Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas – Review
Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas is an adventure game where you get to sail between different islands, going through dungeons. The game starts off with a message from your father saying he has gone off to fight the infamous Oceanhorn, an ancient monster that is currently running a mock in the world.
When you start playing the game, you get taught the basics that are meant to get you going for the adventure ahead, and it does, it sets you up nicely, but I have to admit that there isn’t really much for the game to teach you, everything is quite simple and a lot of the game is very much the same.
At first, when you start the game, there is a lot of promise, the game starts well and drags you in, however as you go from island to island you do find that the dungeons do get a bit rinse and repeat. There is also a lot of backtracking to do, which can get very irritating.
The boss battles as well aren’t as impressive as I thought they would be and once you learn the pattern that they have it’s easy to beat them. There is practically no variation in the movements, so once you know this it’s basically hacking away while you can and wait for your next chance to finish them off.
The game has a very Zelda feel about it, not just a slight feel as well, it’s a big feel. You could call Oceanhorn a Zelda clone, which isn’t a bad thing, however, there is no originality here to differentiate between them. I’m not sure if it has or not, but it does look like the Zelda franchise has had a big influence on the game.
The movement and gameplay are very responsive and walking around the islands is a joy. I love the colours and style that is used. There were times though that some of the islands were a little ‘disinteresting’. Puzzles within dungeons didn’t really add anything to the overall feel of the game as they were so simple, there wasn’t really any engagement there to be had. It was kind of like a blink and you miss it kind of thing.
However, the fighting and combat can get very repetitive as it is simply hack, hack, hack away with the sword…. Maybe a bit of dodging every now and then as well if things get a little hairy. You do get other items to use in combat, but the sword was always my go to guy. Everything else just didn’t seem to complete my character.
My main beef with the game is that there really isn’t anything new, it’s your bog standard dungeon dwelling platformer. Even with the sailing to the different islands, you have no control over your boat, the sailing is done automatically and you just have to wait till you get to the next island.
Other islands do become discoverable as you speak to people, these unlock other missions and discoveries to make. You can tell that the sailing is a nice little nod to Windwaker, which I did appreciate.
I have to admit that the game plays very well on the Switch and for me, this game is brilliant for the portability of the Switch and whichever way you play on the Switch the game does look good.
If you’re a fan of the Zelda series then this is going to appeal to you and you will be very happy with the game.
Oceanhorn isn’t a bad game, far from it, the premise is there it’s just a limited access to sailing your boat and the rather repetitive nature of boss battles and simplicity to dungeon puzzles that’s put me off. There isn’t any variation in difficulty and I can find myself walking through pretty much most of the dungeons I have done.
I think that Oceanhorn needs to get itself its own identity, it needs to stand out from the crowd and I think to change the difficulty on dungeons and bosses and try to mix it up and keep gamers on their toes.
Overall a good game, but has many flaws that could have been avoided during development.