As you can see, the game opens and doesn’t crash to the home screen, but also can’t be played very well either. Since there’s no gamepad support, you’re stuck having to hit one of the three attack buttons and maybe moving around a bit if you’re lucky. While the game’s tablet controls are okay, it does seem like a game that would benefit greatly from using a gamepad – especially with it having an on-screen layout that resembles an actual controller. While this looks and sounds as good as could be expected given the core game, it sadly doesn’t provide the OUYA with a wrestling experience worth playing. Next, let’s look at some Sonic games available on the Amazon Appstore – Sonic CD and both episodes of Sonic 4.
Each game runs perfectly and can be completely controlled in-game with the buttons, d-pad, or left thumbstick if you so desire. This means that they’re pretty much ideal for sideloading and that if you’ve already got the games, there’s very little reason to spend $7 on the OUYA versions of Sonic 4. While it’s great to support Sega putting quality content on the system, their price is too high given that they are just ported mobile games right down to the mobile-only loop-de-loop effect. Sonic CD is not yet on the OUYA store, and the sideloaded mobile version runs perfectly. It offers up about the same experience you’ll find on the PSN/XBLA/Steam versions, only with on-screen buttons that sadly can’t be removed from the screen. Fortunately for Gunman Clive, that game supports removing them.
As mentioned before, this is a game I’ve bought more than once to play it with a controller and sideloading it on the OUYA makes the OUYA the best way to play it. As a mobile game, it’s one of the few platformers I’ve tried that works well enough with a virtual d-pad/button setup to control reasonably well, but I couldn’t help but shake the feeling that it absolutely had to be played with a controller to be fully enjoyed. Enter the 3DS version – for a few dollars, I was able to rectify that issue, but then had to put up with playing it on a smaller screen. So I was able to fix one problem and create another at the same time. By sideloading my Kindle Fire version of the game, I’m able to not only play it on a controller, but on a big screen as well. The graphics look crisp and the unique art style pops more now than it does on a small screen. Also, despite the OUYA pad’s faults, it manages to play this game perfectly with the d-pad and buttons being responsive enough to get out of tricky situations. Now, let’s look at the greatest visual showcase on the system yet – Riptide GP.
From Vector Unit, the developers of the incredible Hydro Thunder Hurricane on the 360, this game has received critical acclaim for setting a high benchmark for graphics on mobile devices and can be played on the OUYA with minimal effort. While it won’t work with the controller immediately, if you plug in a USB mouse and drag the menu over to the right, you’ll be able to select twin stick controller support. With that ready to go, you can now navigate all menus and play the game using just the controller. The left stick moves while the right does tricks while the default button layout gives you retro-styled controls without triggers, it feels a bit more natural to map gas and brake to them. Since you can rebind the commands to any button, this game has the best control setup of anything I’ve sideloaded. It’s a shame the game isn’t a bit more stable though. It sucks to get into the thick of things and then have it crash. Given how well the game works on the OUYA sideloaded, it would be surprising if it never got an official release on the storefront. One game I enjoyed playing sideloaded despite some issues was ILLUSIA.
It’s an RPG side-scrolling action-platformer hybrid and unlike anything on the OUYA. Strangely, it uses the controller, but not really well in all regards. The d-pad or left stick move you around, but like the original release of Muramasa, up on the d-pad is what’s used for jump instead of a button. This felt horrible eons ago in Kung Fu and still feels weird now. What’s worse is that there’s a small delay in the jump controls and diagonal jumps are nearly impossible. Menu navigation is also strange because you can move around the sub-menus to some degree, but it’s never made clear if you can save or not.
Despite those issues, and the plot…being there and getting in the way of all the action no matter how much you click to skip, I think this is still worth checking out on the OUYA because it is still a lot of fun to play and it’s addictive to just go through hordes of enemies to try and level up one more time. That just about covers my most notable Amazon Appstore games, so let’s get into the Humble Bundle ones. First, there’s the mobile and Steam hit Super Hexagon, and then we’ll get into Dynamite Jack.
Super Hexagon works perfectly using the left stick or d-pad without any modification, while Dynamite Jack works reasonably well without customizing the controls as long as you keep the pointer close to the bombs. It plays much better when you customize the controls, but will still kick your ass quickly. With the gamepad controls, it feels much closer to the PC version and is a bit easier to control. If you’re a regular Humble Android Bundle-buyer, an OUYA purchase is one way to get even more use out of top-notch games you don’t have to spend default app store prices on.
Riptide GP is easily the most impressive game of the bunch, while Gunman Clive may be the most fun due to it being far more stable. The Sonic games are outstanding in sideloaded form, while TNA Impact could’ve been decent in theory if it had some pad support. Both Humble Bundle games I tried worked marvelously. While the sideloading results are a bit mixed, when they work pretty well like Clive and Riptide, they can give your OUYA some real timesinks. If you try something and it doesn’t work, you’re not really out anything and can just quickly delete the file to free up space to try something else out. Anyone with a lot of tablet games that either support gamepads or seem like they would translate to them nicely should give them a shot if they’ve got an OUYA — they’re an excellent way to get more use out of the platform and make the wait for the next big release easier to bear.