Microsoft’s latest platform game, Voodoo Vince, is their attempt to take the platform genre by storm as they did with halo and the “shooter” genre. This is a great-looking and quite frankly a very good sounding game.
In this game you play Vince, a voodoo doll belonging to a voodoo doctor called Madame Charmaine. You are her third class Voodoo doll. Basically the story line is that a group of thugs steal some Zombie dust from Madame Charmaine’s shop. The Zombie dust is capable of warping reality and the baddy in this game, Kosmo the Inscrutable, wants it desperately. While attempting to steal the dust, Kosmo’s henchman get disturbed by Madame Charmaine and some Voodoo dust falls upon a voodoo doll called Vince and brings him to life. For good measure the henchman also take Madame Charmaine. This just leaves the little 10″ high Voodoo doll called Vince to save the world from the evil Kosmo and the reality warping Zombie dust.
You play the game in a very different way to many current games, being a voodoo doll Vince is quite vulnerable to direct attacks of magic but is rarely hurt by the usual things such as falling and getting squished. You hurt others by hurting yourself!
What can I say? The graphics are as sharp, crystal clear and colourful as we would except from our wonder console the Xbox. Vince is well animated and has a very quirky cartoon look. The game sports themed and well rendered environments that range from New Orleans and sewers, to graveyards and caves, although a little dark at sometimes (this could just be my screen setup so don’t hold it against the game). Voodoo Vince runs at a lovely steady 30fps and has quite large environments to investigate that take advantage of some nice texture mapping and light effect. In all these make the levels quite interesting and are pleasing to the eye. My only complaint would be that sometimes (as usual!) the camera is at such an angle that you can’t quite determine if ground is safe for you to stand on, this doesn’t really detract from game play too much but can be a little irritating now and again.
You are directed through the levels by Madame Charmaine via mind link. Most of the levels are quite straight forward and do not tend to contain multiple pathways for you to get lost along. As I mentioned earlier the game has an interesting twist that means that by hurting yourself you hurt your enemy, the wonders of being a Voodoo Doll! Vince has a very small range of moves, jumping and spinning are about it. To kill off small zombie dust created creatures you can spin with your arms out and basically slap the enemies to death. This gives out small magic beads that fill up Vince’s voodoo power gauge. Vince can preform magic Voodoo spells which do such funny things as pulling out a chainsaw and chopping himself in half, this in turn does exactly that to all the creatures within a certain radius of Vince. Voodoo Vince is not just your average bashing and killing type platform game, all the way through you are challenged with many puzzles, even the killing of the badies often requires you to think of a weird and wonderful way of doing it. This definitely helps to keep you interested in the game and can make it very addictive (trust me, I couldn’t get my fianc?e and best mate off the damn game for days!). The game is tricky enough to make it a bit of a challenge, but, not so complicated that you get bored and leave it alone. Voodoo Vince has a wide range of enemies that get slightly more difficult to defeat as you go through the game. Vince also has quite a funny attitude and regularly makes very dry, very funny jokes and puns that keep you amused while the game goes on.
The sound is great, it’s very well voiced and Vince is constantly firing out little quips and mocking people. The music in the game can be quite upbeat and the sound effects are realistic and clear. At no point did I think that the so called effects were overboard or under done. Vince regularly mocks himself and the game for being “just another platformer” which is quite amusing. One of my favorite little sayings from Vince is “Oh, am I still here? Try not to kill me this time!”
I think I can say without a shadow of a doubt that my fianc?e would happily play the game again. It takes somewhere around 10?12 hours of solid playing time to complete the first time around, and you can skip collection of many of the in game extras on your first crack at it. So it’s good for another go, collect more stuff and try and complete it faster. Nothing ever really changes in the game but that doesn’t detract from the fact that it’s re-playable.
I think that Microsoft has done very well with Voodoo Vince. It’s definitely not on the same echelon with Halo, but it’s definitely a great game for anybody that likes a good platform game. Vince will keep you amused and thinking hard for many an hour. All in all it wasn’t quite as good as expected, but it was a great game and I didn’t feel let down.