Fans of Oddworld will instantly recognise the classic title Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee. Yes, it’s an intentional adaptation of the word ‘Odyssee’ to incorporate ‘Odd’ within it. Much like Abe’s Oddysee and Abe’s Exoddus.
When we initially announced the role-playing game’s release in our May Game Release schedule, we were excited to get a copy for review. The Oddworld game series goes back to 1997 when Abe’s Oddysee launched on PlayStation1.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee. Initially released in 2001 for the Xbox, I personally played it in 2015 on the PS Vita. It was definitely a different take from the side-scrolling platform game series we had become used to. We’ll get to that in our Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee review below.
|Platform reviewed:||Nintendo Switch|
|Release date:||15 May 2020|
|Price:||£26.99 / $9.99 / R488|
|Genre:||Adventure, Action, Puzzle, Role-playing|
|Play modes:||TV, Tabletop, Handheld|
Starting up Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee certainly sends chills up the spine. Players can watch featured video clips from previous Oddworld games which explains everything that has happened before Munch’s tale begins.
When you do begin playing, you’ll start as Abe, since Munch has been kid…, uhm, alien-napped. Good old Abe is up to his tricks again, rescuing his fellow Mudokons. You’ll run around helping them out of tricky situations and sending them through special evacuation points.
After the initial Abe story, you’ll play as Munch. This one-legged, three-toed beasty has some of his own tricks. Using new technology that the evil Vykkers have installed on his head, you’ll break free from their grasp and set out to save his species from extinction.
We won’t spoil the rest of the story for you in our Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee review. The last thing we’ll mention is that Abe and Munch eventually team up to work together. In our opinion, the developer Oddworld Inhabitants have always been masters at storytelling in their fantasy world.
Unlike the initial Oddworld games where you needed to simply save Mudokons, you’ll need their help to help them escape. Much like a mindless workforce, you’ll be telling them to follow you and then instructing them to chant to open doors and gateways.
The same applies to Munch in the beginning. While he may have some extra fire power to start with, you’ll be gathering the victims and leading them to portals for evacuation.
Of course, you’ll be receiving some cool power-ups and upgrades along the way. The connector Munch’s head becomes like a multi-purpose tool. You can zap enemies and items at the start. Eventually, you can control large weapons or movable cranes.
As most Oddworld games have become used to, every stage is one massive puzzle. You’ll need to work out how to get through or around obstacles without losing too many of your followers. Sometimes, it becomes a bit repetitive, rehashing ‘go there, do that’ commands. Yet, overall there were areas where the game was challenging, in a good way.
The most important aspect, for Abe at least, is learning your commands. In the beginning, I was farting away (literally, Abe still breaks wind) instead of telling Mudokons to follow me. It doesn’t take long to get used to, though.
The main commands are telling your team to follow you, wait, and perform some action. Munch can pretty much do the same when saving his species, but the greater focus is with the scanner on his head.
If you prefer lengthy games, then we’re happy to inform you in our Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee review that the gameplay is pretty long. It consists of several scenes, performing tasks and overcoming obstacles. Even if you’re into speed runs, you’ll enjoy several hours in this game.
Now for the essence of our Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee review for the Switch. I remember how playing the role-playing game felt on the PS Vita. The movement and controls were so bad, I stopped playing. There were also complicated commands, such as holding L1 or L2 to access other voice commands.
That’s been removed on the Switch. Now, you’ll have separate commands for simply pressing a button or holding it in. It’s difficult to say whether this is an improvement.
You still need to remember which is which, and this makes the triggers rather unnecessary. On the other hand, using less buttons makes it slightly less complicated. It comes down to user preference in the end.
The one issue we did have was with some movement. You’d be surprised how difficult it can be not to fall off cliffs and platforms in some areas. However, it was much worse on the PS Vita and the Switch offers some improvement in this regard.
If you’ve played Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee before, you’ll get the feeling that the graphics has simply been ported over rather than improved. Well, to be fair this isn’t a remastered version of the game. So I guess it’s to be expected.
However, there are some truly amazing scenes and special effects at times. We do miss the side-scrolling Abe we loved so much so many years ago. Yet, the 3D graphics are illustrated well on the Switch. It also runs much smoother than previous platforms.
All the familiar sounds return, which we loved for our Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee review. Videos and in-game dialogue consist of voice-acting, which is perfect for this lazy reader. Some sounds truly capture the ambience of certain settings.
The downfall is that the sounds become repetitive at times. Where chanting and voice commands are fun at first, it becomes monotonous later on. Not that it can be helped since you’ll be performing similar tasks throughout the game. Yet, a musical break in repetitive sounds would have been appreciated.
In summary, the Switch port of Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee performs much better than previous platforms. The fact that you can choose whether to take the adventure role-playing game with you or play on the big screen is a major benefit of any Switch game. We absolutely still love Oddworld stories and their fantasy settings and hope to see more Oddworld Switch games to come.
We recommend the game and feel that Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee is worth buying, especially for Oddworld fans. It may be a bit pricey right now though, but South Africans can at least enjoy a reduced price of R325 until 28 May 2020.
|+ Complete immersion in this Oddworld tale|
+ Exciting story full of suspense
|+ Pleasant visual atmosphere|
+ Voice acting
– Sounds become repetitive
|+ Special abilities and power ups|
+ Hours of gaming
– Movement can be tricky at times
|+ Smooth performance|
+ Stunning scenes
– Camera angles wonky at times
If you enjoyed this review, feel free to read some of our other articles.