Voodoo Vince Remastered (Xbox One) Review

By Gabriel Jones 05.05.2017

Review for Voodoo Vince Remastered on Xbox One

Madam Charmaine's voodoo shop has been broken into! In the burglars' bungled attempt to steal the source of her mystical power, they release zombie dust. Reality is no longer as it once was. The dead are walking the earth, furry and harmless animals have turned into monsters, and even inanimate objects have become sentient. Worse still, Charmaine herself has been kidnapped! Her only hope lies in the burlap hands of Voodoo Vince, a ten-inch tall voodoo doll. Can he survive the vicious creatures and perilous platforms that lie between him and his boss?

Voodoo Vince was originally released in 2003, and it's exactly what one would expect from a 3D platformer of that era. Vince is one of those smart-aleck protagonists that have a "witty" quip for every situation. He jumps and double-jumps his way through numerous stages, collecting hundreds of trinkets. Occasionally he's forced to match wits with Kosmo the Inscrutable's latest creation. A number of challenges require some talent for problem solving, but never to the point where it becomes detrimental to the pacing. For all intents and purposes, this is an easily digestible game that does everything it needs to do to entertain fans of its genre.

Screenshot for Voodoo Vince Remastered on Xbox One

It's almost surprising just how effective this platformer is at grasping the fundamentals. The controls are perfectly serviceable. While the player won't be blown away with dozens of movement options or abilities, they're at least guaranteed not to suffer. This is one of those cases where keeping ambition in check yields positive results. Vince will never randomly slip off of ledges or ignore inputs. Combat is handled in a simple manner. The voodoo doll inflicts grievous wounds upon his self, which carry the effects to any nearby monsters. This dread power requires beads to perform, but they're easy to come by. Again, it's all in the pacing. The only time the game really slows down is when the player is trying to grab every last item.

This platformer also showcases a clear understanding of how to make the concept of variety work to its benefit. All too often, variety is something that sounds good on paper, but it's ultimately detrimental to the product. More to the point, this game has vehicle sections that are…actually tolerable. It's hard to call them "good", because they're still vehicle sections, but they aren't miserable nightmares that make players want to head butt their TV.

Screenshot for Voodoo Vince Remastered on Xbox One

At one point, there's an airboat race. At first it's a little iffy, due to the opponent's "rubber band A.I.", but the game had the good sense to include a couple of shortcuts. If Vince makes use of them, he's all but guaranteed to win. Perhaps the key to making a decent vehicle section is to make them pleasant as possible. It's better for the player to think "Oh that was nice little jaunt" than be driven insane by something as supposedly innocuous as a five-minute joyride.

It's also worth mentioning that Vince has a stock of lives that must be managed. Progress is saved every time the doll arrives at a stage, so there's no reason to fear Game Over. However, it's a good idea to farm the early stages for a few dozen extra lives. The checkpoint system is pretty generous, and the late-game platforming is bound to test anybody's patience. Still, this game is smart enough to place a few 1-ups in each stage, in places where the player is bound to trip over them. Nowadays, most platformers forgo the lives entirely, or dole out so many that they become meaningless. Voodoo Vince manages to get the right balance, while still allowing the especially cautious an easy way to stock up.

Screenshot for Voodoo Vince Remastered on Xbox One

Graphically, the game isn't much to look at. The whimsical characters can be a little off-putting, and the environments trend towards the drab and murky. However, most people won't be concerned over that minor issue. This is because all of their attention will be paid to the fantastic music. Composed by Steve Kirk, this swinging jazz soundtrack is utterly infectious. It doesn't matter where Vince is or what he's doing, the charming songs continue unabated. This has a very soothing effect that really elevates the hopping and bopping action. Even an untimely death doesn't stop the music, which is especially nice. This helps to make the most brutal scenarios a little easier to deal with.

The remastered edition focuses on delivering the same experience as the original Xbox release, but with all of the expected visual upgrades. Aside from a few drops during exceptionally chaotic scenes, the steady frame rate is pleasing. As one would expect, the game has received a resolution bump to 1080p, resulting in visuals that are crisp and clear. Otherwise, there aren't any significant changes, which is for the best. Even though it's over a decade older, this platformer still stands on its own well enough.

Screenshot for Voodoo Vince Remastered on Xbox One

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Voodoo Vince Remastered is what some would call a "working man's 3D platformer." It isn't ground-breaking or breath-taking, but it delivers on all of its promises. Each stage offers something new, but it never detracts from the core elements. The amazing soundtrack can't be praised enough. Above all, this game has aged quite gracefully. Even somebody who has never played it before - such as this reviewer - will find it to be thoroughly impressive.

Developer

Beep Games

Publisher

Beep Games

Genre

3D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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