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The game is incredibly hard, but equally full of personality. A brilliant game, emboldened by the effective marriage of pinball and strategy gaming, but marred by the extreme difficulty.
So what is Odama? It's a crossbreed of real-time strategy, barking out military orders with a microphone, and squishing everything on the screen with a massive cannonball/pinball called an Odama, whether its enemy soldiers, towers, forts, or your own men. As you improve your skills with the Odama, the number of your men you flatten with your magical ball of death will shrink, but friendly pulverizing is inevitable.
Video Game Generation
Odama is unlike anything you’ve ever played before, with an inventive mix of pinball and military strategy elements that work pretty well together. Combined they create a frantic and unique game, giving the player a true feeling of accomplishment as troops pour through the goal at the end of each level. That alone makes it worth a look for those wanting to play something different.
Press Start Online
You’ll never forget playing Yoot Saito’s Odama. Ever. It’s worth reminding you of that one more time. When this generation has long gone you’ll always remember that weird pinball/strategy game with the giant stone ball and the shouting into the Wavebird and the head on the metallic spider legs, and…
Armchair Empire, The
In short, controlled bursts Odama is fun but in stretches no longer than half an hour. And for all the uniqueness and quirkiness of the title, it can’t offset the fact there’s more luck involved than actual skill.
While the experience is lessened slightly by the unpredictable voice commands and the incredibly complex gameplay, Odama is certainly one of the most innovative Gamecube titles. Though the game faced poor sales, that didn’t stop people who bought the game from enjoying it. Many people enjoyed it and some even hope for a sequel.
Premier flipper stratégique à contrôle vocal, Odama est un titre atypique qui risque de diviser les joueurs. Ceux qui seront séduits apprécieront la complexité du gameplay et le caractère éprouvant des missions. Les autres resteront perplexes devant ce titre où on ne maîtrise jamais complètement tout ce qui se passe à l'écran.
Game Informer Magazine
Despite my complaints, I'llbe the first to applaud the game for its excellent microphone usage and clever tweak of the pinball concept. For a lot of you, those features alone will be worth the price of admission. For everyone else, this is just going to be another missed opportunity for Nintendo to convince you to try something a little different.
Ich liebe Flipper. Gerne auch real in der Kneipe um die Ecke oder im Trocadero in London. Entsprechend groß waren meine Erwartungen an die erste Flipper-Simulation für den kleinen Würfel. Odama beweist mit dem innovativen Spielkonzept viel Mut, vernachlässigt aber die einfache Spielbarkeit. Ein solider Flipper-Strategie-Mix, nicht mehr!
Odama ist bizarr, gnadenlos und chaotisch. Ihr werdet fluchen, schreien und das Mikro würgen. Wer sich entspannen will, sollte einen großen Bogen drum machen. Wer Echtzeit-Strategie mit gewiefter Planung liebt, sollte einen großen Bogen drum machen. Und wer Chaos und Multitasking hasst, wird den Würfel schon nach zwei Schlachten in seine Einzelteile zerlegen. Aber: Es hat dieses gewisse Etwas. Z.B. diesen hämischen Humor. Und es serviert euch ein neuartiges Spiel-Erlebnis, das trotz aller hektischen Unberechenbarkeit ein gutes Timing, taktische Übersicht sowie Nervenstärke von euch verlangt. Schade, dass der Zufall trotzdem so schnell alles zunichte machen kann. Deshalb ist es ein Spiel für harte Nie-Aufgeber. Wer höhnisches Lachen und ein plötzliches Game Over als Herausforderung begreift und bockschwere Flipper liebt, wird sich auch hier durchbeißen.
Schwere, taktisch vielseitige Strategie-Flipperei mit guter Ballphysik, aber konfusem Spielablauf.
Odama is the third-best console game that involver rolling a giant ball over people. This is not the faint praise that it would initially seem to be, but neither is it the best of recommendations. This title is worth a look for pinball fans and anyone looking for a peculiar gaming experience, but wait until it hits the bargain bins to pick a copy up. Real-time strategy pinball is extremely fun, but lacks the staying power necessary to make Yoot Saito’s tribute to the everyman worth more than a rental
Few game designers have proven such an eagerness to disregard the status quo as Yoot Saito. Best known for creating Seaman, the virtual-life simulator for the Dreamcast that saw you engaging in conversation with a bizarre amphibian that looked disturbingly like Yoot himself, he and his development house, Vivarium, have now launched off into a equally bizarre venture with Odama, a strategy game that quite literally turns the battlefields of feudal Japan into a pinball table. If this doesn't sound like the most natural combination, rest assured that it's not. As admirable as it is for a developer to attempt something so totally different, admiration cannot fully compensate for what is an awkward and regularly infuriating experience. Still, there's something to be said for a game with such a fresh perspective, and that novelty will be enough to draw in some people, at least for a while.
