oOo: Ascension (Xbox One) Review

By Colin Beauchamp 28.06.2018

Review for oOo: Ascension on Xbox One

Games where one of the main attractions is its level of challenge can be risky. To avoid players getting too frustrated, it's more essential than ever to make sure the level design is completely fair and learnable, or else many players are likely going to quit playing. oOo: Ascension is far from something such as I Wanna be the Guy in terms of difficulty, but it will constantly test your skills with its punishing challenges and brutal obstacles. Is it actually fun, though? Cubed3 is about to dig in.

oOo: Ascension has an easy to grasp main idea. Each level takes place on a sphere with a set path to the main goal, and you have to navigate various types of obstacles to get there, such as sawblades, lasers, and so on. Your move-set is extremely limited, though; there's no jumping or anything like that, just precise movement with the ability to speed up and slow down as you please.

Despite the simplistic move-set, there's a healthy amount of mechanics present in each world. The first two worlds or so are a bit dull, but the amount of variety gets better from there. That said, though, many of the game's gimmicks do unfortunately fall back on making players squeeze through a tight passage with near pixel perfect precision. This is something that doesn't exactly have much of a high skill ceiling, either, so it can get repetitive rather fast.

The game also has an issue where it feels like it can't decide what it wants to accomplish. Sometimes it has levels that are based on pure precision and nothing else, while other times it has levels requiring no precision and are instead almost entirely puzzle-based. There's one especially miserable stage, for instance, that has you going through a drawn out maze without any obstacles.

Screenshot for oOo: Ascension on Xbox One

The best levels in oOo: Ascension tend to combine both puzzle and precision elements in clever ways. One mission, for example, has a bunch of timed switches that unlock more timed switches, and eventually it unlocks the goal when activating the last one. This stage requires optimisation and planning out of the route to get to all the switches in time, while still requiring a certain degree of precision since there is a need to avoid getting stuck by moving over panels that slow you down. There are some other levels that exhibit this much creativity, but most of them don't gel well enough to reach that point.

However, even with all that said, there's still a good amount of enjoyment to be had from blasting through courses and feeling great while doing so. Certain levels have a satisfying kinetic flow to them, and make you want to push forward to see what the next world has to offer. The game is definitely tough, but it's unlikely that anyone will be stuck on a single level long enough to the point where it just becomes frustrating, which is helped by how short each course is.

In fact, each level has an extra challenge requiring you to beat the stage within a certain time, but in the majority of instances, just beating the stage for the first time will result in a time that's more than good enough to qualify for the optional objective. These optional tasks are extremely lenient, and you will likely complete most of them without even trying. There's sadly no online leaderboard to be found, so there's little incentive to go back and get the best times possible.

Screenshot for oOo: Ascension on Xbox One

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

oOo: Ascension is enjoyable enough for what it is. It sometimes has a bit of an identity crisis trying to figure out what it wants to accomplish with its design, but when it manages to intertwine its puzzle and precision elements, you will find some satisfying stages. These don't come that often, however, and the fact that there's no online leaderboard or any challenging optional objectives means there's barely any replay value, either. If pictures and trailers of the game pique interest levels, then you might get something out of the full product, but otherwise most won't lose much by skipping it.

Developer

Kenny Creanor

Publisher

Extra Mile Studios

Genre

Puzzle

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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