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Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas (Switch)

Posted by GG Goblin On July - 3 - 2017

Back again.

 
Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas, by Cornfox & Bros., has already had quite a journey. Starting out on mobile devices, it than made an appearance on various consoles and PC. Now, however, it appears to have come home, for what better place could there be for a Zelda clone than on the Nintendo Switch?

 
ocean1

 
Let’s get this out of the way right now – Oceanhorn is unashamedly influenced by the Zelda games of the past. Seriously, if you have ever played a Zelda game before, you will find things here in Oceanhorn that feel familiar. From the view and the environment, to the simple combat and even the little heart containers, there is a lot of love in Oceanhorn for Zelda. Do not for one second think that this is just a simple knock off though. The developers are quite open about their influences and rather than being just a cheap clone, this is a game that almost feels like a tribute. And besides, who wouldn’t want to play some more Zelda, even if it does have a different skin.

 
The story is that Oceanhorn is a sea monster that has plagued the world and, one night, the main heroes father heads out to confront the monster and doesn’t return. Some time later our hero, a young boy, sets out on a quest to find his father and deal with this sea monster menace. It’s all pretty standard fare, but it has a nice relaxing tone to it that gives the player the perfect excuse to head out and start exploring the first island.

 
This first island gives the player a chance to get to grips with what is one of the major puzzle mechanics in the game -  the inability to jump. On the plus side, this means that the player cannot accidentally fall from a high ledge. But it does also mean that finding paths to where the player wants to go will take a little work. Thankfully, the games open world nature does mean that coming back to areas and finding new routes is a possibility, something that becomes more likely as the player progresses and gains new skills.

 
ocean2

 
Anyway, you don’t stay on this island for long, as the game is packed with different islands to explore, and puzzles to solve on your quest. Traveling between the islands means hopping into your boat and plotting a course. During the journey between islands, the player has use of a mounted gun to deal with the likes of mines and monsters, which keeps things interesting on the ocean.

 
Talk to everyone you find on the islands to move the story along and discover new islands. Picking up and throwing things is also an option to find some goodies. As the player progresses, they will unlock new skills that include throwing bombs or using a bow. These generally turn up at just the right time to be used as solutions in some of the games dungeons.

 
The combat is quite easy. The player is armed initially with a sword and shield, and most monsters can be dispatched with a quick sword swipe. Things may get a little trickier and require a shield block and then swipe, but it really doesn’t get much more involved than that. The puzzles in the game are also fairly simple, making Oceanhorn a relatively easy game overall.

 
Oceanhorn is a bright and colourful game, and has a great soundtrack. The console versions of the game did suffer from a relative lack of detail, which could have been due to the game originally coming from mobile. However, while the same could be said of Oceanhorn on the Switch through docked mode, in handheld mode the game looks absolutely stunning. Much like Breath of the Wild, Oceanhorn’s open world action adventure is the perfect fit for Nintendo’s hybrid console. The controls works really well and are easily referenced, so I would have to say that the Switch version of Oceanhorn is the best version of the game released so far.

 
ocean3

 
Be under no illusion, Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas is a light Zelda clone. But it is well made and very enjoyable to play. The game has a low difficulty level and doesn’t last as long as your average romp through Hyrule, but as a tribute to the Zelda games, Oceanhorn is pretty damn good. For Zelda fans, Oceanhorn on Switch is worth checking out.

 

 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 



 

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