oOo Ascension Review (Switch)

oOo Ascension is a game tailormade for people who want to spend all their time getting good at a particular game.

oOo Ascension (otherwise known as ‘Triple O’) starting life as a Ludum Dare competition entry back in April 2017. It is a game tailormade for speedrunners who want to spend all their time getting good at a particular game. I actually got the review code for the Nintendo Switch version from Kenny at Extra Mile Studios back in February 2020. So, apologies for the absolutely massive delay in reviewing this game. I’m usually quicker off the mark at releasing videos. I always try to follow up on a review code though, especially when i’m the one who requests it.

There are a few reasons why I requested a review code for this game. I’m a huge fan of both bright neon visuals and a thumping electronic soundtrack. Luckily, I can say that this game has these things in abundance. I think the music is a tad generic and not as heavy or frantic as it could have been. It’s still some good background noise to listen to as you play, especially with some headphones on. The gameplay is pretty hectic, especially on some of the more obstacle-filled levels. The music just doesn’t reflect that as much as it could.

With 90 levels split into 9 sectors, there’s plenty of challenges on offer. Confined to a small spherical play area, the abundance of obstacles build the challange. Things like spinning blades, moving platforms or just the walls themselves are all potential challenges. And they all make the task of getting the ship from point A to point B that much harder. Getting from A to B might seem like a pretty easy task usually. But trying to get through things that one hit kill in the shortest amount of time, things get hard real fast.

oOo Ascension follows that tried and true style of the quick restart. Yes, the player might die thousands of times as they play through the game. There’s hardly any delay to get back into the action though. A split second after dying, a new ship is ready to go. This let me quickly and easily experiment with ways to get through the levels. Something I feel is extremely important in these types of games.

The challenge surrounding this game isn’t from waiting an ice-age for each additional chance to run through the course again. It’s from that old-school style of having extremely punishing level design. Levels that are navigated in a few seconds or so. If only the player was skilled enough to get through them efficiently.

The ship handles great. It’s swift and responsive. The speed can be changed with the press of a button to wind between objects. There are no obstacles to get around by jumping like in a 2d platformer, so changing speed helps bring variety.

Outside of the bog-standard single-player mode, there’s also a local co-op mode playable with or against another player. There’s even ghosts of previous attempts by the player for each level. A nice visual reference when trying to shave extra seconds off.

Whilst there is an abundance of levels, it’s definitely not a game I can play for hours on end. The game isn’t boring. I just don’t tend to gel with games where you have to do things over again, with little progress made. I also definitely had to put my Switch down every so often to calm down. This may actually be a positive for the game though, especially with the portable nature of the Switch. It features short bits of challenging gameplay, and likes to perfect a game before moving on to the next, I think this is a good fit. It’s a game where the player can pop some decent headphones on for the music. Then chip away at the levels and have an enjoyable yet frustrating gaming session.

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