Starting life as a Ludum Dare competition entry back in April 2017, oOo Ascension (otherwise known as ‘Triple O’) is a game tailormade for speedrunners and other people 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 quick off the mark at releasing videos, and I always try to follow up on a review code, especially when i’m the one who requests it.
One of the main reasons why I requested a review code for this game is because i’m a huge fan of both bright neon visuals and a thumping electronic soundtrack and, happily, I can say that this game does deliver those things. I think the music is a tad generic and not as heavy or frantic as it could have been, but its 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 obstiable-filled levels, and I just don’t think the music reflects that as much as it could.
With 90 levels split into 9 sectors, there’s plenty of challenges on offer. Whilst each level is confined to a small spherical play area, the abundance of obstacles like spinning blades, moving platforms or just the walls themselves all contribute to the task of getting the ship from point A to point B all that much harder. Sure, that might seem like a pretty easy task, but when trying to get through things that can potentially one hit kill in the shortest amount of time possible, things can get hard (and pretty frustrating) real fast.
oOo Ascension follows that tried and true style of the quick restart. Yes, the player might die 100’s if not 1000’s of times as they play through the game, but there’s hardly any delay to get back into the action. 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. If I wasn’t happy with my current run, I could also restart it at the press of a button. The challenge and frustration surrounding this game isn’t from waiting an ice-age or two for each additional chance to run through the course again. It’s from that old-school style of having extremely punishing level design, that could theoretically be navigated in a few seconds or so, if only the player was skilled enough to get through them efficiently.
The ship that has to be navigated around the levels handles great. It’s swift and responsive and its speed can be increased and decreased with the press of a button to wind between objects. As there are no obstacles to get around by jumping like in a 2d platformer, this variation of speed really helps to bring some variety to how the ship can be controlled.
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, which is a nice visual reference when trying to shave extra seconds off.
Whilst there is an abundance of levels as previously mentioned, it’s definitely not a game I can play for hours on end. It’s not that the game is boring, I just don’t tend to gel with games where you have to do things over and over again, with sometimes very 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. For someone who just wants 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 and chip away at the levels and have an enjoyable yet frustrating gaming session.
So yeah, those were my thoughts on oOo Ascension. If you enjoyed this video then by all means, like comment and subscribe, all that social media goodness, and always keep living that best nerd life.