VOODOO VINCE REMASTERED
By Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams on May 2, 2017
It's time for some magic! Or, better yet, it's time for some mind-bending, dark and spooky Voodoo magic! Let's visit an old friend who some of you might recall from his one-time adventure back in 2003 on the Xbox. No? Well, that's no problem, you can now meet him on PC and Xbox One!
Let's explore some of the dark depths of this ancient form of magic and inflict a lot of pain. on ourselves. Hmmm. when you put it like that, it doesn't sound quite as fun as it really is. Well, let's put it like this. If there was almost nothing in the World that could destroy you and pain meant nothing to you, would you set yourself on fire? You just might if you were a voodoo doll named Vince!
Voodoo Vince is a platforming game, originally released in 2003 by Beep Industries for the original Xbox. Unlike other Xbox games, Voodoo Vince has never been made to be compatible with newer Xbox models. until now! Beep Industries and Microsoft Game Studios thought it was about time to bring this classic game back from the dead. and they were right!
I personally never owned an original Xbox, so I have never played the original game. I remember seeing quite a bit of gameplay back then, but never actually playing it myself. So you can imagine my excitement when I saw that Voodoo Vince was being remade for the Xbox One and PC. Luckily, DumeeGamer's leading lady, Diana, managed to procure a copy for yours truly, so it was finally time for me to play this elusive game for myself!
As the game starts, we witness Madame Charmaine, voodoo lady extraordinaire, being robbed in her store by two henchmen of her arch rival: Kosmo the Inscrutable. You see, Madame Charmaine has unlocked the secrets of a powerful magic powder, called Zombie Dust. Kosmo, always wanting to be the most powerful man in the world, but being too lazy to actually do something, decides that the easiest way to become even more powerful is to steal the Zombie Dust from Madame Charmaine. He sends his two flunkeys, Fingers and Jeb, to steal the dust for him.
Of course, as is usually the case with a couple of inept sidekicks, Jab and Fingers manage to almost cock things up and release some of the Zombie Dust into the world, changing it and filling it with all sorts of dangerous monsters. As the duo makes their escape with Madame Charmaine as their hostage and the bag of Zombie Dust as their loot, they fail to notice that the released dust made a small, burlap voodoo doll come to life. This doll, as we're being told at that moment, is Madame Charmaine's third-favorite voodoo doll and goes by the name of Vince. So it's up to Vince to save Madame Charmaine and defeat the evil forces, released by Kosmo and his goons.
Voodoo Vince is basically a pretty straight-forward platform game with environmental puzzles blocking your path from time to time. Also, the monsters, created by the accidentally released Zombie Dust don't seem to like Vince much and will mostly attack him on sight. Luckily, Vince is one doll who can hold his own in a fight. He can hit enemies, execute a spin move that hits multiple enemies around him, jump in the air and plunge head-first into enemies below him and, last but definitely not least: use his awesome voodoo powers to defeat multiple enemies at once!
These voodoo powers will not be available right away. Vince will have to collect them as he progresses on his quest to save his mistress and reclaim the stolen Zombie Dust. Once in a while, he will come across a glowing purple statue, called a Voodoo Icon, each of which contains a voodoo power. As is usually the case with voodoo dolls, Vince must first inflict the pain that is caused by such an attack on himself, after which he transfers it to every enemy in range, killing them instantly. The powers that Vince uses range anywhere from a giant chainsaw that cuts him in half, a beaker of acid that completely dissolves his burlap body, or even a bear trap that cuts Vince in half. There are a lot more cool voodoo attacks to gather and use, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for any Voodoo Icons you can find.
Of course, as one might suspect, you can't just keep using your awesome special powers indefinitely. Once you use one of your special voodoo attacks, it depletes your voodoo meter. Luckily, there is a way to refill this meter by kicking the living hell out of your enemies. Once you've defeated an enemy, it leaves behind colored beads which, upon collecting them, refill your voodoo meter. Once the meter is full, you are once again able to unleash a devestating attack. Also, you will find Zombie Dust bags lying around the environment. Collect one hundred of these blue bags to extend Vince's health bar, making life or, in this case, afterlife, quite a bit easier. Lastly, you may find burlap hearts on your way. Be sure to collect them, because they anable you to instantly respawn when you die.
Vince's voodoo doll abilities also come in handy when trying to solve some of the environmental puzzles he comes across. Pretty early in the game, you'll come across a section of the city that is, as Madame Charmaine puts it: "ruled by two unruly gas pumps." Yes, believe it or not, your first "boss" encounter is with a pair of foul-mouthed gas pumps that won't let you pass. Now, what is the one thing gas pumps don't like? Exactly: fire! So you can set Vince's little body on fire and run as you try and make your way across town without letting the flames go out and show these stupid pumps who it is they're dealing with! One of my favorite puzzles, also situated quite early on in the game, has everything to do with time manipulation.
The cool thing about Voodoo Vince is that the action sequences are quite fast-paced, while the puzzle sequences are intricately built and can be quite challenging. Vince's sarcastic outlook on life (what else did you expect from a voodoo doll) makes the game quite hilarious to play, as do the less-evil-than-hoped-for comments of your nemesis, Kosmo. When I first saw Kosmo, he instantly reminded me of another bungling bad guy: Skylanders' own Chaos. They both want to be really evil and frightening, but both manage to fail at leaving that impression time after time.
So, with the release of Voodoo Vince Remastered, a whole new generation of gamers can get their hands on this evil, dark and silly masterpiece. For the remastered version, the developers chose to only tackle the art department of the game, leaving the gameplay untouched. What this does is actually make the game somewhat more challenging. It takes some more fiddling with the camera to get the angle you want and the controls are not as responsive as some of us might be used to. Not that this is in any way a game breaker, but it is worth mentioning, before people think their controllers are broken and immediately run to the store in sheer and utter panic to get a new one. Luckily for me, I have played quite a lot of that era and are quite used to somewhat clunky or, for a better word, vintage controls. So it is with great confidence that I say: Bring on the Pain! This is one Voodoo doll who is ready to rock!