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OUYA Review - More Whimper Than Bang

Ma'idah Lashani | 9 Jul 2013 20:00
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After you've registered you'll finally have access to the OUYA database, a library of games apparently hovering around 200 at the time of writing, but at first seeming only barely in the double digits. That's probably because the games are arranged into a series of playlists, the first several of which belong to random people in the games industry who all seemed to have played the same few titles. The Genres and Latest lists are way down at the bottom of the page, making it rather inconvenient to browse the entire archive. Being Android games, most of them are really simplistic or just downright old. A re-released Final Fantasy III is one of the most robust games currently available, both in terms of appearance and storyline, and, lest you forget, that little gem is nearly 25 years old now. If you don't like what you find in the catalogue, you might think of making a game yourself, as one of the main draws of the OUYA is its self-publishing platform. If you were hoping this would be like Little Big Planet, offering tools to create your own game, you'll be disappointed. You're simply given an avenue to upload an already designed and programmed game, which doesn't offer incentive to regular consumers.

If all of that wasn't underwhelming enough, the controller also starts to make your hands ache after only a few minutes of gameplay, as the angle of the grip is ever so slightly off. While you shift it in your palm you'll notice little pieces of plastic shrink-wrap clinging stubbornly to the handle. That damn material is so freaking hard to remove, like peeling a half boiled egg. And ultimately that is how the majority of the OUYA experience comes off: underdeveloped and a little cheap.

Bottom Line: An interesting idea, but the finished product feels prematurely delivered.

Recommendation: Considering the low price point, the size and the resilience of the device, this probably wouldn't be a bad purchase for a family looking strictly to play games. It's also a good investment for Android game developers looking to get more eyes on their content. The majority of people are much better off sticking to the existing platforms for now, though.

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