Review: Odallus – The Dark Call

Ever want to relive the experiences and emotions that you had when you played Ghost ‘n Goblins on the NES or maybe the SNES version back in the day? Or maybe you have always loved a good side-scrolling challenge with a retro twist… Odallus is calling your name. It’s kind of a dark calling, but it’s there saying hi.

Odallus starts you out on a hunt when you notice something is amiss back at home. You know how it goes though. You see some smoke at your village and you run back as fast as you can, but no matter what you do, it’s always mostly gone before you arrive and all you can do is dig through the rubble. You find out that some cult of weirdos is behind it and they’ve got your kid to boot! There’s only one thing a man with the name of Haggis can do (yes, his name is Haggis and yes it grows on you): grab your sword and go share it with some evil creatures. Well, that’s a start at least right?

Just trying to push this statue over with my sword... just a little more and I've got it!

Just trying to push this statue over with my sword… just a little more and I’ve got it!

The developers really went out of their way to make Odallus aesthetically old school. Odallus really looks like an 8-bit game. The way the character moves, jumps and attacks all take me back. There is obviously additions to the classic formula like weapon variety combined with the ability to switch between them and lack of pixel jumping like when a cartridge gets old or the system needs cleaning. Some things you can just leave out when you go for this genre though. There is also some secret paths that will have you coming back to the beginning of the game to find the areas with hidden power-ups or different paths to lead you through another way to get to the end.

You ever notice that you always run into the rude bad guys? Where are all the good unead guys like that Jack Skellington fellow?

You ever notice that you always run into the rude bad guys? Where are all the good undead guys like that Auron fellow from FFX?

The difficulty is probably the main thing that will grab people’s attention and get them to come over to the Odallus side in the first place. (That’s just a big thing currently.) I don’t feel it’s your usual difficulty that some Indie devs have been going for lately. A lot of the time it’s a speed or overabundance of enemies/bullets/spikes that will overwhelm you in most recent “hardcore” sidescrollers. JoyMasher hit the nail on the head with the legitimate retro feel. Odallus’ difficulty seems to be based on your level of patience. Nothing will jump out of a spot that wasn’t there before or what-have-you or force you to move your fingers way faster than you may be able to. It’s a classic “slow and steady wins the race”. When you start getting frustrated and rush into things is when you’ll die. Calm down and take your time and measure your enemies (bosses included). There’s no time limit (thank goodness) so you have no reason to speedrun Odallus… unless that’s your goal. If that’s the case then, hurry up man! There is an achievement after all.

This vendor is kind of a jerk. He can get around and procure different useful items without much difficulty it seems and he increases the price as you continue buying a certain item. (Those freaking life tokens are getting way to spendy.)

This vendor is kind of a jerk. He can get around and procure different useful items without much difficulty it seems and he increases the price as you continue buying a certain item. (Those freaking life tokens are getting way to spendy.) I, of course, am standing in front of the guy, but since he’s a jerk, I don’t care to show him anyway.

I haven't run into many issues with Odallus: The Dark Call after the few patches they put out a little after I initially downloaded the game before it officially launched. Since then it's been smooth sailing and I've really enjoyed myself. That, of course, is only because I've learned to walk away after a few deaths on the same area. When I get too frustrated I tend to just walk away for a very long time. With a myriad of level types and the ability to attain new weapons (and suck at using all of them other than the sword) there's actually a lot to experience here. There are puzzles, platforming and stabbing stuff all while pulling off the retro feel better than most, Odallus is pretty dang good.  That's coming from a guy who doesn't appreciate too much of a challange anymore either (I'm getting old and just want to have fun, get off my back!) If you're looking for a nostalgia trip, a retro-themed game, or just a game that won't let you be too mindless, Odallus will satisfy.

I haven’t run into many issues with Odallus: The Dark Call after the few patches they put out a little after I initially downloaded the game and before it officially launched. Since then it’s been smooth sailing and I’ve really enjoyed myself. That, of course, is only because I’ve learned to walk away after a few deaths on the same area. When I get too frustrated I tend to just walk away for a very long time. With a myriad of level types and the ability to obtain new weapons (and suck at using all of them other than the sword) there’s actually a lot to experience here. There are puzzles, platforming and stabbing stuff all while pulling off the retro feel better than most, Odallus is pretty dang good. That’s coming from a guy who doesn’t appreciate too much of a challenge anymore either (I’m getting old and just want to have fun, get off my back!) If you’re looking for a nostalgia trip, a retro-themed game, or just a game that won’t let you be too mindless, Odallus will satisfy your hunger. Now, go save your kid!

More Odallus: The Dark Call Info: Steam / Official Page / Facebook / Twitter

Jonathan Amarelo Sig

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