When I first played Oceanhorn back in 2013 on my PlayStation Vita I got major Legends of Zelda vibes and was happy with what I played. Now, seven years on, I got the chance to play Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm which, is the prequel to the first game. I was playing the game on the Nintendo Switch version of the game so was able to play it on the go and also on the big screen, which was a nice option. Again, you can see strong Legends of Zelda but this time taking huge influence from The Breath of the Wild title in the Zelda series.
If you have not played the first Oceanhorn game you do not have to worry because the second game is a prequel and is set before the events of the first game. Oceanhorn two is an action-adventure role-playing game that follows your character “The Hero”. Set a thousand years before the events of the first game, you will see your character embark on a magical journey across Gaia. The Warlock Mesmeroth has returned with a formidable Dark Army and it falls upon you to untie the Owrus, Gillfolk and men to fight against this great threat and save all of Gaia.
Mechanically, Oceanhorn 2 is very simple, which is good as it allows the player to just pick up and play. The combat is simple but does feel sluggish and buggy and the stamina of your character doesn’t seem to last very long at all, you seem to run in bursts rather than a long run then a bit of a cool down. You literally run for like 10 seconds and all your stamina is gone which is a real pain in the butt, you have various items that you can use like bombs, grappling hook and a caster gun that are all a part of your arsenal and help massively on your journey and during combat. There is also a selection of spells, you can use these to help you complete various puzzles or to heal yourself when you take damage. Your main weapons are a sword and shield, you can block oncoming attacks with your shield but will lose stamina for doing this. Make sure you pay attention to your stamina bar because if it runs out enemies will be able to damage you even if you are still trying to block attacks. The sword is easy to use and just allows you to bash the Y button to get combos off on enemies.
Oceanhorn 2 really encourages the play to explore to find treasure chests and various other goodies. I literally find myself chopping at bushes around the world and breaking vases to find ammo and health and other goodies. There are loads of puzzles you have to overcome to progress through the game and some do take some serious thought, I have at times even turned to the internet to try and get walkthroughs as I was confused at how some worked, I do feel silly though when I see the puzzle being done and I’m like “how did I not see that?” but this is good because it challenges the player and doesn’t just hand you the answer on a plate. However, sometimes it is very hard to understand the puzzles and it is not always as simple as standing on a button to open a door.
Because you have a party you can use the other characters to help you fight and complete puzzles. You can allocate tasks to these characters simply by using the D-Pad. The other characters can make situations easier at times but during boss battles, they just seem to run around, take damage, and just get in the way. Their AI is so simple that you feel like they are just programmed to run around, hit the odd target, and stand on buttons. It would be nice if they were a bit cleverer but it’s not the end of the world.
Graphically the art-style is beautiful and is one that I am very fond of when it comes to video games. I love the environments, characters, and overall world that Cornfox & Bros has created. I love that this game has voice acting even though at times it does seem like someone is just reading from a script and not putting in the effort they could have to help create more tension in certain scenes. I like voice acting because it allows me to watch a scene unfold rather than just sitting through pages of dialogue and having to read everything. It also helps to bring out more in a character as you can give them more of a personality and bring them to life, which for some characters Oceanhorn 2 does well. My two favourites are Trin and Gen.
Once you have completed the Oceanhorn two there is not much replay value. The game comes with a 12+ hour single-player campaign that will keep you playing and wanting to play right to the very end. If you have played any Legends of Zelda game you’ll probably find yourself playing this to fill the time before the next Zelda game comes out just because of the strong resembles you get from this title. Ultimately, I cannot see myself playing the game anymore seeing as I have completed the story.
Docked vs Undocked
Personally, playing Oceanhorn 2 undocked was more enjoyable for me, this was because I was able to play it anywhere I wanted whether that be at work or lying in my bed. The ability to have the choice of big screen or handheld is handy. However, I did not like using the big screen as I felt the overall quality of graphics dropped and it became very jittery when exploring the environment. That being said when I was playing in handheld mode I did not get these problems and I felt that the game ran really smoothly and looked good.
Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm seems like a very dulled down version of Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild. Personally, I do not know whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. I find myself constantly comparing the two which is bad because the Legend of Zelda is a whole different ball game and a much better game than this one. If you just take Oceanhorn 2 as it is then yeah you do get a very enjoyable game with some fun elements but because I loved Breath of the Wild and Legend of Zelda I just get a very basic gaming experience that I feel should have a lot more to offer. I’m not saying that Oceanhorn isn’t playable because I did enjoy playing it and found myself enjoying certain parts but the combat is lacking and the overall experience you get isn’t one that will blow your socks off and stay with you for a very long and for these reasons, I’m going to have to give Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm a score of 6-10.
Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm is developed by Cornfox & Brothers you can purchase this game here for £29.99
Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm was reviewed on the Nintendo Switch
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