FYIG had the chance to revisit a hidden gem from the original Xbox this past week. Check out our Voodoo Vince Remastered review to see what we thought!
I never got the chance to play the original Voodoo Vince when it debuted on the original Xbox in 2003. My first interaction with the game was from a YouTube video just a few weeks ago where someone was talking about it being a sleeper hit for the Xbox. As I watched the gameplay, I thought that it looked like a pretty cool concept for a video game. Soon after, I learned that the remaster was coming out in just a few weeks time. Naturally, that peaked my interest and I decided to try it out. So was it worth the remaster? Let’s find out!
Voodoo Vince Remastered is a straight-up remaster of the original game. There are no extra levels here or anything else. It’s simply the game as you remember it updated in HD. Your journey through Voodoo Vince Remastered will only take you around 8-10 hours, but that doesn’t diminish the charm of this unique platformer. The art style of the game allowed it to translate well by today’s standards. It now runs at 1080p and 60fps and while I did notice a little screen-tearing on the PC version, it’s nothing that bad.
Voodoo Vince takes place in a re-imagined version of New Orleans. Vince must rescue his creator, Madame Charmaine after she was captured by some goons. We learn that Kosmo the Inscrutable wants her for her zombie dust. Kosmo shows up as a big, green face when he interacts with Vince and reminds me of Dr. Neo Cortex from Crash Bandicoot. They really nailed the atmosphere of New Orleans in this game from the music to the architecture to the swamps.
I think the difference in Voodoo Vince and other platformers is Vince’s personality. There aren’t many times in which he doesn’t have a witty remark and it never feels too forced. Most of the time, his personality shows the most when he’s trying to complete a puzzle. Vince became a cool jazz player complete with beret and shades after he practiced in a club. He also gassed up a steamroller and drove it through a steel gate. It’s those moments that make the journey through the story that much more memorable.
The main gameplay in Voodoo Vince sees you hunting for different supplies in each level and collecting different collectibles. This is a platformer in the truest sense of the word. There’s a lot of precise jumping involved, some enemies scattered through the level, and some boss battles thrown in for good measure. Vince has a pretty simple move-set that includes a double-jump, spin, head stomp, punches, and the ability to hover. The enemies are nothing more than an annoyance and a lot of them take multiple hits to kill. After a while, I just avoided them unless I had voodoo powers to take them all out at once. The bosses aren’t even that difficult until the end. It’s an accessible game that everyone can enjoy.
The heart of Voodoo Vince is the fact that he is a voodoo doll. This opens the game up to be a bit different from other platformers. Vince harms himself to harm others and he has about 30 different voodoo powers to do this. Some of those powers range from a chainsaw cutting everyone in half to an alien attack shooting beams at everyone to an anvil dropping down from the sky. Some environmental puzzles even require Vince to harm himself. The first puzzle of the game required me to jump into a giant mixer to create a bag of flour to put on a scale to open a door. I got to see pieces of him spinning around before being shot out. All of this is very much like a Saturday morning cartoon rather than a gruesome picture of death. It’s a unique idea that I’ve never seen in a game and I’m really surprised that this game never received a sequel.
Voodoo Vince Remastered is a short game that’s full of personality. The core mechanics are what you’d expect from an early 2000s platformer and the game certainly isn’t overly difficult. It simply has a charm that is hard to explain unless you’ve played it. Vince is a memorable character and Beep Games modernized this game to look very respectable by today’s standards. At $14.99USD/$16.99CAD on Steam, Xbox One, and the Windows Store, this one is a must buy for me. I recommend it to everyone.
*A copy of this game was provided to FYIG by Beep Games for review purposes*