Author Topic: OTXO (Switch) Review  (Read 704 times)

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Offline Oronalex

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OTXO (Switch) Review
« on: May 01, 2024, 12:12:47 PM »

A Hotline Miami roguelike for players much better than I

http://www.nintendoworldreport.com/review/67053/otxo-switch-review

Super Rare Games is a developer with a fabled collection of games in its catalog. They generally tend to take well worn ideas from big name games and lean into the mechanics further. This can be seen in Super Mecha Ball, which is heavily inspired by Sonic 3D Blast, and Post Void, a gritty roguelike Doom style game. OTXO (pronounced Oh-Cho) is a new indie roguelike that wears its Hotline Miami inspiration so blatantly on its sleeve that it could be confused for a new entry into the series. It’s fast paced, gritty and unforgiving but these are OTXO’s main selling points.

The game opens up as you are given a mysterious mask that instantly gives amnesia (weird right?) and transports you to a beach in front of a giant mansion. It’s here that we discover that our family has been kidnapped, and our task is to save them by fighting wave after wave of enemies and bosses to save them. There are many employees of the cryptic mansion

For the uninitiated, OTXO is a top down, run and gun shooter. Aiming is 360 around your body with the left stick, and you can throw and pick up new guns on the fly. You kick in doors to rooms and just start blasting away, clearing out rooms and building a combo counter. As easily as you are to dispatch your enemies, they can dispatch you. To offset the action, you can hit a slo-mo bullet time mode that lets you take your time and use precision. This is an auto refilling gauge, so once it’s used, you’ll have to give it time to recharge.

   At the start of each run you can talk to NPC’s to purchase new guns, adjust the guns that will appear in the run, and liquor which gives you a run wide buff. There are also collectibles, artifacts and new liquors after your first few levels, so there’s a lot of ways to update and adjust future runs in your favor. The currency comes from the enemies you kill, and the higher the combo, the more money you get.  You are incentivized to keep your combo going, especially since money doesn’t carry over from run to run.  It’s extra important to get as much as possible for future upgrades.

Let’s get this out of the way early, I am NOT good at this game. There, I said it. Aiming on the sticks is an issue I personally have with twin stick shooter style games. On top of that, the unforgiving nature of this game makes for punishing repercussions. That’s kind of where I sit on OTXO as a whole. It’s punishing, period. No bones about it, and your enjoyment of this game is if you are up for that kind of punishment.

The major comparison here is the obvious Hotline Miami, but to that point, Hotline Miami was very heavily story driven. Failing a level meant a quick restart, continuing to bash your head against something until it inevitably breaks. OTXO won’t inevitably break. By how it’s built, it’s “get good” or don’t play. Finishing a single level doesn’t mean anything. It isn’t until you’ve completed a few levels at all do you get access to your possible run upgrades. Then, these unlocks aren’t always for the current run but other future runs. So, progression is entirely skill based and impossible through sheer will.

   There inherently lies my issue with OTXO. It really hits the classic Hotline Miami tropes. Kickass techno music that enhances the action? Check! Fast paced shooting and response action? Check! Limited but expressive pixel art? Check! Unfortunately, after that, it all comes to varying degrees of skill, to the point that progression can be entirely halted if you get on tilt. I personally had to step away from the game because the more frustrated I got the more time I wasted making stupid mistakes, and with OTXO, those are the ones you just can’t make.