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Nov 7, 2000

GW Xbox > Xbox Previews > Preview Page


Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee

Oddworld Inhabitants



Q4 2001

Very High

One of the most anticipated PS2 titles is now an Xbox exclusive. It's not so much as odd as it is just good sense.

In what came as a complete shock to the gaming world, Oddworld Inhabitants canceled its eagerly awaited Munch's Oddysee for PlayStation 2 in favor for an Xbox-only title. The then PS2 title would have been one of the premiere titles to showcase what Sony's mega-system is all about, but the folks at Oddworld Inhabitants believe their Oddworld series will fare better on the Xbox. What once was a title that got gamers excited for PS2 will now be the one that will get us all gaga for Xbox.

Gamers can now see Munch in an Xbox first-party launch title. The second in a five-part series, Munch's Oddysee follows the exploits of none other than Munch, the last of his species. Munch is from a race of aquatic creatures called Gabbits. Every last Gabbit, save for Munch, has had their lungs removed and transplanted with the despicable Glukkons' lungs. If that isn't bad enough for Munch, his leg is broken and he must get around on a wheelchair.

The poor guy has to deal with a lot, and on top of that, he is the Glukkons' guinea pig in one of their pharmaceutical labs. Thankfully, Abe, the hero from the first two Oddworld games, comes to Munch's aide. Abe stumbles upon Munch, rescues him, and convinces the reluctant Gabbit to help Abe in his plight to rescue the Mudokon mom. Just because Munch is confined to a wheelchair doesn't mean he won't be of much help. On the contrary, he is able to manipulate mechanical objects much in the same way Abe can control the minds of his enemies.

While the game has gone from 2D to 3D, much of the gameplay mechanics from the first two Oddworld games can be found in Munch's Oddysee. Not only can Munch utilize mechanical things, he'll also be able to make use of his aquatic abilities for swimming. Vending machines that pop out power-ups will give Abe new abilities like speed boosts, increased jumping ability, and the power to climb walls. Additionally, tweaks to the gameplay will also help make Munch's Oddysee an even better gaming experience. For example, activating switches and the avoidance of running into walls will be automatically taken care of, leaving gamers to concentrate on the many puzzles and challenges that face our two unlikely protagonists.

Another major aspect of gameplay is Gamespeak, the language of sorts in Oddworld. Abe and Munch will be able to communicate with NPCs just like in previous games, but Oddworld Inhabitants want to add more depth to the way communication is handled in Munch's Oddysee. Not much is known on how they'll do this, but it should be just as fun and intuitive as in the first two games.

If you've been keeping up with the game's progress on the PS2, then you know just how beautiful Munch's Oddysee was. Much of what was developed on PS2 can easily be brought over to the Xbox. It's no surprise that the game will look better on the Xbox. Munch's Oddysee will feature even more dynamic lighting than what the team at Oddworld Inhabitants was able to show on the PS2. In fact, Lorne Lanning, President and Cofounder of Oddworld Inhabitants, says Munch's Oddysee incorporates true dynamic lighting, something that hasn't been done on a console system. In addition, bump-mapping and reflection-mapping will greatly add to the visual masterpiece this game is becoming, thanks in large part to DirectX 8 and the sizable amount of RAM the Xbox features.

Everything about Munch's Oddysee points to a must-have launch title. By keeping the very best of the series and incorporating new gaming mechanics and just making it all a hell of a lot more fun, Oddworld Inhabits looks to have yet another hit on their hands.

Robert Zuniga
Uses Gamespeak on his fish to no avail.

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