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Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm Switch Review (Nintendo Switch, iOS, Mac)

Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm, set a thousand years before the events of the first chapter, takes you on a magical journey across the vast world of Gaia, brimming with mythology and lore. Inspired by the Legend of Zelda series, play through this indie take on the genre now available on Nintendo Switch.

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Oceanhorn 2:

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Hello! My name is Luis Alamilla, I’m an independent video game reviewer with a passion for everything gaming. Here you’ll find my thoughts on the latest video games coming to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC and beyond! My content ranges from video game reviews, game previews, opinion pieces on gaming topics and more! If you enjoy the content then be sure to share it and subscribe for more videos on a weekly basis!

My reviews are based on a 20 point scale ranging from 0 to 10. Each review is broken up into five categories consisting of Story, Gameplay, Visuals, Audio Design and the Conclusion at the end. Each section is meant to dive into my thoughts on the different aspects of a game before giving it a final score.

Video transcription:

When Oceanhorn 2 was originally released,
it's eye-catching appeal was that it mimickedthe look of Legend of Zelda Breath of the
Wild while also being on mobile devices.It was no secret as it was used to launch
Apple's Arcade service and with it now comingto Nintendo Switch, it struggles to stand
out against its inspiration or find a voiceof its own.Oceanhorn 2 is actually a prequel to the original
Oceanhorn so there's no need to go play thefirst game prior to this one.You play as the young hero who was adopted
by Master Mayfair after a mysterious demonhand him over as a child.Years later, the now-teenage hero, goes off
to Outcast island in search of a lockbox withthe tools he'll need to become a knight.It's during this quest that a series of events
throw a wrench in the knighthood plans, leadingto an invasion of the overarching Kingdom.With everything in turmoil, we along with
our friends Gen and Trin, travel to far offislands to retrieve the elemental emblems
and stop the invasion.When it comes to writing, Oceanhorn 2 does
very little to stand out.Its voice protagonist comes off as a clone
of Link while the supporting characters domost of the heavy lifting.Their personalities and character development,
add some bit of investment to wanting to seethe story through but sadly I couldn't say
the same for the protagonist.Across Oceanhorn 2's 10 hour story, I couldn't
help but shake the inspiration that the Legendof Zelda series brought to this title, a series
that arguably also doesn't get its story rightmost of the time.With that said, I felt that Oceanhorn 2 struggled
to find its own voice with its narrative asperhaps that's the one aspect this wasn't
inspired or influenced by.At first glance, one could see the third person
behind the shoulder camera view, the designstyle of the world and characters, and think,
this is a breath of the wild clone.Not exactly.Oceanhorn 2 is no doubt inspired by the Legend
of Zelda, but more or less, it's more inspiredby the culmination of the series as opposed
to just breath of the wild.In fact, this arguably feels more like Twilight
Princess but with the Breath of the Wild colorpalette.Now I don't want to spend the review comparing
this to Zelda so let's actually get into Oceanhorn2.Oceanhorn 2 is a third-person adventure game
with RPG elements in the forms of upgradabletools and spells.There's a touch of puzzle solving too, through
its environmental puzzles and dungeons attachedto finding each of the elemental emblems.As with more adventure games, we start off
with a limited number of tools and abilitiesthat get progressively more expansive with
every new setting explored.In terms of combat, we can swing our way through
enemies with our sword and shield.These items can be upgraded using shards found
during the campaign for a buff against foes.On top of the more traditional knight weaponry,
we also have a blaster, this is where a lotof the puzzle elements come into play.Using different elemental blast unlocked throughout
the campaign, our blaster is used to solvea variety of different puzzles themed around
the biomes we get to visit.These puzzles weren't always that challenging,
usually focusing on a recently acquired itemor party member, to help solve the new obstacle.Actually speaking of which, you have party
members.These NPCs can be somewhat controlled by aiming
