Wednesday 5 June 2013

HD Adventures of Rotating Octopus Character Review (PS Vita)

Like Velocity, Rotating Octopus character has made the leap from being a Playstation Mini to a fully native Vita title. It’s a pretty straightforward conversion with very little changing apart from the look of the game. But for those that haven’t experience Dakko Dakko’s endearing character before there is much here to enjoy.

The game sets itself out as a number of single area arenas filled with different obstacles for the octopus to navigate. You start with three lives and must complete an entire worlds levels in one go in order to progress to the next. Losing all of your three lives will see you returned to the first level of the world to start again. 

Rotating Octopus Character is in perpetual motion as it spins around the level sticking to whichever surface it comes into contact with. You can change direction and head off in the other way, but the real skill comes from leaping from place to place and completing levels without the need to alter your direction.

The goal of each stage is to collect the hidden octopus’ spread around the area. Some of these are visible from the start while others will drop in as you progress. On latter levels players are required to bounce balls and balloons out the way and move sandcastles in order to reveal any that are hidden away. As well as finding the octopus’ lost friends you can also pick up raindrops and acquiring enough of these will give you an extra life.

It sounds fairly simple and in principle it is. However, this can be one tough cookie of a game to crack at times. Each new world introduces new enemies and hazards and things get hectic very quickly. The stationary barking dogs of the first world are easy enough to get by, but the snakes and mad fez hats found only a few worlds latter are incredibly tricky at times. Couple this with level design thought out to make things as awkward for you navigate as possible and a tight time limit and you suddenly find yourself amidst a series of real twitch gameplay levels. You'll need fast reactions and the ability to think up new strategies and approaches on the move in order to succeed.

The game is perfect for short bursts of play and each level will only take a few minutes to complete - that's as long as you don’t keep dying and having to restart. The limited amount of lives does add tension to proceedings but it can also lead to a fair amount of frustration as you find yourself stuck on one of the later levels of a world and continually have to go through eight or nine others just to reach it again. That said, many of the super tough levels tend to have an abundance of raindrops in them to keep you stocked up with lives. On these occasions it’s just a case persevering until you eventually prevail.

The upgraded visuals really help to bring out the artistic charm of the game and it helps add a more defined humour to the graphics and level design. The sound is also joyful and good fun, though the noise of rotating octopus moving around continually can become a touch on the annoying side when you find yourself continually crashing into things.

In terms of size there is a substantial amount of content on show. Aside from the plentiful main worlds there are also a host of challenge levels which unlock one by one. The urge to try and finish stages without changing direction or in a quicker time is also continual draw. 

Overall, this is another mini that is more than welcome on the Vita in a native form. Beneath the cute visuals is an excellent and tough piece of reaction based gaming and we can see many Vita owners drawn to it for far longer than they probably expect to be. It’s tough but fair and offers something a little different to what is currently on offer. We recommend you give it try and we’re sure we haven’t seen the last of the Rotating Octopus Character either.

Overall 8/10

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