Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas
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Justin Clark spent five hours cruising the sea for the dread monster Oceanhorn. He's made a sworn vow that, given enough money, he would pay to have Nobuo Uematsu score his life for a week. It's good to have goals. GameSpot was provided with a complimentary download code for the purpose of this review.
If you've got a hankering for a game with a stamina meter, sword swinging, and pot smashing, there is at least one other better title on the Nintendo Switch that I can think of, but Oceanhorn is an alright little throwback to retro Zelda titles that could help you bide your time between Nintendo's slow trickle of AAA games this year. Now, when do I get to play the sequel?
There's nothing wrong with taking influences from classic franchises, but the very least one could do is make it transformative enough to warrant its own game. Oceanhorn: Monsters of Uncharted Seas is both mechanically too similar and at the same time somehow inferior to the The Legend of Zelda franchise. It has a lovely score, but there are far more original interpretations of the genre out there.
Oceanhorn is unashamedly a Legend of Zelda clone, but feels more like an homage than a copycat. There are few original ideas, but old-school adventure game fans should love Oceanhorn's bite-sized interpretation of Zelda's classic formula.
Fans waiting on that next great adventure would do wise to check out this under-the-radar gem. It may borrow a lot of its aesthetic and mechanics from a certain pointy-eared hero, but it has a charm all its own. I can't recommend it enough to fans of the adventure genre. The small price is more than worth the hefty adventure that lies ahead.
Anyone who has any experience with the older Zelda games will immediately feel at home in this new 3D world.
As a homage to the likes of A Link to the Past and The Wind Waker, Oceanhorn is a brief comfortable experience that can now be enjoyed on the big screen.
Oceanhorn is an excellent mobile game that loses some of its magic in the transition to consoles. The inspiration from the Zelda series is welcome for fans of the franchise but also exposes some of its shortcomings when compared to the beloved title. If you're pining for a Zelda-style adventure on PS4 or Xbox One with an affordable price, however, this homage to old-school action adventuring is still worth hopping onto.
Oceanhorn's gameplay isn't as polished as the SNES title it attempts to emulate, and the level design never evokes the brilliant dungeons that the developer was inspired by. Every aspect of the game feels like a poor imitation even down to the Wind Waker art style that falls apart when seen up-close. There may have been some novelty of playing "Zelda" on an iPhone, but all of that is lost once Monster of Uncharted Seas made its way to consoles.
Oceanhorn – Monster of Uncharted Seas is a short, sweet tale, which you'll enjoy mostly for its delightful visuals and enchanting soundtrack. The overt homages to The Legend of Zelda can sometimes feel more like blatant imitation than respectful tribute, and we wish there was a little more punchiness to the combat, but developers Cornfox Bros demonstrate competent game design here, and Oceanhorn subsequently represents one of the better mobile to console ports out there right now.