Oddworld, The Munch Odyssey
The world of Oddworld has from now on become a myth for the playstation action games. The 2D versions were at the same time combat, platform and adventure / reflection games. With the Munch Odyssey, the series switches to the Xbox in 3D while keeping the coherence of the world and the spirit of the game. May be Microsoft did well when it snatched this icon game from PS2.
The heroes are anti-heroes ! Munch the Gabbit has an unenviable life in the swamps of Oddworld. Worst then, the Vikkers, extraterrestrial fishermen supporters of slavery, capture the Gabbits. Munch, a small two-legged goblin, with a head twice the size of his body, is not really equipped for the fight. His companion in misfortune, Abe, a kind of degenerate humanoid and a little clumsy, is the only one to be able to help him in his quest. Luckily, he has the power to hypnotize the Mudokons and to use them, among others, to lead them to their death. Stop talking about the plot, in order for you to be able to discover the rest.
You play one of the two characters, where you need solve several problems simultaneously. These are not too complex: managing your troops, rushing into some fights and displaying some skills for what remains from the start an action game. As ever, you will need some time to adapt, because the manipulation of the characters in a full 3D universe is not as intuitive as in 2D. Having said that, a well-made tutorial quickly teaches you the basics, and with humor. The playability is perfectly measured out and one cannot stop to be willing to go further. It's this subtle mixture of action and reflection combined with the magic of this universe that makes this game so captivating. It is however necessary to temper one's enthusiasm because of the repetitive nature of the actions. The commands are not really natural, but on top of that, it is necessary to repeat many times operations that have no other challenge than to string at meticulously the good actions on the pad. The other problem is related to the disjointed aspect of the action that plunges you less in this universe than previously.
The graphics are simply sumptuous. The only criticism that we can make, is that they are a little dark, especially in the interiors. In some scenes, you really need to maximize the brightness of your TV screen in order to distinguish the details. The lighting, the reflections, the transparencies, the explosions really represent a great job. This universe is magic, and perfectly rendered, all in rounded forms, without any straight lines. The animation is not outdone with an exemplary fluidity. From time to time, the movements are even too fast. The levels lack a little bit of variety at the end. The graphic pearls remain nonetheless the kinematics, always as fabulous. The sound is exceptional for the voices and the sound effects; the musical background is on the other hand tedious. Regarding the 3D, the sound is well rendered on the four satellites and we can locate perfectly the geographical origin of the explosions.
In summary, this action / reflection game in the most crazy universe of the video game should seduce the game lovers. Indeed, the controls and the actions are sometimes repetitive and painful, but on the overall, the pleasure is there and the magic of the universe pushes you to go see what lies beyond.