Saturday, April 17, 2021

Oddworld: Soulstorm Review – A NEGATIVE Batch Of Brew

Playing Oddworld: Soulstorm is as arduous as Abe’s quest to liberate his Mudoken brethren from slavery. Each step is a supreme test of patience as you methodically guide your followers through challenging hazards, sweating over the fact that one slip-up could unravel all your effort. If you enjoy putting up with that old-school challenge, you might love this journey. However, if you’re a newcomer or a fan that believes this style of platformer hasn’t aged very well, turn back now. Soulstorm doesn’t do enough to modernize the series’ tedious gameplay, and a litany of severe technical hiccups spoil Abe’s attempted comeback. A reimagining of Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus, Soulstorm’s gameplay remains largely the same: you recruit and guide followers through 2D platforming stages littered with dangers. As charming as the classic Oddworld games are, they can be frustratingly difficult and that hasn’t changed much in Soulstorm. Most Slig enemies and other hazards mow Abe down instantly, and I was infuriated by how little wiggle room I had to correct course when things went sideways. Abe drops so fast that it makes the health meter seem like a cruel tease. While playing Soulstorm, I often felt like I was walking on eggshells because of that high price of failure, retracing every step, re-recruiting every Mudokon, and carefully guiding them through a gauntlet of foes is soul-crushing when it all falls apart in seconds. Dying to unexpected perils, like being suddenly gunned down by off-screen enemies, feels cheap and happens way too often. A crafting system serves as Soulstorm’s biggest addition, but it doesn’t feel necessary. You must repeatedly gather the same ingredients every time you die (by searching lockers, trash cans, and fallen foes), which wore me down in a hurry after repeatedly replaying certain sections. The crafted tools themselves, like proximity mines, smoke screens, even a flamethrower, do add a welcomed element of flexibility and improvisation to gameplay. Dropping smoke screens to create hiding spots anywhere is nice, but I wished I didn’t have to make these items myself and grew tired of digging around the same spots over and over.   Even when Soulstorm’s difficulty eases up, the gameplay is bland. The action feels largely the same from previous games in the series, and that formula doesn’t evolve significantly beyond the first few hours. Even the more interesting sequences, like facing down a giant mech aboard a speeding train, are far too punishing to be fun. I’m glad that Abe controls better now (he even has a double jump), but the controls still have a mushy unresponsiveness that makes entertaining actions, like possessing Sligs, feel like a hassle. The controls also lead to additional deaths because Abe doesn’t act as swiftly as you need him to, especially during the ill-fitting, overly demanding combat arenas that pit you against waves of baddies while you try to protect fleeing Mudokens. Soulstorm would be a tough recommendation for anyone outside of diehard fans if it performed flawlessly, but I encountered several progress-sabotaging bugs (even after installing the big day-one patch) that should scare off even those players. When I died, Mudokens sometimes failed to respawn alongside me even though my tally indicated they were still alive and under my command. That meant I lost out on turning in followers that I’d spent ages trying to safely liberate, which negatively affected my overall quarma – a vital metric in determining which of the four endings you get.  Abe occasionally gets stuck in environmental geometry, forcing a restart. At one point, I fell into an infinite loop. One escape portal permanently vanished once I reached it, forcing me to abandon followers. A gun in a late-game turret sequence failed to shoot despite working fine in previous segments. After multiple restarts, I randomly discovered that clicking the right stick “fixed” the weapon for some reason, allowing it to fire. I spent over an hour trying to lead a large group of followers through a particularly challenging area, but once I opened the exit door an invisible wall prevented me from moving forward. I was forced to restart this entire, lengthy sequence twice before the exit worked properly. Soulstorm’s gameplay pushed my patience to its limits, but these bugs sent me over the edge and made me nervous every time I started a new level. “What on Earth is going to screw me over this time?” I regularly asked myself. Soulstorm’s faults are a shame because its narrative and presentation brought a smile to my face. Abe and his pals are goofy, delightful underdogs I couldn’t help but root for. The enjoyable story is packed with heart, and the cutscenes look great. I wanted to welcome Abe into a new generation of gaming with open arms, but Soulstorm fails to make a case for why its brand of cinematic platforming works today. In fact, Soulstorm only reaffirmed that Abe’s past adventures are best viewed with rose-colored glasses.
More

    Latest Posts

    Shout! Unboxes B: THE START – THE BEST Collection!

