Friday, June 8, 2018

Almost good enough

Judged strictly on gameplay, Owlboy comes across as a poor man's Metroidvania. A very poor man's Metroidvania. Homeless Metroidvania. New abilities are nonexistent, exploring is not rewarded in any way, most levels are linear and uninteresting. In almost every way it is a very plain, rote experience. We've all played this before and the games of this type that I really want, the sequels to Ori and Guacamelee, aren't out yet.

But I soldiered on, because that is what I do with a game that is not offensive but still playable. And wouldn't you know it, Owlboy has pulled of some very interesting boss fights and some of the best looking hand drawn lava I have ever seen. It has taken a very limited move set and forced me to deal with the restrictions. Owlboy himself doesn't move very fast, making chase sections especially harrowing. Ori has half a dozen ways to fling himself through the forest. Owlboy has basic movement and a dodge that I forgot was there.

I am not going to call the game great but I will say that it is doing a lot with the minimal tools at its disposal. The story is about as subtle and smart as a bag of hammers and the well animated environments get repetitive and I hate that wandering into a random cave offers no reward but the game isn't bad.

It's a seven. The dreaded 7. Not terrible but not good enough to force you to put something else aside to make time for it.

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Due to scheduling issues I will not be able to watch the EA or Microsoft press conferences live. My gamer card will be turned in shortly.

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