Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas
Game review on PS4
Callum Corcut / Thu 20th Oct 2016
245 views / 2 bites
Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas is a Zelda esque adventure game, that has been ported from mobile over to PC, Xbox and PS4. Oceanhorn offers 10-15 hours of action adventure goodness for a bargain price.
The storyline is not unlike many other fantasy narratives out there. You play as a young boy who goes on an otherworldly adventure in search of his missing father, who is presumably after the titular sea monster known as 'Oceanhorn'. There is reference to dark energies corrupting the world and you reside in the remnants of the clich? sounding Kingdom of 'Arcadia'. I mean how many times have we heard this name be it film, gaming or television! The story isn't going to keep you up at night in a cold sweat but it is serviceable and provides enough context and motivation to keep you going as a character in... sigh... Arcadia.
Gameplay is fun and ever so simple. You use items such as swords, bombs, and arrows to combat a series of mostly nonthreatening enemy types such as birds, crabs and goblins. Despite mostly uninspired combatants there are a few satisfying boss battles sprinkled throughout the game which help keep things fresh. Scattered throughout the levels are also puzzles of varying difficulty. Most of these are amusing and help to discover hidden items or progress through areas but some of the puzzles are needlessly infuriating. Towards the back end of the game the puzzles start to become less inspired and more just time based, relying on fast reflexes rather than logical problem solving.
This title first came to mobile in 2013 and the graphics reflect this. However, despite looking its age Oceanhorn still presents a charming visual style. It's reminiscent of early Zelda experiences as well as many other Nintendo exclusives. The colours are vibrant and each island looks notably different. The character models don't share this uniqueness however and they regrettably all look much too similar. Hopefully in the sequel the characters receive as much attention as the locations they inhabit.
The soundtrack is doubtlessly the best aspect of Oceanhorn. There is minimal dialogue or even cutscenes for that matter so the game instead relies on its superb music. Each area has its own vibe and boss battles as you would expect have themes nearly as booming as the bosses themselves. The games composers Kalle Ylitalo, Kenji Ito and Nobuo Uematsu have created a noteworthy score that deserves recognition. Check out the trailer below for a snippet of just how beautiful Oceanhorn's soundtrack really is.
Oceanhorn is a good but not great action adventure that borrows heavily from the Zelda games it is derived from. With Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm currently in development, there is no reason to believe that Cornfox & Bros won't listen to fan feedback and provide an even better game that can pave its own way in the genre.