Oddworld Stranger’s Wrath HD Vita Review
When it comes to Oddworld there are really very few games that compare to it in terms of style. They’re in a league of their own. Stranger’s Wrath was originally released on the Xbox in 2005.
Stranger’s Wrath is the fourth Oddworld game and is a major departure from the previous games. It is a first person shooter / third person platformer hybrid, which when you read it like that it really sounds like ice cream on pizza but I assure you that it works.
You take the role of Stranger, a bounty hunter who needs a lot of moolah (The name for money in Oddworld) for a mysterious operation. To get the money for his operation Stranger has to track a variety of bad guys. I’d like to tell you more about the story but I wouldn’t want to ruin it for anyone.
Each time Stranger accepts to track down a bounty you must fight through a lot of their minions before reaching the boss, these bosses are lot more difficult to take down especially if you only want to stun them.
Stranger carries around a crossbow to catch his enemies but rather than the conventional arrows he instead opts to use live critters, each with their own abilities. Such as the Chippunk, a squirrel like creature that lures enemies to his position or perhaps you would be more partial to the Boombat, which the name really gives away what he does. He is a bat and he goes boom. Though you will want to be careful with that one as enemies are worth a lot more to you alive than dead. To capture, all you have to do is incapacitate or kill an enemy and suck them up with his gloves somehow containing and shrinking his bounty.
Platforming in Stranger can feel slightly sluggish at times perhaps this was a design choice or perhaps this is just in relation to other games. It is used to break up the action and an excuse to show off the beautiful scenery.
There is little change to the game on Vita. To enter first person mode you double tap the touchscreen, once you get used to doing this and not clicking the stick it becomes second nature. When in first person mode you hit the touchpad to punch enemies. I personally have big hands so I sometimes find myself tapping it by accident. All of the menus have been changed to better suit a touchscreen. Select ammo is now selected by the touchscreen and is far better here.
Being a seven year old game you would expect that it wouldn’t look that great. Granted it doesn’t look as good as big budget games; although I’d say on Vita that it looks better than most games on the handheld. It is clear that this game is not just an up-scaled port of the original game. It is clear that a lot of work has gone into this game to make it look like much better than the original. The frame-rate of the game can slowdown when their is a lot going on. With that said, I would say this is easily the best looking HD remake out.
The soundtrack for the game is the real highlight of the game; it suits the atmosphere of the game perfectly. Some in-game characters can get a little on your nerves if you hang around them for too long. If they are annoying you too much just them a punch that will send them back into their houses.
If you don’t already have the game then you should buy it because it is a really great game and yet it costs less than a Blu-ray movie. If you saw this game running it would be understandable if you mistook it for a retail release as it puts a lot of them to shame.
Platforms: PlayStation Vita (PS3, PC)
Publisher/Developer: Oddworld Inhabitants. Inc/Just Add Water
Release Date: 19th December 2012
Price: PSN:$14.99 – £9.99