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Review

Octodad: Dadliest Catch Review

  • Game release: October 31, 2011
  • Reviewed:
  • PC

Flailing away.

by

For a typical hero like Superman, saving dozens of people from a burning building may be all in a day's work. But Octodad is a different kind of hero, one whose struggles remind us that the trials and tribulations of everyday life can be tough for us all. You see, Octodad has carved out an ordinary life for himself as a husband and father, but secretly, he's an octopus, which makes living this ordinary life especially difficult. Ordinary tasks like making coffee and mowing the lawn are acts that require determination and heroism when you've got flailing octopus tentacles instead of human hands. Initially, the juxtaposition of common domestic situations with the gleefully absurd concept makes Octodad: Dadliest Catch a delightful comic romp. However, as the game progresses, it gets away from its spirit of leisurely whimsy, with stealth sequences and boss battles that don't play to the strengths of Octodad's goofy controls.

Simply walking around takes more focus in Octodad than it does in your typical game, because you must hold the left and right bumpers to raise your left or right "legs" and then maneuver those legs around with thumbsticks. It's almost impossible to walk around as Octodad without knocking over objects left and right, and that's a big part of the fun. Here you are, an octopus in a tuxedo on your wedding day, walking down the aisle, making a complete mess of things, and yet nobody suspects a thing. Like walking around, interacting with objects is also a lot more complicated for Octodad than it is for your typical video game hero. The fact that you use one thumbstick to move your "arm" horizontally and another to move it vertically fills tasks like grilling burgers and shopping for groceries with the potential for hilarious physical comedy.

The early stages aren't challenging in the least, and this works in the game's favor. You can just relax and laugh at yourself as your attempts to do ordinary things are rendered anything but ordinary by the fact that you are an octopus. But before long, Dadliest Catch loses its way. Despite Octodad's burbled objections, the family takes a trip to the local aquarium. Octodad is terrified of the aquarium because the marine biologists there, with their exhaustive knowledge of sea creatures and their remarkable powers of deductive reasoning, can see through his carefully constructed disguise and determine that he is, in fact, no ordinary father, but a cephalo-pop. You must sneak around these marine biologists, and once the game starts actually demanding some degree of physical prowess from you, the looseness and complexity that previously made the controls fun to grapple with suddenly make them frustrating.

Yeah, this could be a little tricky.

It's hard to see the humor in a situation when you find yourself failing it repeatedly and applying trial and error to find a path that might successfully take you through a treacherous environment. Additionally, the activities you have to complete at the aquarium lack the domestic quality that makes the first few stages so amusing. The game is at its funniest when it puts the absurd Octodad in ordinary situations. It's a lot less funny when the situations he's placed in are as absurd as he is.

There also just aren't enough situations in Octodad in general. You can easily complete the game in about two hours, and it ends up feeling like an incomplete experience that doesn't come close to fulfilling its potential. Although the flimsy narrative couldn't be more cliche in its communication of a message about loving ourselves and each other for who we really are, Octodad is an endearing hero whose struggle to live an ordinary life under extraordinary circumstances is bizarrely inspiring. Unfortunately, Dadliest Catch is just an inconsistent, intermittently hilarious trifle, and not the game this terrific character deserves.

The Good
Controls make simple tasks comically difficult
Humorously places an absurd character in ordinary domestic situations
The Bad
Becomes less enjoyable as it becomes more demanding
Feels like an insubstantial trifle rather than a complete experience
6
Fair
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

/ Staff

Carolyn is not secretly an octopus living as a human, but her life has nonetheless taught her a thing or two about the importance of self-acceptance. She played through most of Dadliest Catch's stages twice for this review.

Discussion

82 comments
Freeze-dried
Freeze-dried

It's easy to imagine the game starting out fun on the best levels, then getting blander and blander as it moves forward. Heaps of games do that. 

VegasAceVII
VegasAceVII

2 hours of semi-frustrating gameplay?  Pass; I'll wait for PS PLUS.

marceldelta
marceldelta

As always Carolyn's review is exactly what I expect: the best out there. She always sees what the other BS websites overlook and always demands something from the game than the usual functional things.


Where's the character TRUE depth? Does it have any or it's just forced (both Lara Croft and Kratos in their last game)?


Is the story another forced video game drama (Dishonored, I Am Alive) or it is a true original story (Gone Home, The Swapper)?


Is the game true art (Thirty Flights of Loving) or forced art (a little of Bioshock, indies' minimalist visuals)?


Is the gameplay really functional and it is fitting to the game's purpose (Brothers: a Tale of Two Sons, Thomas Was Alone, The Swapper) or it's just another multi task game that tries to do everything and does nothing good (Dead Island, Crysis)


She is the no.1 game critic IMHO nowadays. And I bet she was as pissed off and disgusted as I was that Gone Home wasn't the Game of the Year. 

PowerDingALing
PowerDingALing

Terrible review as always, Carolyn. You're complaining about the strongest points.

If, you don't like the game, OK... But I NEVER agree with your reviews, and I'm not alone.

You got some troubles.

And please, stop using every single review as a space to tell us about your life and your self-acceptance. We really don't want to know.

emilio721
emilio721

Mein gud! NOT Carolyn again! Deaaamn!

El_Zaggy
El_Zaggy

I check the score I was like woa. I had a blast playing the game, and a lot of review sites put a bigger score than that so I looked to name of the reviewer,,,,, and there is no surprise there. this reviewer always look for trouble and controversy by giving bad score and bad reviews to games. The guy who reviewed to game is just a failure so you guys should just go play the game its amazing, a nice blast of comedy. But hey dont play it if you are a frustrated guy that disguise himself has a woman to get attention.

