Odama (GameCube) Preview

By Adam Riley 05.11.2004

There are so many pinball titles on the market, far more than you would probably expect. I mean, after all, just how can you translate the thrill of a pinball machine to a home console or portable? Well, Pinball of the Dead, Kirby's Pinball Land, Pok

Vivarium Inc might not exactly be a name that rings too many bells in your mind, but it is quite clear that Nintendo has chosen the right partner for this extremely fresh and intriguing title. It is being dubbed by Nintendo itself as 'Military Pinball', is due at a currently undisclosed date in 2005 and looks to be shaping up very nicely so far, with sharp visuals and a bucket-load of innovation. But hey, what else would expect from something with the 'Nintendo' tag on it nowadays?!

Screenshot for Odama on GameCube

Odama is all about mixing the intensity of classic pinball action with the sights, sounds and complete savagery of war together to create one tasty little dish, served on a GameCube platter. When the first images of were snapped at E3 of this year, many believed that Nintendo was about to unleash a new war-themed First-Person Shooter...but how wrong we all were! Instead the two swords that were seen in the grab were none other than flippers that are used to launch the giant pinball, known as the 'Odama'

Screenshot for Odama on GameCube

Whereas Super Mario Ball and its limited world's were suited to handheld gaming, the action of Odama would be completely out of place in the portable world and obviously can only be realised to its full extent on a system as powerful as the GameCube. You see the 'tables' found within are not of the normal kind, as previously mentioned. They are jam-packed with battalions and troop barracks that you can go crashing into with the Odama and you desperately try to stay in the game, collecting prisoners of war to join the fight on your side and attempting to avoid the disaster of crushing your allies!

A lot of thought and strategic planning has to go into the way you play as there is more at stake than simply racking up the highest score possible. Your aim is to challenge a General's army in battles set during the period of the Japanese feudal wars. Using the flippers on the battlefield you must fling the Odama around in order to destroy the enemy's barracks and turrets, hit the soldiers to make them join your ranks and generally aid your troops as they endeavour to liberate more of the screen, dam rivers, uncover extra flippers and eventually make their way to the gate of your rival.

Screenshot for Odama on GameCube

But this is not merely a one-player experience! Bring along a friend and you can rouse your troops, spurring them into action using the Donkey Konga bongos, almost as if you are standing there on the sidelines, drumming your forces on to victory. The second player can even control where the troops head towards, ensuring that they do not inadvertently wander into the path of the Odama and get crushed. However, there are repercussions to this

Screenshot for Odama on GameCube

Final Thoughts

Super Mario Ball took pinballing and platforming and joined them in a way that was just about convincing. Now Odama aims to take the strategy genre and roll some pinball magic into it and looks to be succeeding in creating a very worthwhile experience. Experimentation is rife at Nintendo right now and we are certainly glad about it if titles as intriguing and pleasing as this are the final product!

Developer

Vivarium

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Table Games

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  10/10 (2 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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