Review: Oddworld Stranger's Wrath HD (Vita)

Release Date: December 19, 2012 (EU), December 18, 2012 (NA)

Publisher: Oddworld Inhabitants

Developer: Just Add Water Ltd

Price: £9.99/€11.99/$14.99

ESRB (PEGI) Rating: T  (12+)

Images are taken from PS3 version

I was lucky enough to get an early review copy of the Oddworld game known as Strangers Wrath for the Vita (PlayStation Store Download). Now before I get into the game itself I want to point out, this game was originally on the Xbox at the very end of it’s life.  Microsoft dropped support of it’s old console and gamers in favour for it’s newer Xbox 360.

The game never got the attention it deserved and was sadly forgotten by most. Along came the very talented games company Just Add Water (JAW Ltd.) who lovingly went over all the old code and graphics, and even some audio.

Their hard work became a new and improved HD version for the PS3 (available now), but this games story doesn’t end there, as you might of guessed it’s coming out on the PlayStation Vita.

STORY:

You play as a character simply called Stranger, nobody knows where you came from, and nobody cares. You are on Oddworld to catch scumbag Outlaws and bring ‘em in for bounties dead or alive. Why are you doing this, you may ask? To save up for an operation– one that your life depends on.

GAMEPLAY:

It’s both a FPS and third person.. alien / western game? You can play in either first or third person views with a double tap of the touch screen. Now one of the best and most unique things in this game is the weaponry, it’s not bullets and grenades it’s animals or insects on a dual crossbow (L or R buttons are used to fire).

You can load what ever ‘ammo’ you want on either side of the crossbow and as I mentioned above the ammo is alive and some of them even speak. There are the infinite Zappflies (standard ammo) which also charge up to deliver a large burst of energy.  Now fire a Stunkz  at a group of outlaws and they’ll start retching, perfect time  to run in and capture them. Chippunks are my favourite as they’ll insult everyone close enough to hear until an enemy squashes it with their boot, perfect for luring a single outlaw away from a group. Most of the ammo is upgradable and can make for quite the change in strategy.

Strategy is what you’ll learn to use in this game, it’s not a mindless run and gun. It’s about taking your time to capture or kill your targets. Kill them for less money but I always try to capture, it’s more fun and rewarding.

VISUALS:

After seeing the upgrade from Xbox to PS3 I wasn’t expecting it to look as good, but I think it’s better. Just as silky smooth and even crisper and cleaner than it’s big brother. All of the colours stand out on the Vita’s screen. Another fantastic job from JAW Ltd.

[Hold on I have to pause the game, the Chippunk ammo is insulting me]

AUDIO:

It’s all been lovingly upgraded from the original and is a treat to the ears, you’ll want to hear the insults from your ammo to the comments from NPC’s wandering around.  I might suggest using headphones if you're out & about.

CONCULSION:

Sadly it’s not cross-save compatible (probably due to the file size of the game save) but that doesn’t detract from my feelings on this game. It’s a very fun, long & enjoyable experience which I think looks better on the Vita. It has got a few small glitches which in no way hurt the game, so I won’t even mention them more. If you haven’t played the game on any system I would go for this one. By the way, it has trophies just like the PS3 version and the almighty Platinum which will take sometime to get.

If Just Add Water can keep the quality to this standard, then I’m looking forward to all of the Oddworld games to come.

My Score:

9/10