Owlboy Xbox One X Review

Owlboy is a marvelous action-adventure that successfully combines gameplay and story for one memorable adventure that’s worth playing multiple times

By Grayshadow, Posted 10 Apr 2018

From the start Owlboy looks like a happy fun-loving fantasy tale, however, this is often misleading. While the surface paints a beautiful image the game itself provides a dark and deep tale of mature issues such as identity, living up to expectations, and becoming your own person. All within a retro style action-adventure tale full of amazing boss battles and extravagant environments. Owlboy doubles down on every front, from the retro atmosphere to the deep characters. Remaining a consistently charming and surprising adventure throughout.

The tale begins with a mute protagonist named Otus. Born into a breed of creatures known as Owls who are expected to be great protectors. The opening scene paints a very dark image of how stressful Otus’ life is, trying to live up to expectations of not only his mentor but his entire race. Trouble brews shortly afterward as pirate sightings explode into increasing calamity. Teaming up with his best friend, a military engineer named Geedy, Otus sets to stop the pirates. The tale eventually begins to touch on the lore that helps craft this world full of exciting twists.

Right from the start, it’s clear the developers sought to capture the retro atmosphere found in video games during the SNES and SEGA Genesis era. Everything from the graphics to the soundtrack pay tribute to classic titles. The story is told entirely through text boxes and avoids being predictable thanks to strong writing. The characters themselves are each unique with wonderful animations and specific desires, shortcomings, and strengths. Throughout the adventure, everyone is given ample time to highlight how far they’ve evolved throughout the adventure.

Owlboy,NoobFeed,

Despite the use of pixels to construct this vast and beautiful world Owlboy doesn’t have a limited color palette. Each area is elaborately designed with specific details with meticulously designed structures and exceptional execution. This prevents the game from getting stale as each area not only provides a distinct look but enemies and puzzles native to specific areas.

Otus is the primary character you’ll control, and he’s equipped with basic functions. He can fly, use a basic spin attack, and dodge forward. However, Otus’ friends are what diversify the gameplay. Each provides special talents such as different types of attacks and abilities that are used for combat and solving puzzles. It’s a bit annoying that the hitbox on Otus, despite being such as small character, is very large. You’ll often find yourself getting hit by attacks that should’ve missed. In one example, during sequences involving bombs in a closed vent, the explosives would often get triggered despite Otus being around the corner.

Outside of combat and puzzles, Owlboy offers a Metroidvania type exploration system. Levels generally tell you where to go with arrows pointing in the right direction, but players can find hidden stashes of coins that can be used for trinkets that boost Otus’ health, firepower, or cosmetic look. Otus’ friends can unlock select areas and you can travel between most of the game’s areas even after getting to the final boss.

Owlboy,NoobFeed,

Speaking of bosses, Owlboy features incredible boss fights. There are ample amounts of these fights and they all require different strategies to defeat. Coupled with the musical score and split-second movements needed to avoid damage made each one the highlight of the game. Thanks to great pacing nothing felt like it dragged with fantastic pacing between exploration, puzzle solving, and boss fights. Each stage is a complete experience that ends with a great finale and setting up for the next act in the adventure.

By providing a solid story full of exciting characters and fortifying it with thrilling boss battles and elaborate environments the quality of the game can easily surpass big budget triple-a games. Owlboy is a marvelous action-adventure that successfully combines gameplay and story for one memorable adventure that’s worth playing multiple times.

Adam Siddiqui, NoobFeed
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General Information

Owlboy

90/100

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC
Publisher(s): D-pad Studio
Developer(s): D-pad Studio
Genres: 2D Platformer
Themes: Platformer
Release Date: 2016-11-01

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