Clearly inspired by classic Zelda titles, Ocean’s Heart is basically the combat and gameplay progression of A Link To the Past but mixed with the island hopping of Wind Waker all from a top-down perspective.
It hard not to make comparisons to 8 and 16-bit classic Zelda titles as the resemblance is uncanny right down to the way the main hero looks, is animated, and the full-bodied sword swings. The challenge never exceeds that of LTTP but that isn’t to say this game is a push over either. There are some moments of challenge but Ocean’s Heart can probably be best be describes as LTTP-lite. The adventure is still meaty, there are plenty of secrets off the beaten path, and the player must collect many items along the way but never reaches levels of frustration, making the experience approachable and enjoyably paced.
Even though this looks, plays, and feels like a forgotten Zelda title, Ocean’s Heart still has just enough going for it to be defined as its own thanks to a cozy sense of charm and side quests that are meaningful. It is easy to get distracted from the main quest, which involves pirates and rescuing relatives, as there is always something to do, someone to seek, or bosses to best. Each encounter, especially with NPCs, add that much charm into the experience to flesh out the environment and the narrative. Completing side quests actually adds meaningful content, whether gaining a character enhancement or expanding the story in some way.
From a presentation stand point, the game looks and sounds like a forgotten SNES or GBA title as the sprite work is well done and rather adorable. The soundtrack also deserves high praise as it provides this whimsical experience that really blends into the island hopping nature of the gameplay.
It is easy to go on and on about the positive qualities of Ocean’s Heart but there sort of is no point if you played any Zelda game before (which you probably have). If you enjoy non-3D Zelda titles, then you will mostly likely highly enjoy this and could very well carry you over until Breath of the Wild 2 gets released. It is only $15 too.
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By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com
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