Game Reviews

OMG Pirates!

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| OMG Pirates!
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OMG Pirates!
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| OMG Pirates!

Despite sounding like a Tori Spelling special on how to look stylish while dressing like a pirate, the button-mashing action of OMG Pirates! is equally more worried about style than substance.

OMG Pirates! is something of a looker, its side-scrolling beat-'em-up action seemingly lifted straight from the screens of your average Nickelodeon cartoon. In terms of pitch, it's entirely on the money, the 2D cel-shaded visuals merging perfectly with its internet meme setting, the idea of ninjas taking on pirates in an 'OMG' battle being one that could have been sapped straight from the school playground.

While something of a trend setter aesthetically, its gameplay is positively archaic in comparison. It's entirely routine and without compromise, boiling down to two pads – one assigned to offense, the other defence – that dominate your time from beginning to end. Switching between the two buttons in order to kill every living being that wanders on screen being the order of the day.

OMG! Attack the best form of...

Switching between blocking your opponents blows and taking them down with your own strikes is essential to moving forward, but it's one-dimensional design.

Experience earned by defeating enemies enables you to level up, unlocking new moves that the game tosses into the pot quite readily. Their application, however, is restricted to that one same attack button.

This means that, while anyone watching over your shoulder will think you're a ninja master, in reality it doesn't change the gameplay at all. Tap-tap-tapping on the red button becomes boring beyond belief within a stage or two, the levels themselves and the pirates that populate them following a similar, slightly stale, path.

Each stage's setting is merely a backdrop. The foe that comes with each new encounter changes in appearance, but essentially follows the same pattern: it follows you, charges you, shoots at you. Boss style battles do manage to ramp everything up a notch or two, though the formula doesn't vary at any meaningful degree.

Ninja non-event

Simply seeing what fairy dust the game's sparkling visuals will sprinkle on the next level might be motivation enough to keep playing, yet, in truth, it's hard to see OMG Pirates! as anything but a short and ultimately disappointing hack and slash. It's a fresh look applied to a mostly tired and uninspired game.

While there's merit in simply surviving – like all side-scrolling action romps, taking on masses of adversaries is far from easy – the need for variety and dynamic action can't be overstated. As things stand, OMG Pirates! feels like one step forward, two steps back, the battle between ninjas and pirates sadly ending in a no-score draw.

OMG Pirates!

Looking a whole lot better than it plays, OMG Pirates!'s Cartoon Network-esque visuals can't hide the fact that it's an uninspiring hack and slash game - entertaining for short periods but not worthy of much long-term attention
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