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|A.P.I Review:||Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus|
No.1 No.2 No.3
|Game Type:||Platform Adventure||Memory Card|
|Review Date:||November 1998||Analog Compatible|
Setting the Scene
When we last left our hero, Abe the Mudokon had successfully shut
down the Rupture Farms meat processing plant and defeated Mullock the
Glukkon's attempt to turn them all into meat pops. Abe's Exoddus picks up
where he last left off! After Abe falls on his head in the middle of his
victory celebration, three ghostly Mudokon Spirits appear to Abe in a
vision, begging him to come to Necrum, the ancient Mudokok city of the
dead. It seems the Glukkons are digging up the bones of the Mudokon dead,
so now they can't rest - they've become Mudombies!
When Abe travels to Necrum, he finds that his quest is just beginning. The Glukkons are using the bones they've minced in Necrum as the main ingredient in the ultra-addictive soft drink known as SoulStorm brew. And it's all Abe's fault - when he destroyed Rupture Farms, the supply of bones to SoulStorm Brewery dried up. So the Glukkons did what any right-thinking businessman would do: they found another supplier who would match their price.
Now, Abe has to infiltrate SoulStorm Brewery, rescue the Mudokons who are enslaved there and destroy the Brewery once and for all. And if you thought the Mudokons in Rupture Farms had it bad, wait untill you get a load of these poor saps. They can't even cry in peace. See, the secret ingredient for SoulStorm Brew just happens to be Mudokon tears. How else do you think the Glukkons are able to get that "deep rich flavah, that's rich without bein' bittah?"
Abe's Exoddus is the sequel to the award-winning, million-plus
global best-seller, Abe's Oddysee.
It is everything the original game was and a whole lot more: more levels, more characters, more interaction, more movies, more gameplay... and way more cool stuff - with all the personality, humour and quirkiness that's made Abe's Oddysee the success it was.
What's bald and wrinkled, whistles a lot and farts like a trooper?
No... not your Grandpa... it's Abe, and he's back for his brand new
If you never cast eyes over the first PSX Oddworld title then Abe's Exoddus is worth renting just for a peek at the visuals. The graphics are truly remarkable. In the original game each background screen was pre-rendered with meticulous care and forethought. The environment really came to life and made players feel as if they were truly adventuring into an alien world. Many of Oddysee's charms have been retained. While it retains it's 2D side scrolling format and follows the standard platform format routine it's the sheer depth of gameplay that's makes this title stand out from the crowd. The scenery has been given a face-lift now appearing even more detailed, with added depth.
There are so many impressive effects within Exoddus that it's difficult to know where to begin. Once again the characters movements are so flexible and incredibly well animated. Each motion forward smoothly flows through Abe's entire body as if he were an upright snake taking a stroll to chill out. When breaking into a run his arms flap loosely by his side and a sudden collision brings a slapstick 'fall down' reaction that the great Buster Keaton would have been proud of. Climbing, jumping, rolling... each performed smoothly and realistically.
Explosions are very well handled, enough to make you leap out of the armchair in shock. Not only does a blinding light flash across the screen accompanied by a resounding 'BOOM!' but section of the scenery are ripped apart and thrown up into the air with the sheer force of the blast.
Being a platform game, there are many objects that can be climbed and leapt across. They are all extremely well depicted and illustrated so there is little chance of the gamer missing an opportunity of course that does exclude the intentional hidden areas that are only discovered through trial and error or careful examination.
Sounds and Effects
What Abe lacks in beauty he most certainly makes up for in character. He's the village idiot, the bar comic and the school joker all wrapped up into one. Gamespeak is what makes Oddworld stand head and shoulder above it's rivals. By combining shoulder and face buttons Abe can be commanded to make a multitude of sounds and noises. Verbally he can say "Hello", order Mudokons to "Work!", "Wait!" or "Follow Me!" New to the game are the emotional pleas that he may now offer. For example "All Ya" gains a response from a group of workers, while sympathy, anger and a plain "Stop it" brings remarkable results. It's worth messing around in the Gamespeak menu for a short while to learn a few of the saying as they become so important to the gameplay.
For those who missed out on the original Oddworld game here are a
few pointers towards the style of play. Abe is a flexible character. He
can climb, roll, jump, drop, creep, run, crouch walk, throw, slap, pat,
speak and of course fart. When first picking up the control pad you will
not have a clue as to which combination of buttons operate each action. To
help you gain confidence a rolling electronic screen offers helpful advice
at each new hazard. For example when you arrive at what seems like a dead
end, the screen will advise you to crouch down and roll through a small
opening near the ground. This helps the game to keep flowing at a steady
The object of the game is to rescue Mudokons and basically stay alive. Throughout the game there are several interactive objects which Abe can activate himself, or in some cases request assistance. To activate a lever or switch simply stand beside it and press the action button. The rest is down to timing. To interact with the Mudokons press any of the speak buttons and the conversation will begin. A typical discussion could go something like this.
Abe - Hallo?
Mudokon - Hallo.
Abe - Work!
Mudokon - Okay
Abe - Ya All?
Mudokon - Yeah?
Abe - Follow Me!
Mudokon - Giggle Giggle.
Abe - Stop it! (Slap!)
Mudokon - Okay!
Riveting stuff, huh! Actually it works a treat and offers some of the top comical moments in video game history. Watch out for the laughing gas scenes. Whenever the Mukodons accidentally wander through the green gaseous cloud they become completely uncontrollable, laughing and acting the fool, pushing each other around. It's no good losing your temper and bashing the 'anger button' as they just get worse. You need to activate the 'slap button'. This seems to knock some sense into them for a few moments but you must quickly follow up with a push of the 'sympathy button'. Abe will pat the Mukodon on the back and say "sorry". Fail to do this and the worker will slap you back and a pitched battle will begin. Very soon you will be stringing together sentences that helps you move through game.
Working out the mood of each Mukodon is important and they will actually change body color depending on their present temperament. Once the Mukodons are following Abe he must guide them towards a warp exit. By chanting aloud the gateway will open up and the Mukodon will dive through the gap. To move onto higher or lower platforms Abe can activate lifts, climb up rocks, teleport from darkened doorways and jump into ventilation pipes. He can now also command tribes of Mukodons to help to solve puzzles that require many helpful hands. In Abe's Exoddus the little green dude even uses his own farts as a deadly weapon! Now that's what I call progress.
Value for Money
To the untrained eye Abe's Exoddus may seem fairly similar to the last outing but I can assure you all that there are sufficient changes to offer a whole new challenge. If the humor and stunning visuals don't keep you at it then the brain blasting puzzles surely will. There is a two player game but it involves taking turns... which you could do just as easily in single player mode.
|GRAPHICS:||18/20||Why change a winning formula? (Eh, Psygnosis). Although Exoddus is more of the same it would have been so easy for the producers to simply jumble things around and pump out a few new levels. Instead they have implemented sufficient new ideas, puzzles, humour and effects to offer another fresh and rewarding game. Well done GT!|
another visit to Oddworld...I can't wait! I loved the first Abe
adventure and was eagerly anticipating the release of this new title.
Well, I wasn't disappointed...in fact I actually liked this one better
than the first game. I found the overall balance of the game to be much
improved from its predecessor and the gameplay controls tweaked just
right. I also liked the save anywhere at anytime feature...cool...
The game looks pretty much the same as last years effort with slightly improved graphical effects and the same good old over the top sound effects! Looks like Oddworld may end up being a yearly staple of games to watch for...I sure hope so!