Oozi: Earth Adventure Ep. 4

And that’s a wrap on Oozi.  One game.  Four chapters.  $4 spent.  Four boss fights that made me question the existence of evil on this Earth.  Zero attempts at originality.  But is the overall experience worth it?  Kind of.  Let’s start by recapping the previous chapters.

Part One: AGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!  Well, that sucked.

Part Two: AGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!! Oh hey, wait a second, it stopped sucking.

Part Three: Not bad.

Part Four: Still not bad.  Oh wait, I have to feed this thing fruit?  AGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!  This is boring.

Best as I can see, this fucking thing has legs, so why do I have to feed him? I think this is what the Republicans have been warning us about.

Oozi’s problem is and always has been how unambitious it is.  It does the graphics thing really well, but does everything else so much by the book that the book is now claiming royalties on the series.  Oozi is the poster child for generic 90s platforming mascot.  Like Serpentor, its creators borrowed the DNA from such soulless, design-by-committee, me-too cash-ins as Aero the Acro-Bat, Bubsy the Bobcat, or Crash Bandicoot.  I was going keep that going all the way to Z, but I figured you guys would hire ninjas to insert burrowing cockroaches into my ear canal after I listed Donkey Kong Country and Earthworm Jim as soulless.  Which they are, but I probably shouldn’t say it.  Fans of those games take it too personal.

I’ll grant Oozi this: it’s not original, but it does what it does well.  Paint-by-numbers levels, almost too easy platforming, hop-on-heads cruelty to animals, double jumps, butt stomps, and every other stand-by of the genre.  If the subject is anything but sound effects, Oozi is decent.  Not spectacular.  Not memorable.  Not something you’ll enthusiastically tell your friends to try.  Just a good solid waste of 90 minutes per chapter.  All four chapters are more or less the same, with the same scaling of difficulty, same principles of level design, and a hugely tedious boss fight to cap it off.

That’s probably the thing that pisses me off the most about Oozi: so many of the tasks of the game are busy work.  In chapter four, there’s a couple of sections where you have to feed fruit to a monster.  To get the fruit, you have to butt-stomp the ground by the fruit.  Then, you have to carry the fruit, tossing it between enemies, over gaps, and up platforms.  You move slow when carrying the fruit, and you can’t jump.  If anything touches the fruit, you get to start over.  It’s sooooooo boring, not at all difficult, and takes way too long to accomplish.  But, and this is the thing that almost drove me towards taking up genocide, these sections don’t immediately place checkpoints after completing them.  So let’s say you spend ten minutes getting this entitled mother fucking critter its food.  Then, a random volcano spits up a fire-ball and you die.  Guess what you get to do?  That’s right, start all the way fucking over.  And that happened to me.  Twice.  After the first time, I almost rage quit.  The second time, I seriously wanted to personally strangle a species into extinction.  I don’t care which one, but something fluffy and adorable would have been swell.

“So my agent says to me “Bob, baby, we have a part for you in the next Simpsons Halloween Special.”  But nooooooo, I have to take the starring villain role in some dry ass independent video game.  Way to go, Bob!”

Oozi did end on a bright note: the very final boss was probably the least annoying of the series.  As a result, Oozi 4 finds a spot on the leaderboard.  It’s not as good as parts two or three, but it’s way better than part one.  Then again, so is gonorrhea, so that’s not saying much.  Ultimately though, if Oozi is remembered for anything, it will be for being the ultimate uncanny valley of XBLIGs.  Oozi is a game you’ll swear you played on your SNES back in the day.  Depending on your level of gibbering nostalgia, that might be a better thing than I experienced.  As a child of a different era, I would like to put out this challenge to Awesome Games Studio: you guys are better than this and you know it.  You created a series that is amazing to look at, but when it came to gameplay you settled for functional.  I’ve seen artwork made out of feces that is more inspired.  So next time, try something new and weird.  Think of every fucked up thing you ever thought of doing with a platform game and give it a shot.  The best case is you’ll have a game that people talk about as something other than a lifeless 90s platforming clone.  The worst case is, well, you end up with a pile of shit.  But hey, your mascot already looks like the bastard offspring of the Great Mighty Poo, so the status quo remains intact!

Oozi: Earth Adventure Episode 4 was developed by Awesome Games Studio

80 Microsoft Points don’t really think the final chapter takes place on Earth in the making of this review.  Well, maybe in Oakland.

Three out of four games in the Oozi series are ranked on the Indie Gamer Chick Leaderboard.  Where do they fall

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3 Responses to Oozi: Earth Adventure Ep. 4

  1. Adam says:

    Hello, I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, but never bothered to comment. When you starting posting about how you hate other games people played when they were younger it made me kind of sad, but when you explained you didn’t play games until, if I recall right, the Dreamcast/Playstation 1 era I can understand where you’re coming from. I know you enjoy getting into it over stupid things like this, but I really needed to point out one thing you said is just flat out wrong.

    “its creators borrowed the DNA from such soulless, design-by-committee, me-too cash-ins as… Donkey Kong Country and Earthworm Jim.”

    I don’t even enjoy Earthworm Jim but that’s really insulting to the man behind that game series Doug TenNepal. He’s the guy who did almost all, if not all, the art design and it’s FAR from a committee driven soulless cash-in. You can say the game isn’t very good, but to call that, and to a lesser extent DKC mostly from the excellent music (seriously, I doubt you’ve managed to get far enough into the sequel but it has one of the most beautiful soundtracks), soulless in that sense just really rubbed me the wrong way. Again, not trying to start an argument with you that just came across as really disrespectful to the creator of, at least, Earthworm Jim as he put a lot of his heart and soul into that game.

    • I’ll look into it and retract that. It just seemed soulless, mostly because Earthworm Jim is a hugely overrated game.

      Donkey Kong Country is soulless and I stand by that. It’s all graphics and no substance. Donkey Kong Country 2 was a vastly superior game, but still not all that.

      • CJ says:

        To everyone who might get steamed over Kairi’s opinions – it’s okay! They’re harmless. I think her resentment for anything great that everyone but her likes, comes from the fact that she was born in the Hanson decade. She secretly loathes the entire universe for bringing her into being at the exact time when the devil started making music. XD

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