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REVIEW | “Squids Odyssey” Smacks A Triple Rather Than A Homer

By
Posted on June 2, 2014 AT 11:24am

Sometimes when an environmental issue sneaks its way into a video game it can be either a hit (Ecco the Dolphin, EcoQuest) or a miss (those dreaded Captain Planet games). In Squids Odyssey, the latest title from The Game Bakers, the developers decided on bringing the troubles of the ocean on a more subtle route. The end result is an RPG with a good story and a somewhat unique gameplay mechanic.

Squids Odyssey has you taking control of a group of cephalopods as a mysterious black ooze corrupts the world they live in. Traveling throughout over 90 levels you and your crew must tread through dangerous waters and take on evil creatures who try to get in your way. Will your team be able to find out what is causing their oceans to become so deadly, or will they succumb to the blackness that’s covering their homeland?

Players take control of four squids during their turn-based battles, with each of them using an ability that’s helpful during their fights. (For example, shooters have the power to attack from a longer range, whereas healers can patch up fellow teammates have been damaged.) As you progress in your game you can obtain more squids, level up your current ones, and give them special costumes that will boost up their powers.

The actual gameplay aspect of Squids Odyssey is pretty easy to figure out. In order to damage your enemies you simply launch yourself towards them in hopes that you hit them. Sometimes you can defeat them by applying damage until they faint, or if you really luck out you can just push them over the edge and send them falling down below. Be careful when trying to pull off the latter, for if you launch yourself too hard you’ll join your enemy at the bottom.

Using the GamePad screen you can aim and launch your squid into battle. You can also access your inventory to use on your players or take out opponents. However I found myself using the left control stick to aim more often than the screen, as I had a hard time trying to properly power up or down my shots so as to not miss my target and avoid injury.

Squids Odyssey has a fairly decent difficulty curb that travels throughout its levels. It’s not a big incline that suddenly appears, but rather one that ascends slowly as you progress through the game. Granted some of the later levels get tougher, especially with the addition of aquatic hazards, but it doesn’t get to the point where you’ll be pulling your hair out as you try to advance. Perhaps the one thing I have to complain about the game is that it gets very repetitious early on. While there are new threats that may appear in each level the overall mechanics become somewhat tedious, with only the challenging aspect of the game being changed only slightly each time.

The world of Squids Odyssey is very pretty to behold. On many occasions I was reminded of some of Studio Ghibli’s works when viewing the characters, whereas the worlds brought to mind some of the better French cartoons I’ve watched in years past. The music is nice to a point, but it finds itself repeating the same songs throughout the game.

The main campaign to me roughly four hours to beat, as I had to restart levels and level up my characters to great lengths in order to move onto later areas. When the story is over there is plenty to go back to check out. From new objects and characters to revisiting levels from Squids games past there are many new and retreaded discoveries that will have gamers returning to these oceans.

PROS:

  • Fun RPG mechanics
  • Beautiful worlds, tons of levels
  • Controls very easily…

CONS:

  • …but touchscreen harder to handle than using control stick
  • Gets repetitive early on in the game
  • Soundtrack a little uninspired

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Despite its flaws Squids Odyssey is a cool RPG with a nice story and fun gameplay elements. While it may drag out near the end the adventures of these cephalopods will most grab your attention through its entire span, thanks to the extra levels and leveling systems. It also teaches a valuable lesson about protecting the oceans without being so in-your-face about it, something that just about every edutainment game has yet to fully grasp.

FINAL GRADE: 8.0 (out of ten)

Wii U review code provided by Emily Morganti

Evan Bourgault is an accomplished music, anime, and video game critic. His passion for discovering new bands, developers, and Japanese pop culture began in his college radio days and continues on today. Evan joined the ElectricSistaHood team in 2008, where he is a contributing editor and host of one of the network's weekly podcasts. Follow Evan on Twitter at twitter.com/King_Baby_Duck




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