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Will you buy an Xbox One X on November 7?

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Game Profile
FINAL SCORES
8.5
Visuals
9.0
Audio
9.5
Gameplay
9.0
Features
8.0
Replay
6.0
INFO BOX
PLATFORM:
Xbox
PUBLISHER:
Microsoft
DEVELOPER:
Beep Industries
GENRE: Platformer
PLAYERS:   1
RELEASE DATE:
September 22, 2003
ESRB RATING:
Teen
IN THE SERIES
Voodoo Vince Remastered

 Written by Bryan Montford  on October 14, 2003

Full Review: More fun than should be legally allowed with burlap and beads.


Voodoo: Older than dirt and more mysterious than the secret blend of 11 herbs and spices in the Colonels chicken. I don't know what otherworldly powers are at work here, but the game crafted by Microsoft and Beep Industries casts a powerful spell over all who play Voodoo Vince. I predict that Xbox now has its first hit platformer. This is old-school platform gaming 101. It's all been done before, and, maybe even done better. But Vince has got to be one of the best platform games released for the Xbox to date, and I think it's going to be a while before we see something better. Is it possible that Microsoft has finally found its mascot for the Xbox? Let's review some of what makes this title work so well.

Are you a sucker for story? Vince got story. Madam Charmaine, a powerful Voodoo Priestess has been kidnapped by her arch nemesis, Kosmo the Inscrutable. But his henchmen flub the heist and spill the potent zombie dust Kosmo covets all over New Orleans as they spirit her and it away. New Orleans has been transformed into a funhouse of bedlam and mischief. Voodoo Vince, Madam Charmaine's third best Voodoo doll, has been brought to life by the powerful powder and Madam Charmaine has summoned him to rescue her. Vince faces a nightmarish onslaught of Kosmo's minions and the havoc wreaked by the zombie dust. But he's no average rag doll. Vince has powerful Voodoo spells at his disposal allowing him to unleash maximum mayhem on the monsters he encounters.

Do you go ga-ga for gimmicks? Vince got gimmick. Being a voodoo doll, Vince is nearly indestructible, though he can be harmed by direct attack from the monsters he encounters. A voodoo dolls greatest power is the ability to transfer its misfortunes onto its victims, and Vince does this with style. Whether dissolved with acid, reduced to cinders by a flying saucer, or subjected to indescribable intestinal distress via industrial laxatives, Vince's foes face the full brunt of his unfortunate experiences. You'll want to be sure and collect every voodoo power icon you can find so you have more spells at your disposal. It's the fastest rout to exterminating any irksome monster infestations you may discover. But to use those powers you must collect Mardi Gras beads, and beads are dropped by the creatures Vince defeats; The bigger the bead the greater the power. Once you've accumulated enough beads your power meter will fill up and a skull icon will appear signifying that you are now capable of using your voodoo powers.

Are you attracted to adventure? Vince got adventure. You'll journey though Old New Orleans and the French Quarter, through graveyards and bayou, and eventually face Kosmo the Inscrutable in the Carnival DePrave. You'll face Pit Frogs and Gingerdead Men, Zombies, Imps, and gigantic boss battles! At least eight different voodoo vehicles will help convey you to your final confrontation allowing you to fly, sail, ride, slide, dive, bump, and hurl yourself through the funhouse world you'll traverse. And all the classic adventure game elements are here too. There are puzzles to solve, quests to complete, and items to gather - not to mention the power ups and other paraphernalia you can collect along the way.

Even if you're not bonkers about our burlap buddy, it's hard to imagine someone not being impressed with this game. Voodoo Vince is rich with detail and rife with superb craftsmanship. People put love into making this game. You don't make this sort of effort just because someone is handing you a paycheck. The music and artwork seldom fail to please, and check out the attention lavished on the levels and the characters themselves. When visiting Crypt City take a really good look around you. Whose name is that on that crypt, and why did he love a good sandwich? How many developers can you find spending eternity cooling their heels in the mausoleums and tombs that cover the land? The spot-on mechanics and technical perfection round out a nearly impeccable package. Microsoft and Beep should be very proud of themselves.

But the game does have its downfalls. Depending on the same formula that most every successful platformer has ever used plays into a safe zone should make Microsoft feel like they aren't going to get taken to the cleaners on this one, but it creates a feeling of complacency and a certain thread-worn kind of comfort. If stripped of all the beautiful content the game itself would be little more than a competent exercise in platform gaming. Occasionally things get repetitive, or even frustrating. There's a little bit of a control issue with Vince. It's really minor, but enough to cause needless deaths in some sections. And if you aren't stumped by some puzzle, or trying to time a jump just right, there's little effort required to sail through the levels for most gamers over the age of 8. There's not an overwhelming wealth of replay value, meaning this title may gather dust sooner than it really deserves too.

Bottom Line
In spite of its flaws, I believe Microsoft and Beep have a hit on their hands. Voodoo Vince is sheer joy to play, and a gorgeous feast for the senses. There are even some parts that are almost genuinely creepy. I've loved playing it, and so has my family. I think you will too. So head out to your favorite retail location and see what black magic has been whipped up for you and your Xbox this Halloween season.


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