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Review: Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty


Marcus Estrada

Developer: Just Add Water

Publisher: Oddworld Inhabitants

Platform: PC, PS3, PS4 (Reviewed),

Vita, Wii U, Xbox One

Release Date: July 22, 2014

ESRB: T for Teen

 

 

In 1997, Oddworld: Abe“s Odyssee arrived on the gaming scene as something completely different. Sure, it was a 2D platformer, but its incredibly distinctive world, characters, and overall charm caused many to fall in love. Since then, the Oddworld name has been invoked a few more times. Oddworld: New n“ Tasty is a remake of Abe“s Odyssee. But it“s a remake of the best sort. Instead of recreating everything in the same exact way with slightly glossier graphics, everything has been completely reappraised. These tweaks both make it accessible for new players but also a worthy revisit for longtime fans.

 

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New ”n“ Tasty centers around a strange little Mudokan named Abe. Throughout his years he“s had a fine janitorial job at Rupture Farms. This food processing plant takes various species and turns them into kibble. Unfortunately, their business practices have led to many creatures going extinct. After this happens yet again they decide to use Mudokans in their latest food concoction. Abe, rightfully frightened, rushes to escape Rupture Farms. He also may (depending on the player“s inclination) save his Mudokan buddies along the way.

 

Abe“s escape fuels the 2D puzzle platformer gameplay which takes him through a factory, caves, wilderness, and more. The first rule of playing is learning exactly what is an enemy and how it behaves. For example, some creatures pace back and forth but will charge upon seeing you. On the other hand, objects like a land mine can prove either helpful or deadly depending on how they“re used. As Abe has little weaponry of his own most of the time it becomes crucial to use the environment itself.

 

Even platforming fans found Oddworld an intensely difficult game back in the day. Although much of this has been remedied now, Abe“s jumps still feel pretty stiff. This requires players to know exactly how Abe jumps to use him to best effect. Thankfully, three difficulty settings allow the player to enjoy platforming at their skill level, whatever it is. Hardcore fans might be peeved with an improved checkpoint system. This cannot be turned off and tends to save at the start of every new room. Most will likely find this a positive.

 

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Perhaps the largest tweak in regards to accessibility is a new quicksave feature. This allows you to save at any point on any stage and come back to that exact point later. It“s a real boon for players like me who lead Abe toward one too many deaths. However, it has been reported by some that quicksaves have mucked up their saves overall (on PS4). Some users have gotten around it by using cloud saves, but non-PS Plus subscribers don“t have such an option.

 

Puzzling sections also proliferate the journey. Some puzzles are simple while others require players to pace back and forth before getting that “Aha!” moment. A feature that always stood out about the Oddworld games was a communication feature. This is still intact and allows Abe to converse with other Mudokans. By waving and telling others to stay and go, they can be commanded to safety. Later on there are even more ways to converse with friends, such as farting. It“s certainly silly but very charming to hear their weirdly cute voices.

 

One thing that stood out about Oddworld at the time was its stunning visuals. Although they are still distinctive today, New ”n“ Tasty made sure to ratchet visuals to an entirely new level. Now, they feel amazing to behold alongside PS4 and Xbox One contemporaries. Everything still retains the feel of the old games but with gorgeous recreations of original areas. Now there is even a dynamic camera which provides great sweeping views of everything. Yes, it“s still a ”2D“ game at its core, but one of the most beautiful available today.

 

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If you have never played an Oddworld game then New ”n“ Tasty should serve as a delectable introduction to the world. Even those who already mastered the game years ago should check out the new version. It“s readily apparent how much love and care went into developing a remake. Other developers should be careful with what they remake now as Oddworld: New ”n“ Tasty proves remakes can (and should) be much more than simply HD revisions.

 


Pros:

 

+ Tremendously fun platforming and puzzle gameplay

+ Features to make the game more accessible (added difficulty selection, quicksave, etc)

+ Gorgeous new graphics

 

Cons:

 

- For all the tweaks, Abe still jumps in a stiff fashion

- Some reports of saves getting messed up

 


Overall Score: 9 (out of 10)

Fantastic

 

Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty is a downright magical game that does a great job at recapturing exactly what made the Oddworld series so loved to begin with.

 

Disclosure: This game was reviewed using downloadable PSN code provided by the publisher.

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