Writing yesterday about Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD ReMIX prompted a wave of nostalgia through me. Specifically, it prompted memories of another game that upped the ante on ridiculous shenanigans. That game is Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath. This game was a real trip. It's set in the same universe as Abe's Odyssey and Munch's Odyssey, the Oddworld. This world is populated entirely by anthropomorphic animals and other kinds of magical creatures, and it's amazing in its absurdity.
You play as the enigmatic Stranger, a bounty hunter with a mysterious past. Your objective is to earn as much moolah (in-game currency) to pay for a necessary, life-saving operation. You acquire this moolah by bringing in your bounties, either dead or alive.
This game is bonkers fun. It is almost self-referentially ridiculous. One of the coolest parts of the game is its unique live-ammo system. you see, instead of firing regular darts or arrows with your trusty crossbow, you fire little critters, based on real-life animals. These range from Stunkz, which debilitate enemies in a small area, to Boombats, which operate effective like rocket-propelled grenades. It feels crazy, and it is- crazy fun.
The bad guy is Sekto, a corrupt business leader who has drained the Mongo river with a dam, thereby dooming the local population of Grubbs to die, left without theri main source of food. Without trying to reveal too much, Sekto has a vendetta against the Grubbs' protectors, and believing that the Stranger knows how to find them, he pursues our noble hero relentlessly.
Aside from the fun, frantic gameplay, the narrative of the game seems to be a commentary on industrialization, as the increasingly industrialized Sekto persecutes the peaceful, more rustic Grubbs. It is up to you, as the Stranger, to ensure the freedom and survivial of these dimunitive people by putting an end to Sekto's tyranny.
The game was re-released with an HD update through Steam as well as on the Playstation Store. You best believe I'm going to revisit it, if only to shoot off a few Boombats at some unsuspecting bounties. Check it out.