Title: Voodoo Vince: Remastered
Available On: Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Developer: Beep Industries
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Official Site: https://www.beepgames.com/p/voodoo-vince-remastered
Release Date: April 18, 2017
Where to Buy: Xbox Store, Retailers
Originally released back in 2003, Voodoo Vince came out during a golden age of platformers across the three main systems (Xbox, PS2, Gamecube). Backed with an interesting concept, the game became a hit with fans, remembered fondly with similar games like Spyro, Blinx, and Psychonaughts. Unlike those games though, Voodoo Vince: Remastered has not aged well, as time reveals its bad writing, sloppy camera, and lack of diverse gameplay really didn’t warrant any reason to bring the game to the present generation.
Despite the age, the concept is still an intriguing one, as a kind voodoo woman named Madam Charmaine tries to help people with a number of different magics, including a voodoo doll named Vince. When her rivals goons unleash an item known as zombie dust, the entire world is thrown into chaos. Not much is really given outside of this though, as the story relies on a telepathic link between Charmaine and Vince to tell the stories exposition. While Vince has some comical one liners here and there, most of them fall flat, and there is a lot of dead air, even in cutscenes.
While Vince has some comical one liners here and there, most of them fall flat, and there is a lot of dead air, even in cutscenes. Out of all of the characters, the game’s antagonists, Kosmo, and his henchman, are the only ones with a shred of personality. The seemingly pubescent madman’s confident demeanor is always comical, considering the fact that Vince always wins in the end. His hook handed henchman are also good for a few laughs, showing up in visions looking for pickles and what not. Sadly they are noticeably absent for the majority of the game.
Instead, the majority of the battles in Voodoo Vince: Remastered are done with annoying enemies throughout the stages and set piece bosses at the end of each level. Each enemy throughout the different levels doesn’t seem to be there for any reason other than to get in the way of platforming pieces, as common enemies like Pit Frogs and Killadillo posing no real threat whatsoever, with the latter killing itself more often than not. But they are far less irritating than Bomber Beetles, whose small hit box make almost impossible to kill on the first try.
The game’s solution to defeating all of these should lie within the masochistic special moves that Vince picks up throughout. The problem is that not only do they take forever to build up, they have no real unique effects other than how they look. Voodoo Vince: Remastered places new ability pickups throughout each level, but each pick up is simply aesthetic, having no bearing on a radius, damage or even enemy type. I felt no need or purpose to find new ability tokens because they didn’t really do much more than a simple spin attack. All in all, they felt pointless.
Speaking of pointless, Voodoo Vince: Remastered life system served no point other than to take me back to the start screen once I died. Death happened a lot too, all thanks to of the sloppy collision system and horrible camera. There were points where I could be jumping in the air and not be able to see where I am going upwards or downward because of the lack of a freeform camera. While this is something that a lot of platformers suffer from, especially during that time, Voodoo Vince: Remastered is one of the worse I’ve experienced. Whether he is jumping, floating, or moving through underground tunnels, the cameras attempt to follow Vince is disjointed and dizzying. It even worse given that there is the useless Vince vision, which can only be used when the puppet isn’t in motion.
The original Voodoo Vince may be one of the nostalgic games that people loved from the golden age of platforming, but it should not have gotten a remaster without fixing a lot of the issues it had back when it released. If you liked the original, you may like the remaster as well, for old time sake. Otherwise, the modern day port is filled with far too many frustrations to warrant playing it over the slew of amazing games currently at your fingertips.
VERDICT: Voodoo Vince: Remastered is a game that you may have love when it was released back in 2003, but one that has no place in the current generation. Since it is a remaster, the expectation that it may be a little rough around the edge is expected. Yet age has really emphasized the issues of the original, as bad writing, worse camera, and boring gameplay doesn’t warrant the nostalgia you may feel from having played the original.
- Interesting Concept
- Horrendous Camera
- Aged Writing
- Platform, Enemy Collision
- Lack of Diversity