Ancients of Ooga (XBLA)
Posted 2 years ago By - Marko Djordjevic
The hot summer months typically mean a very low period of game releases. Thankfully though, Microsoft has always managed to offer a great selection of downloadable titles through their XBLA platform. The latest release from NinjaBee Games - a side-scrolling platform game entitled Ancients of Ooga - should give those looking to spend some time away from the sun an enjoyable experience.
“Ancients of Ooga” is a platformer that puts you in the role of various members of the different Oogas tribes. It seems that they have finally realized their wrongs and now need the help of their former tribal leaders to rid the lands from evil forces. The only problem is that most of these Tribe leaders have been killed and their spirits need to be recovered. Luckily, one leader manages to stay alive long enough to allow for its spirit to live on and hopefully bring back the other Leader’s spirits and rid the lands of these evil foes.
You will control or possess different Oogas as you travel through the levels completing tasks such as solving puzzles, collecting items and battling foes. The level designs are fairly straight-forward and very rarely do they deviate or feel overly confusing. While you start each stage by possessing a single Ooga, in every situation, you will need to transfer your spirit to a couple of others ones in order to complete each objective.
Thankfully, knowing exactly what needs to be done for each stage is fairly easy, and you can remind yourself of your goal by simply clicking the Left-trigger. While knowing what needs to be done is simple, there are often puzzles that require a bit of trail and error and some restarts will occur. It’s never too disheartening to get stuck in with a puzzle or level though as each is fairly short in length.
A only disappointing aspect to this adventure is the combat. For starters, the Ooga people are not necessarily a very confrontational group and you will often be required to obtain items - more specifically pick up and/or eat certain objects - in order to move forward. It doesn’t ruin the experience, but sections where you need to engage an enemy are the least impressive moments in the game.
Another minor issue with Ancients of Ooga is the very clear hand-holding nature, especially early on in each chapter. You spend way too much time engaging in conversation about what needs to be done in each stage and getting an understanding of each of the different tribes and environments. In some situations, it feels better just allowing the gamer to act like the primitive tribesman he is and experience the new surroundings on his own. It definitely doesn’t take too long to realize which Oogas can do what, and having fun with seeing what I can do is more enjoyable then being told beforehand.
Even though this is played on a 2D-plane, there are actually some really decent 3D graphics and there are points when you will play using the Z-Axis; It’s not frequent but it does happen enough and with some interesting results. The Ooga designs aren’t anything to really marvel at but there are rarely any slowdown issues because of this simplicity. The only issue with the characters is that they often look too similar. When trying to sift through which one to use in close proximity, you might accidentally select the wrong one. There is no voice work to be found but the sound works well and fits the game’s quirky and tribal setting.
If you’re looking for a fun and interesting puzzle-based platform game for your 360, Ancient of Ooga is a worthy option. The combat and sometimes unnecessary tutorials might bring it down a notch but thankfully, its concept and quick-play feel more than makes up for those short-comings. Again, if you are in need of some enjoyment after a long day in the sun, you can’t go wrong with this one.
+ Fun puzzles
+ Most puzzles/stages offer a good challenge but are never too long
+ Extremely deep/long game
- Too much hand-holding
- Some confusion can occur when trying to sift through characters in close proximity.
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Release Date : 2010/06/30
System : Xbox 360
Publisher : NinjaBee
Developer : Ninja Bee
Category : Adventure
ESRB : E10+
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