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SummaryMore Abe, More Oddworld, More Magic, and More Fun!
The GoodIf you take a brief look at the screen shots you might think that this is a simple platform game, this is certainly not the case. It is a combination of high-speed platform action and puzzles that has the words “adventure” written all over it. This game is pretty big, it certainly is bigger than Abe’s Oddysee and you won’t finish it in a weekend. The atmosphere that characterizes Oddworld is simply stunning. No elves, dwarves or other cliché characters. It’s really another world with very strange settings and a lot of peculiar creatures (ever heard of sligs, glukkons or paramites?). Even better, the designers & artists of the game make Oddworld come to life using outstanding visuals (as good as it gets in a 2D game). The pre-rendered backgrounds are very detailed and for once I enjoyed the FMV sequences. Besides being of good technical quality, they are also humorous. I saved my game before every FMV so I could watch them again (I later discovered there is a cheat that lets you watch all the movies, see tips).
The main character of the game is the Mudokon Abe. He is one of my favorite game heroes because he is so sympathetic. He's got no weapons or big muscles and looks so sad, which makes him a very unlikely hero. But Abe can perform a lot of different actions like defusing bombs, sneaking past sligs, hiding in shadows, picking up stones and throwing them at different angles. Abe also has two special abilities. The first one is possessing other creatures and this is lot of fun. After you’ve possessed a creature you play a part of the level with this creature. You can even possess your own farts and use them for scouting purposes or you can let them explode. Moreover Abe can talk to the other Mudokons by using “gamespeak”. Gamespeak enables you to give commands to the other mudokons. For instance you can tell them to follow you or start working. There are eight or ten different things Abe can say and you say something by pressing a key. Abe’s voice is well done, I like the way he says Yehwo if he wants to say hello. And probably the best thing about this game is that you can now also use gamespeak when you possess another creature. So if you possess a Glukkon you can tell your sligs to fire at each other and before you know it you are having conversations in paramite language.
Finally Abe is easy to control. This is one of the very few PC games I like to play with a gamepad.
The BadSome puzzles are frustrating in a “lemmings kind of way”. By that I mean you know how to solve the puzzle, it’s just that you have to give a certain command at exactly the right moment. For instance a lemming had to start building one nanosecond after he had turned in order to reach a platform. In Abe’s Exoddus for example, you'll have to guide blind mudokons past rotating blades using “gamespeak” which is equally difficult. These mudokons keep on walking and you have to tell them to stop at exactly the right time. There are more examples in the game of puzzles that are really difficult just because timing is so crucial. If not for the new quick save option (not included in Abe’s Oddysee), that allows you to save your game at any moment, you would probably destroy your keyboard out of frustration.
In my opinion the coolest levels are all in the first half of the game. Even though all levels look good, the levels in the second part lack the majestic atmosphere of the Necrum, Mudomo and Mudanchee levels. These levels take place in ancient tombs and jungles. In the second half of the game too many levels have the appearance of a factory. Moreover the Paramites and Scrabs only appear in the first levels. I’m not saying the later levels are bad, just that they lack the creativity that turned the first levels into masterpieces.