Released exclusively for the Original Xbox, Voodoo Vince is a platformer from back in 2003. Created by Beep Games, inc, this game was one of my first ventures into gaming. I was very excited to hear that a Remaster was coming to PC and Xbox One in 2017. But does Voodoo Vince Remastered live up to the nostalgia?
“Who is this so-called champion that dares to oppose me?”
You play as Vince, a 10-inch tall, wisecracking voodoo doll. He has the standard move set you would expect for a platformer, being able to double jump, hover and attack. His most powerful ability however is the power of voodoo, where Vince will hurt himself to damage his enemies. Vince has a pessimistic and sarcastic attitude to the situations and characters he encounters, breaking the fourth wall at times. He does however tend to joke and enjoy himself at times, celebrating in victory before quickly composing himself. Overall his presence and personality add greatly to the overall experience without getting annoying or repetitive.
“Yeah, that was nice. Warms my heart, wherever that is…”
Set in New Orleans, the game takes the player to many charming locales unique to the area, each bringing a unique visual style and challenge. The game starts with areas that are quite forgiving to mistakes but quickly begins to add hazards to the mix.
Bottomless pits, bodies of water and several interesting enemy types stand between Vince and his goal. Platforms and objects used to navigate these pitfalls are to some extent twisted and uneven. This makes each one unique, however, this can lead to annoying deaths at times when Vince fails to grab a ledge or slides off an angled edge to his death. Thankfully this wasn’t a consistent issue that I experienced. Because Vince is so small, it allows the player to see the world from a different perspective. This allows players to fit into storm drains and platform across floating debris to get to their objective. Vince’s size also plays into how the player must approach puzzles and bosses, requiring a more creative route in most cases.
The music of Voodoo Vince Remastered greatly improves the character of the game. Each level has its own unique track, ranging from smooth jazz and uptempo boss music. Composer Steve Kirk worked hard on the music and it definitely shows. The energy that each track imparts really encourages you to try again, despite the many failed attempts to avoid that one annoying pitfall.
“Hrmpphh! I think there was something wrong with my controller”
Voodoo Vince Remastered can be played either with a controller or with a mouse and keyboard. A controller is the better choice as the game was originally designed for this and allow for precision movements. The keyboard and mouse do work well for the majority of the game however there are points where it doesn’t work as well as you would expect for a title brought to the PC.
The two examples that popped up during my playthrough were the fighter plane section and on-rails shooter sections, these are thankfully very brief sections but would be quite annoying if one was unprepared for the control issues. In the fighter plane section, the guns and roll control are bound to the same button, making it very hard to hit a small moving weak spot on a boss while the rail shooter section required the use of the WASD keys to aim at fast-moving small targets with a quick to overheat weapon. Unfortunately, while the game does allow the player to rebind keys, these specialised controls are not able to be changed.
Other than these sections of the game, the rest can be very enjoyable, bringing a solid platforming experience with the occasional puzzle or vehicle section for a change of pace. In the game, there are four types of collectable. Hearts to gain an extra life, zombie dust to increase the player’s health bar and the combination of voodoo pages and skulls to increase the number of voodoo power uses the player can stockpile. All of these are useful but not necessary to complete the game if collecting them all isn’t your cup of tea.
With an average completion time of about 8 hours, I had a blast revisiting this game and would wholeheartedly recommend Voodoo Vince Remastered. Best played with a controller but if you are willing to have a bit more of a challenge then the keyboard and mouse should work fine.
Review by Shaun Elders
Voodoo Vince Remastered is a solid Platformer with a lot of charm but can be held back at times due to keyboard control issues. Recommended for anyone looking to try something retro or going back to re-live memories.
Game by Beep Games, inc. The Beta Network uses affiliate partnerships, however, this does not influence reviews or any other content published. The Beta Network may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links that are on the website.