There have been many iconic platformers over the years, with the likes of; Mario, Sonic and Megaman holding the limelight as some of the more successful franchises. PlayStation also had an offering in the form of Oddworld, and odds on if you had a PSOne, you probably also owned Abe’s Odsysee too. There was something about it that appealed to those hardcore platforming fans, maybe the charm and humour, or the unique take on one of the oldest and most successful genres in video games. Abe’s Odsysee was released about 18 years ago and yet it still holds as one of the best platformers of its time. If the PSOne’s now flaky graphics aren’t your thing though, then don’t worry. Developer Oddworld Inhabitants has reimagined the game using a modern engine, giving the classic gem a new breath of life. Oddworld New ‘n’ Tasty, has been out since July for PS4, but the game finally dropped on Steam, so that’s where the focus of the review will be.
The first thing you’ll notice if you played the old game, is that you can no longer count the pixels on the screen. The “from the ground up” remake has been completely made in Unity and supports resolutions up to 4K, which looks absolutely stunning. Fresh life is breathed into Abe and each enemy, Mudokons and environment has been brought to the modern day with a fresh and crisp look. But that’s not to say it’s lost any of the charm the original had. The gritty feel of the games levels still remain, with RuptureFarms looking more hellish than ever.
The gameplay has been given numerous improvements too. While the main bulk of the platforming is the same, the controls have been given a bit of a tightening, though can be frustratingly loose in places too. The controls themselves aren’t really all that well explained either, with having to flick into the game’s menus to find out what half of the buttons actually do. It’s pretty frustrating and something the mildly average tutorial could have explained better. The platforming itself is as satisfying as ever though, and solving puzzles gives you that “eureka!” moment. Quick saving is also a feature that is a great addition to the series, and makes New ‘n’ Tasty much more playable as you can save pretty much anywhere, in turn not forcing you to start a good chunk of level if you get stuck and rage quit.
One of the biggest problems is finding yourself a bit lost. The games levels are fairly large, which is no bad thing, but often there’s no real indication of where you should be going, which is heavily frustrating and can push people away from the title. The game doesn’t really hold your hand at all, which again is no bad thing, you just can’t help but think that a couple of signposts (or a map) and some better tutorials would help keep people coming back.
But you always do come back to Oddworld though. The humour makes you chuckle, the over-arching story helps you push through the games frustrating sections and the charm oozing from the title keeps you going. And when you finally get to the end, you’ll be greeted with two endings dependant on your performance. You’ll be wanting to get the good ending for satisfaction of job well done, as the bad ending really doesn’t provide that (it’s a bit grim). If you get the bad ending, it won’t take you long to get back through the game, as it’s completed in around 10 hours. Ideally it’s great for speed runners who keep the genre alive.
Should you buy New ‘n’ Tasty then? If you don’t mind the often loose controls (and if you’re vegetarian, the amount of meat on show) then yeah go for it. It’s a fantastic price on Steam, oozes timeless charm and humour and has some clever puzzle platforming action that’ll leave you scratching your head, especially as you deal with the game’s greatest puzzle, where to go. A great remake of an absolute classic.
– Oozes Charm
– Speed running length increases replayability
– Looks pretty and gritty
– Controls can be annoying
– It’s easy to get lost
– Bad ending leaves sour taste in mouth
Official Website: http://www.oddworld.com/oddworldgames/new-n-tasty/