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Review: Octogeddon

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How many other games have chicken arm guns?

George Fan is a wild and crazy guy.

Well maybe not in the sense that you're probably thinking, but he has a wild mind that's able to come up with all sorts of strange ideas like an insane neighbor that sells you seeds to fight off a zombie apocalypse or, say, an octopus with bee tentacles.

Octogeddon is every bit as silly and charming as Plants vs. Zombies, even if it's not quite as replayable.

Octogeddon (PC) 
Developer: All Yes Good
Publisher: All Yes Good
Released: February 8, 2018
MSRP: $12.88

In the first few minutes of Octogeddon I felt underwhelmed. The premise involves the titular octopus as he watches YouTube, views a sushi cooking video, and decides that he wants revenge on all of New York City. It's hilarious, but then we transition to the actual game, which involves slowly rotating said octopus around with a mouse to slap enemies with his tentacles. Then I got the giant claw hand.

In a wave of "oooooohhhh, I get it," the ridiculousness of Octogeddon swept over me. This is a full-blown shoot-'em-up, but you get to customize the entirety of your ship (cephalopod) by placing specific guns (usually animal parts) in specific limb order. By the time I figured out combinations like placing projectile-based weapons on multiple sides to increase coverage, or melee and freeze-ray combos right next to each other, the spirit of Octogeddon really came together. The reasons why our hero wants to destroy whatever nation he's pissed at also get increasingly silly.

Things get tough, too! It's a roguelike, and outside of the small exception of skipping half of the first world, you need to make it all the way to the end with a limited amount of lives. Spending currency on them might prolong your quest, but it'll come at the price of missing out on more limbs and upgrades. After a game over you'll get the chance to spend shells on permanent upgrades (a modern roguelike staple) and press your luck again.

It's frustrating to be set back, don't get me wrong, but I was always pulled to start over again. The very first day I played Octogeddon I went at it for four hours straight, as the call of "one more full run" (about an hour) kept pulling me back in. I enjoyed the ability to restart without a hackey mobile "BUY MORE CREDITS TO CONTINUE!" popup or a microtransaction-based scheme.

As you inch ever closer to the final boss, you realize that every hit matters, which hinges on your positioning. The core underwater and above-ground sections feel very different; the former allows you to use all of your arsenal while floating, and the latter squishes some of your tools while rolling around. It's genius, as it forces you to rely on the big picture for your setup and not front-load a few weapons. Once you're done (which could take anywhere from five to ten hours to net a successful run) you can restart, or go at it again with hard and endless modes. Octogeddon felt more like a sprint than a marathon for me, because while I did enjoy the aforementioned postgame, I took far more breaks than I did in my mad dash to initially best it.

I did run into a few rough glitches that impeded my enjoyment a bit -- namely, several crashes while fighting the last boss, and one on the world map. When the executable terminates, presumably as some sort of anti-cheat measure, you'll restart the current level you're on in whatever state you were booted out of. In other words it's not the end of the world if you were just starting up the last boss, but if you were knee deep in battle with one heart left, having to restart a stage and immediately take a nominal one-life fall sucks. For what it's worth I only had the game crash on me during these two occasions -- though again, it was multiple times.

Despite the kick in the teeth, it was worth crawling back out of that hole and trying again. Any game where you're pondering the optimal setup for a chicken head that shoots egg bombs and a bee homing missile is a-okay with me. I won't be endlessly replaying it, but Octogeddon grabbed me hard for a good while.

[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]

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Octogeddon reviewed by Chris Carter

7.5

GOOD

Solid and definitely has an audience. There could be some hard-to-ignore faults, but the experience is fun.
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Chris Carter
Chris CarterReviews Director, Co-EIC   gamer profile

Chris has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff! ------------------- T... more + disclosures


 


 


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