Man do I hate this game. Read the review to see why you should never, ever buy Odama for the Cube.

A Frustrating New Idea with Odama

I’ll guarantee you this: you will never find a game like Odama on the gaming market again. Ever. Odama seems to be created with the two most random types of game genres: pinball and warfare. The problem with this interesting mix is that pinball games are frantic, and warfare games where you command entire armies are precise and demand exact precision. Odama doesn’t work out at all and is an extremely frustrating experience.

First of all, the entire concept of the game is stupid and gimmicky. You control the tides of the battlefield with an Odama (the pinball) and use the microphone to control your troops. That’s right, the microphone! Apparently, the mic is supposed to make you feel like you’re a general commanding his troops, but it just makes you look like a fool. Controlling your troops can be very difficult while the pinball is destroying everything, including your own men.

In order to win a battle in Odama, you must bring the giant Ninten Bell through the enemy gates. Passing the bell through the gates is difficult because you have to achieve objectives while fighting, like smashing enemy forts with the pinball. I am rarely one to get angry at video games, but Odama made me throw my controller to the ground in sheer frustration. Often, you’ll play for ten minutes on the same level, make a mistake near the end and start the whole frustrating process again.

Another thing Odama messed up with was graphics. When you’re zoomed out looking at the playing field, the game looks all right. But once you zoom in to eye level, you’ll find that the game looks horrible! The trees look like they were cut from paper and the troops are like little dolls with spears. The Gamecube is capable of impressive graphics, but Odama looks like it should have been released four years ago.

Odama is a difficult game, and that is mainly due to its ridiculous control scheme. However, the camera doesn’t help either. One level, for example, had two pinball fields lined up vertically. Once you got the Odama up to the top field, you couldn’t really see what was going on, and the only way to change the camera was to hit a switch with the hard to control pinball. You can zoom in near important switches, but the lack of real camera control makes winning much more difficult.

There is one thing that this game did right: it definitely makes you feel good when you win. After a difficult and trying experience trying to get the Ninten Bell through the gates, victory is like you’re being let out of school. However, you will lose a lot more times than you win.

Odama has a bad soundtrack consisting mainly of pounding drumbeats. Yes, the music is pretty much a drumbeat with the occasional screaming from your troops. Oh, and besides that screaming there is the screaming from you when you lose a level due to a miscalculated flick of the flippers. I hate the music in Odama and people who are watching you hate the music, too. The game’s developer decided to keep the whole game in Japanese, which is interesting but gets old fast.

Overall, Odama is a game that you shouldn’t play. The difficulty of it and its ability to make you very angry left me with a very negative experience. Forget buying Odama and get something else. The amount of games being released for the GameCube is extremely small, but I just can’t recommend Odama.

Odama gets a 4 out of 10.


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