[Review] Okabu


Okabu centers around the conflict between two tribes – the Yorubo and the Doza. Many generations ago, a ideological rift tore the population into two factions – those that felt a deep affinity with nature and wanted to maintain a simple life in harmony with the environment, and those that felt that their life could be improved by harnessing machinery to exploit the land.

While the Yorubo dedicated their lives living harmoniously with nature, the Doza travelled to a far part of the continent, pursuing an industrialised existence and exploiting their environment.

As many, many years have passed, the Doza have exhausted all of their resources, and their hunger for raw materials has driven them out of their borders, in a search for fresh lands to devour. Their path of destruction has finally arrived on the doorstep of their distant cousins, the Yorubo, and the Doza have begun to enslave and imprison these peaceful people and tear apart the natural beauty of their homeland.

With hope fading amongst the Yorubo, the pollution from the Doza smog stacks has spread far and wide, eventually reaching the habitat of an ancient race of Cloud Whales, high above the ground. The pollution has begun to cause a great sickness, leading the elders to dispatch our heroes, the brothers Kumulo and Nimbe, to investigate the source of the pollution.

● In this brand-new Action-puzzler from the creators of Rolando, guide Kumulo, Nimbe and four cloud-flying heroes as they battle to save their people and their world from the industrialized threat of the Doza.

● Dive into a hyper-tactile toybox world filled with a huge number of puzzles, playthings, adorable creatures and devious machines spread across an epic co-op campaign. Enjoy endless fun with the unique and compelling mini-games and compete with your friends online.

● Designed to be instantly accessible to both seasoned players and those new to PlayStation, Okabu is even more fun when played with a friend.

Here’s a look at the heroes you’ll directly control in the game:

Kumulo and Nimbe
The Cloud Whales

Liquids and small objects make great fodder for Kumulo and Nimbe – they are able to suck in water, oil, honey and other liquids, and then spray or rain them to grow plants, put out fires or wake up sleeping Yorubo.

They can do the same with smaller objects too, such as acorns and fire nuts, to plant seeds, smash pots or take out Dozabots. In addition, all of the other heroes can catch a ride on their backs.


Captain Monkfish

The Fisherman

Monkfish is our first hero. Using his trusty plunger, he can harpoon all manner of objects in the environment.

Allows a huge amount of interaction with the game world, from yanking open gates and catching fish, to pulling down drawbridges and wrenching exploding fruit from trees.

Picolo

The Pied Piper

A master of charming, hypnotic rhythms, Picolo can bring to his aid a huge variety of creatures and friendly Yorubo. Once entranced these creatures can be persuaded to perform all manner of tasks, from operating switches and climbing ropes, to healing trees and making bulls charge and smash though planks of wood .

Roki

The Doza Mechanic

Horrified by the actions of his own people, Roki took a stand against the Doza to join the fight, helping Kumulo and the others to clean up the lands and free the Yorubo.

He can take control of many Doza machines and vehicles, from bulldozers and turrets, to giant robotic spiders and wrecking balls.

Kat and Toto

The Warrior princess & fearsome pet

Teamed up with her flying pet, our Yorubo warrior’s swiftness and combat ability are unsurpassed. Don’t let her pet’s appearance decieve you, this can be one vicious little creature thats more than happy to sink its teeth into a Doza.

Her pet can be used to get into narrow areas that Kumulo and friends cannot, as well as neutralising Doza foe and rewiring Doza circuits.

As you’ve probably realized by now from the trailer an the character pics, Okabu is a colorful, cel-shaded game that brings to life all the characters, environments and enemies you’ll meet in your adventure, bringing diversity to each of the four major areas available for our long, long journey. This is a huuuuge game (even has a Platinum!) and is a brand new IP. We’re thankful of new IPs when they’re done right… and done right Okabu truly is.

As soon as you start you’ll notice some very upbeat, tribal infused music (with vocals!) that duly complement the on-screen action. I really liked the music and felt it made it easier to relate to what was going on in this new universe and, in the end, it made the whole experience better.

This video showcases the process by which they made it all click:

Okabu can be played by yourself (since in single player mode the other Cloud Whale will follow you closely, every step you take, every move you make) or you can decide to take on it in Co-op. In single player you can switch between Cloud Whales by pressing the triangle button which can help you speed things up. Dip one into water and you can then spray it out with circle button (and aim the reticule to where you want to do so). Or you can also use X to let go and make it rain. Both actions can be used to take out wildfires, make young fruit grow or even attack your enemies. Dozabot (robots) can be destroyed by spraying them with water. X can also be pressed near acorns or other specific items that can be used as ammo to destroy objects, start (controlled) fires or sound of alarms when needed. Swapping in single player is useful since you can, for example, have one Cloud Whale carry water while the other one has acorns to be prepared for any obstacle… or have each one carry around one of the heroes so you can use their special abilities!

There’s lots of collectibles, objectives, NPCs that never overwhelm you and do bring several objectives that must be completed… along with optional ones that encourage you to search every single spot around the world. For example, there’s a lot of large fruit all over the place and if you bash into them you can collect the smaller cloudberries that pop out. Collect lots of cloudberries to obtain the medal for each level… and lots of trophies as well! Since this has a full retail-like trophy list you’ll hear the “Ding” sound in this magical mystery quest many, many times.