NightOfInsomnia
NightOfInsomnia

Great review! I agree with your assessment. The game was a lot of fun in the beginning and the controls made for some hilarious moments. I wish we could have explored other facets of his life like being at work. However, once it started forcing you into stealth situations and the like, it just became frustrating. Also, at 90 minutes, this game is not worth the admission price of $15. Once it hits around $5 - $7, I'd say it would be a good buy.

daviz88
daviz88

never had high hope for this game. the movement of the octodad just looks broken

and what the hell is with the story anyway  " a woman marries an octopus" is this hentai ?

Ensabuhnur
Ensabuhnur

This game looked poor from the day they announced it, but hey some reviewers say its ok.  Ill pass unless its free on psn+

bimmyzz
bimmyzz

thank God i didn't see this review before i bought the game.

nayce54
nayce54

good job Carolyn Petit. Awesome review. I want buy this game.

hadlee73
hadlee73

Two hours eh? Makes me wonder why all the release delays when its that short.

redder1111
redder1111

don't listen to these shitfucks Carolyn. 

you're awesome at your job. you and Kevin are my only hope in current generation of GS to be honest... 

the only ones who can review a game truly and the true successors of old GS

zerofrust
zerofrust

Gee,looking forward the Honey Moon...

OneStrong2
OneStrong2

Personally, I don't know which is more unbelievable: the absurdity of people who can't see an octopus in a suit, that's right in front of them,  or the people on here bawking about the reviewer's score. Suffice to say, to each his own. Arguably, people who are more coordinated will get more enjoyment while the rest will ragequit. Just because you enjoyed it doesn't make it the greatest game in the world, so stop WHINING! and stop acting that way!

t3h_h3rb
t3h_h3rb

I have to agree, although i didn't find the second half to be as frustrating as some people claim it is. I'm mainly disappointed in the amount of content. It really is only about two hours long, but there is a little bit of extra content on the steam workshop and hopefully there will be more.

notsonegi
notsonegi

No mention of the co-op mode?

supa_badman
supa_badman

honestly just happy with the premise

radcrab123
radcrab123

a octopus having human kids...............


ive seen enough things to know where this is going

Iemander
Iemander

Always sad to see game developers not having the kind of cash as Eidos had when they paid Kane & Lynch off.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@VintAge68  

Also, if you are going that Alex Navarro's review is "better" because it has "consistency" and is longer, then someone else can counter-argue that any "consistency" that he has is that he cuts the game a lot of slack (which is already a form of bias, if you haven't realized already) and that his review is long-winded on drumming the same "consistent" message over and over.

Again, I repeat: opinions vary.

Stu-pendous
Stu-pendous

Even with a potentially promising premise, Octodad has the lingering impression of a game conceived with heart but ultimately underdeveloped.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@PowerDingALing  

Well, too bad for you that she won't likely stop anytime soon.
I recall that in a recent GameSpot Gameplay episode, she's proud to express her personal opinions.

Maybe you should consider staying away from this site.

Renoo27
Renoo27

@daviz88  *Vader voice* I find your lack of humour disturbing. 

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@bimmyzz  

I wonder why you even bother looking at reviews when you buy games before you even look up their reviews. :/

PowerDingALing
PowerDingALing

@redder1111 I think I know your sexual orientation... It's OK for me, really. Just don't like the fact that some homossexuals wants to control the world, these days.

max-hit
max-hit

Then what are you still doing here?

max-hit
max-hit

But Kevin loves you.

VintAge68
VintAge68

@Gelugon_baat No, you're always right. And the GS editors' reviews are by default the "most helpful" ones, even if they miss the point.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@Total_mischief

Now, if you are going to argue about the technical aspects of a review, then I would partially agree with you.

Yet, I will insist on this: there is no official convention to compare the more opinionated aspects of a review to those of another.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@Total_mischief

I disagree. Also, I am "wrong" in your eyes only because you think that your opinion is "right".

I will still repeat what I said: there is no official convention to compare different reviews with one another, especially on their non-technical aspects, I would add.

Total_mischief
Total_mischief

@Gelugon_baat @VintAge68  You're wrong. Biased would be to pretend that Navarro's review is better only because Navarro wrote it. As far as opinions go, a review is not only an opinion, a review is an analysis on all the aspects of a game and going in-depth in the different mechanics and can be judged, beyond opinion, based on that. I'm not making any reference to either reviews as I've only read this one, but even if opinions vary, a review can be better, more thought out and more complete than another review.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@VintAge68 

"Quality" defined by who? You?

I see different reviews merely as different opinions.

With that said, without any unanimously-agreed-upon convention to measure any review against another, any comparison is tainted by bias.

VintAge68
VintAge68

@Gelugon_baat Did you read it at all? With all your free speech advocacy stuff is one not even allowed to distinguish reviews by their quality? Pheouh...

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@VintAge68

You are already inherently biased when you cited that Navarro's review is "better".

Octodad: Dadliest Catch More Info

  • Released
    • Macintosh
    • PC
    • + 2 more
    • PlayStation 4
    • Unix/Linux
    Octodad is a third-person adventure game about destruction, deception, and fatherhood.
    7.4
    Average User RatingOut of 18 User Ratings
    Please Sign In to rate Octodad: Dadliest Catch
    Developed by:
    Young Horses, Inc, Kevin Zuhn
    Published by:
    Young Horses, Inc
    Genres:
    Third-Person, Adventure
    Not yet assigned a final ESRB rating. Appears only in advertising, marketing and promotional materials related to a game that is expected to carry an ESRB rating, and should be replaced by a game's rating once it has been assigned.
    Rating Pending
    PC
    Content is generally suitable for ages 10 and up. May contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.
    Everyone 10+
    PS4