It’s only been a year since Microsoft’s first foray into the crowded world of the 3D platformer, Blinx the Time Sweeper, failed to excite game critics or Xbox owners. But with a new developer, and a brand new gimmick, Microsoft is ready to give this genre a second try. But should we expect the same boring level design, mundane puzzles, and frustrating game play?
Thankfully Voodoo Vince is a much better game. Almost every problem I encountered keeping me from enjoying Blinx has been addressed and resolved here. But this game is far from perfect, and shows that Microsoft still has some work to do before they can compete with the Mario’s, Sonic’s, and Jak’s of this industry. For now, though, this is the best platformer you can buy on the Xbox.
Vince’s life comes about through a tragic situation involving the kidnapping of the voodoo high priestess Madam Charmaine. After the violence has subsided, in a rip off of Pinocchio sure to have Geppetto rolling over in his grave, Voodoo Vince comes to life and becomes a real toy. He’s only a foot tall, has one eye, and is made entirely of burlap, but that’s not going to stop him from saving his princess … er, high priestess.
All right, before you boo and hiss, I didn’t make this stuff up. Thankfully Vince isn’t buying it either, as he seems fairly ambivalent about the whole problem. The game’s sense of humor tends to fall on the sarcastic side, but don’t let it fool you, there are more than a few bits of witty dialog sprinkled throughout the adventure. It may take awhile, but Vince will grow on just about everyone given enough time.
The story is nothing more than a flimsy excuse to develop a game that allows a voodoo doll to inflict harm on himself for no other reason than the betterment of his quest. But having said that, I honestly don’t see a problem with it. This idea of hurting yourself to kill the enemies is novel, and certainly intrigues me in a perverse sort of way.
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