at a specific area and directing the NPC tointeract with it.This led to puzzles where I'd need to activate
one switch for another character to eithercontinue on with the campaign or perhaps find
a secret chest hidden away.While the puzzles didn't always challenge
me, finding those secret collectibles didand I enjoyed that spark in curiosity, getting
me to look around every nook and cranny forsomething hiding away.If an adventure game can entice you to do
that much, I think it succeeds at least insome shape or form.Speaking of succeeding, boss fights, boy do
they succeed.Where a lot of the standard enemies were alright,
usually hit or miss, the boss fights are wherea lot of the creative effort went to.Anytime I got close to approaching a boss
fight, I got excited at the prospect of fightingsomething different, something that required
a puzzle in itself to figure out how to defeat.That approach was the cherry on top of this
game for me and something I sought more ofin the long run.Oceanhorn 2 is a lovely looking game though
one with drawbacks on Nintendo's hybrid console.With it starting off on mobile, I think most
would assume this would run flawlessly onNintendo Switch but it's easy to forget that
modern flagship phones are running up to $1,000at this point with some incredibly technical
specifications.The fact of the matter is the Nintendo Switch,
despite being a dedicated gaming device, strugglesat running Oceanhorn 2 occasionally.Oceanhorn 2 has some beautiful looking scenery.Especially when exploring the densely populated
villages and biomes, Oceanhorn 2 shines inits environmental design.There's a nice variety of vistas that introduce
their own set of color palettes, helping tokeep each of Oceanhorn's maps feeling unique
from another.Compared to other games in its genre on Nintendo
Switch, textures and shadow quality specificallylook great.Sadly the performance noticeably is lower
quality than its mobile counterpart.Nintendo Switch runs Oceanhorn 2 at what looks
like 1080p in dock mode and 720p in handheld.While the resolutions are impressive, the
frame rate hovers around 25 to 30 fps, dependingon how intensive the scene or how designedly
populated the area is.For example, most of this game does hit its
target of 30 fps, but anytime I came acrossmore than a handful of enemies, for like during
the initial invasion, the Switch struggledto maintain its consistent frame rate.There's also quite a few examples of pop in,
something that normally doesn't bother meif it happens just a handful of times but
in Oceanhorn 2, it seemed more consistent,especially during cutscenes that just took
me out of the game.Initially, I thought that Oceanhorn 2's soundtrack
was fine.I didn't think it was amazing but certainly
not bad by any means.What did end up making it worse though was
its consistent playback, making the backgroundtunes feels like they lacked variety.Especially while in a dungeon or solving puzzles,
the music just felt like it'd overstay itswelcome without some sort of variety in between.This seemed like a more prominent issue at
the start of the campaign as opposed to themiddle and end of it.As for sound design, I think the dev team
did a much better job at crafting and composinga soundscape that sounds somewhat familiar
yet original for this title.The mix of new technology and old knighthood
technology provided an interesting mix ofsounds that came off as an almost steampunk
background.The voice acting here is also solid, once
again reiterating that the supporting castcertainly carries the narrative here, both
in terms of writing and voice acting obviously.I just with the lipsync was a bit more in
line with the performances.The juxtaposition between the two occasionally
could ruin some scenes.I might have sounded a bit over critical with
this review, but I think that's in part becauseof how much inspiration this game has and
yet the originality it strives for as well.It's an internal struggle that I think is
felt in every aspect of this title.While yes, it feels and even looks like a
Legend of Zelda game in many instances, itdoesn't do it that well outside of copying
core mechanics and not really find its ownway to shine, whether that's with a different
story, new mechanics, or a completely differentcast.Oceanhorn 2 to me feels like a husk, something
that copied down the bullet points on a seriesbut didn't find its own soul to back it up.Oceanhorn 2 is an alright adventure game for
Nintendo Switch, but with it so inspired byZelda and lacking solid original ideas, it's
hard to sit here and tell you that you shouldpick this up over Breath of the Wild or Link's
Awakening, even at half of the price.


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