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

    Mysore now has Sandalwood Museum to educate people on its farming and benefits

    One of the popular products of Mysore in Karnataka is its Sandalwood. The distinct aroma and health benefits of Sandalwood from Southern Indian state attract millions of people around the world and now one can not only witness Sandalwood products but also its history and cultivation.

    India’s first Sandalwood Museum has now been opened in Aranya Bhavan, Mysore, Karnataka, and will soon be inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Karnataka on November 25th.

    The first of its kind of museum, Sandalwood Museum offers a lot of beauty and fragrance to tourists. Reports suggest that it might also shift in Mysore Palace premises where one can witness the majestic Mysore Palace and also explore the museum.

    About Sandalwood Museum

    The forest division of Mysore has set up its first Sandalwood Museum on its premises and Karnataka Co-operation minister S.T. Somashekhar said that the forest department might soon shift the museum under Mysore Palace Premises.

    When you visit the museum, one can learn more about Sandalwood where you can learn about its classification, farming, varieties, and more. The establishment has decided to display posters with information about Sandalwood growth and its help in the prevention of diseases.

    Educating Farmers and Visitors about Sandalwood

    Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF) K.C. Prashanth Kumar also stated that they have already completed 80% of the work on the museum and the Chief Minister of Karnataka B.S. Yediyurappa will inaugurate the museum post on November 25.

    There would be a separate room, auditorium, projector, and seating arrangement for visitors to know more about Sandalwood Cultivation. “The visitors can also have first-hand information about it through interviews of successful sandalwood growers which would be screened. Audio information pertaining to sandalwood would also be provided to the visitors.” Said the Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF).

    The forest department currently encourages Sandalwood Farming and through this museum, visitors and farmers can get various information and tips about Sandalwood cultivation. 

    Latest Posts

    Don't Miss

    Get notified on updates    OK No thanks