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Oddworld Stranger's Wrath

The box art for Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath (although it's not just for Xbox anymore...).

Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath is an action/shooter game released for the Xbox in 2005, and also released and/or to be released on the PS Vita, PC, and PS3. You play as Stranger, a fearsome wandering bounty hunter who is trying to get up enough money (ahem, excuse me...moolah) to pay for a mysterious yet life-saving operation he needs for his leg. The plot takes a major twist near the end, but it will suffice it to say that much of the game is going through and taking in various bounties in order to get up some money (again, sorry...moolah).

First of all, why must it be moolah? Believe me, I know it's a real term, but is that really what everyone calls the currency? Weird. I guess that's why it's called Oddworld.

Anyway, I really like this game. I ended up getting it from my half-sister once because her Xbox stopped working (and some company didn't make Xbox 360s backward compatible. Why, Bill Gates, why?), and I played through it myself a couple of times. The major issue I have with it in terms of gameplay is that you're always being hit with insanely powerful weapons or with tons of different things at once. The good news is that you can shake yourself off to quickly increase your health, but honestly, if you can't find a place to do it undisturbed, it will be for nothing eventually.

But here's an awesome aspect of the gameplay: living...ammo. The idea just rolls smoothly through the mind. I had infinite fun using various combinations of creatures against the environments. You had Zappflies for stunning, Thudslugs for knocking guys unconscious to the ground, Stingbees for just stinging them to the point of misery...I could go on and on. They're just ultra-cool, especially in the way that in the last 1/3 of the game, you get upgrades that employ the same mechanics as the first one, but on a larger scale. For example, where Boombats explode, Boombat Seekers launch, split into three, and then explode. That is just the most heartwarming thing...

One thing I really dislike about this game is some of the content. Not necessaruly because it's badly done; in fact, it fits the old western feel quite well. It's just that this game is "T" rated, when the only thing they refrained from saying is the f-word and make a few creepy sexual references and some blood. I'm kind of used to this myself, but it seems like with this kind of language especially, this should be rated "M" instead of "T."

If I had to pick a couple of things I dislike in addition about this game, one is that it will take a lot of unnecessary practice to beat the game without the invincibility cheat, and a second is that you really may not want to come back to this game after playing it once or twice. There are no extra modes, and not a lot of replayability or secrets to provide some interest in returning.

Regardless, I found this game very enjoyable in the end, even with the racy content in between. Still, if you find yourself able to play it, I'd recommend a rent so that you can see what it has to offer (enjoy the live ammo), without making the full investment which is frankly not too worth it.

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