If console gamers outside of the Nintendo sphere are sorely missing a well-known series, then it should be The Legend of Zelda. The action adventure games with the protagonist Link are among the best in the games industry and not only caused a sensation because of the great offshoot Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Anyone who owns an Xbox One or Playstation 4 looks into the tube in view of the Nintendo exclusive series. There are excellent alternatives, but they are more independent. No other adventure game has been able to mimic the feel of a real Zelda. Oceanhorn - Monster of the Uncharted Seas is not just one role-playing game among many, but is considered THE Zelda for smartphones, tablets as well as Xbox and Playstation consoles, which Nintendo has never been able to deliver.  

We looked at Oceanhorn for the Xbox One on the big screen and revealed in our game test how good the Zelda twin really is.


The Zelda replacement for Xbox One, PC and PS4

As a mobile game, FDG Entertainment has the action adventure game Oceanhorn - Monster of the Uncharted Seas already published in 2013. Four years ago, the title was considered the perfect Zelda replacement for smartphones and tablets, which Nintendo has not yet delivered. According to rumors, a real Zelda offshoot for mobile devices is in development, but this is not certain due to the lack of official announcements. After all, the probability has increased since Nintendo discovered the smartphone as a platform for in-house game brands (see Mario Run or Fire Emblem Heroes).

PC and console players had to be patient for more years. It wasn't until 2015 that the Zelda twin appeared Ocean Horn for the PC, a year later also for the Playstation 4 and Xbox One consoles. If you want to compare the legendary brand Zelda with a twin title, the most important thing is to set the right yardstick. Ocean Horn can't do it with the grandiose Zelda: Breath of the Wild* Record for Nintendo Switch and Wii U, keeps comparing with video games like The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3DS* (Nintendo 3DS) but stood.

As a rule of thumb, a Zelda clone without a link can never be a real Zelda. A well-made Zelda clone provides plenty of entertainment. That the developers of Oceanhorn - Monster of the Uncharted Seas Want to entertain RPG-savvy gamers, you notice the game immediately. Ocean Horn is not a cheap copy of third-rate video game developers who want to reach into gamers' wallets with copied content. On the contrary: If you look at the role-playing game in detail, you can see many well-implemented similarities with the Zelda series, but also smaller differences that were playfully but not thought through to the end. The level system is particularly noteworthy. The main character constantly collects experience points and gradually rises in the level, which ultimately leads to rather simple character improvements. For example, players can carry more bombs or arrows, which fortunately reduces the typical “shopping breaks” of the role-playing game genre. The level system doesn't really have much more to offer - that's a shame, because at this point the developers could have brought in a lot more of their own ideas. Overall, the character advancements are a nice bonus that you like to take with you - but also a missed chance for more independence.

The protests were loud as Ocean Horn Released in 2013 for iOS. Die-hard fans of the Zelda series suspected mere money-making and accused the developers of brazenly copying Zelda. Basically is Ocean Horn a copy, but a benevolent one, that offers role-players outside the Nintendo protective atmosphere the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the protagonist Link without being a link.

With the start, players step straight into the story of Ocean Horn one. As a young boy, you wake up in your tent to find a letter from your father who has gone out to speak to a creature named Ocean Horn to find. From now on, it's up to the players to find out what this mysterious introduction to the action beach is all about.

Oceanhorn: Nice with doodle music

The background story is told by means of optically successful cutscenes and text entries. The main dialogues are set to music in English. In some places, however, the speakers seem a bit bored. Sometimes the voices don't match the characters either. Owl creatures who speak completely without an accent seem at least a bit strange - but that can also be a matter of taste. After all, and you have to tell the developers of Ocean Horn credit, the dialogues are set to music at all. Zelda is still a long way from that, so the setting is a major difference to Nintendo's legendary adventure series. The atmosphere of Ocean Horn that is noticeably good. The second atmospheric contribution comes from the composers of the wonderfully doodle music.

Responsible for the background music from Oceanhorn - Monster of the Uncharted Seas are two legends from the video game industry: Nobuo Uematsu and Kenji Ito. Uematsu has shown its creative abilities in nearly every game in the Square Enix Final Fantasy RPG series. Kenji Ito is characterized above all by his musical contribution to the Mana series (Seiken Densetsu). Unobtrusive, but always appropriate, the soundtrack from babbles Ocean Horn and sometimes even makes players forget that they are not playing Zelda or Final Fantasy, but a rather unknown gameplay twin.

