Reviewed on Xbox


Reviewed By: John Marchant

Computer Platform: Microsoft Xbox
Produced by: Microsoft
Price Range: $50
Learning curve time: 30 min.
Age level: 16+
ESRB Rating: Teen

Genre: Action/adventure
Christian Rating: 2 of 5
Gameplay: 4 of 5
Violence: 3 of 5
Adult Content: 2 of 5

Screenshot from 'Oddworld Munch's Oddysee'
Welcome to a really odd world. The makers of "Oddworld Munch?s Oddysee" (OMO) were right on target when they named this game. No other word I know can sum up the world in which these creatures live besides odd (maybe bizarre would be okay). OMO has loads of action and adventure for game players as well as the ability to use strategy. It has different levels of difficulty with the chance to play good ole' arcade action and utilize basic tactics. Notwithstanding the claims, there are both good and bad points in this game from a Christian perspective.

The theme of the game is somewhat simple and viewed within the backdrop of the former versions of the game on the Playstation platform. Abe and his pal Munch, the main characters of OMO, must fight and strategize their way through various levels of play while collecting Spooce power-ups and rescuing their friends from the Vykkers. Abe (a land creature called a Mudokon) and Munch (an amphibious creature called a Gabbit) work both in isolation and together to beat their opponents. There are some levels where Abe works alone, and vice versa, but the game gets more challenging when the levels call for them both to work together. It is quite a challenge sometimes to choose which creature to use for what.

Screenshot from 'Oddworld Munch's Oddysee' The gameplay and graphics on this Xbox game are excellent. The ability to manipulate the characters in this three dimensional world is astounding. The player should use S-Video if possible to get the very best picture. The controller itself has many functions including the usage of the pressure sticks. The graphics, colors, and general game play, as already said are excellent. The sound is also wonderful. I found the game quite addicting, when I could get by its many faults.

However, I cannot recommend the game to anyone less than 17 years old. Perhaps, this is because I am the father of children younger than 13 and can?t imagine them ever being exposed to the things on the game, but my sensitivity (or hypersensitivity) governing my opinion to recommend the game is for you to judge. After all, it was rated for those 13 years of age and above. I did my best to be objective about the game.

First of all, the game is crude. The bathroom humor is not something that can be ignored. It is actually integrated into the game. One of the buttons causes Abe to pass gas, while it causes Munch to belch. The purpose of these noises in gameplay is to use Gamespeak (R). This makes gameplay more fluid. The language in the game is also offensive. The use of curse words was enough to cause me to be offended and certainly not approved for a thirteen year old. The game is also filled with occultic overtones, shamans, chanting, resurrecting the dead, and possessing your enemies (I don?t think the almighty raisin really meant anything). The box claims the game has “Comic Mischief” and “Violence.” I played the game many hours and found the violence level to be grisly at worst and cartoonish at best, and the so-called “Comic Mischief” to be offensive. It is a shame, because the gameplay is fun and addicting.

In summary, although "Oddworld Munch?s Oddysee" is a very playable, fun and technologically advanced game, I could not get past all the other items that are so interwoven into the game. The game has many “movies” in it, which are highly inappropriate (though they can be skipped). The movies include morbid themes and offensive language. And the occultic overtones and crude humor are such a part of the game that it could not be played very long without them. OMO and its variants have been around for several years, so I don?t expect the basic themes to be changed, but at least the language and crudeness could have been cleaned up. For these reasons, I cannot recommend the game to the Teen level, which is ascribed to the title. Perhaps, an older more mature Christian could play it, but that must be decided by the parents or the individual.

Year of Release—2001

Neutral—I disagree with your review, the crude humor and language is very mild. The violence is some times heavy (blood, getting cut into tiny pieces, blowing up, etc.) There are some occultic overtones, sure, the worst thing is bringing people back to life. Overall, I think it's suitable for ages 11, and up. My Ratings: [3/5]
   —John Morgan, age 36

Positive—Hi there. I am a “standard Issue” team who has played many a Game. On first take, Oddworld is a fantastic building block of the previous titles put out by Loren Lanning. I personally found the game visually astounding and fun to play. I personally think that the review that "the game is not geared to the teen for which it is rated" is debatable. Yes there is some “off color humor” and the like, and even a smidgen of "foul language". But to say that your team shouldn't play it for this may put some negative effect on the individual, in my view is overly harsh. The teams of today that occasionally slip into the outside world experience far worse offences then this game has to offer on a regular basis, I hope one can say that he (she) has trained their child well enough to cope in a world full of tainted influences. Just my humble take. My Ratings: [3/5]
   —NECROLIGEST, age 18

Comments from Young People…

Positive—…This game's alleged “toilet” humor is noting you wouldn't find in most PG movies, and occult references? … give me a break… My Ratings: [5]
   —Kyle, age 17, non-Christian

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.

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