Munch’s Oddysee: Our Heroes

Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee has two player characters. First, there’s Abe, hero of the first two Oddworld games and generally acknowledged savior of his people. Despite being an alien in an environment where the design of the aliens is generally rather inventive, Abe is basically humanoid. Then there’s Munch, a member of a newly-introduced aquatic species called Gabbits, which are vaguely frog-like, but with oversized heads and only one central hind leg. It takes a while to establish relative scale, because Munch is at first seen only around completely new alien types, but it turns out that he’s about half Abe’s height. Somehow I got the impression years ago the Munch was female, but that turns out not to be the case — in fact, now that I think about it, there aren’t any female characters in the Oddworld games at all.

The first level has you playing as Abe, presumably for familiarity’s sake. This is followed by a few levels as Munch, and after that, they meet up and you play levels with both of them together, switching control between them freely to use each one’s special powers to overcome obstacles. What are those powers? Primarily, Abe can jump and Munch can swim. Also, Abe can chant to possess Slig guards, although this uses up spooce energy — yes, spooce turns out to be good for something other than opening doors. Munch has a cranial implant that lets him operate machinery, obtain power-ups from vending machines, and unlock the cages containing captive Fuzzles.

Fuzzles are sort of like tribbles with googly eyes and jaggedy grins. They’re important as a gameplay element because we need something to rescue, and the Mudokons are by now all free. There are still Mudokons around, but they don’t need rescuing; they’re here to assist Abe, mainly by chanting at special doors that can only be opened by a certain number of Mudokons chanting at them simultaneously. This game really likes its special doors.

So, Abe can recruit Mudokons and Munch can recruit Fuzzles. In both cases, you can do something with them that the previous Oddworld games didn’t support: you can send them to fight your enemies. Which works because Sligs have apparently forgotten how to use guns. This is a massive change in the character of the series.

No Comments

Leave a reply