Title: Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty
Developer: Oddworld Inhabitants
Release Date: October 27, 2020
Reviewed On: Switch
Publisher: Oddworld Inhabitants
Has it really been six years since Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty first released on PlayStation 4? Wow. Anyway, with Oddworld’s newest entry on the horizon, there’s no better time to play through Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty if you haven’t yet. Now that it’s on Nintendo Switch, no more excuses. However, if you have played this game before on any other console, I don’t know if it’s completely worth returning to.
Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty is a remake of the 1997 puzzle-platformer, Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee. In many ways, the game retains much of what fans have loved about the series but refocuses story elements to be easier to digest and more user friendly. This includes access to new items and special powers for our main protagonist, Abe.
The story is set in a world that is consumed by greed as power and money fuel the industry. Through this, players find themselves at RuptureFarms, a company that produces treats at the expense of wiping out entire species. As the Mudokon, Abe, we find out that profits are down, and the next species to become food will be the Mudokon race. With this information, Abe grasps onto his fate and jumps into gear to save his race.
The story is almost nonsensical, but it is whimsical and charming in many ways. As the hero, Abe is just so refashioning, given how he seems like the least likely person to be capable of this task. However, he doesn’t really complain or question what he has to do. Instead, he goes with the flow to the point where he almost comes off as an empty vessel. His personality has been expanded on in other series entries, but in this title, what you see is what you get.
The gameplay revolves around saving Mudokons, which is required to achieve a certain ending. There are 299 Mudokons to save, and every life counts as you make your way through each section. It’s not always easy finding these Mudokons either, as the game likes its secret areas. These lead to smaller sections that will test your skills, but I may be getting ahead of myself.
Saving Mudokens isn’t easy, and there are many things in this world that want to kill you. There are Sligs, traps, bombs, and plenty of other obstacles that stand in your way. This is where the puzzle elements are introduced because you’ll need to utilize environments and strategies to get the Mudokens out alive while also not dying yourself.
Gameplay becomes exceptionally difficult in the later parts as you’re required to utilize all of these elements at any giving moment. Things like sneaking, mind-control, bomb placement, and general enemy manipulation is required to progress. Sure, you will die a lot, but there are very liberal checkpoints to get you back in action.
This game also introduced a character name Elum, which Abe can ride to jump long distances. I thought this was clever to change up gameplay, but to be honest, the jumping delay made it almost unusable without suffering some frustrating deaths.
Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty has always been a great game since its initial release. It takes elements of the Oddworld series to provide a better user experience to the player. It’s far more accessible but also includes options to recreate the difficult nature of its counterpart.
On Switch, Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty shows its age significantly during cinematics. It retains this less-than-acceptable resolution that makes it appear more like the PlayStation 3 or Vita versions. However, during gameplay, it looks great, and although the environments aren’t full of lush elements, they vary enough in theme and design to make them all fun to get through.
Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty is a great adventure platformer that is now accessible on Switch. It’s definitely showing its age in terms of controls and design, but it still holds up all these years later. Nothing has changed in this release, so it might not be worth playing through again if you already have, but if you haven’t, this is the best time to join Abe and make your escape.
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