Thanks to EM Studios for the review code
Title: oOo Ascension
System: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Release Date: 10/04/2018
The stages in oOo are on a globe model of sorts, rotating as you move your ship. Typically, the game looks rather bland, with the barriers of the stage having some neat colors, but there really isn’t much else of these stages to talk about, since everything else just looks average. Likewise for the music, which is atmospheric and forgettable.
That being said, the game does have an annoying stutter every time a level gets reloaded. I don’t know why this is, and for a while I thought it was a framerate issue in handheld mode for whatever reason, it’s on both docked and handheld mode, and the framerate itself is fine. That just means this weird, brief stutter is here, and I don’t really get it.
oOo is a stage-by-stage maze exploration game, where the main objective is to complete each maze and make it to the exit as fast as possible. Since all you have to do in these stages is move with the left analog stick, the controls are the simplest aspect, leaving the player to just simply avoid everything as the levels get more complex. You can speed up by holding ZR, and slow down by holding ZL to gain a grip of better speed, but usually the default speed will do fine if you want to go slow.
Depending on how fast you clear the stage, you may even get extra medals if you manage to meet the really strict time requirements. While these are a piece of cake in World 1, they become really absurd in World 2, requiring precise turns and perfect gameplay. It’s honestly a bit of a shocking spike in difficulty if you were aiming for 100% completion, but thankfully you can still play the stages normally without worry, since going slow to avoid the new obstacles works well to just clear them, and with 90 levels to clear, that’s a good amount of mazes to solve.
There’s a good range of obstacles too. Spinning sawblades, enemies, moving platforms, electrical wires, deadly walls, among several other things. Another cool little thing that you can encounter comes in the form of your own ghost. If you’ve beaten a stage before and replay it, you can race against the ghost of your last completed attempt, which works as a pretty clever way to try and out-speed your old time, since a visual indicator like a ghost works a lot better than just working against the strict time limits. They’re still there, and you still need to beat them if you want the three circular markings for the stage, but it’s all optional.
There’s also a two player mode of some kind here, and according to the eShop listing, it’s for co-op play, but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to test this out at all due to the current situation of not having a friend able to come over, so unfortunately, it’s just the single player experience to comment on today.
In conclusion, oOo was an average, middle of the road game. It’s a fun little maze game that tests your speed, offering fun obstacle courses to dodge and deal with, but there really isn’t much worth talking about here. It’s good, basic fun, but after three worlds I felt like I already saw everything there was to see, and got rather bored, since it felt like a bunch of the other sorts of “maze to the goal” games I played in the computer lab during school.
More hazards do get introduced as the worlds go on, but the game just feels like deja vu, and for being a $10 asking price, I can’t help but suggest literally dozens of other platformer or puzzle titles over this game. That being said, the game that is here is still solid, and if you were hoping to add a new one to your collection, then this is a fairly solid, if slightly pricey choice. If it goes on sale and it seems like your thing, then go for it!
I give oOo Ascension a 6 out of 10.