Review: Ohno Odyssey

Oh yes!

By Anthony Vigna. Posted 11/21/2013 09:00 Comment on this     ShareThis
The Final Grade
1-Up Mushroom for...
Multiple solutions; replayable levels; great variety of items
Poison Mushroom for...
Lack of levels; disappointing soundtrack; no way to fast-forward in a level

I can’t stop laughing every time I read the title of Ohno Odyssey. It’s a completely ridiculous name, with even more ridiculous aliens. Each one of these green, one-eyed blobs with huge mouths looks absolutely silly. Oh, and they are called Ohnos, and they say “oh no” when they die. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried! But don’t dismiss this game just yet. I promise, the world of Ohno Odyssey offers something truly special on Nintendo 3DS.

Ohno Odyssey is a very interesting action-puzzle game in which the player must figure out how to guide each Ohno to their own escape pods through each level. Ohnos are not normally controlled through direct player input, so where they move is at the mercy of the structure of the level and the game’s physics engine. In order to guide Ohnos to their escape pods, you must use an in-game level editor to add objects, such as bumpers and ramps, that will help propel them to the end of each level. The majority of the gameplay takes place in this level editor, and it functions and controls quite smoothly. It’s easy to go through a level and place objects down to your liking.

What makes this game so great are the multitude of items at your disposal. Ohno Odyssey introduces a set of new items in four of the game’s five worlds, and they are all unique in execution. They range from standard items, like a hot pepper that temporarily boosts speed, to crazy elemental items, like a fireball that activates if an Ohno run into an oil slick, which engulfs them in flames and burns wooden crates. There’s also unique gravity items, like the balloon that makes an Ohno as light as a feather and the weight that makes them heavy and fast on slopes. However, the best items are the interactive ones, such as the spring that lets Ohnos jump and the gas can that grants them the power to fly. The timing of each jump and the direction of flight for these items are completely controlled by the player, making this puzzle game into a pseudo-platformer at times. It’s a very cool addition, and it works well amongst the vast variety of items present within this game.

Levels in Ohno Odyssey tend to have multiple solutions, and rarely have one way of reaching each escape pod. The game also encourages that you use the smallest amount of items as possible, which led me to become really creative in some levels. It feels so satisfying to skip a huge portion of a level through a well-thought-out plan that you designed yourself. For example, there was one instance where the game supplied me with a balloon, a ramp, and a hot pepper. So, I used the hot pepper to gain a ton of speed, grabbed the balloon to become light, then launched off the ramp for a massive jump across the stage. Getting items to work together to pull off the unimaginable feels incredible, and encouraged me to play through each level multiple times to find the most efficient solutions.

Unfortunately, while Ohno Odyssey encourages re-playability, there are only 35 stages to choose from, 11 of which are tutorial stages set at the beginning of the first four worlds. That leaves only 24 stages in the game that have complex level design, which makes me wish that more levels were included for the game. It doesn’t seem like there is much to unlock after the last level either. Bonus points are awarded for every item not used in a level, but they never seem to unlock anything no matter how many of them I accumulate. I have reached 72 bonus points at the time of writing, but they have not done anything for me at all. It would have been cool to have some post-game unlockables for numerous intervals of bonus points to elongate the life of the game, but as it stands, I have no reason to go back to a level after I think I’ve gotten the best score I could manage.

Another glaring flaw of Ohno Odyssey shows through its trial and error gameplay, as it can be tedious to watch your Ohno go through the same exact motions every single time just so you can see the end result of the items you placed near the end of a level. It would have been nice if there was a way to fast-forward the speed of the game, akin to the feature in StreetPass games like Find Mii, since the game is boring to watch when you already know the outcome of your Ohno’s fate. The game is also severely lacking in the music department, as every single world plays the same two songs for the level editor and the level itself. While these two compositions are decent at best, it would have been nice to have different tunes to accompany each new level.

Despite its shortcomings, Ohno Odyssey only makes a few no-nos that will detract from your experience. The game’s compelling items and physic-based puzzles work well in execution, creating multiple solutions for the player that make this short experience truly shine. The price is right at $5.99, but I just wish there was more content to explore!

Nintendojo was provided a copy of this game for review by a third party, though that does not affect our recommendation. For every review, Nintendojo uses a standard criteria.

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