You can hold down either the L2 or R2 to boost your speed and dash along which is helpful for flying through strong winds and finishing levels “on time”. Why “on time”? Well, there’s a timer that counts downs to the all mighty zero. This only counts for obtaining the Time medal on each level since you can still complete the level even if time “runs out”, but if it indeed runs out you’ll have yo replay the level for the time medal… which makes it easier to finish within the time limit as long as you’ve already obtained the other 3 medals for the level. Either way, you at least have a choice on how to tackle each level!

You can replay levels from a Main Hub (one hub for each world) to pick up any medals you might be missing (eggs, time, dozabots destroyed or cloudberries collected) which is great since it means that no trophy is missable! That’s the way ALL games should be since replaying a game just because you didn’t know you had to hop on top of the goat statue on the entrance to a small shack on the side of the main path that can only be accessed when playing the game at 2 a.m. so the game can use the internal clock to make the full moon shine on said statue… wait, what was I talking about?

Anyways, moving on. Eventually the Dozabot (and the Doza as well) start attacking you (and you loose your hero and some cloudberries if hit) AND they also greatly reinforce their armor which forces you to first get rid of the extra armor (by any means necessary) before carrying on as usual with the “wicked witch of the west” tactics.

If you loose your heroes (for whatever reason) you can get them back at the sanctuary tree. Just fly around it quickly while touching its fruit. All other allies that are helping you in that level will also be brought here which really helps speed up the process since they sometimes decide it’s a good idea to get stuck behind a tree and a rock and a rolling hard place and going back all the way to the start of the level to tell them to get out there is a bit of a hassle..

There’s a bonus minigame available on each world…as a bonus. First one is Bushybeat Rampage – the objective here is to lure several Bushybeasts to the elder for bonus points. All minigames have a trophy that unlocks once you complete wave 10 so you better get better at being better at it. Practice makes perfect!

Leaderboards are in place so you know how well you REALLY did on each level and mini game Brag about your score or hide in shame from your friends thanks to your puny efforts! Nice extra to have on a game with so many things to do and a great way to motivate your friends to try and beat your best effort.

Okabu is an awesome game that merges old school platformers with new school mechanics and ideas. I’ve had a blast playing it for this review and I hope you can give it the chance it deserves. We need more new IPs for our hobby of choice… and the more sales Okabu gets, the closer I get to playing a sequel! Buy it NOW!

Review

ProsCons
Very fun game that has a lot to offer
Only $14.99 AND it has a platinum trophy!
The AI for your allies can make them get stuck here and there
Rating
93%

Published by Sony Computer Entertainment
Developed by Hand Circus

Cost – $14.99

Disclaimer
- Total amount of time played: 16 hours (and counting!).

This review is based on a retail copy of the PS3 version of Okabu provided by Hand Circus.


Written by: EdEN - Owner / PR / Editor-In-Chief


  1. #1 by Pedro on December 7th, 2011 [ 39949 Points ]

    This game looks like a lot of fun! Good to read one of your reviews (one of the best ones yet) after such a long time ;]

  2. #2 by EdEN on December 7th, 2011 [ 139981 Points ]

    Thanks! Work has been crazy in the last couple of weeks. Everything should be back to normal in 2-3 weeks.

    As for Okabu, this is definitely a very fun game. Hope there’s a sequel next year!

  3. #3 by wolfkin on December 7th, 2011 [ 6633 Points ]

    I didn’t know it had a platinum. I’ve tried out a few minutes of it and I got past th tutorial I can see where it’s going and that coupled with this article makes me excited for it.

  4. #4 by dragon290513 on December 7th, 2011 [ 7218 Points ]

    great review! its art style reminds me alot of costume quest.

  5. #5 by Jason on December 7th, 2011 [ 25926 Points ]

    Still confused at whats going on in the game but it looks pretty lol

  6. #6 by EdEN on December 7th, 2011 [ 139981 Points ]

    @dragon290513: Huh, hadn’t realized that!

    @Jason: Awesome is what’s going on. That’s all that matters!

  7. #7 by Kane112 on December 8th, 2011 [ 34187 Points ]

    great review. haha it does look cool like games that and do something different with graphics

  8. #8 by EdEN on December 8th, 2011 [ 139981 Points ]

    I look forward to making a platinum run for the game.

  9. #9 by mowmow on December 8th, 2011 [ 13080 Points ]

    going to transfer to a new hardrive soon then i can finally download this and play it =D

  10. #10 by EdEN on December 8th, 2011 [ 139981 Points ]

    How big of a HDD?

  11. #11 by mowmow on December 9th, 2011 [ 13080 Points ]

    @eden i picked up a 500gb on black friday. i can get to this playing this game soon =D (waiting to get my portable hd back from friend)

  12. #12 by EdEN on December 9th, 2011 [ 139981 Points ]

    @mowmow: Good size. I really haven’t tried to change the HDD on my PS3 since the 120 GB had been enough for a while and usually when a firmware releases there’s the off chance that you get bricked. I’ll get to my PSN backlog to open up some space as I don’t think I’ll buy new games for a bit.

  13. #13 by mowmow on December 9th, 2011 [ 13080 Points ]

    @eden the good thing about such a big size is i can finally download all those full games from the hack. Since I had ps accounts in japan and europe too. might try out dc online too =D. But yea i get to play okabu now =D

  14. #14 by EdEN on December 9th, 2011 [ 139981 Points ]

    @mowmow: Ah, right. Yeah, I haven’t downloaded those hehehe. Borderlands and all of the DLC ended up eating he rest of my free space. Think it had 4 GB left before I sent it to Sony. Hoping that someone screws up and they actually fixed mine and are not sending me a refurbish because re-downloading everything would freaking suck.


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