Oozi: Earth Adventure Ep. 2
November 25, 2011 5 Comments
Yea! My first review of a sequel. Well, a sequel to a game I actually played at least. Of course, I hated Oozi: Earth Adventure when I played it back in August. It controlled poorly, had paint-by-numbers level design, and was just so utterly generic that my tiny little black heart could not open up at all to it. Well now we’re in the future and Episode 2 has arrived. Be ready to have your minds blown, gents: it’s actually a decent game.
Let’s get the ascetics out of the way first. Like in Episode 1, Oozi is one fucking beautiful game. For all those people who said that Raventhorne was worth the $3 they had the unmitigated nerve to charge for it on the grounds that it was pretty, Oozi is pie in their eye. It’s one of the few XBLIG titles that I can say looks like an honest-to-goodness professionally made video game. Of course, it still doesn’t sound like it. Oozi continues to lack in sound effects and music that better suits the themes of each level. Something more rock-like and less orchestral would likely be more fitting. Selection of music is very important, after all. If Mega Man 2 had Super Mario’s music, it would be silly. If Indiana Jones had the theme to Star Wars, it would be pretty dumb. If they played Steam’s “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” at a funeral, it would be just plain wrong. And hilarious. But wrong.
As far as the actual game itself goes, not a whole lot has changed from Episode 1. The controls are still stiff and the ever-so-slight pause in turning around is annoying as hell. And there is still not one iota of creative thought or design anywhere to be found in this title. So logically speaking, I should have hated Episode 2 every bit as much. And through the first couple levels, I did. Oozi still seemed content to regurgitate every platforming cliché in the book with minimal effort. Trampolines over spikes. Ice levels. Been there and done that thousands of times.
But then the game stopped sucking around level 3 and it pretty much stayed suck-free for the remainder of my stay in it. Well almost. The last boss fight briefly made me contemplate whether I’m capable of murder or not. But the final three levels were well done. For the first time in the series, I felt a need for actual platforming skills, a sense of urgency, and, gasp, FUN! Don’t get me wrong, Oozi is still completely devoid of originality or a personality to call its own. But it does manage to be entertaining and that’s all that has ever counted in my books.
So Episode 2 is clearly a step in the right direction. I still think the controls need refinement and the boss battles need to be less tedious. Yet, I’m thankful for Oozi Episode 2. It’s a reminder to me that conventional game design is that way for a reason: it works. While Oozi 1 felt a bit empty and lacking in any real passion, Oozi 2 feels more like a love letter to the good old days when you could shoehorn any generic mascot into any generic platformer and the resulting mess would still feel like a worthwhile distraction. Well unless that mascot was a blue hedgehog in a psychedelic clusterfuck of cheap level design, unavoidable traps, and artificial coolness that anyone with half a brain would recognize as a transparent attempt at trying to appeal to kids using the “don’t be a square, all the cool kids should.. I mean DO love Sonic because he’s hip and edgy and has attitude!” method they perfected from studying the finest drug dealers in all of Tokyo.
Now that is trolling.
80 Microsoft Points said if she wanted to troll she could have just saved time and called Sonic “Hitler” in the making of this review. Which would be grossly misleading anyway. I mean, Hitler had a mustache. Now Mario, that mother fucker is Hitler!
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