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Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm

Posted by GG Goblin On October - 30 - 2020

The Oceanhorn sequel comes to Nintendo Switch.

 
Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas, an obvious and unapologetic Zelda clone, proved to have a successful run on mobile devices and various other platforms before finding its spiritual home on the Nintendo Switch. Now, after an exclusive stint on Apple Arcade, Cornfox & Bros. have also released the sequel, Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm, for Nintendo Switch. Offering a semi open-world action adventure that will feel familiar to any Zelda fans, Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm is a jump from the first game, but can the game match up to its inspiration?

 


 
From a story point of view, Oceanhorn 2 takes a fairly traditional approach. A young, freshly trained knight heads off on an adventure around the world of Gaia to defeat a rising evil from the past. There is a lot more to it than just that, but those looking for a new and interesting story will not be surprised here. It gives the game its flavour, and moves the player on from one objective to the next, but rarely twists from the obvious path. Through the course of the players journey, they will gather companions to join their team, and again these cover all of the usual tropes. However, they are fun to be around and even offer the occasional line of interesting conversation.

 
Played from a third-person perspective, Oceanhorn 2’s open world feels much more vast and explorable than that of the first game. The world is not totally open, but there is plenty of opportunity for exploration as the player progresses, and side quests will often take the player away from the beaten track even for those who choose not to explore.

 
The real joy of exploring this world comes with the excellent visual style. Oceanhorn 2 looked absolutely outstanding on Apple Arcade, and thankfully the Switch version is just as impressive. An amazing amount of cartoony detail and impressive use of light brings the world to life. The animation for both party members and enemies is smooth and realistic. This applies both to playing the game docked on the big screen and in portable mode, with both ways of playing looking equally impressive.

 


 
Fans of the 3D Zelda games will find plenty here that is familiar in the gameplay. From exploring to heading into caves looking for treasure, it all works very well. There is plenty of combat to be had, but the gameplay is given variety with the occasional puzzles that pop up throughout the adventure. These can be slightly on the simple side, but will involve making use of whatever new gadget the player has found, or involve ordering one of the companions to perform some task. While many of these puzzles will not feel original, they are all fun and will feel comforting to fans of the inspiration. Finding a new piece of equipment and then quickly finding a use for it in a puzzle is joyful, and the variety keeps things fresh.

 
So dungeons, puzzles, gadgets, it’s all nicely done, if a little unoriginal. However, Oceanhorn 2 doesn’t quite hit the mark when it comes to the combat. I can understand that coming from Apple Arcade there may have been some compromises. It’s not that the combat is bad, is just feels unwieldy and can be slightly frustrating. The problem comes almost entirely down to not being able to lock on to an enemy. Well, you can lock on when you block with your shield, but dropping the shield can lead to the camera moving and no longer facing the enemy. This is probably the most frustrating thing that can happen, but even without this the combat feels too vague with no lock on. There are plenty of options when it comes to the combat, with all of the different tools that the player can find, which keeps it interesting. Then there is the AI in regards to the companions. While the companions will take the edge off any encounter, they are not always as helpful as they could be, sometimes even seeming to forget what it is they are supposed to be doing.

 
So the combat is not ideal, but it is not game-breakingly bad. Fortunately the rest of the game more than makes up for any combat missteps. Epic boss battles, the occasional switch up in gameplay, a large and rich world to explore, and all of those warm and fuzzy feelings of familiarity keep the player coming back for more.

 


 
Another Zelda clone, Oceanhorn 2 models itself on the popular 3D Zelda games and does a good job of it. The combat may be far from ideal, but many of the other aspects of the game, from the visuals to the semi open-world, are even superior to the games that act as inspiration. Any action adventure fan that has spent time with the older 3D Zelda games will find plenty to enjoy here, but even those just looking to explore a beautiful world that is just begging to be saved should check out Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm.

 

 ★★★★★★★½☆☆ 



 

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Coming later this year to Xbox One, PS4, PC and Switch.

 

King Of Seas Switch Trailer

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