Developer: Max Mraz
Platforms: Switch, PC
Reviewed On: Switch
Release Date: 10/02/2022
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.
Ocean’s Heart wears its inspiration on its sleeve. It looks and feels like a retro 16-bit Zelda. It really would fit in perfectly in the old school Zelda games, however, a little too close to the original games. This is Ocean’s Hearts’ biggest flaw.
Ocean’s Heart follows the adventure of Tilia, a small-town girl who, with her sister and dad, runs a small bar. One day her Island is ransacked, and they kidnapped her best friend. Her father, who is part of Volunteer Navy. Six months pass and no word from father. Tilia gets to the mainland in search of them as a trainee Volunteer Navy trainee.
It Feels Familiar
Ocean’s Heart plays like what you would expect from a Zelda-like. Rolling, sword swinging, puzzle solving, weapon gathering and boss fights. There are also loads of side quests, NPCs to talk to and lore to find. The world its self is not massive at all, made up for a few islands, with dungeons to traverse and mini-dungeons. This small world packs a lot in to it.
Tilia Actually Talks
As any fan knows, Link never talks in his adventures,. He has saved Hyrule without saying a word. Here Tilia is a chatterbox. She has an attitude. While being so sarcastic, I just wanted to talk to anyone I could.
This does not just go for Tilia. Most of the NPCs that you meet are bat shit crazy. This made me enjoy talking to NPCs and keep me discovering new towns and meet the weird and the weirder characters there.
While talking to characters, you start to notice that the towns are not just isolated places on the map. They are all interlinked with multiple references from different towns to other towns, enemies, even places within the world. This made the world feel connected and alive to some extent.
If there is one aspect of Ocean’s Heart, I would have to be critical on is how easy the game it. From fighting normal mobs to most boss fights, there is not much of a challenge. It is possible to make the game harder and change some aspects of the gameplay. Even with making things harder, it soon becomes easy again with the sheer amount of upgrades to weapons and defence.
Ok Ocean’s Heart is what it is a 16 bit Zelda-like. That feels more like an introduction to the series, with its easy difficulty. Is this a bad thing? Definitely not, the game is great, and once I started, I found it hard to put it down.
If you are a fan of Zelda and especially the early years, then Ocean Heart is a must buy. It is also a great introduction to adventure games in general. That being said, you will find nothing new here.