Voodoo Vince Xbox
by Microsoft Game Studios
Developed by Beep Industries
Released: Out Now
With the Xbox heading for it's second Christmas here in the UK, it's fair to say that one genre that looks a little forgotten is the Platform genre. With the exception of the rather unusual Blinx there has been little to shout about. However as we approach Christmas, Microsoft Game Studios and Beep Industries have given us Voodoo Vince to help satisfy our need for a good platform game. Let's take a look and see if this 'Burlap Boy' has what it takes.
You've probably already guessed from looking at the screenshots that Vince is a Voodoo doll. In fact to be precise he is one of Madam Charmaine's voodoo dolls and not a very important one at that. However, that is all going to change. The enemy in Voodoo Vince is, the rather wacky, Kosmo the Inscrutable. Kosmo is a bit of a half-wit and although he wants to learn magic, he simply doesn't have the intelligence to do so. The game begins with Kosmo's henchmen, Jeb and Fingers, breaking into Madam Charmaine's voodoo shop and not only kidnapping some of her possessions but also Madam Charmaine herself. Even worse the potent zombie dust, which she has just had a shipment of, has been leaked into the outside world and now all kinds of enemies have been created. Madam Charmaine calls upon Vince to come to her rescue and this is where you come in.
Voodoo Vince is quite unlike any platform game you've played before. The biggest difference being with Vince himself. In order to defeat key enemies you're going to have to hurt yourself which makes sense as after all you are a voodoo doll. All the boss battles need you to do great harm to yourself which of course then transfers to the enemy. Don't worry though as this doesn't hurt Vince in the slightest. Of course inflicting damage on yourself wouldn't be very feasible with every enemy and Vince has his punch, spin and head slam moves to do damage in a more conventional way. Enemies such as Pit Frogs, Gingerdead men, Bubba Gators, Killadillos and Imps can be taken out in the usual way.
Throughout the game you'll collect various voodoo power icons and these will give Vince a special voodoo power. Voodoo powers need fuelling though and Vince will have to collect the Mardi Gras beads that drop from enemies when they are defeated. Once the voodoo power meter is full a skull icon will appear onscreen to signify that you can now use a voodoo power. Vince will then do something to himself that will transfer on to his enemies. Vince can also collect spell book pages. When he has collected enough he will be shown the location of a power skull which gives you a lot of mojo (in Voodoo Vince mojo = health). Hearts can also be collected and these will give you an extra life.
As a platform game Voodoo Vince is superb. The levels are very impressive but the tight controls are what helps you to really enjoy the game. Vince can jump, double jump, hover (which helps to soften a descent from a great height) and he can also do pound attacks to break through objects. There are a fair amount of puzzles to be solved in Voodoo Vince, thankfully though most are straight forward. There are also a fair amount of objects to be interacted with too. Objects that can be interacted with have a small circle on the ground by them. Vince has to step onto these circles and press the X button to interact with the object. More often than not some other thing will need to be done first though.
Graphically Voodoo Vince is very good indeed. The most impressive aspect of the visuals though has to be the quality of the textures. Vince really does look like he's, mainly, made of burlap. Another strength of Voodoo Vince is the quality of the levels which are superbly designed and give the game a look all of it's own. The various voodoo powers are impressive too. It's clear that a lot of time and effort has gone into Voodoo Vince and whilst it's always great to see a polished title it's also very pleasant to see that the camera in the game is well behaved and doesn't cause any problems although you can manipulate it with the right analogue stick if required. Vince can also use a first person mode by holding down the black button.
Deaf gamers will be pleased to learn that Voodoo Vince is fully subtitled. It's always pleasing to see that a game is subtitled but especially so with Voodoo Vince as it has a quality of humour not often seen in a game and it's most welcome that deaf gamers can also appreciate the humour.
The only word I can say against Voodoo Vince is that it isn't the longest of games and for seasoned platform game fans it will only take between 10-12 hours to finish the game. It's definitely a case of short but ever so sweet. You can go back to earlier levels and fully complete them if you wish but the game is so enjoyable that you'll probably just want to start from scratch again. Even taking the fairly short length of the game into account though Voodoo Vince comes as highly recommended because the game is very enjoyable.
Game Rating: 9.0/10
Voodoo Vince is a superb addition to anyones Xbox game collection. What it lacks in length it makes up for in quality. If any game demanded a sequel (hopefully a longer one) then this is it.
No problems at all for deaf gamers. Brilliant to see a platform game subtitled.