Oddworld fans have reason to rejoice once more: Just Add Water, the scrappy indie development house behind December 2011’s HD remake of Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath, tweeted on Friday that an HD remake of Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee is coming sometime during Q2 2012.
Like Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD, Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee HD will be available on “PS3/Vita and others” according to the tweet, but not on Xbox 360. A quick delve into the developer’s Twitter replies shows that, although the series is not exclusive to any platform in particular, “MS do not want either game currently.”
Microsoft’s lack of interest in either of the Oddworld HD titles is puzzling. The original games were Xbox-exclusives, and can still be played using the Xbox 360’s backward-compatibility emulation mode, albeit in standard definition and with broken sound. The opportunity to resurrect them on their native platform, and in glorious HD, for little-to-no cost, would seem like a gift, especially when you consider that Stranger’s Wrath HD is currently enjoying a Metacritic rating of 83.
As well as dropping the release window, Just Add Water also tweeted two images from the game — the new logo and a non-HD to HD comparison of Munch. Fans of the series may already be aware however, that Just Add Water are maintaining a Munch’s Oddysee HD Wikia page that already features these two images, along with several more that showcase some of the game’s other HD character-redesigns:
For the uninitiated, Munch’s Oddysee was a launch title for the original Xbox, and marked then-developer Oddworld Inhabitants’ first foray into 3D platform puzzling, after releasing two Oddworld-themed 2D platformers on the original PlayStation — namely Abe’s Oddysee and Abe’s Exoddus.
Munch’s Oddysee continued the tale of Abe, the sad-eyed Mudokon from the first two Oddworld games, and his attempts to free his enslaved brethren by solving puzzles; but also introduced Munch, a dolphin-like creature who could electrocute things with his head implant, solve water-based puzzles and, adorably, roll around in a creaky wheelchair to navigate on land.
Games in the Oddworld series have always reveled in a place between whimsy and twisted darkness — a characteristic that was as unique in the market back then as it is now. With so many topical themes at play beneath the game’s surface — corporate greed, corruption, extinction, animal testing, pollution, etc — it will be interesting to see if Munch’s Oddysee HD will resonate more strongly with today’s audience than it’s standard-definition precursor did eleven years ago.