With sword and shield: straightforward gameplay

Equipped with sword and shield, players set out to defend themselves against the hordes of monsters. The fights are relatively uniform and rather simple: with the shield raised, enemy attacks are blocked, which, however, saps the green power bar. At the push of a button, the hero performs sword blows that reduce the enemy's vitality.

Clever players in particular use the items lying around to defeat monsters quickly and efficiently. It is no coincidence that jugs and rocks standing around can be picked up and then hurled in the direction of the opponents. Rather, it can be seen as a kind of homage to the Zelda series, in which probably more opponents were killed by vases than with swords.

In the course of the game, heroes also use other equipment such as bombs or arrows, but also magic.

By cleverly placing rewards, the well-known spiral of addiction quickly develops. Only reach the box shown on the mini-map; still complete this dungeon - and another hour of play has passed in a flash. Entertaining purely in a playful way Ocean Horn The action-adventure looks good on a decent level and on large screens. Although you can tell that the game comes from the mobile games segment, the lovingly designed island worlds in particular seem anything but old-fashioned. Pretty lighting effects create the right atmosphere, especially when heroes venture into the depths of the dungeons. With minor drawbacks Ocean Horn in no way inferior to the Zelda twin in terms of atmosphere.

Pushing boxes. Stick the switch.

Heroes visit a total of 14 different locations over the course of the 15-hour action adventure. In addition to the main tasks that result from the framework story, simple side tasks invite the player to explore. Simple quests like "Let an opponent bounce off your shield ten times" add additional points to the experience account and thus faster ranks within the motivating promotion system. Experienced adventurers are familiar with tricky slide and switch puzzles from similar games Ocean Horn uses such a gameplay mechanic. For example, boxes have to be pushed onto certain switches to open temple entrances or dungeons. Again and again, heroes are confronted with shallow puzzles that also include searching the environment. In addition, players interact with the game world with their extended equipment to unlock new passages. If you blow up paths blocked with bombs or shoot arrows at target boards, you will get to secret places in this way - or follow the exciting background story.     

Really difficult Ocean Horn on the other hand never. Neither the puzzles nor the battles pose much of a challenge to the average gamer. The low level of difficulty turned out to be the biggest point of criticism in our game test. If you have a reasonably good command of your gamepad, you can easily avoid opponents with skillful movements and only rarely take critical damage. This is especially a shame because heroes increase their pool of life points as the game progresses. If you diligently collect heart fragments, you become a real tank that lets opponents beat you up.

The design of the level environments, dungeons and monsters is on a decent level. What is missing are the “wow effects” that are known from well-known competitors. After all, the boss monsters provide one or the other surprise in the course of the adventure. Image gallery for Football Manager 2019

Infobox

Number of players: 1 players
Age: 12
Playing time: 15 hours
Difficulty: medium
Long-term motivation: medium

Publisher: FDG Entertainment

Release year: 2013 (mobile), 2015 (PC), 2016 (Xbox, PS4), 2018 (Switch)
Platforms: PC, mobile devices, consoles
Language: English with German subtitles
Cost: 15 Euro

Summary

The anticipation of new items or level advancements always drives players to the next dungeon. Quickly get involved Ocean Horn the spiral of addiction inherent in most adventure games is noticeable. Even if the gameplay is rather simple, the short fights and puzzles motivate you to keep playing. Ocean Horn is a charming adventure title for all console and PC gamers who, due to their choice of device, want the feel of a The Legend of Zelda had to do without.

It is obvious that Oceanhorn - Monsters of the Uncharted Seas is a Zelda clone. Just as obvious as the playful borrowings from Nintendo's legendary adventure series, however, are also the solid gameplay qualities of the video game from FDG Entertainment. The optics are successful, the controls are well ported - the soundtrack, on the other hand, is terrific.

The level of difficulty could have been more graduated in order to offer suitable challenges to experienced players. Still does Ocean Horn overall a round impression. The game provides entertainment and convinces with an exciting background story. But you shouldn't expect big surprises as a player - if you expect aha-effects in the style of a Zelda adventure, you can only live up to your expectations with a game from the Zelda series. Everyone else is with Ocean Horn well served. If you also consider the great value for money, you can't go wrong with this action adventure.

By the way: Ocean Horn was so successful that a successor is already on the horizon. Oceanhorn 2 - Knights of the Lost Realm is already under development. There is no specific release date so far, but it is known that the game world of the second part will be freely explorable and the combat system will come up with some innovations that the predecessor may have missed. As soon as the game is out, we will certainly publish a game test for it as well.


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