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Which Console Did You Buy/Receive Over The Holidays?

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Game Profile
Beep Industries
GENRE: Platformer
September 22, 2003
Voodoo Vince Remastered

 Written by Bryan Montford  on September 03, 2003

First Impressions: Magic 8 Ball Says: ?Outlook Good? for Voodoo Vince

The story is a simple and effective one: A terrible crime has been committed and in the process a magical powder was released transforming all of New Orleans into a nightmarish funhouse complete with monsters and ghosts. This very accident also infused Voodoo Vince with life, and at the telepathic urges of his owner he becomes a reluctant, yet endearing hero.

Being a voodoo doll, Vince naturally has as certain amount of magical power. As you play Vince will discover new powers creating a stream of very entertaining ways to off your enemies en mass. The twist is the very fact that Vince is a voodoo doll. Do you drop the magically conjured anvil on the baddies head? No! You drop it on your head. Need to put the heat on a boss? Set yourself on fire! The mischief that Vince inflicts upon himself is transferred to his most unfortunate victims in hilarious fashion. There are enough of these that Vince's antics should keep you in stitches right unto the end of the game.

Let's take a moment to cast an eye at Vince, himself, shall we? He's short, he's burlap, and he's a heapin' helping of bad mojo with attitude (of course). Pins stick all akimbo from his patch worked noggin and a single eye graces Vince's voodoo visage. He doesn't go over the top with his personality the way some game characters do. In fact, although quite eccentric (what do you expect, he's a voodoo doll!) he's a down to earth enough guy. You'll find him likeable and laughable, not irritating or irksome as some protagonists become. The voice work for Vince is wonderful and ads depth and feeling to the little one-eyed wise guy. He's also easily controllable. Vince is an appealing, if not very unusual, and well-rounded character.

The soundtrack is quite often a real joy. I love good music, and this is music with soul. Real musicians' busted real butt to make these tunes so perfectly captivating. The tracks add a layer of sophistication that's unusual for a game of this type. We're talking seriously primo quality tunes. Not some pre-made mechanized slop from a box. They add something extra special to an extraordinary title. I've spent some time doing audio engineering and I found myself paying a lot of attention to how the music was recorded. This is something I usually reserve for well-made recordings, but infrequently for a video game.

The different stages themselves continue this theme of well thought craftsmanship. The off kilter world Vince inhabits seems to be a Burtonesque creation rife with atmosphere and funk. You can certainly feel the vibe of Old New Orleans in the first stage and the detail is stunning and fresh. Later levels don't disappoint and draw you into their depths just begging to be explored. And you'll want to explore. Not only will you find lots of hidden items and goodies along the way, you might also discover novel ways to interact with your environment. Not everything allows you to interact, but a large portion of what you'll see does. Remember to play and discover. You may be rewarded in unexpected ways.

Final Thoughts
If someone asked me to describe Voodoo Vince in a single word, I'd say "Spellbinding." This charming platformer delivers some of the most original gameplay I've seen on the Xbox to date. Environments are rich and exceptionally detailed. The soundtrack is exemplary and the overall craftsmanship is superb. While I don't know what the finished game will be like, I can tell you the preview I saw indicates this should be a must have for anyone with an Xbox.

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