Entry number 48 on the Definitive 50 GameCube games is Odama.
This title is truly unique. It combines the tactical strategy of controlling an army of Japanese feudal-era soldiers with the chaos of, that’s right, pinball.
In this game, players control the field of battle as if it were a pinball table. The L and R trigger buttons are used to move the table’s flippers, while the joystick tilts the table.
You’d better figure out those controls fast if you want to get very far in the game. The pinball, called the Odama, is a mean, temperamental weapon. In theory, it fights on your side, but poorly aimed shots can easily send it careening towards your own troops.
Odama is one of only a handful of GameCube games to use the Microphone accessory. The other titles to use the device are Mario Party 6, Mario Party 7, and Karaoke Revolution Party. The device actually attaches not through a controller port, but the GameCube’s second memory card slot.
Odama is unique in that it also comes with a small plastic clip, used to hold the mic to the controller.
The microphone is used to shout orders at your troops like “charge,” “march left,” “march right,” and “press forward.” The goal is to push past the enemy’s soldiers, and have your men march through a gate at the oposite end of each level carrying a giant bell.
Odama may not have the cleanest graphics for a GameCube game, but its feudal Japan motif is well conveyed through great voice work and other small aesthetic touches.
Frankly, Odama is an overly tough game, and probably best remembered for its uniqueness rather than lasting appeal. It’s still worth checking out though, as you just won’t find another game like it.
Check back next week for entry #47 on the Definitive 50 GameCube games.