Wasn't really sure what label to use for this one. I really want to talk about my experiences with the Oddworld games and how excited I am for the new one that's coming out on the PS3 and PS4. Wondering if you guys have any stories about these awesome games as well. Anywyas, here goes.
What Oddworld Means To Me
So there I was in a Blockbuster looking for something new to play. My mom didn't want me to rent a game I had already tried so she pointed out one she said looked nice. Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee. I did not want to get that game, but my mom forced me to get it anyways. I had no idea how lucky I was at the time.
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I was completely averse to the game when I first saw it. It didn't look like anything I had ever played before and I was always scared of trying new things. With a little coercion I started playing the game and was at a loss for what was going on. I was playing as this blue guy called Abe who worked as a floor waxer on the biggest meat processing plant on some strange planet called Oddworld. The opening cut scene revealed that Abe's boss was gonna kill him and all of his fellow workers and turn them into food in some attempt to make more money.
Abe's voice in the cut scene very quickly endeared me to the guy. I wanted to do what ever I could to help him out. Once I figured out the controls I started running and jumping away from the slug looking bad guys with guns. Not long after I came across another Mudokon, one of Abe's friends. As I made my way over to him I noticed a lever in the room. Without a second of hesitation I pulled the lever to see what it would do. The floor beneath the Mudokon's feet gave way and the guy fell into the darkness while yelling in surprise. A moment later I heard a thud followed by a dark musical tune. I accidentally murdered an innocent guy.
This took me a bit of time to process as a young teenager. I did not like the idea at all of killing these poor, unsuspecting slaves. I restarted the game and started to apply caution to my movements. Always taking my time to think about what might be the outcome of my next action. I saved every Mudokon I came across and destroyed all of the gun-toting 'Sligs' in my way. It took me a lot of retries, but I eventually beat the game and saved every single one of Abe's friends. I felt like a true hero and that my actions made a difference in a world full of hate and prejudice.
This game was unlike any other game I had ever played. The voice acting and cut scenes really pulled me into the game. The plights of the characters made their world feel real and substantial. Dying in the game is so easy so there's always this feeling of being weak, but when you overcome a difficult obstacle it's that much more meaningful. Oddworld started to be the only thing I thought about rather than Mario or Halo. I liked those other games, but I never felt like they taught me anything. Those games were just fun. Oddworld was that and so much more.
I bought the second game, Oddworld Abe's Exoddus, before I had even finished the first. I knew I would love the game and did not even bother renting it first like I normally do with my other games. This game was far more humorous than the last but still managed to keep up the dark atmosphere that made it so unique. This game is probably the greatest sequel I've ever played. Abe had all sorts of new abilities, a bunch of new enemies, more intricate puzzles, and the game was at least three times as long as its predecessor. The game also featured more Mudokons in the cut scenes and breathed more life into their personalities. They were filled with so many emotions and differing motivations. It's practically impossible not to fall in love with them.
The Last Gabbit On Oddworld
As I was playing through Oddworld Abe's Exoddus I started seeing commercials on TV about the brand new game Oddworld Munch's Oddysee for the Xbox. I was so excited for this game. The commercials showed Abe and his friends in 3D which was a first for the series. I couldn't wait to see all the Sligs, Scrabs, and other Oddworld creatures in this new game. Unfortunately I didn't own a Xbox so it was something I had to admire from a distance, or so I thought. One of the Blockbusters I normally went to started renting out Xbox consoles so I of course decided to try out the new console and Munch's Oddysee.
So while preparing to play the game my youngest sister asked if she could join me. I didn't normally like playing games with my sisters too much because they always seemed to accidentally pull wires out, but I decided to let her play with me anyways. We cooked a pizza to share between the two of us and tossed the game into the Xbox. We were quickly captivated by Munch and found him just as lovable as Abe. We felt so bad for him as his entire race was hunted to near extinction.
These strange guys, called Vykkers, were experimenting on little Munch. They seemed very strange and scary until they started to talk. The two Vykkers had very high pitch feminine voices and talked about their torturous activity in a way that made it sound like a boring, repetitive chore. The dialogue these two exchanged seemed a lot like how an old married couple would sound and my sister and I found it hilarious. The amount of times my sister and I have reenacted this scene is uncountable and just goes to show how interesting all of the Oddworld characters are. The villains aren't simply evil and out to destroy the world. There's so much more to all of the characters in these games that isn't readily apparent just by looking at them.
My youngest sister and I saved up our allowances for a year and put our money together to buy our own Xbox and Munch's Oddysee. We had so much fun playing the game together and as always the story was just amazing. A couple years after we beat the game my sister got me into using the internet and talking to people in online forums. I eventually stumbled across Oddworldforums.net
I didn't even realize how much information about Oddworld I had been completely oblivious to. I learned about how Oddworld Abe's Oddysee came to be, I learned why Munch's Oddysee wasn't on PS2 and that the game was envisioned very differently from how it appears on Xbox, and I also learned about Oddworld characters that haven't even appeared in the games yet!
The awesome thing about Oddworldforums though was meeting all the fellow fans. There were so many people to talk to about Oddworld. I became really close friends with a lot of the people there and had a few quarrels with others. Trolls do scour every part of the internet, but overall I'd say my experience was a rather good one. One of the members I met on the website made a particular effort to talk to me about games she liked and introduced me to titles I had never seen before. Many years later, somewhere along the way, we hit it off and we've been dating for about three years now. I moved over to Australia to be with her and I have to say every day living with her is just amazing.
Back in 2005 a new Oddworld game came out. Oddworld Stranger's Wrath. I was incredibly disappointed by the sound of the game. Abe and Munch weren't going to be in the game and well the game itself was a western themed shooter. I never really cared for most of the shooters coming out during the big craze and I thought it a true shame that Oddworld was losing its unique spark in order to follow a trend. None the less I bought the game anyways out of respect for the older titles. Maybe some spirit from the older games might have sneaked its way in?
As usual I felt incredibly silly for doubting the team behind Oddworld. Stranger's Wrath is an amazing game and is absolutely nothing like the other shooters coming out around that point in time. This game does start off a lot slower then the other Oddworld games in terms of story, but at about the half way point the game just explodes with atmosphere and characterization. Playing Stranger as his story unraveled before me was an incredibly engaging experience. It was at the end of this game when I truly felt how powerful interactive story telling was and how a good story teller could take things I normally don't care about and change them into something truly mesmerizing.
On Oddworldforums.net I came across a fan game of Oddworld someone was making with a program called Game Maker. It wasn't the best game in the world, but I was enraptured by the fact that someone still in High School like myself had made it. I decided to download the program and give it a go myself. My first few projects were pretty bad, but I never lost the desire to keep learning and improve my skills. With time I moved over to developing games with ActionScript 3 using FlashDevelop instead so people could play my games without having to download anything. I've participated in a few game jams and am currently making a murder mystery game. Oddworld really inspired me to chase my dreams and I have to say I couldn't be happier.
New 'N' Tasty
The very first Oddworld game, Abe's Oddysee, is being completely remade from the ground up by a new development team and is going to have all sorts of extra secrets and hidden goodies. Seeing this game again after all these years makes me remember all the great moments I've had in my life because of it. I'm incredibly excited to play this new game and support the developers who are working tirelessly to appease their fans, such as myself. It looks absolutely beautiful and all the screenshots I see of the game's world instantly bring a smile to my face. It's like I'm seeing the game for the first time all over again.
Oddworld Abe's Oddysee New 'N' Tasty can't release fast enough.
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Edit: Updated label. For more information on labels, click here: http://community.us.playstation.com/t5/PlayStation
Edit: Edited title