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Oddworld Stranger's Wrath PS Vita Review

Oddworld: Stranger's Wraith was a game that missed out PlayStation owners, however thanks to JustAddWater it managed to get the HD treatment and was later released on PlayStation 3 via the PlayStation Network. Not being content with its stellar performance in this department, now the same developer has released the game once more, albeit this time crammed on to the beautiful OLED screen of the PlayStation Vita. But does this version make the cut?

If you didn't play the game when it originally came out on the first Xbox, then the story follows a character called Stranger. He is a bounty hunter. As you can surmise from his name, not much is known about Stranger, other that he needs a mystery operation that will cost 20,000 of the games currency; called Moolah. So to collect the required amount Stranger works to capture bandits and outlaws using his trusty double barrelled crossbow and a menagerie of creatures that can be found in the world and used as weapons. The story offers some interesting twists in the later part of the game, but builds slowly giving you a chance to understand the gameplay mechanics before throwing anything too strong your way.

The creatures that dot the landscape are actually dumps. Stranger can use these animals to trap and kill the bandits he is hunting. It's a clever way of hiding the need for ammo based collection and gives you a little mini game to hunt down the creatures that you need to set that perfect trap. Each of these creatures has a particular use; for example the Stingbee is a rapid firing bug that works in a similar way to a machine gun and the boombat is a grenade that deals out damage or kills nearby enemies. The trap is the key to this game, Stranger has an impressive arsenal of critters to take the bandits down with, but if you want to collect the higher bounty then you need to set traps and take pot shots to bag them alive. The game is a combination of First Person Shooter and Third Person platformer, most of the battles you encounter are First Person Shooter affairs with Stranger required to set traps or snipe at enemies then move behind cover to protect and recover from any damage, but this lowers your stamina which automatically recharges over time or when you capture a bandit. You get more stamina and Moolah for live captures than dead ones, so it is always better to try and capture alive if possible.

The Third Person aspect of the game works in a similar fashion to games like Croc and Prince of Persia, but without the wall running. Stranger can climb and leap over blocks and the like, but this adds a more tactical edge to the game. With Stranger able to climb up to higher vantage points to trick and trap or snipe at the enemies below. The tactical side of things depends on the area that you encounter enemies in; you have various options to tackle the enemies within a given area from run and gun to a more stealthy approach. Stranger will be outnumbered dramatically in most encounters therefore you need to break groups up and pick them off one-by-one, to aid you in this Stranger can hide in tall patches of grass and lure bandits to him for a swift knockout or into trap creatures called Fuzzles, that attack and knock them unconscious.

So now you know about the game, but what about the PS Vita version specifically. Well, to answer one question straight away, it does not have cross-save compatibility with the PS3 version. The latter is a year old now, so this probably makes sense, although it would have been a nice feature to have. Elsewhere Vita's multiple control inputs haven't been utilised too much, character movement uses the left analogue stick, the right stick moves the camera and double tapping the touchscreen switches you between first and third person views.

Graphically the game looks wonderful, some of the opening scenes had my jaw on the floor, indeed tweeting a few of these captured images had many people inquiring as to what game I was playing thanks to its impressive looks. Gamers will also be happy to know that the sound is just as pleasing, with every grunt and slice of music being perfectly recreated on Sony's impressive handheld.

The amount of game time that you get from Stranger's Wraith is around the 10-12 hour mark, which is extremely impressive for a title released via PSN. Just as it did with other titles on PS3, JustAddWater has done an absolutely fantastic job of recreating this popular world. PS Vita fans are in for a treat, so snap this up as you won't regret it.

(Version Tested: PS Vita)


- Looks fantastic
- Almost 12 hours of gameplay


- Camera can be occasionally problematic

Edited On 19 Dec, 2012

( 1 )
PrometheusFan's avatar
PrometheusFan 4 years ago
The textures seem to have taken a big hit over the PS3 version, but I'm still pretty amazed they got a title this complex running so well on Vita and can still sell it at such a low price. Go JAW.

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