Odallus: The Dark Call - Another Schlitty Review

Pictures are back because Odallus is purdy. Simple little game but great fun. Original Steam Review.

Oddalus: The Dark Call

Odallus: The Dark Call is an action filled, throwback styled, adventure platformer that stands on it’s own despite endless comparisons to the games of yesteryear.

The superficial stuff here is extremely polished. The art alone gets Odallus much deserved attention and praise. I found the sounds and music above average as well. Granted there are a great many indie games with fantastic throwback art and sound styles. But Odallus also delivers at it’s core mechanics. The controls are extremely polished and tight. So smooth in fact I didn’t even find myself lamenting the atrocious 360 d-pad because I was able to use the thumbstick fine! speaking of, I would say a controller is heavily recommended here. It is easy to pick up and play but worth the effort to master. The simple story kept my attention from the standard beginnings to the gruesome ends. The level design is truly top notch and each world is varied and worth the time to explore completely for the abundant secrets. Nothing is impossibly hidden or unfairly set up for memorization and perfection. This is a nice open platforming adventure that rewards you for taking the scenic route. I 100%'d the in game check markers on the default difficulty and came away with 7 solid hours of sloppy play.

What starts as perceived difficulty does give way to your growing boldness once you get more of a feel for it. I polished off more than one boss with my better equipment and pure attack spam. And while I don’t see how you would make things more difficult without taking away continues or making things unfair, I do think the challenge ends up in the medium range for the game style. I could hardly count this against the game as there is a higher difficulty as well as achievement challenges that I admittedly won’t be doing. So in the end it was the right difficulty for me, but the more self described hardcore might have to work harder for a challenge. It is a step above completely casual though.

Another thing with this game is the comparisons it gets to the Old Gods of gaming. The recommended/positive reviews are ripe with comparisons to games but with no accolades for what Odallus does on it’s own. I would actually stop short of calling this a “Metroid-vania”, particularly the latter part. It draws the heaviest from those two franchises but there is plenty more inspiration as well. I felt a little of everything from Mega Man to Donkey Kong Country in there! Highlander and Blade Runner (the movies) aren’t afraid to show up either. And to go even deeper with apples and oranges nonsense, the entire time I was enjoying this I was thinking “Man, this is everything Volgarr the Viking wasn’t for me”… But. All of this is unfair. This game stands on it’s own despite it’s clear inspirations. While it’d be at home on a cartridge it brings new styles, enemies, and ideas. Notably that wonderful use of the widescreen format for inventory and information that most throwback games would insist throwing in a pause menu. Odallus: The Dark Call is it’s own beast and deserves judgement on it’s own. Including the praise.

It has begun to find it’s way into bundles and steep sales which as always is where the true value is. $14.99 is a bit rich for my blood but I wouldn’t have been entirely upset. Recommended!

My other reviews I’ve posted here;
Hand of Fate
Her Story