Review: Voodoo Vince: Remastered

Now, here’s a little story I’ve got to tell about a voodoo doll you know so well. It started way back in history with Xbox, Beep Industries, and me, Natalie C.

The game, originally an Xbox original exclusive created by the founder of Beep Industries, Clayton Kauzlaric, is your average platformer filled with collectibles and secret areas. It’s been beautifully redone in HD which really gives the game the design that it deserves against a strange New Orleans type backdrop. Vince has come to life as his creator, Madame Charmaine, is kidnapped after refusing to give up her ‘Zombie Dust’. The dust is spread into the air and begins to transform nonliving things into living things; and this is where Vince comes to life.

Games like this are hard to come by nowadays as so many big developers are focused on things like virtual reality and motion capture. Of course, moving forward with technology is the best route that gaming could take however sometimes its just relaxing to sit down with a well designed, and simple, platforming puzzler. As a true remaster, (no extra levels or added bonuses), the game retains everything from the 2003 original, including the 8 hours of playtime. No, the eight hours shouldn’t scare people away; it’s fun throughout and filled with tons of witty dialogue and fun puzzles the entire way through.

Not really deviating from your average platformer, the game takes you through different areas of this New Orleans-like town where you must solve puzzles in order to proceed to the next area. Some of these puzzles are really well designed, forcing you to do them a few times before really realizing where you made your mistake. The levels are designed for exploration and regardless of how many times you think you may have scoured the area, there’s always a place you missed. Fortunately, hunting things down is still a ton of fun as you find entrances and passages that you didn’t see before, testing the limits of just how far Vince can jump and float for.

This game has you collecting ‘Voodoo Powers’, giving Vince an array of different powers that affect his enemies. It’s pulled off through little animations of Vince being attacked in some way, (like being cut by a chainsaw or having an anvil dropped on him), and then transferring those injuries to the enemies in the vicinity. It’s very wacky but it isn’t tacky, conjuring laughter more than cringe as you cycle through the different animations every time you unleash a dumb attack. This also ties into the actual conversations you have in the game, whether it be with someone who can help you or an enemy, the game has aged relatively well in terms of dialogue. Many of the bosses and enemies you meet deliver passive-aggressive lines that really hits that nostalgia related to games like Psychonauts and Grim Fandango.

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Closer:

Voodoo Vince certainly looks his best in this well deserved remaster of the original game that graced our grubby hands 14 years ago. The game is oozing with charisma and character that fans, new and old, will be able to find both hilarious and  challenging. Hopefully, this game’s release will continue the trend of remastering older fan favorites.

You can pick up Voodoo Vince: Remastered on either Xbox One and PC for $14.99.

Released on April 18, 2017

Developed and Published by Beep Games, Inc.

Reviewed on Xbox One

(4.0/5)

4-rating

A review copy was provided for the purpose of this review.

Check out the trailer for the game:

Review: Persona 5

Ah, yes; it is finally time for everyone to read what the Dwellers think about Atlus’s most recent American release, Persona 5. Just like every other sane person in the world, we think it’s way too awesome for words, (but we will do our best anyway). The game follows several teens who all have the same goal of transforming evil people by taking their hearts in a strange metaverse that uses monster-like weapons called Personas. The game is a little difficult to describe if you have never played a Persona game before but let me tell you that I’ve successfully managed to convince several people in my personal life to play the shit out of this one, (Michael and Mike).

Not only is the story incredibly well done as it focuses primarily on the actual evil within human hearts, it is very human and very much an exaggerated version of the mundane. Of course, things like turning into a Phantom Thief and fighting your way through gigantic Palaces in order to steal a treasure that will give the Palace creator a change of heart may seem a little far-fetched, but it’s the idea of why they’re doing it.
Many antagonists in the game are what the cast calls ‘shitty adults’: adults that don’t think about the consequences of their actions because the only people who care are the kids that they’re messing with. In a way, that’s true in the world outside of the game so many of the missions that these characters set out to do can sometimes feel a little more personal and really adds value to your gameplay.

