Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD (Video Game Review)
Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD follows the story of a bounty hunter simply named Stranger that will take on most any job if the pay is right. Stranger needs money for a special surgery, but he soon finds himself fighting for more than himself when he encounters a Grubb town in need of a savior. While the tale isn't completely original, the world, its inhabitants and Stranger himself make this twisted adventure one that needs to played to fully understand, and the Wild West theme is presented nicely to show off a whole new side of Oddworld that hasn't been seen again since the game's release. Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD's improved graphical quality can be seen in numerous characters, the game's environments and during the cutscenes throughout the game, and this only makes a strong storyline that much more enjoyable for the new release.
While the majority of Oddworld titles are strictly scrolling platformers, Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD is an open world, first-person shooter with third-person platformings that manages to differentiate itself from other games in the genre with a unique armory of weapons. Stranger will typically find himself armed with a crossbow, but the bounty hunter fires strange creatures with various properties at his foes rather than your typical crossbow bolt. The weapon effect range from the machine gun like Stingbees to the explosive Boombats, and each ammo type allows Stranger to more easily capture his prey or kill the tougher enemies of the game. Boss battles in the game mix up the action nicely and offer different challenges that will have you playing for hours on end, and the new release features three difficulty settings for veterans of the series who are looking for an even greater challenge.
In addition to the improved visuals, Trophy support and three difficulty settings, Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD offers up the only way to enjoy Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD on the go with PlayStation Vita. The game does boast PlayStation Vita exclusive controls and features, but they only add up to a little more than touching the screen to interact with objects in Stranger's nearby area or to talk to the town's characters. Possibly the best improvement the game makes is in the audio quality, as one of the biggest complaints with the original title was some of the voice acting and a few other sound design problems. The sound is now clearer than ever before, and some of the characters seem to have completely reworked lines. Combine these great features, throw in a few easter eggs for additional fun and give the new release a polished finish, and you have a game that is well worth the $9.99 asking price, and PlayStation gamers who pick up Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita can enjoy a discount on the two games. If you picked up this release on PC earlier this year, you may decide to pass up the PlayStation 3 offering, but you'd be a fool to ignore the title if you've never played it before. Saddle up partner; it's time to go on another Odd ride!
Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD is now available for PlayStation Network and PC and can be purchased for $9.99. Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD is rated T by the ESRB for Blood and Gore, Strong Language & Violence. For more information on the game, check out the official Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD website.
Developer: Just Add Water
Publisher: Oddworld Inhabitants
Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita (reviewed) & PC
Release Date: September 9, 2012 for PC, December 18, 2012 for PlayStation Vita & December 21, 2012 for PlayStation 3