Olija Review (PlayStation 4 )

Olija Review (PlayStation 4 )

Olija is a game about Faraday’s quest, a man shipwrecked then trapped in the mysterious country of Terraphage. Armed with a legendary harpoon, he and other castaways try to leave this hostile country to return to their homelands.

Pros:

  • Nice modern pixel art graphics.
  • 2.51GB download size.
  • Platinum trophy.
  • Works on Playstation 5.
  • Tutorial pop-ups.
  • In-game cutscenes.
  • Action-platformer RPG gameplay.
  • 2D perspective.
  • Maps-find them in levels to open up new locations.
  • Boatman-call him from any harbor and he will take you to wherever you want to go.
  • Hack and slash style combat.
  • You can interact with the environment from searching chests and corpses to breaking boxes and ledges.
  • Slight some puzzle elements to it all.
  • Fast fluid game.
  • Not a lot is explained so you can self interpret.
  • Enemies can drop loot.
  • No set path so you can play how you want.
  • Hats-these can be crafted from materials you find in a level and add abilities to your character.
  • Oaktide is kinda like your home where you can return whenever and get some crafting done.
  • You play as Faraday who is trying to get home.
  • Story dialogue will pop up on the screen from time to time.
  • Harpoon-allows you to throw it and then teleport to its location instantly.
  • An intriguing game that never really explains itself.
  • Can skip cutscenes.
  • Oaktide will expand and change as you progress through the game, you can build new merchants and rescue new characters to inhabit the town.
  • Sailor-pay him to go too far off lands and find new items and materials for you.
  • Gems-currency that can be found in levels and drop from enemies.
  • The map uncovers as you play, areas will fill in as you explore.
  • Can replay old areas for getting loot or materials.
  • Combat-can does ground or air attacks.
  • Can use the harpoon on enemies and do damage but also teleport to them.
  • Combo moves can be had.
  • Dark eery world to explore.
  • Hidden Collectibles.
  • Has a Metroidvania way of playing out without being as deep.
  • Find shortcuts and alternative paths.
  • Uses its own language.
  • Big boss fights.
  • Satisfying combat and exploration.
  • Cool animations in the back and foreground.
  • After picking a location on the map, you choose which hat to wear and it shows what the hat does.
  • Some beautiful locations that outdo the dark grimey areas.
  • Really good soundtrack.
  • Linear story and progression.
  • Secondary weapons can be swapped between with just a button press.
  • First-person view as you enter new dungeons.
  • If an area is particularly long then at certain points you can opt to return to Oaktide.
  • Increase your health by buying upgrades.
  • Great sense of adventure.
  • Strong story.
  • Can farm areas for materials.
  • Around 8 to 10 hours game time.

Olija Review (PlayStation 4 )

Cons:

  • Jumping takes getting used to.
  • Doesn’t explain all the controls and general expectations.
  • Text can be hard to read at times.
  • No settings in-game or even view controls.
  • Slow level transitions as you have to wait on the boat as it slowly makes its way to the harbor.
  • Can feel a bit lost or misguided.
  • Harpoon takes a lot of getting used to.
  • Not the best loading times even on the PlayStation 5.
  • The slight slowdown in places.
  • Can get grind in relation to materials for hat crafting.
  • Can be accused of being easy.
  • Not a lot to spend gems on really.
  • Never sure when it’s saved or checkpointed.
  • A lot of times the game will grind to halt and have you walking and not able to do anything else in order to set a scene or give dialogue.
  • Later sections have real bad checkpointing.
  • Major performance hits on the final boss, would momentarily lock up and slow down making it impossible.

Olija Review (PlayStation 4 )

  • 8/10
    Graphics - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Sound - 8/10
  • 7/10
    Accessibility - 7/10
  • 8/10
    Length - 8/10
  • 9/10
    Fun Factor - 9/10
8/10

Summary

Despite no spoken word (well in English at least) or any true cutscenes, Olija is an adventure game that captures you almost instantly. It all starts off as another generic-looking pixel art 2D adventure game but it slowly opens up the harpoon that is used to Travers the world as you throw it then you can fast dash to it, or use it as a weapon and fast dash into enemies. It’s when you get this that the game opens up and shows off just how good the combat can be. On the surface, it’s a hack and slashes but master the harpoon and now you can deflect arrows, dash into enemies no matter where they are, pick up powerful secondary weapons, it’s just a blitz of Mayhem and joy. Secondary weapons will be discovered as you play but it’s things like bow gun, rapier, and more (don’t wanna spoil it all). The World is made up of islands and you need to visit the islands and collect keys to eventually open up the shadow gate and go home. Along the way you will meet colorful characters, rescue lost villagers, and have them populate the hub town. You can cut down long grass, trees and break boxes to find materials used for crafting hats. Hats are the main component and they need specific materials to craft and they grant an ability like, lifesteal, do more dash damage and so much more. It’s a game that I feel the more I say the more I give away and it’s a game of firsts and discoveries. I fell in love with the world, the atmosphere and the little touches like grass blowing in the wind, or the way you travel to the islands on a boat and can talk with the boatmen. I loved the combat and after a short initial learning curve with it, I could and would slice dice and dash all over the screen. Boss fights were predictable but fun. It’s very linear but it does have many secrets to find from locations to shortcuts to loot. It’s a good length game with it taking me around ten hours to finish (had a lot of issues with performance on the final boss but what you gonna do. Shout and swear about it apparently but I did it!) I won’t go back as I loved the memories I got from it and much like Journey, it’s a game about the journey and the experiences you had on the way. Olija is high on my list as one of the great adventure games and it’s only January but it has Game Of The Year potential written all over it.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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