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  20 Second Review: Voodoo Vince
On 10/10/03 by Turner 'Bulldog' Hopkinson

Developer: Beep Industries
Publisher: Microsoft
Release Date: 09/23/03
ESRB: "T" for Teen
Official Site: www.xbox.com/en-US/voodoovince/
Platform(s):Xbox Exclusive

Gameplay
First off I will cover the controls in Voodoo Vince by saying that they are extremely simple. Yet, even in their simple form, they relish at accomplishing the myriad of tasks that need completing in a game. Want to jump? Simple, hit the A key. Want to jump further? Again, simple, hit the A key twice. One complaint I did have however is that even though the gameplay is both very well executed and polished the individual missions can be completed far too easily. I can't recall a single instance where I had to do something more than two times to get by whatever was stopping me. While not the end of the world this will disappoint a true Xbox aficionado. Add into the fray that there is virtually no replayability it makes this even more of a letdown. Quite often you will find that throughout a storyline a game will change, be it slightly or substantially, the second time around - but VV doesn't change at all! On the flipside the levels are well designed and chock full of hidden goodies if you take your time and scour every nook and cranny. The majority of the levels were relatively short with each one featuring its own specific goal. Because of this, for better or worse, I got the impression that I was playing a puzzle game half the time.

Tons of thoroughly enjoyable and creative mini-games are also included in every three or four levels and include things such as flying a mini-plane around to catching yourself on fire and lighting gas valves ablaze as you run through the streets of the Big Easy. One of my favorite aspects though would have to be the Voodoo powers. Just like you see on television; you pick-up a small, human-like, purple, pulsating icon and become empowered. This often crude but hilarious feature not only further separates Voodoo Vince as its own unique game but also serves as an easy way to clear out the enemy en masse. Sadly, you only get the opportunity to "power up" once or twice per level. Overall though, I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but I think VV appealed to me because it reminded me of a mature version of my childhood favorite Donkey Kong on the ole' gray and purple SNES. Beep Industries deserves major points for taking an idea no one else had the jewels to do and executing on that idea virtually flawlessly. Voodoo Vince is, without doubt, a solid addition to the Xbox exclusive ranks.

Graphics
The graphics in Voodoo Vince were nothing awe-inspiring, but were well done overall. A great deal of objects in the game lack detail and the cut-scenes were disappointing in terms of quality. Make no mistake about it though; the game still has a very crisp feel to it. I didn't observe any problems with dropping frame rates which is pretty remarkable considering there are a few levels with a lot of commotion occurring at one time. Every once in a while you will come across a comical animation for instance when Vince pulls out his eyeball and bounces it around.

Sound
Sound in this game was thoroughly enjoyable. Sound effects were great, especially in the pattering of Vince's feet as he walks, something you don't usually take notice of in other games. Whoever thought up this "cute" little idea is a genius because something so small really does a wonderful job at making the game both fun and unique at the same time. There is also a substantial amount of ambient noise that makes you feel like you are taking part in something bigger than it really is on screen. The very humorous voice acting wasn't disappointing at all either. Having an underlying mature theme, Vince sounds like a 35 year old rouged up union worker while his arch nemesis sounds like a 14 year old male working at McDonalds and who hasn't yet hit puberty. The music score was surprisingly good as well, with a definite Jazz vibe to it. I never really noticed it getting repetitive which is as always a bonus.

In a Word: Fun!

Word to Publisher: 3 thumbs up (yes, 3!) for taking a unique idea and executing on it.

Full Reviews:
  • Xbox.IGN - 7.6/10
  • GameSpot - 7.8/10
  • GameSpy - 3/5
Final Score: 90%

:: voodoo vince :: :: voodoo vince :: :: voodoo vince ::
:: voodoo vince :: :: voodoo vince :: :: voodoo vince ::

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#1 - nemarsde - 10/10/03 @ 07:14 AM EST
Actually, this does look fun. Again the kind of thing my sister would greatly enjoy. Just for Xbox though... Ah well, she has a Nintendo.

Thanks for the review, Bulldog. I think you covered the points that would be important to a platform gamer.

Could you keep the paragraphs shorter though? I'm on constrained view and that top paragraph gets hard to read with the high constrast.
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#2 - sweetjimmy - 10/10/03 @ 10:34 AM EST
i think the paragraphs are sexy the way they are. :)
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#3 - dougman - 10/10/03 @ 10:36 AM EST
Great fun.
I must buy for platforming fans.
/ I love it.
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#4 - Austin316 - 10/10/03 @ 12:41 PM EST
Thanks bulldog ... my gf really likes platformers (she loved munch for some reason) and I was going to pick this up for her but I was unsure about it, now I'm sure I will.

/ Oh ... and I'll play it too.
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#5 - Rincewind - 10/10/03 @ 03:10 PM EST
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does this game have...ragdoll physics? :p
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#6 - sweetjimmy - 10/10/03 @ 04:47 PM EST
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ba-dum CHING!

:)
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#7 - BrinkHound - 10/10/03 @ 09:12 PM EST

this game is hilarious.


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