Back when Microsoft first launched into the console gaming market, they were a lot more open to bringing creative and unique gaming experiences into households. With great titles like Blinx: The Time Sweeper, Kung Fu Chaos and Phantom Dust, there was a lot of variety in the games they brought to the original Xbox. I remember first playing Voodoo Vince with a demo disk from my monthly subscription to the Official Xbox Magazine and instantly falling in love with the concept. Not only was it a collectathon platformer, but it offered a new concept of playing as a voodoo doll that hurts itself to defeat other enemies. Fast forward nearly 15 years and Beep Games has just released the remastered version of Voodoo Vince on both Xbox One and PC, and they did a fantastic job.
As implied in the name, Vince is a voodoo doll who comes to life when two hooligans are ransacking his owner, Madam Charmaine’s shop and accidentally spill zombie dust into the air. Not only does this bring Vince to life, but it also causes monsters to begin rampaging in the city. The hooligans manage to kidnap Madam Charmaine and it’s Vince’s job to save his owner and stop the monsters at the same time.
Vince has the ability to double jump, slap, spin attack and his unique voodoo super moves. Super moves require a certain amount of gems to unleash, but will generally wipe out an entire area of enemies in one fell swoop. There are plenty of super moves to be found during the adventure, each one killing Vince in a unique way, which ends up inflicting that damage onto enemies. As you’d expect from a platforming game, there are tons of power ups and various other items scattered throughout the stages and finding them all feels very rewarding.
Unfortunately for a game centered around platforming there are some inconveniences that are still present within the remaster. My biggest concern with the game is the way the camera handles, it never seems to move with you, so having your second thumb on the right analog is a must for the majority of the time you’re playing.
Platforming can be quite the chore with how certain power-ups and items are placed throughout the levels. Some jumps take pixel perfect precision and there are a lot of times you’ll end up falling down a cliff which instantly takes a heart instead of just a portion of your health. Not only that but my biggest frustration with platforming was not having my second jump register, I’m not sure if this is something with the game or my controller but I’ve had no issues in other games with my A button. While I am complaining quite a bit, this overall didn’t lower the fun and enjoyment I had with the game, but it could ruin someone else’s.
I was quite surprised to see just how good Voodoo Vince runs on a high end PC. Running at 60 frames at a 1400p, the game looks absolutely stunning for a 6th generation remaster and I must applaud Beep Games for their fine work making the game look so good. Textures have been given a major or complete overhaul and the overall fidelity of the game looks so damn good. If I was grading this game sorely on how good it looks and runs compared to the original release it’d be getting top marks.
Music in Voodoo Vince has always been unique, and most of the tunes really make you feel like your on the Bayou. There’s a nice jazzy New Orleans feel going on throughout the levels and it really sets the mood for your adventure. Vince himself is quite the wisecracker and the majority of the dialog will be his sarcastic, pun-filled retorts to what’s going on at the moment. I personally have always loved his monotone attitude and it’s refreshing to experience again since we don’t really see a lot of these days.
Although I might be a bit biased due to how much I adored this game as a kid, I can’t help but recommend Voodoo Vince Remastered to platform lovers on both Xbox and PC. It’s definitely not the pinnacle of platforming or setting the bar, but it does offer an enjoyable and unique experience I don’t think many people got to play during the sixth generation of consoles. At the low price of $14.99, I honestly cannot say it isn’t worth the purchase and I hope it does well enough to give other original Xbox games the remaster treatment.
Note: This review was based on a PC digital copy provided by the publisher.