Electronic Gaming Monthly: Munch’s Xbox Oddysee [2001]

Date: January, 2001

Author: Crispin Boyer

Source: Electronic Gaming Monthly, Issue 138, p. 159

Need more proof that Xbox is a true game console? Just ask Oddworld Inhabitants, the guys behind the highly promising Munch’s Oddysee for the PlayStation 2, which – surprise! – isn’t really for the PS2 at all anymore. In a high-profile system shift, Oddworld Inhabitants pledged full support for Microsoft’s machine in late October and abandoned PS2 development altogether. Munch’s Oddysee will now be a launch title exclusively for the Xbox (Microsoft will publish the game), and the remaining installments in the series are Xbox bound, too. Now that’s not really surprising, given that Oddworld head Lorne Lanning has long been the development community’s most vocal critic of Sony’s system (he has come right out and said the PS2 is a “bitch” to work with). But what’s more interesting is what Lanning has to say about Microsoft. It’s a company that’s not afraid to pursue new game experiences, he says. In other words, Microsoft is willing to take risks. “In the end, we can only build as good a game as we’re being supported to build,” Lanning tells us, “and Microsoft’s passion for nurturing and supporting games that really push the edge is something that’s extremely rare in today’s industry. It’s one thing to have someone paying for it, and it’s another to have them really believing in it and encouraging it.” The Xbox incarnation of Munch’s Oddysee will offer the same novel gameplay as the PS2 game, except with richer textures and a higher degree of activity from the game’s population of beasties. But, more importantly for the focus of this feature, Munch’s Oddysee is most definitely a game conceived for the consoles and yet another example of the type of content Microsoft wants on Xbox.