|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: ArtePiazza||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: KOEI||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 25, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
In the midst of battle is where the controls begin to feel less mundane, and they actually become fun to use. The bonbon battle system is as simple as it is silly sounding. To attack, you'll pull back on the analog stick to charge your bonbon before flicking it forward to release the thing at the enemy. Holding it down longer will strengthen the power of the charge, and holding it to the left or right will curve your shot in the opposite direction. You can also pull back to arc the shot in an overhand throw or push forward to throw an underhand shot. Both maneuvers can be used to throw your bonbon around and between certain foes to reach others in the back. In addition to your basic attacks, special force abilities and numerous items can be used to deal damage, heal allies or provide an advantage. Upgrades for your bonbon can also add bonuses, elemental damage, and other interesting affects to you attacks. Altogether, there's a suitable variety of options at your disposal for battle.
Initially, Opoona is on his own in combat, but eventually he'll be joined by his siblings who each have their own strengths for lending a hand. Battles play out in real-time, which can make things a little stressful at first, but it never becomes overtly difficult. In fact, most experience RPG players are likely to find it a bit too easy. When Opoona and his allies fall in battle, they're simply transported to the nearest rest area and charged a meager fee for healing and a quick recharge. Then it's a matter of retracing your steps to wherever you died to resume whatever job you were in the middle of. At first, the game's random encounters evoke a brief feeling of nostalgia for traditional RPGs of days past, but that soon wears away.
For every negative aspect of the game that inspires burning frustration to spew forth from your lips, there are plenty of things to like about Opoona. It's a reasonably entertaining game full of cute and colorful characters that are easily digestible by a wide audience. The quest is adequately long for an RPG, and the gameplay is equal parts fun and tedium. Though partially by design, Opoona doesn't do much to shirk the yoke of RPG tradition. Sadly, this eventually this does more harm than good for the otherwise charming title. If you can look beyond that, you might get lost in the adventure at least for a little while.
CCC Freelance Writer