PC | 3DS, DS, PSP | Wii | PlayStation 3 | Xbox 360 | Retired: GBA | GameCube |PlayStation 2| Xbox |

News | Reviews | Previews | Features | Classics | Goodies | Anime | YouTube



only search AE

 

Platform

Xbox

 

Genre

Platform

 

Publisher

Microsoft

 

Developer

Beep Industries

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

September 2003

 

 

- Great writing

- Good atmosphere created by the audio/visual components

- All the standard platformer conventions are accounted for

 

 

- Some levels lack direction

- A lot of instant death

 

 

Review: Blinx - The Time Sweeper (XB)

Review: Vexx (XB)

Review: Super Mario Sunshine (GC)

 

Newsletter

Be notified of site updates. Sign-up for the Newsletter sent out twice weekly.

Enter E-Mail Address Below:


Subscribe | Unsubscribe

Voodoo Vince

Score: 8.4 / 10

There are very few instances of me ever laughing out loud at dialogue found in a platformer, but I found myself laughing out loud quite a bit while playing Voodoo Vince – a game that puts you in control of a 3rd string voodoo doll on a mission to free his owner.  

 

voodoo-vince-1a.jpg (43266 bytes)          voodoo-vince-2a.jpg (49080 bytes)

 

You’ll face off against all manner of bizarre denizen during the quest (including a two-headed crocodile and a doll with serious mental problems) and be tasked with the usual platformer objectives (collecting knick-knacks, etc.).  The novelty of Voodoo Vince (VV) comes from the voodoo powers which are basically Vince’s über move that wipes out all but the most powerful enemies. (Yes, he has regular punch/jump/float moves, too.)  Simultaneously pressing the L and R triggers activates the power (provided you have your magic meter filled) and unleashes some serious hurt – first to Vince, then to any nearby enemies.  I don’t know exactly how many über moves Vince has access to (I lost count) but it has to be in the dozens, most of which are imaginative and fun to watch – such as Vengeful God, a move that Monty Python fans will appreciate, which features a big foot squishing Vince into the ground.  Once you’ve collected the voodoo token for an über move – the tokens are scattered throughout the game world – it’s entered into Vince’s repertoire.  You can’t specify which power you’ll use so there’s always a bit of variety (instead of watching the same animations over and over and over).

 

Advertisement

 


 

- Xbox Game Reviews

- Platform Game Reviews

- Reviews of Games from Microsoft

When it comes to defeating boss characters, Vince’s über moves are useless.  Instead he has to set the ball in motion so that he can be hurt in a variety of creative ways.  For example, when facing off against the doll with mental problems, Vince has to set two toy trains on a collision course then race across the area to wait for the two trains to crash into each other – with Vince in-between – to cause damage to the doll.  This also brings to the fore VV’s puzzles.

Advertisement

 

When it comes to defeating boss characters, Vince’s über moves are useless.  Instead he has to set the ball in motion so that he can be hurt in a variety of creative ways.  For example, when facing off against the doll with mental problems, Vince has to set two toy trains on a collision course then race across the area to wait for the two trains to crash into each other – with Vince in-between – to cause damage to the doll.  This also brings to the fore VV’s puzzles.

 

To overcome some obstacles, Vince must light himself on fire then touch off dynamite.  Throw in the need to launch him across the room via strategically placed crossbows so that the dynamite can be touched off and you have a typical puzzle found in VV.  (Or a “capture the flag”-like challenge to attract zombies.)  Most importantly, the goals make sense (although they aren’t always so obvious).  VV has its fair share of “mini-games” and errand running – a fact Vince sarcastically comments on – but it still fits with the environment you’re in and with the overall tone and themes of the game.  And you're not always on foot either.  Vince takes to the air, water and laundry lines on occasion, and the game engine is versatile enough that these switches don't feel out of place.  In fact, at times it feels like VV is about to break into a kart game.

 

However, VV features much instant death.  If Vince hits any body of water deeper than an inch, he dies and there are lots of bottomless pits to fall (or be knocked) into.  This takes me back to the 8-bit days where some games went out of their way to push gamers to the edge of insanity!  And then there are the long falls to deal with.  You know, getting to the top of the level only to misstep then start again from the ground.  (Vince's ability to descend slowly comes in handy.)

 

Beep Industries didn’t skimp on the presentation.  VV moves very smoothly and sounds great with lots of bluesy and bayou tunes.  Stylistically, VV borrows from the whacked out designs of Day of the Tentacle, with lots of warped surfaces and crazy angles.  I have yet to find a way to skip the in-game cutscenes, but otherwise there’s not much to complain about, except that some levels are so friggin’ wide-open that an obvious goal or exit isn’t so obvious creating a lot of aimless wandering.

 

voodoo-vince-3a.jpg (40589 bytes)          voodoo-vince-4a.jpg (57906 bytes)

 

It’s during the cutscenes that a lot of the humor is found (and not just the “groan” kind of humor).  When I first played through VV, the writing somehow felt “familiar.”  It wasn’t until watching the credits that I clued in to why it felt that way.  Dave Grossman gets the writing credit for VV.  If you’re the old school type, you’ll recognize Grossman’s name from Day of the Tentacle – maybe one of the funniest games ever thanks to him and Tim Schafer.  However, it is Clayton Kauzlaric that indeed wrote the script (with Dave having run an editing pass on it), who worked a number of years with Ron Gilbert at Cavedog/Humongous Entertainment.  So there is a very noticeable LucasArts shtick in the humour of VV.

 

Would I recommend Voodoo Vince to everyone?  No, but it certainly comes recommended to platformer fans.  VV has enough going for it – an amiable style, easy control, good puzzles, the platformer conventions, and humor – that it’s time well spent.

 

- Omni

(October 11, 2003)

Digg this Article!  | del.icio.us 

Advertise | Site Map | Staff | RSS Feed           Web Hosting Provided By: Hosting 4 Less

Affiliates:

 - CivFanatics-   - Coffee, Bacon, Flapjacks! -    - Creative Uncut -      - DarkZero -     - Dreamstation.cc -   

 - gamrReview-     - Gaming Target-    - I Heart Dragon Quest -    - New Game Network -

- The Propoganda Machine -    - PS3 : Playstation Universe -     - Zelda Dungeon - 

All articles ©2000 - 2014 The Armchair Empire.

All game and anime imagery is the property of their respective owners.

Privacy Statement - Disclaimer