Oozi: Earth Adventure Ep. 3

Our esteemed heroine took time out of her busy schedule working on a cure for cancer and rescuing orphans from a fire to play an episodic platform game for Xbox Live Indie Games called Oozi.  The graceful and magnanimous Kairi forgave the first installment for being such a generic bore that it caused joy itself, manifested corporeally as a beautiful baby koala, to commit suicide by throwing itself in the path of a steamroller.  The villainous Oozi, regretful that it had erased joy from the world (and made a gruesome yet morbidly hilarious mess of a patch of forest in Queensland in the process) reformed itself with episode two.  The sequel proved just fun enough to play that the puddle of gore that formerly was the Koala of Joy started to piece itself together.  However, the threat of Oozi still existed.  Will Episode 3 cause the Koala of Joy to re-liquify itself, or will it spring to life and bring happiness to sad children?  We rejoin the mighty Kairi, already in progress.

As you can see, Oozi: Episode 3 brings us to a science lab.  Ooooh, that’s bold innovation, fellas.  What’s next?  A castle?  A desert?  A sewer?  I bet it’s a sewer.  It can’t be an action video game if there isn’t a sewer level.  It’s a sewer, right?

Okay, so originality was never what Oozi was about.  I’ve actually had people explain this to me like I’m some kind of idiot.  “You know, I think it’s actually supposed to be completely devoid of a personality of its own.  That’s the point.  I think.”  Even if that’s so, let me pose this question: does anyone really think back fondly on the time they played Prehistorik Man?  Gex?  Spanky’s Quest?  Plok?  Of course they don’t.  They remember playing Mario, Crash, and yes, even Sonic.  Paying tribute to the also-rans of gaming sounds more like a skit from Family Guy than a potentially lucrative XBLIG concept.

All bullshit gaming philosophy aside, not a whole lot has changed for Oozi.  The graphics are still far above the standards of a typical Xbox Live Indie Game.  In fact, they’re so good that you can’t help but notice how many corners they’ve managed to cut.  Back when I reviewed Episode 1, I noted that there’s no unique drowning animation, or gurgling sound effect that accompanies it.  Episode 3 has so many situations where a comical death scene could be used for effect, yet Oozi simply disintegrates into a pile of ash or just flops up in the air.  Having a larger variety of animations might have given the game some kind of personality, which is what the series desperately needs.

Really though, any complaint that I could make about Oozi has pretty much been made by me here on this site.  And also through a bullhorn in front of the police station, but they asked me to quit doing that.  Episode 3 doesn’t bring anything new to the table.  It does try to, but it fails miserably at it.  The feature that stands out the most are these annoying parts in one stage where you have to avoid security lights.  If you set one off, a gate shuts and you have to walk out of the security zone and start over again.  Don’t mistake this for stealth.  It’s not.  In fact, the security lights operate under the same principles as various traps and enemies do.  The only difference is instead of taking damage, you have to just wander backwards and then start over.  Some might argue that’s actually worse than death.

Oh, and there’s a boss, just like the last two times.  And, like the last two times, it’s fucking boring as hell to fight.  Oozi boss encounters always operate like the telephone game.  They do one series of attacks at you, then open themselves up to be hit.  Then they repeat the same cycle of moves as last time, adding one new twist before opening themselves up for attack again.  Finally, they repeat all the previous steps, add one final twist, and then leave themselves open for the killing blow.  It’s so fucking tedious, and the opening attacks (the ones that get repeated the most) are so insultingly easy to avoid that I wonder what they were thinking making you go through over a dozen rounds of them.  A lobotomized blind wino would brush them off.  It’s just busy work.  Meanwhile, the later attacks are so cheap that you’ll inevitably die a couple of times, forcing you to go through the same lazy attacks again and again.

Snore.

You know what?  I really am bitching too much here.  I did have fun with Oozi’s third chapter.  I can’t even say I think the game got off to a slow start, like Chapter 2 did.  It actually got my interest right from the start and held on until the boss fight bored me out of the mood.  The level design is so much better than the previous two games, and difficulty is much sharper, if a bit inconsistent.  It looks like the next chapter will be a wrap on Oozi’s tales, and by golly gee wiz, I’m actually looking forward to it.  Mostly because I actually believe it will see the light of day sometime before I start collecting Social Security.  Hey, Red Candy Games, we all like Valve and everything, but you don’t have to follow their lead and treat episodic gaming like you’re operating a bizarre nerd version of a time-share scam.

Oozi: Earth Adventure Ep. 3 was developed by Awesome Game Studio

80 Microsoft Points believe Half Life 2 episode 3 is currently being playtested by Santa Claus, Batman, and the Koala of Joy in the making of this review. 

I got interviewed twice this week.  Check out the interviews from Albatross Revue and Recensopoli.   

Vaya Con Dios, Rodger

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About Indie Gamer Chick
The most read Xbox Live Indie Game critic in the world.

2 Responses to Oozi: Earth Adventure Ep. 3

  1. Ha, nice intro.

    Hmm, I really need to play the second and third installments.

  2. Pingback: Oozi: Earth Adventure Ep. 4 « Indie Gamer Chick

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