    Shout! Unboxes B: THE START - THE BEST Collection!

    Shout! unboxes B: THE START – THE BEST Collection!

    in June

    After announcing the special home media set for the well-received anime, Shout! Factory has debuted a fresh video unboxing the exciting B: THE START – THE BEST Collection ahead of its October release! The special video could be below viewed in the ball player!

    Directed by Nakazawa and Yoshinobu Yamakawa (Little Busters!), this gripping, character-driven crime procedural blends the visual marvel of anime uniquely, dystopian sci-fi supernatural fantasy, and gritty mystery narrative in equal measures. The series music is made up by Yoshihiro Ike (Blood: THE FINAL Empire, Tiger & Bunny), with the theme song supplied by former Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman.

    Hailed by anime enthusiasts and worldwide fans because of its distinctive genre-bending storytelling, B: THE START season one arrives on national entertainment shelves and digital download to possess on October 6, 2020 from Shout! Factory, in collaboration with Anime Limited. B: The Beginning season one Blu-ray Combo Pack (Blu-ray + DVD) collects all twelve thrilling episodes (both versions – the initial Japanese audio with English subtitles and the English dub), a mini-poster, two art cards, and insightful bonus content featuring the pilot film that inspired the series, a particular video interview with director Kazuto Nakazawa, and much more. The English dub has a popular voice cast of Johnny Yong Bosch, Allegra Clark, Ray Chase, Brianna Knickerbocker, among other notables

    If ever an anime series was designed to be observed in a deluxe entertainment packaging, that series now could be here. Shout! Factory, in collaboration with Anime Limited, may also release B: THE START – THE BEST Collection on the same day. This limited-edition set comes housed in a visually striking slipcase, with three art cards and a 160-page hardback book. The written book is really a comprehensive series bible, packed with information regarding every part of B: The Beginning’s world and story, taking fans behind the scenes of its production with staff interviews, character designs, background artwork, location information and much more. Featured in a deluxe disc portfolio would be the Blu-ray of the entire first season, the pilot film that inspired the series, a particular interview with director Nakazawa, original soundtrack on CD (featuring 21 tracks, like the previously unreleased “Farewell to the Black-winged King”), and much more.

    B: THE START SEASON ONE Series Overview

    The tiny city-state of Cremona has been shocked by way of a string of gruesome murders. As only vicious killers are increasingly being targeted, and from an enigmatic mark left at each crime scene, people call this mysterious executioner, “Killer B”. When former detective Keith Kazama Flick is named back working after an eight-year-long hiatus, a fresh team assembles at the Royal Investigation Service with the goal of putting an final end to the bloodshed. But Keith appears burdened by way too many ghosts from his past. So when much greater and ominous scheme starts emerging, he shall have to comprehend them all.

    Bonus Content for B: THE START SEASON ONE Blu-ray Combo Pack (Blu-ray + DVD)

    • Series presentation in the initial Japanese audio with English subtitles and English dub
    • Pilot film that inspired the Netflix series
    • Clean Opening – Clean Ending
    • Interview with Kazuto Nakazawa
    • A mini-poster
    • Two art cards

    B: THE START – THE BEST COLLECTION (Limited-Edition)

    Bonus Features

    • Series presentation in the initial Japanese audio with English subtitles and English dub
    • Pilot film that inspired the Netflix series
    • Clean Opening – Clean Ending
    • Interview with director Kazuto Nakazawa
    • 160-page hardback book

    A comprehensive series bible, filled with information regarding every component of B: The Beginning‘s world and story, taking fans behind the scenes of its production with staff interviews, character designs, background artwork, location information and much more.

    • Original Soundtrack on CD (featuring 21 tracks, like the previously unreleased “Farewell to the Black-winged King”)
    • Three art cards

    

    Latest Posts

    Don't Miss

    Get notified on updates    OK No thanks