Review: "Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath": Switch Adequate HD Port Of EA Classic

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When Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath was released in 2005, it was an X-Box-exclusive. PC and Playstation 3 received high definition ports in 2011. Nine years later, the game finally made its way to a Nintendo console in the Switch.

EA

Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath follows the adventures of Stranger (bonus points for originality, eh?), a resourceful bounty hunter who's as tough as they come. Whether if it's using his brute strength or his arsenal, he takes down outlaws to collect bounties. He's trying to earn enough to pay for a life-saving operation. In addition to punching and slam attacks, his hand crossbow can fire live critters at his foes to take them down. Once they're down, you suck them up to get collect the bounty. You get more if captured alive.

Review:
Credit: Oddworld Inhabitants, Inc.

Stranger's Ammo

You get an unlimited supply of zappflies that serve multiple purposes. First, you can fire directly at enemies causing light damage. Second, you use them to incapacitate other critters to reload your ammo. Third, you fire one at an antenna switch that triggers the moment electricity makes contact.

Stranger uses chippunks as lures to draw enemies. After you isolate the target, you use different ammo or physical abilities to take it down. Bolamites are spiders that spin web to incapacitate the enemy rendering them prone. Fuzzles have sharp pointy teeth that wreak havoc against targeted enemies or random passersby when fired into the ground as a trap.

Thudslugs are armored critters that act as cannonballs. You fire stingbees from sniper mode and take down targets in one shot. Stunks provide crowd control as one fired among a group renders them helpless allowing you to isolate targets and collect their bounty. Boombats act as grenades timed to explode indiscriminately damaging any that falls within its blast radius. You upgrade each critter to provide more potent effects.

Review:
Credit: Oddworld Inhabitants, Inc.

Controls

Given the controller standard, Stranger's Wrath responds adequately in first and third perspective views. I had to toggle controller sensitivity for aiming. Aside from the standard RPG elements of your arsenal, you can also upgrade your armor. Physical attacking and falling causes your stamina to drain. You can physically heal yourself so there's no need to collect health-restoring items. Double-jumping becomes essential when it comes to closing gaps. Climbing mechanics are simple.

Story

In terms of story, it's the typical Old West where you clear a town's problems by collecting bounties on their biggest threats. Rinse and repeat. The bar graphically isn't high since despite the HD upgrade still feels like it's a two-generation old game. It could have easily been ported to the Nintendo 64 or Gamecube without sacrificing much in terms of graphics. The voice acting isn't anything to write home about and been okay with text. For long periods of time, it might even be preferred.

About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangora. As a professional writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.

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