Review by Daemon89

"With an Earthbound-esque charm, this game easily overcomes its small flaws"

“With an Earthbound-esque charm, this game easily overcomes its small flaws”

Opoona is an RPG that, at its North American release time, had only sold 10,000 copies in Japan. This surprises me, as it really is a great RPG, the first to come to the Wii.
With some quirky graphics and a silent protagonist, one can easily see the Mother franchise' influence on this game. However, it stands out on its own.

Gameplay

Battle
This game's battle system is what makes it stand out the most. You battle mainly with the control stick on the Nunchuck Wiimote attachment. Your basic attack is to hold the control stick in a direction and then release to hit an enemy. The longer it's held down, the more powerful the attack, and the more the “bonbon,” your weapon will curve opposite the direction held. You can press the “z” button on the Nunchuck to bring up the battle menu to change your bonbon's enhancements, use “force,” this game's magic, or use items. And that's it. This game's stand-out feature is ease and simplicity of play.

Main World
When I say ease, though, I don't mean the game in general. The main world is huge and has countless sidequests. Somebody threw out a figure of 20 hours for the main game, and 70 hours to complete everything. I'm inclined to believe them at this point, as after about 25 hours of playtime, no end is in sight. You walk around “domes” on a planet you crash into and become a citizen. As the game progresses, people there will accept you more and more. You can get your own house, your own pets, and make friends with many people. Navigating the domes can be a little hard, due to the lack of a helpful mapping system, but a little time spent walking around will let you get a feel for each dome and know where everything is.

Jobs
The job system is another great aspect of this game. These are not your typical battle jobs, but rather average, lifestyle jobs. You can work as a cleaner, a fast food worker, a fortune teller, a fisher, a farmer, a miner, and many others. You do this by somehow, usually by finding and talking to somebody in the field, attaining a trainer's license and fulfilling a quota to get a real license. You then do more jobs at that level and advance in your field until… Well, I won't spoil it for you. Buy the game and find out for yourself.

Control
This deserves its own section, because it seems to be what turned off most people to this game. The game was marketed as using the nunchuck only, but this is not forced. The “c” button is the main button and “z” brings up the menu. “A” and “B” on the Wiimote can substitute for this. The Wiimote has its own shortcuts, too, like “+” to get on a transport and “-“ to bring up the map, so using it in no way detracts from the game.

Overall, this is where the game shines. 10/10

Story

The story in this game is pretty basic. You are on vacation, get attacked, and the ship crashes. Your parents are bedridden, and you must earn “licenses” to help heal them. Woohoo.

But, more important is Opoona's, the titular character, interactions and developing friendships with the residents of Landroll, the planet you crash on. This part of the game is surprisingly deep for an RPG, with hundreds of NPC's being named and playing integral parts in the story.

Pretty good, but a little lacking in the main story. 9/10

Graphics

This game is graphically your typical Wii game. Cutesy little people in a cutesy little world. This might turn you off, but you stop noticing after a couple hours of playtime. There are some choppy parts and the game seems to be lacking an overall polish. The graphics support the game's easy-going theme, though. If you want a dark, sinister plot and real-looking people, buy a different system.

For how they compliment the game, 8/10.

Sound

The tracks in this game are beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. Hitoshi Sakimoto, composer of Tactics Ogre, Final Fantasy Tactics, and Final Fantasy XII does a wonderful job. The songs don't exactly stick in your head, but I've yet to hear an annoying sound in the game. The tracks compliment and enhance the environments. The songs will immerse you in this game like none other, and you will lose track of time.

Great. Simply great. 10/10

Play Time/Replayability

People have been claiming 20-70 hours for this game. While I haven't yet completed even the main story, I don't think it will be quite 70 hours. However, this game will destroy your life. You will be sucked into this game and you won't be able to quit. The only hope for us is that this probably won't have much replay value, like most RPG's.

Does this really need a number rating?

Final Recommendation

Easily worth buying. $50 for this game will be nothing in a couple years when it'll be as rare as Earthbound. Find it while you still can.

This game, overall, gets a 9/10, only for its small flaws with the map system and lack of polish.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 04/01/08

Game Release: Opoona (US, 03/25/08)


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