Yoot Saito's Odama (GameCube) Preview

By Adam Riley 21.06.2005

The pinball genre has come into its own in the past year, with Fuse leading the way on Super Mario Ball, mixing in platform elements and now bringing the world Metroid Pinball, which brings a dark adventure feel to the genre. But now Yoot Saito of Vivarium has devised an even stranger twist, dabbling in the world of strategy-pinball. But how could something like an RTS be successfully tied together with pinball? Surely this is one crazy idea too far...?

Many people scoffed at the initial idea of this game. Thinking about it, mixing real-time strategy with the world of pinball must come across as a completely ridiculous idea to many gamers. But, as usual, being attracted to games that are not exactly deemed as normal I quickly snapped this up for my list of games to check out at the Post E3 Tour in London last week. What perplexed me on the journey down to Soho from Manchester was just how they were going to get everything set up, what with the second player being able to rally the troops using the bongos and the microphone also being used to issue commands to your men in order to ensure they protect your base, whilst keeping their lives in tact.

Screenshot for Yoot Saito's Odama on GameCube

The answer was quite a simple was in the end

Screenshot for Yoot Saito's Odama on GameCube

Talking of the landscapes available to you, they are indeed just that, rather than the tables found in normal pinball games, but this works just as well. Rocky inclines are similar to metal ramps, wooden huts work like springs and there are lots of other features that whilst odd to the eye at first, will become more and more recognisable as you play through this gorgeous looking title. But thankfully, as there is a time restriction enforced, nothing becomes too much of a hindrance, like when your ball sometimes gets stuck at the top of a table in a run-of-the-mill 'ball game. Each of the three locations played on

Screenshot for Yoot Saito's Odama on GameCube

Although there was some frustration to found in that the microphone was either not working, or expecting Japanese voice commands. To guide yourself to an easier victory, you see, the GameCube microphone is now used to throw orders at your men as you attempt to defend yourself. Commands such as 'Charge', 'More Men', 'Move Left / Right' and 'Kill the B*stards!' are meant to be followed as you press in the little mic button and scream into the top of it (okay, maybe that last command was one hurled out in anger, but you would feel that way after the embarrassment of shouting randomly in public to no avail!). If your little guys do not get their behinds into gear sharpish, then enemy soldiers will rain down on you and start attacking your flippers, rendering them useless if hit enough, leaving the Odama to just roll away into nothingness, which happened all too often thanks to the damn mic not working!

Screenshot for Yoot Saito's Odama on GameCube

Final Thoughts

However, this feudal Japan real-time strategy pinball fest sure does have massive potential to be a corking niche title. The injection into the pinball genre is much appreciated, and whilst many may be put off by the heavy Japanese war overtones, along with the corny 'Way of Ninten' philosophy created by your main character Amanouchi Kagetora, this should not be completely overlooked when it makes its Western d

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   

Comments

Very unusual take on the genre, but enjoyable nonetheless...shame about the mic not working at the Post E3 event!

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Seems cool enough!

Sounds like a quirky creative title, something I live for :Smilie Hopefully it'll come to the UK... ...

I think this one's going to be great, I'll definitely be looking into it.

hmm...I thought the Bongos were just controlling flippers (and idea i really liked)

http://www.fanficmaker.com <-- Tells some truly terrible tales.
Last update; Mice,Plumbers,Animatronics and Airbenders. We also have the socials; Facebook & G+

No, just for moral support from friends apparently. It's lined up for the US, so I don't see why Europe would be out of the question.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Looks very very nice. Ahhhh, the Japanese voice overs, accompaining so many recent Game Trailers, they really do make me chuckle, and it always sounds like the same Guy lol. So many Pinball games at once, jesus, how many balls can one person want??

King of the 'League of Kings'||My deviantART|| My Photography

I tell you, I certainly don't mind juggling all Nintendo's balls at all!! Hehe :eek: :roll:

And that Japanese voice over...scary! :alien:

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

I tell you, I certainly don't mind juggling all Nintendo's balls at all
:lol:

[ Edited by monkeyman On 2005/6/22 8:25 ]

King of the 'League of Kings'||My deviantART|| My Photography

iI'm not sure what to think about this game. Definitely one to try before you buy.

My DS code for 42 classic games is 5026 2806 4140. Looking for people to play Rummy with. Feel free to PM your code. Also, anyone can add my Wii code if they like, PM me with yours too.

Yes looks very interesting, but i'll have to try it before buying it.

Probably will be the best option for most people. But it's good to see that people are at least willing to give it a go...Better to try than ignore in cases like this.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

As ever, Intelligent Systems has pulled a corker out of the hat! Great work and I can't wait to get my hands on the final version :-D

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses
Guest 22.06.2005#14

Phew, lucky us that we can skip the battle sequences. I have a question though: How has the voice over been done?

Will this Game have any GBA link-up with the other Fire Emblems?? Good preview, can't wait for this Game having only just played the GBA version, and I loved it.:Smilie

King of the 'League of Kings'||My deviantART|| My Photography

sounds good. Hope its not too similar too any of the others otherwise this could top Zelda. Im just glad they have the cartoon talking sequences as i love the fire emnlem art work.

-Have you any idea what it's like to be a Fembot living in a Manbot's Manputer's world?
-What?

No link up that I've been made aware of...And the voices were there, but the sound was very low so I couldn't hear anything :-D

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Great work again :Smilie

You've actually lifted my hopes after James's comments, this is pretty high up there with Zelda.

"Most characters will have more than one weapon, meaning that some thought must go into which would be best for the situation faced at that time."

Awesome, simply awesome.

Barry Lewis [ nin10do :: General Writer :: Feature Writer :: Fountain of Industry Statistics ]
"We're mentalist psychic Scots, which means we can read your mind. If you're lying, your head explodes and we laugh."

i love fire emblem (almost got all support conversations :D)played it to death :-D can't wait for this one

[ Edited by Cap On 2005/6/23 16:16 ]


You found the word nipple! And you love touching them!

Huge fan of Fire Emblem, can't wait to get my hands on this game!

The weapon idea has been brought over from the GBA games as well, as had the idea of trading items with team-mates next to you, healing them, etc. And did James slag it off for being slow and boring by any chance?? Smilie :tongue: @ tempo!

Thanks, btw, nin10do! Smilie

Cap, D_G: I'm the same, massive fan of the GBA game and having played older titles as well, I can't wait for this version!

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

I haven't played a Fire emblem game before but if it's made by intelligent systems this will be far than awful but brilliant.

That's the thing, I don't remember the last bad game made by IS - Tetris Attack, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, both Paper Marios, Advance Wars 1 & 2, Metroid Fusion, WarioWare: Touched and the Fire Emblem games are all first class!

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses
Guest 23.06.2005#24

Love Nintendo. Love Fire Emblem. Love Intelligent Systems.

Erm...I NEED this game!

I've seen the FMV intro too Raz. It is amazing! Not quite CG. But some kinda 3D anime cel-shaded look. It is very unique.

I hope Nintendo make the Fire Emblem series as popular as Final Fantasy in the West. They need a 1st-party AAA RPG title badly!

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