Date: October 2000 Source: P2, Issue 1, pp. 40-42
ODDWORLD: MUNCH’S ODDYSEE
THERE ARE SOME STRANGE THINGS HAPPENING ON PLAYSTATION2…
Welcome back to the dark macabre place that is Oddworld, and the skinny hero, Abe, who inhabits it. There are a lot of sequels on the way for PlayStation2 but Munch’s Oddysee has to be one of the most anticipated titles. The previous two games may have amazed, but this one is going to knock your socks off! No longer are you hampered by two dimensional gameplay – this game is a huge, immersive ecosystem in which you can wander around as freely as any self-respecting Mudoken should be able to.
Actually, your freedom in this roaming adventure is multiplied two-fold, as you can now not only play as Abe, but also as a new character, Munch. Probably one of the unluckiest creatures around, Munch broke his leg in a bear trap and was then abducted by aliens, who took it upon themselves to plant a ‘device’ in his skull! It comes as little surprise to learn that he is the last of his species – the rest of the Gabbits (as they are known) have been hunted down and turned into food products by the Glukkons. The game begins when Abe finds Munch and becomes his guardian angel, promising to help Munch find the last can of Gabbit Caviar and save him from extinction.
Abe and Munch have a love-hate relationship and Abe spends a lot of the time pushing the poor broken-legged creature around in a wheelchair! Don’t let this trick you into thinking Munch is helpless though, as with the tap of the R2 button you can take control of him – and he moves surprisingly quickly in his chair. This new character really comes into play, however, when you drop him in some water. His species is obviously aquatic because Munch can dive in and out of the water with ease – even Flipper didn’t have this much control!
You need to use both characters to their full in Munch’s Oddysee and the only way to get through some of the puzzles in the game is to make use of a combination of the two. As in the previous games, Abe can use mind control to take control of the Sligs and Glukkons, but with Munch on your side you have a whole new trick up your sleeve to play with. Thanks to the alien implant, you can use Munch to take control of mechanical devices and machinery! In one section of the game, for example, Munch can take control of a crane. With this added depth and variety it looks like you’ll be scratching your head and having sleepless nights all over again. The game even includes a more advanced version of Gamespeak, so you can persuade fellow Mudokens to do your bidding.
Unfortunately for you, not all the new additions to Oddworld are fighting on your side. New enemies include evil scientists, known as the Vykkers, and some giant blimps going by the name of Meetles. The Meetles are the strangest of all the new additions, as throughout the game they can change into all sorts of things, depending on what or who they eat! They’re not the only ones either, as both Abe and Munch seem to be affected by their dietary decisions and snack choices. Unlike other games, where power-ups come in the form of coloured blobs sitting on the floor, in Munch’s Oddysee power-ups are delivered to you in the form of food and drink from scattered vending machines. Drink an espresso from the coffee machine, for example, and you get a caffeine high that instantly doubles your speed! Another vending machine sells bubblegum which makes your character all bouncy. Expect to be jumping upand down with this game on launch day.
RUN AWAY, RUN AWAY
As ever, the ‘odds’ are stacked against you in the latest outing. You play both the skinny Abe and a wheelchair-bound Munch – both of whom are completely without weapons! To top it all, you have to face off against nasty things like this heavily armoured Slig, complete with a huge gun, armour plating and infra-red goggles!