Each level specifies which heroes are available for the Cloud Whales to bring along, and the levels are laid out accordingly to match the heroes’ abilities. Players are required to figure out how to synergize their heroes abilities in order to progress and beat the level. Sometimes it’s very straightforward with the objectives leading you step-by-step, with huge rainbow arrows pointing at the items you need to interact with. Other times you’re just left with the objective to get through a certain gate where you’ll have to perform a long chain of actions in order to do it. Okabu does a good job with introducing new tools at a slow but steady pace, keeping things fresh. So, for example, you’re not just stuck with solely pulling down bridges and levers on Monkfish the entire game.
Overall, Okabu handles co-op well (though players are confined to a 2-player, local co-op experience). Players can drop in or out with ease, letting the other player continue playing with control of both Cloud Whales (hitting the triangle button allows you to switch between the whales in single-player). Okabu is certainly more fun as a co-op experience, and while it does suffer some of the common shared screen problems (e.g. getting stuck in little corners until your partner comes back so you can properly backtrack), they don't end up being too much of an issue (I'm looking at you, Dungeon Siege 3).
Like all games, though, Okabu does have its share of glitches and annoyances. Once while I was playing the game froze, requiring a restart of my PS3. Fortunately, it was very near to the beginning of the level, so I'd barely lost any progress. This would have been a severe annoyance, however, if I'd be further into the level since there's no checkpointing system within levels (annoying in and of itself). A couple of times my co-op buddy or I got stuck in little problem areas of the map, but again we fortunately didn't get perma-stuck, which would've required a restart of the level. These types of problems were certainly not severe enough to be game-breaking, but they're something to watch out for.
In general, Okabu is a fun, “puzzle-lite” game that can be played by a wide variety of players. It has a unique art style, a high amount of content for a downloadable title, and even a PSN platinum trophy for those of you who are into such things. It won't keep you on the edge of your seat, but it's a nice little game to play a level or two for laid-back gaming session.
The Co-Op Experience: A 2 player co-op action adventure game through the entire story campaign and also the mini games (only confirmed locally so far). The camera adapts to frame the action, rather than splitting the screen.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.