App review: Sacred Odyssey: the Rise of Ayden for iPad
They say that imitation is the highest form of flatery. Gameloft have taken that a bit too literally and keep releasing games that can only be described as pure ripoffs of known titles. HALO, GTA, StarCraft, Call of Duty all have their own Gameloft variant- and now so does The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Just because they’re copies doesn’t mean they’re bad games though…
Ocarina of Time is a classic, and still considered by many as the best game ever made. It originally came out on the Nintendo 64 over a decade ago and made a comeback as a bonus game on the Gamecube. Sacred Odyssey: The Rise of Ayden is as much a direct ripoff as I’ve ever seen, and even includes a talking tree (with the first boss- an insect- inside it) and a small glowy fairy that follows you around. You hack and slash your way through enemies and bosses, all in the name of a princess. Sounds familiar?
The game is quite good though. It’s a bit limited by the on-screen controls (it would certainly benefit from the Fling) but it’s not as bad as some games out there. You control te movement with an onscreen control stick and then pan around using a finger anywhere else. There are a few buttons as well; attack, defend, get on your horse and sprint (while on the horse).
The graphics are great, and full voice acting makes the game even better. Everything’s subtitled, but you can also listen to the characters actually speak. This is something many games skip, as it’s both costly, time consuming and takes up a lot of storage space, but I think it makes the game stand out from the crowd.
The actual game is rather impressive for a $7 game. They put a lot of detail into everything, even if they borrowed a lot from Ocarina of Time. Orcs, treasure chests, flying ships and bird people are some of the “features” you’ll encounter, so there’s nothing wrong with their imagination when putting the game together.
This game also marks a change in business model for Gameloft. Instead of offering a free version and a full (paid) version of the game, the app itself is free and lets you play through the first 15 minutes or so (basically the tutorial and first mission) before it asks you to pay to unlock the rest. This means you only have to download one app, and you don’t need to play the same bit twice. I think this system is much more convenient than the dual app system, and you dont end up paying any more in the end.
All in all this is a great game for the iPad, though not for everyone. If you ever played Ocarina of Time or any other 3D Zelda game you might want to test it out, and if you do end up buying the game you have about 10 hours of play time ahead of you according to people who have played the whole thing.