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Home > Review Archive > Video Games > Results: Voodoo Vince

Voodoo Vince
by Andrew Bub
October 30, 2003

A terrific platformer for the Xbox, now cheaper!

Reviewed for XBOX.

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Scroll down for our Kid Factor.

Little, different, better... masochistic

Voodoo Vince scurries onto the Xbox platform with a charming モpatta-pattaヤ sound (really). Heメs the first real contender for Xbox platform mascot and Microsoft should be please Beep Studios came up with such a thoroughly charming and witty character. Cute platform mascots are a dime a dozen. For every gold standard Mario, Rayman, Banjo-Kazooie, Sonic, or Crash Bandicoot, there are forgettable characters like Bonk, Bubsy, and Xboxメs own failure, Blinx. Itメs gotten pretty difficult to come up with something original in platform gaming, and Vince certainly delivers with charm, wit, and a great deal of polish.

Voodoo Vince is a rag doll, the モ3rd best Voodoo Dollヤ in Madam Charmaineメs collection. Charmaine, a Voodoo practitioner with a charming bayou patois is captured when the bad guy, Kosmo the Inscrutible raids her shoppe in search of Zombie Dust. The spill wreaks magical havoc on the oleメ Big Easy and animates Vince in all his burlap glory. Charmaine is connected to Vince and gives him advice throughout the game, often with cute little hints.

Vince runs around in his gothic and stylized world. A dark humid and gritty New Orleans backdrop and his enemies are flying frogs, giant bugs, crocodile men in tight T-shirts, and Boss creatures of enormous size. The setting is used to great effect making familiar tasks and locations from other games into something new and refreshing here. The puzzles are fiendishly designed and often involve Vince hurting himself. In one Vince has to steal gasoline from an animated Gas Pump monster. The solve is to immolate himself, but the trick is staying aメblaze all the way to the bad guy. Another involves manipulating a giant clock to fool various storefronts into opening and selling the items you need. A third has you jamming with a Jazz playing skeleton. Very cool stuff, daddio.

Vince has some combat powers. He can punch and perform a whirling attack. Defeated enemies leave colorful beads behind and these slink and slide like oil on water toward you. Collect enough and you can perform a Voodoo Curse, which destroys all on-screen enemies in a humorous way and at the hapless protagonistメs expense. Bear Trap, for example, creates a giant trap that snaps on Vince several times until heメs cut in half. Then the power within him lashes out and destroys the bad guys. Vince, being a Voodoo Doll, is okay after doing this. He can also survive immolation, crushing, and falling from great heights. Most puzzles involve putting Vince in harms way, which is a clever change to formula. Vince can be hurt by monsters and if he falls into bottomless pits, but you get a generous allotment of lives per level.

The visual design owes a lot to Tim Burtonメs Nightmare Before Christmas, and there are a lot of top notch special effects tied to the voodoo powers, and scenes like when Vince is aメflame, all the animation and visual cues are well timed and laugh out loud funny. Showing that while making this, Beep Studios was at the top of their game. The sound design is fantastic. The combat and action sound effects, to the droll and quality voice acting. Vince himself is given a sardonic tone of voice reminiscent, but nowhere near as affected, as the late Paul Lynde. Special consideration should go to the dark Jazz fusion used for music. Itメs hummable, light-hearted, comedic, and it successfully evokes both New Orleans Jazz and the macabre subject matter.

The only failing is that itメs perhaps a bit too short. But not so short that itメs brevity affects the score. Put simply Voodoo Vince is exactly what the Xbox needed most: An exclusive, original, and eminently playable platform game and a hell of a mascot for the now two-year old Xbox.

Kid Factor: Voodoo Vince deals with monsters, self-mutilation, occult themes, etc., and does so in a comical manner less harmful than your average Warner Brothers cartoon. Overall the game is tasteful, containing reference to adult themes (Vince encounters a closed house of Burlesque and ponders how モeducationalヤ such a place would be) but they always take a step back before they cross the line. Thereメs some potty humor, but itメs surprisingly witty. Feed an apple to a horse statue and it shudders, shakes, and a platform appears beneath its tail. Thereメs a Voodoo Curse where Vince sits down on a can and then explodes in a shower ofナ not what youメre thinking. What Iメm saying is, sensitive parents will be offended by some of this stuff. But parents with a bit of a nasty streak themselves will love sharing this one with the kiddies.



Reviewer Recommended Ages 12+
ESRB: T-Teen (13+)
Genre: 3D Platformer
Producer: Microsoft
Developer: Beep


Click to learn more about GamerDad's Kid Factor review section. Voodoo Vince deals with monsters, self-mutilation, occult themes, etc., and does so in a comical manner less harmful than your average Warner Brothers cartoon. Overall the game is tasteful, containing reference to adult themes (Vince encounters a closed house of Burlesque and ponders how モeducationalヤ such a place would be) but they always take a step back before they cross the line. Thereメs some potty humor, but itメs surprisingly witty. Feed an apple to a horse statue and it shudders, shakes, and a platform appears beneath its tail. Thereメs a Voodoo Curse where Vince sits down on a can and then explodes in a shower ofナ not what youメre thinking. What Iメm saying is, sensitive parents will be offended by some of this stuff. But parents with a bit of a nasty streak themselves will love sharing this one with the kiddies. Kid Factor by Andrew Bub

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Home > Review Archive > Video Games > Results: Voodoo Vince
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Game Info:
Platform(s):
XBOX

ESRB rating:
T - Teen

Score:




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