Alongside that, the combat is packaged very well with an incredible combination of weaponry and your handy dandy persona. Like the previous games, you have the ability to collect different personas and utilize them as you please in battle. An even simpler battle system was added that allows you to quickly pin your enemy personas against their weaknesses without having to shuffle through all your personas. It allows for much quicker battles and lets you be on your way even faster than before. The grinding in this game feels far less like you’re just battling endlessly and really let’s you have fun and explore the Palaces/Mementos.

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This game also features probably the best cast of characters as well as the best Confidant characters, (characters that fuel the power of certain personas according to how your relationship with them is), in any Persona game. Almost all relationships that you can build in the game feel very personal and real, unlike some of the more stoic characters from previous games. Every character you meet is actually important to the overarching story, even if it doesn’t always feel that way, and have greater an effect on how you play the game than you may realize.

The environment is beautifully designed and it’s really clear just how much time Atlus spent on the environment, Palace designs, and enemy designs. It is undeniably beautiful and much of the combat is so stylish and well presented that you almost can’t help but continue to enter the Palaces just for more.

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Another aspect of the game I think deserves some real recognition is the way that the game focuses on you being a Phantom Thief. In previous games, you’re obviously important and the work you do is important however it is pretty much unknown to everyone that isn’t part of the initial group you play as. In this game, the Phantom Thieves are well known outside of the metaverse and actually pose a kind of threat to the characters real lives, as is seen early on in the game, (the game plays as though you are playing through a flashback). It’s a welcome story element that adds to the overarching plot and really adds to your gameplay as you discover new Confidants and meet new people.

Closer:

Persona 5 is definitely the best numbered Persona game in the series and really opens the door to new players unlike any other JRPG that I know. The game is undeniably gorgeous and inviting, paving the way for future JRPGs in the West and hopefully opening more doors to those who don’t normally play the genre, (yes, we are very excited about Yakuza Kiwami).

Released on April 4, 2017

Developed and Published by Atlus

Reviewed on PS4

(5/5)

Check out the trailer for the game below:

The Good, The Bad, The Unforgettable: Yoga Hosers

Okay, let me begin by saying that this film, and I’ll even quote it for you guys, “is the best film I’d seen in a while”, (you can just copy and paste that quote wherever you’d like, I made it easy for you). Yeah, that’s super bold to say and in a way, you really can’t trust a person who doesn’t have much under her belt minus a few podcasts and reviews. So, let me explain just why I believe that anyone who is a fan of both Kevin Smith and Canada should watch the journey between two best friends unfold.

There will be spoilers so don’t read any further unless you feel totally sure about your decisions.

The film stars Harley Quinn Smith, (Smith’s very own daughter), and Lily Rose Depp, (Johnny Depp’s very own daughter), as best friends Colleen Collette and Colleen McKenzie who work at a Canadian convenience store called Eh-2-Zed.  Doesn’t already have you hooked? Well, the teenagers are invited to a ‘grade twelve’ party by two older boys, (played by Austin Butler and Tyler Posey), who happen to be fucking Satanist that want to disembowel the Colleen’s. Does that have you hooked? No? Well, the convenience store is soon overrun by murderous Nazi bratwurst that kills the boys and leaves the girls to fight for themselves. 

Please, tell me that you want to watch it now.

The girls are arrested and then interrogated by Guy Lapointe, a strange French detective who happens to be played by Johnny Depp himself. Of course, he believes the girl’s story as he himself has evidence of these ‘Bratzi’ monsters. After failing to defeat the monsters, the Colleen’s are taken to the bratzi’s ruler, Adronicus Arcane, a Canadian Nazi who froze himself so he could rise again later.

The film is so much stupid fun and you can’t help but laugh alongside all the guest appearances like Haley Joel Osment and Justin Long from the film that started the whole thing, Tusk, (another conversation for another day). There is plenty more to find in this film but it would be terrible of me to spoil it any further for you.

While I must admit that this isn’t Smith’s greatest work, it definitely does not deserve to be considered a ‘bad film’, but rather an unforgettable one. In ten years, I guarantee that this film, as well as many/all of Smith’s films, (future, current, and past), will grace film lover’s, and general fun lover’s, shelves around the world.

I know that many of them grace mine.

Check out the trailer for the film below: