The title has the honor of being the first 3D game in the series. The game that was initially designed for PlayStation 2, but surprised the Xbox fanatics instead. The game that has people emotionally attached to it since its first release back in 2001. This time around, Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee is back with a remake, under a rebadged title of Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee HD.
Taking a dive into the storyline, the game revolves around two protagonists, Munch and Abe. The antagonists they are up against are Glukkons and they are threatening the existence of Munch’s race. Not only that, but Glukkons are also a threat to Fuzzles, a race that Glukkons use as their test objects. Munch gets kidnapped and is held hostage at Glukkons’ laboratory, where they insert a sonar device in his head. However, finding the best opportunity, Munch escapes and joins Abe, who also happens to be on a mission against Glukkons. Both of them then work together to bring down Glukkons.
Amongst the two, Munch is more battle-oriented owing to his abilities to control Grabbers and Snoozers. Abe, on the other hand, can possess the enemies, which I found to be pretty useless and frustrating ability, as well as throw a few slaps every now and then. Not just this, but you can also direct your rescued characters to follow you into the battle, or fight an entire battle on your behalf. This is a pretty clean trick if the AI was not that stupid. You will often find your characters being stuck behind a door sill, or taking some time off while their teammates took their beating during a battle. There will be times when the characters you rescue will miraculously disappear only to be found in a ditch later on. If such is the case, you might have to restart the game, since there is no way of bringing them out from that ditch. A few vending machines are also spread across the levels that generate several perks that boost your performance momentarily.
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As far as the controls are concerned, there has not been much of an improvement in them since 2001, even with the availability of modern-day advanced game engines. The response time of the characters is more than it should have been, and you will often have trouble guiding your characters across a thin bridge. I thought the controls are character-oriented when controlling Munch became easier while in water than on land. However, Abe, who cannot even swim, was also better to control in water than on land. It is a disappointment seeing the game making no improvements in controls in almost two decades.
Camera angles are another downside to the game, and they have been in all of the first-gen 3D game. It is a shame the developers did not fix this issue in the remake. The camera will zoom in and out on you unnecessarily. Not only this, but the camera will go bonkers once you are closer to the wall trying to give a view of your blindsight. This really takes out the fun from the game when you have to sit there waiting for the camera to calm down a little.
Graphics are not particularly bad, at least not on Switch, but the game has a few glitches. Once you see a swarm of incoming enemies, prepare for a framerate drop. And another blow to the game comes when you get stuck within the wall and cannot get out without restarting the game. Moving the camera is also a troublesome experience since it blurs the graphics.
Talking of sound effects, they usually sit well with the theme of the game. The problem arises when Munch has to use its wheelchair. The wheels of that wheelchair need a lot of oiling, I suppose since their squeaks will irritate you to a level beyond comprehension.
I have a few other reservations with the game, especially when I leave the characters idle for a few moments and they start scratching themselves. I mean its fine that they are meant to be douchy but they are in a dire need of a shower. It is extremely irritating watching them stand there and getting comfortable. They even produce this peculiar sound while scratching, and it’s so loud that it makes it difficult to understand other conversations going on around in the game.
Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee is a wonderful game to play, only if you are still stuck in 2001. We have seen a lot of remakes, of old classic games, but the majority of them have had major changes in their controls, graphics, storylines, and gameplays. As far as Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee HD is concerned, nothing has changed much over the years. If you have played this game at the turn of the century, it might have your interest again on your Gen Z handheld console, but for new players, there is nothing much to be excited about!