Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee HD Preview (Vita)

Sitting in the middle of the Vita section of Sony’s booth at E3, directly next to Vita version of Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD, was about one of the most unexpected sights of the show — Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee HD, running on a PlayStation Vita and playable right there on the show floor. Although it seemed to maybe not necessarily be as far along as Stranger’s Wrath HD Vita, the game still did look great and had a decent amount of polish.

The area of the game on the show floor starred Abe, the protagonist of the PSone era games. In the area, Abe explores a mountainous environment with a winding boardwalk-like bridge around it, off in pursuit of Mudokans to enlist to help him solve puzzles and progress in the game — very much a 3D version of his adventures from the first Oddworld titles. Holding down the R button in the game brings up a menu with selectable commands: “All of ya!” “Hello,” “Wait,” “Work,” “Attack,” and “Fart.” Abe has to get the Mudokans to follow him and then get them to “work” by chanting in front of doors. A specified number of Mudokans have to be gathered to chant before the doors will open.

Abe can help get Mudokans get across obstacles, too, with a throwing mechanic. By positioning himself behind them, Abe can pick up Mudokans and toss them. If Mudokans should happen to run into trouble and die, though, the game has a solution in the form of the resurrection totem. By offering a certain amount of “spooge” — a substance oozed by melons that Abe walks over to break — Abe can resurrect dead Mudokans, who will instantly be brought back to life in front of Abe in the totem area.

The part of the game playable on the show floor did seem to consist of the same kind of “find Mudokans, bring them to the door and get them to work” gameplay. However, that was a consistent recurring gameplay sequence in the original Oddworld titles, albeit with Metroidvania-esque gameplay included. The game did run smoothly, though, and judging by Just Add Water’s work on Stranger’s Wrath HD Vita, Munch’s game will look even better than it does now. Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee HD is said to be liberating Mudokans on PS3, Vita and possibly other unspecified platforms sometime this year.