The long awaited return of Voodoo Vince is finally here, originally released as an Xbox exclusive back in 2003, have the years been kind to Vince? Read our review to find out …
Voodoo Vince was first released on the original Xbox console as an exclusive back in 2003 and has now been given the remastered treatment for the Xbox One. Set in a voodoo magic styled New Orleans, the game sees you take control of a voodoo doll, the third best voodoo doll according to his owner, called Vince and the story sets you on your way to rescue your owner who has been kidnapped after thugs break into the Voodoo Store and take her. Full of quirky one liners and amusing quotes, the main character Vince is instantly likeable and offers some light humour to the game. You have to jump, punch and spin your way through the levels fighting ghoulish creatures and solving various types of puzzles along the way.
Voodoo Vince doesn’t really offer anything original as it plays very similar to lots of other platforming titles that are currently available. You have to jump on to ledges around each level, defeating enemies, collecting coloured spheres while solving puzzles to progress through to the next level. The puzzles in Voodoo Vince vary in difficulty and get tougher as you progress further through the game, with the later ones being slightly more challenging than the earlier ones. It is the one thing that stops the game becoming very stale rather quickly as you are set different tasks to complete in order to progress. Each level will present you with a ‘go and get’ task that you have to do to complete the level and once you have done each level in the stage you are presented with a boss fight and each one of those boss fights are disappointing and not very satisfying to complete.
Voodoo Vince’ gameplay is a bit of a mixed bag throughout with a few issues that I thought took some of the enjoyment away. The double jump doesn’t always trigger when you want it to and becomes frustrating in certain areas like a section where you have to jump across a lake using moving wooden planks and barrels in a Frogger style section. The camera movement is very dated and awkward especially in situations like when I was on a narrow ledge and the camera wouldn’t adjust properly and I couldn’t see where I needed to jump to next which was a constant hindrance resulting in Vince frustratingly falling to his death or falling down to the very start of the level. There is an option to use Vince’s eye which puts it into a first person mode to look around and while I tried to use it to counter the camera issues, it only ever helped a handful of times and I stopped using it after a while. Voodoo Vince is fun to play at times but it is severely let down by the dated mechanics and what fun there was in the gameplay, it is somewhat overshadowed by theses issues.
The enemies in Voodoo Vince are quite varied and you battle these while using your punch move, spin attack and the obligatory jumping head slam, that is found in many move-sets of games in this genre. There are also special moves you can use once your meter is filled and these are used to take out a group of enemies at once and each one consists of Vince killing himself in original, humorous ways that is mimicked to the group of enemies to take them out in a true voodoo doll style. All of these aspects of the gameplay are nothing new but are generally ok and as I mentioned earlier the double jump and camera issues do spoil it somewhat with their inconsistencies. If you played Voodoo Vince back when it was originally released then there is nothing new here for you to experience in terms of the gameplay. As I mentioned earlier though, Vince is very likeable but the rest of the characters are a little stale with monotone voice acting and dreary delivered lines. The audio as a whole isn’t really anything different from the original with it all sounding just that little bit crisper than before and very little else being added.
Visually Voodoo Vince has been given the HD treatment and as you would expect the visuals all look a lot sharper than the original did. It’s quite a colourful game in general but apart from the HD upgrade and the main character being nicely detailed, the visuals overall aren’t anything to shout about and still look quite dated. The animations are exactly as they were back in 2003 which is disappointing. The level design is inconsistent with some levels being quite fun but others being very dated, generic and rather uninspiring, in fact I’m trying to understand why the ‘Remastered’ part of the title exists. The reason I say that is because I expected this game to be completely remastered with new updated mechanics, completely revamped visuals and a tweaked engine to bring the whole game up to date. Maybe I expected too much from a 14 year old game being remastered but this should of been called Voodoo Vince HD rather than the ‘Remastered’ tag being used in the title. The consolation of this shortfall though is that Voodoo Vince has been released at a reasonable price point so if you want to re-live playing Voodoo Vince or you are new to this title then it won’t break the bank too much.