Oddworld is one of those weird yet wonderful game franchises. Oddworld is a planet inhabited Mudokens who are generally a peaceful society. If you have played previous games I the franchise such as Abe’s Oddysee and Abe’s Exoddus, you will come to notice that Strangers Wrath is less puzzle orientated than before. Not to say that it is a bad thing though.
Stranger’s Wrath was originally released in 2005 on Xbox and then followed on to Windows (2010), PS3 (2011), PS Vita (2012), OnLive (2012), iOS (2014), Android (2014), Ouya, OS X (2015). It has now made it to Nintendo Switch. The jump to the Switch almost seems natural for a game such as this. It just fits.
You play as Stranger, a bounty hunter wanting to make a simple living collecting bounty’s in part of Oddworld that is like what can only be described as John Wayne movie set. A mix of third-person and first-person make up the in-game action and shooting is as simple as tapping a button to toggle between two different viewpoints that are needed to nab your target.
Stranger’s weapon of choice is, well, odd. Yep, pun intended. The weapon of choice is a wrist mounted bow-gun that fire live ammunition. “But all isn’t ammunition supposed to be live?” you say. I mean “live” ammunition, as in living! Yup, you shoot living creatures from your bow-gun. They are actually quite cute. Some of these creatures are for dealing direct damage, some trap your prey. Each one has its special use that will help you take your bounty alive to get the most reward. This is what our Stranger is after, Moolah! He needs to earn a bunch of it to pay for a some mysterious surgery.
As you play Strangers Wrath, you do become somewhat invested in the story. For me, it did seem quite tedious at first, but it does pick up as you delve deeper into this beautiful looking world. I found playing in both docked and undocked modes smooth and fluid on the Switch. Graphics were crisp and colourful. The controls are average at best, but this is more of a fault of the tiny thumb sticks on the Switch controllers rather than of the game itself. I always did find that the size of the sticks makes it very difficult to use any kind of precision whatsoever. Still, you can use a full-size controller if need be, so it’s no real big deal.
Stranger’s Wrath has a whole bunch of humour packed into the narrative. Granted this humour, for the most part is rather dark and sadistic, but for me, that is one of the things I love about this. There are some surprisingly serious times throughout that can take you by surprise also.
A platformer with a good story isn’t unheard of, but it does seem rare these days… Or is it I just don’t get out enough? Stranger’s Wrath is also a surprisingly large game. In terms of time to complete that is. I say that, but it is said that the Oddworld planet it is ten times the size of earth in surface area, but I digress. I haven’t yet completed it on the Nintendo, but it is around 16 hours or so long, depending of course on how long you meander around or if get straight to work.
As I mentioned earlier, the world is presented beautifully on the Switch. The colours pop and the movement is fluid. As soon as you start the game the menu’s do give you that “older” game feeling. The selection buttons are just so huge! The menu and options are all kept simple and clear so as you can get right into the game without drama. Load times are super short and sometime non-existent. Even undocked with the Nintendo’s CPU dialed down, you don’t notice a whole lot of difference.
Video from our Nintendo Switch - Undocked
I am more than happy that Stranger’s Wrath has made the jump to Stranger’s Wrath HD on the Nintendo Switch. There are so, so, so, so, so many games on the Switch Store now that knowing what to play and what to skip is a hard task. If you have never played an Oddworld game before, do take a punt on this one. It is wonderful combination of RPG, Platformer, FPS and fun with some puzzles thrown in.
Stranger’s Wrath doesn’t carry a whole lot of replay value but with a game this long, it doesn’t need to. There are many hours of bang-for-your-buck-fun to be had without the requirement numerous “Season Updates” and DLC that seem to be synonymous with games today.
- Beautiful Graphics
- Effective Gameplay
- Humorous One-liners
- Simply Fun To Play
- Many Many Hours Of Play
- Those Grunts When Jumping
- Does Take A little Bit To Get In To