Odama est un jeu qui plaira et qui finalement ne pêche véritablement que par des graphismes exécrables. Si l’ambiance, l’envie d’une nouvelle expérience et les jeux de flipper vous plaisent … foncez !
Give Nintendo an A for effort. The idea is solid, solid enough that it should be revisited in the future, even if the execution this time around is lacking. With all the great things Nintendo has given the gaming world, a few sub-par efforts in innovation are both expected and forgivable. Unfortunately, in the face of the Canvas Curses, Nintendogs and Brain Trainings in Nintendo's world of originality, Odama doesn't live up to the company's own high standards.
The game itself resembles pinball during the majority of the game. The Odama ball is the pinball that is launched by the men in your army. You see the flippers at the bottom of the stage and each flipper is controlled by either the left or right shoulder button. The analog stick allows you to control the tilt of the board by moving the Odama either left or right once it's moving. Each stage or level includes a variety of designs for the Odama ball to travel including buildings to destroy and items to collect for your battle.
Odama, from development studio Vivarium (best known for Seaman on Dreamcast) and Nintendo, is something of an enigma both in concept and in execution. The title's premise usually effects the same response, which is, simply, "huh?" It's not surprising. After all, the game marries the core mechanics of pinball with real-time strategy elements and spins everything to a backdrop involving medieval Japan. A giant metal ball, the Odama, rolls through and over mountainous regions, destroying structures and flattening soldiers. That's right… huh? And if it didn't sound strange enough already, Vivarium has packed the title with a GameCube microphone that players use to command their armies.
Game Informer Magazine
I applaud that Nintendo was actually able to make a pinball game have some strategic depth, but it really feels like Odama is working overtime to make you fail its missions. And replaying the same stages over and over again is rarely fun, no matter how unique a game is.
Names like Shigeru Miyamoto and Tetsuya Mizuguchi will be familiar to many reading these pages, but Yoot Saito might not be. Producer and game designer of Odama, Saito was also the architect of the excellent SimTower during a stint with Maxis in the mid-90s, and later the charmingly bizarre Seaman for Dreamcast. Yet while Odama isn't good enough to stop the dust building up on the GameCube for very long, anybody fortunate enough to sit down with it for half an hour is likely to look for his name in future.
I have extremely mixed feelings about Odama. It's hard for me to truly recommend that anyone rush out and buy it due to the difficulty and bizarreness of the game. Fans of Vivarium's work in the past and those that enjoy the strange and weird video games that only Japan produces on a semi-regularly basis will no doubt relish in Odama's offering. For everyone curious enough to want to play, I suggest trying it before parting with your money. I believe that those gamers who fully beat the game from start to finish are a rare breed, and you have my respect for being able to step up to the challenge of Odama.
A military pinball game with a microphone?! Odama certainly got our attention. It sounded so weird, we just had to see it…
The Video Game Critic
As flawed as it is, however, Odama is still strangely compelling and addicting. My abysmal performance and lack of progress did not prevent me from playing Odama for hours on end. The ancient Japanese theme is artistic and unusual, and has an off-beat, self-deprecating sense of humor. Odama could have been a winner if it were easier and less complex. I love to see innovation like this, but I could really do without the frustration.
Most games are fun for ten hours, after which you never play them again. Odama is fun for an hour, then you swear you’ll never play it again only to go back an hour later for more. It’s more like a Rubik's Cube than a video game, a weird enigma you can always pick up, just not for long. If you have the patience, feed this one some coin.
Odama's pinball is straightforward, but it's not great pinball. The speed of the "Odama" (the ball) isn't always spot-on -- for example, sometimes, the Odama doesn't snap off of the flippers like it should. It seems like a minor quibble, but when this is the essence of pinball, and it's been missed, it's problematic. Additionally, tilting the screen with the left control stick is a little too effective.
Odama proves that a pinball/strategy hybrid has merit. Who would've thought? But it doesn't take the extra step to polish all of the elements to make this potential beacon of innovation shine. I suggest trying the game if you get the chance; you won't get another experience like it, probably ever again. But a purchase is not recommended.