Oddworld New N Tasty Review
"This is Rupture Farms. They say it's the biggest meat processing plant on Oddworld." Ever since the original 1997 release of Abe's Oddysee, the original FMV quote has been burned into my brain. An instantly likeable, not so handsome hero was introduced on the PlayStation. From the level design, the characters, ability to fart and the mind control, the original PlayStation classic is hard to forget.
New 'N' Tasty, brought to us by Stewart Gilray and the team at Just Add Water in colaboration with Oddworld Inhabitants, is a remake of the wonderful 1997 platform puzzler. Updating the graphics throughout the game gives us a wonderful new look at Abe's world and simply looks superb. From not so nostalgic memory (Abe's Oddysee is a permanent fixture on my Vita and PSP) the new game is not as challenging as the original. Mostly thanks to the new way the levels are presented. Before we had individual screens for each part of the level, this time round the world scrolls deliciously as Abe moves along, giving the player a much more immersive experience than before.
At it's heart the title is a platformer with logic based puzzles interspersed. The reliance on stealth is a must to sneak past trigger happy guards who will giggle with joy if they catch an unaware Mudokon in their sights. You see our hero Abe is a slave at the meat plant who has discovered his species are next on the specials board! With this knowledge Abe must save his fellow workers and discover his true destiny.
Controlling Abe in the original wasn't the easiest and the game had some notoriously hard sections. Damn those meat grinders! In the New 'N' Tasty version controlling Abe and his band of rescued slaves is a far easier affair. The ability to aim with the right stick when throwing objects is much appreciated as before it was allocated to a single button.
Sound effects and atmospheric music are part of the charm. In the original just talking to fellow Mukodons or winding up guards took up half of my after school play time. The story, as compelling as it is with all the twists and turns, often got cast aside in favour of possessing a Slig guard and shooting other enemies. The Oddworld universe is a place you will want to explore every nook and cranny for hours. There are secret areas that will reward you for doing so but, you'll end up adventuring regardless.
This time round the game is a lot more forgiving and seasoned Oddworld players may want to crank it up to hard mode for more of a challenge. Slaves requiring rescue are now in new locations which guarantees everyone new and old will get a different experience this time round. Enemies also cannot run off screen to escape possession which also makes getting past heavily guarded sections a breeze.
From the opening screen with Abe's face to the final credits New 'N' Tasty is a wonderful trip down memory lane. For those a bit too young to remember 1997 it is a brilliant example of how timeless the original is. The entire game has been remade here so make no mistake thinking this is a spit shine job that some companies think is ok to roll out. Just Add Water care for the Oddworld franchise and in this title it shines from the foundations.
Wonderfully fun with challenges that will keep players entertained and amused for years to come. New 'N' Tasty is the perfect celebration of a classic hero and classic gameplay. Definitely pick this game up, highly recommended especially on PS4 with it's cross buy (PS3/PS Vita). Hopefully if this game does well we will see the sequel (Exodus) remade and maybe one day even a brand new Abe title. Sure go ahead call me a fanboy of the series, I won't deny it. And after picking up New 'N' Tasty, you will be too.
Anyway folks I'm away for a Paramite Pie and a Scrab Cake. For more on Just Add Water check out our interview with Stewart on 42 Level One Episode 72
By Alister Kennedy