from the first one. You are accepting a mission, using your ship, you need to reach the islands, kill the monsters, explore the dungeons, solve the puzzles, defeat the mini bosses and take your reward. Let’s explore these steps.
Missions are not really complicated; but they keep you moving and let you progress further in to the story. You may also take on side quests as well, which will award you with extra life, currency, etcetera etcetera. Using your boat, you will reach the island where the mission is located. The only thing I would change here, to give the boat experience a bit more space, a bit more depth, as in this current state this element is not really exciting.
Killing monsters is much more fun compared to the first installment. The new weapons and companions gives you a nice variety of action elements, the combat feels tight as fighting off monsters are much more fluid and rewarding as it was before.
Exploring dungeons and solving puzzles. Classic gameplay element, but works so well, dungeons are fun to explore, they have the perfect size, not too big, not too small, but interesting enough to keep you going. Puzzles are clever not extremely hard but just hard enough to give you the satisfaction after solving them.
The player will encounter mini bosses, but no one should expect Dark Souls kind of bosses, these fights are much more easier and to be frank, for me, much more enjoyable as well. Defeating these bosses, and clearing dungeons will award the player, so we can progress forward.
There is nothing new here, we have seen every elements before, but still the team behind OC2 blended these elements with the perfect balance, crafting an amazing adventure for us.
OC2’s graphic is amazing. Again, specially if you compared it to the first one, don’t get me wrong as I said before I loved the previous game, but this prequel feels like a real AAA game on the Switch. Exploring Gaia gave me great satisfaction, beautiful forests, and dungeons, living and breathing cities, all of them are greatly detailed. The design of the characters is great, except the facial animation, but to be honest, it did not really bother me too much. The game runs perfectly docked and undocked, bright colors , sharp picture, everything is there to keep you entertained during your journey.
Sound & Music
Just like the graphic, the sound design and the music feels like a AAA game as well. Dialogs are fully dubbed in great quality. The music is nice and mellow, fits the game perfectly but don’t expect anything special. Combined with all the other game-elements, it does create an amazing atmosphere.
I know price wise it’s a bit steep, but for £29.99, the player will receive a great adventure game, what keeps giving and rewarding the player. Finely crafted puzzles mini boss fights, light-hearted story, and 20-25 hours of gameplay awaits for the people who wishes to save Gaia from Mesmeroth and his dark army.
I’ve enjoyed every minute of this game; it gave me exactly what I was hoping for and much more to be honest. I love a great adventure game, specially what takes you away from what’s happening in the world right now. A journey where nobody rushes you, you can enjoy it in your own pace. Solving puzzles grants you satisfaction, exploring the world of Gaia is a true joy, and frankly I cant wait for the third instalment of this series. On a personal note, I would like to see a physical release of this game as I want to preserve this gem for the future.
Honestly, buy this game, let’s support the devs so they can deliver the next chapter of this fantastic franchise.
Thank you so much Cornfox & Fox for our review code.
Please visit Nintendo eShop here to purchase this game.