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Opinion

Returning To Oddworld With Stranger's Wrath HD On PlayStation Vita

Howdy Stranger! Welcome back.

Almost exactly a year ago I sat and typed up my review of First/Third Person Shooter hybrid ‘Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD’ for the PS3. Despite a few niggles I absolutely loved the game. “There’s no doubt about it, Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD is punching well above its £9.99 price bracket,” I said. “The production values coupled with over ten hours of quality gameplay mean the game would easily be worth £40 if stuck on the shelf of your local retailer.”

“Frustrating difficulty spikes aside, Stranger’s Wrath had me hooked throughout. If TSA did half marks, this would be a well-deserved 9.5.” Well the good news is that now the game has made its way to the PlayStation Vita. Can it make a big impact on the small screen?

Firstly I should point out that if you’re really interested in picking up the game then you should check out my review of the PS3 version. I wrote a heck of a lot of words for it, and to do it all again would involve a lot of repetition. This article is to highlight how well the game has been ported to the Vita.

There are two big questions that I have been asked about when talking about Stranger’s Wrath on the Vita – is it a Cross-Buy game, and does it feature Cross-Saves from the PS3 version. Well, the answer is no and no. With regards to the Cross-Saves, Sony has a limit on file sizes which Just Add Water couldn’t meet (although not for lack of trying). In terms of download size this version weighs in at 1.5GB, which I was pleasantly surprised at.

Visually the game should please Vita owners as, despite looking jaggier than the PS3 release, it has lost none of its charm. Compare this to recent releases such as Resistance: Burning Skies and there’s just no contest; Stranger’s Wrath wins hands down. It’s especially nice to see that the fabulous game world hasn’t been compromised, and seems just as I remembered from last year. The screenshots don’t really do the game justice – you have to see it running on the Vita’s beautiful OLED screen to get the full effect.

Sound quality, too, seems unaffected when listening through a set of headphones, with the familiar title screen music booming out, and Stranger’s musings every time you press the square button.

With the Vita having so many control methods, the temptation must have been there to shoehorn in a load of features. Luckily Just Add Water has kept things to a minimum, and it works fine for the most part. Character movement is via the left analogue stick, with the right being used to manoeuvre the camera in third person mode, and to look up and down in first person mode. Upon starting the game I suggest digging into the menus and adjusting the speed of the third person camera, as the default setting seems far too sluggish, which you might not notice at first but can become a real pain when you come under heavy attack.

Switching between third and first person mode is a case of double-tapping the touch screen, which actually works perfectly fine. My initial worry was that this might become cumbersome during boss fights, but a couple of hours in and it has been no bother what-so-ever.

What I’m not a fan of is the melee attacks being mapped to the rear touch pad when you’re in first person view. I have rather large hands (yes yes, settle down) so frequently found myself brushing the rear touch pad and causing Stranger to melee attack when I didn’t want him to. Hardly game-breaking, but worth mentioning.

So – is Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD on the Vita worth your hard-earned £9.99? If you haven’t played the PS3 version then the answer is “absolutely”. All of the praise I lavished upon the game back in 2011 still holds true today. The story is interesting, the world is brilliant, the gameplay refreshing and the Live Ammo system is still a joy to use. £9.99 for a 10-12 hour game of this calibre is an absolute steal, and Vita owners should lap this up.

11 Comments
  1. avengerrr
    Member
    Since: Oct 2012

    Funny you should mention Resistance. Strangers wrath looks much better and I rather got the impression with the Vita’s power that it would easily be able to handle last gen games easily. So why there is so much apparent difficulty in creating a shooter for the Vita I don’t know.

    Will endeavour to pick this up anyway. Hopefully we might get Munch HD soon :)

    Comment posted on 17/12/2012 at 13:08.
    • ChazzH69
      Member
      Since: Dec 2012

      Munch is out the same day in EU and about a week or so later in NA.

      Then for Vita in February.

      Comment posted on 17/12/2012 at 14:02.
  2. KeRaSh
    Member
    Since: Nov 2009

    I’d be all over this if I hadn’t platinumed it across two back-to-back playthroughs on the PS3. It’s a brilliant game and the whole Oddworld universe is amazing.

    Comment posted on 17/12/2012 at 13:12.
  3. Kennykazey
    Member
    Since: Mar 2010

    Finally! It’s only half a year past the original date set…. But I’m sure it was worth the wait.

    Comment posted on 17/12/2012 at 13:33.
  4. colmshan1990
    Member
    Since: Apr 2009

    I never got around to playing this on PS3, so I can’t wait for it on Vita.

    Comment posted on 17/12/2012 at 13:33.
  5. jeccross
    Member
    Since: Feb 2012

    I think this needs a heavy plus discount. Most plus users will have it already, if I couldn’t play it for free on Ps3 I would be more tempted to pick this up. If a plus discount brought it under £5 then I may pick it up.

    Comment posted on 17/12/2012 at 14:57.
    • Kennykazey
      Member
      Since: Mar 2010

      I have the PS3 version for free with plus, but I chose not to download it, and rather wait for the Vita version. I really don’t mind paying for it as it’s fantastic value and a developer I want to support.

      I heard Gilray, the CEO of Just Add Water, talked about the price on a not-TSA podcast. And he said they, the developer, earn as much money per copy of this £10 digital version as they would on a retail disc version. It was PSNation, please don’t kill me!

      Comment posted on 17/12/2012 at 17:40.
    • Bodachi
      Member
      Since: Jan 2010

      £9.99 is well worth it to play it again on the Vita.

      Comment posted on 17/12/2012 at 17:57.
  6. Origami Killer
    Member
    Since: May 2010

    Bought the game when it first released on PS3 and haven’t managed to complete it, started it on hard and the difficulty spikes are just too frustrating for me to continue. I also have rather large hands which only fit around the Vita by placing my fingers on the rear touch screen so I could see that feature becoming a right annoyance for me as well.

    Comment posted on 17/12/2012 at 17:40.
  7. The Von Braun
    Member
    Since: Oct 2012

    Sounds like a quality release, own Xbox orig.plus bought it again on PS3 when it got the HD make over, though difficulty spike near end killed my interest in it.

    Why on earth could’nt Sony ‘relax’ the file size limit and make the Vita version something really special, other than just special?

    Red tape and bobbins like that yet again preventing features making it in, at a time when Vita really needs to be shouting from the roof tops the potential it offers.

    Well done Sony, you’ve brought a (butter) knife to a gun fight, sigh…..it’s always a case f what you could have had, hell Sony carry on like this, just get Jim Bowen (he’s still alive..right?) and have him do a voice over…

    Well gents, you’ve got yer Vita, you went for broke, did’nt work out, but look what you could’ve won (had), Vita slowly revolves to show a cross-save and cross-control featured version.

    But no-one leaves Sony empty handed, you’ve got yer tankard and DLC voucher and you’ve been smashing punters, but if you want cross-play? you’d better badger us for DLC, which we’ll charge you for (and it’ll be more than yer bus fare home!).

    Comment posted on 17/12/2012 at 17:55.
  8. bmg_123
    Member
    Since: Feb 2012

    Good job I deleted Modnation then, just enough space to fit this on my 4gb card!

    Comment posted on 17/12/2012 at 18:34.

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