Oops, I got an OUYA

OUYA-SystemIf you have read any of my previous posts you will know that I pre-ordered an OUYA back in March. I was happy with this decision based on all the promises made. Some time went on and I learned that some things just weren’t happening as I expected. The main draw for me was OnLive since I already have a couple of games there that I just have not been able to play due to my limited PC power. So I cancelled my OUYA pre-order and after a few weeks of hassling the support team I got a refund. I was happy with this decision as the reviews began rolling in from people who were fortunate enough to get their systems and the general consensus that it wasn’t all that great. After a couple of release date changes that I wasn’t really paying attention to, June 25th rolls around and the OUYA hit retail shelves along with my porch. I never received any notification of shipping, I was never rebilled for the purchase and I still have all the documentation showing the cancellation. According to the FTC I am legally entitled to treat this as a gift.

Once I received this I had a couple of ideas. I could be a complete ass and film myself destroying the system in various manners, but instead I’m going along with the fact that I did at one point want the OUYA and will review it. The first thing I did was hook it up and receive the day-1 firmware update. This took appx 30 minutes and failed on the first try. I then had to enter a credit card to create an account which I wasn’t thrilled about but I did it anyway, then immediately found the parental controls to add a PIN for purchases. I downloaded a few emulators and Shadowgun. I played Shadowgun for 20 minutes, packed up the OUYA and placed it in my closet. That was it. Then I had another idea, too many people are talking about OUYA’s shortcomings I decided that I will show the good things about the OUYA.

The Controller

OUYA-KFOUYA-EvilSticksThe controller has the familiar Xbox layout which is very comfortable. The battery compartments are under the detachable aluminum face plates which gives a good balance to the controller. These face plates being detachable leave open a lot of customization options. Not only can the plates themselves be swapped  and possibly engraved but the control sticks are then extremely easy to access. Switching them out takes a matter of seconds vs 10 minutes on others. I had an extra set of Evil Sticks lying around and swapped mine immediately. The fit seemed good but unfortunately the left stick rubbed against the faceplate eventually taking the logo and some of the glossy finish off. I have since returned the OUYA sticks to the controller. Kontrol Freek sticks are also compatible but you must take extra care in using them as the surface area seems to be slightly bigger than that of the Xbox and PS3 controllers and it is very easy to damage them.

The Games

OUYA-ICE-RAGEAs I stated before I installed Shadowgun first. I’m a big fan of shooters and thought this would be a good test run. Unfortunately I was not impressed. Although the graphics looked decent on my TV it still felt very much like a mobile game. What the OUYA does incredibly well however is couch multiplayer. I have spent several hours playing simple yet fun multiplayer games with my son. Two of my favorites so far are ICE RAGE and Hidden in plain sight. Ice Rage is a simple 1 on 1 hockey game while HIPS is like the Assassin’s Creed multiplayer in a top down format. I am looking forward to checking out others. You Don’t Know Jack is high on my priority list but I hope to get a decent group of intelligent people together to play it, preferably some that own Android devices since it can be controlled with those. I really think that the OUYA will begin to shine in the next 6 months as developers begin to publish titles developed exclusively for it.

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