Last year you might have read Sam’s verdict on the Xbox One version of Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas, but since the game began life as a mobile experience, it makes sense that it would find its way to the most portable of the home consoles - the Nintendo Switch.
The world is split up into different islands, which each have a few things to discover and plenty of enemies to combat, but most locations are fairly small, so you can make your way through them relatively easily in a shorter play session and feel like you’ve achieved something while on the go.
The lore, though present, isn’t intrusive either, so there aren’t swathes of detail to commit to memory when you hop on for five minutes before your significant other warns you of the imminent arrival of food. You could even get away with a cheeky session at a family barbecue and there’s no risk of any family members looking over your shoulder in disturbed bemusement at what they see - something that the upcoming and similarly Zelda-inspired Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ is at severe risk of.
Basic puzzle-solving offers more depth than the Candy Crushes and Clash of Clans of the world, without being so engrossing as to make you miss your stop.
Travelling too, there’s a relaxing simplicity to pottering around destroying pottery, and in the familiar touches undoubtedly borrowed from Zelda - from the colour-emphasised NPC text to the protagonist’s sword, shield and tunic combo - which create a comfort blanket of straightforward gameplay and basic puzzle-solving that offer more depth than the Candy Crushes and Clash of Clans of the world, without being so engrossing as to make you miss your stop.
While you can pick up Oceanhorn on the PS Vita, as Gabriella found out recently, the tone and presentation of the game definitely has a fittingly ‘Nintendo’ feel, which helps to manage expectations of a more ‘hardcore’ gaming experience Vita players might have expected, but Oceanhorn isn’t necessarily designed to cater towards.
Finally, if you fancy a big screen experience, then with a quick slide of your Switch into the dock, you can have it. This versatility is unique to the Switch, and with performance strong across both handheld and docked modes, its easy to play however you like.
With so many platforms to play Oceanhorn on at this point, it’s definitely worth giving the Switch version specifically a try, especially if you’re a fan of classic Zelda titles; I’d even go as far as to say experiencing it in this format nudges it above Sam’s initial score. It’s certainly enough to keep you entertained in short bursts, and it might even be a nice entry point for youngsters into a slightly more involved style of gaming. Never has the chance to sail Oceanhorn’s uncharted seas felt more appealing.
Are you tempted? Let us know what you think of the game in the comments.
Going into an event like E3, there's always a lot of anticipation. Will the latest console release be everything it's cracked up to be? Will that long-rumoured game finally be confirmed? Who will be the awkward celebrity cameo?
We saw a bit more of Scorpio a couple of months ago with Digital Foundry's excellent video running through the specs in some significant detail, after Microsoft let them take a very close look at the machine. It seems to have the power, but what it really needs is games.
Liam is slightly concerned about is Scorpio's price too, in fact, Gabriella reckons if the price is anything more than £499 she'll be "pissed" (eep!), so Microsoft had better come up with "some new Xbox exclusives or a good hard-hitting lineup of Scorpio games" to keep her from lashing out at us.
On that front, Rob is excited about the prospect of Crackdown 3 at long last, adding: "I'm curious to see more of Sea of Thieves too, I really hope it's a return to form for Rare."
Both Liam and Chris are excited at the prospect of VR on the Scorpio. "I'm expecting it will be more than I'm willing to pay," explains Chris. "As the only reason for me to upgrade is some sort of VR, which will bump the price up further."
"I imagine things have been quiet on the Xbox exclusive front for a while because they've been pumping their resources into bolstering the Scorpio launch," ponders Sam. "Which is exactly what we saw happen in the transition from 360 to One. It would be a welcome surprise to hear news that Fable 4 is at least planned but I think Rare are best suited to taking it on and they probably have their hands full."