A game with a history finally arrives on the Wii U and I couldn't be more excited!
When I was still a little geek, I would try my hand at a variety of games. Some genres went better than others, but Oddworld: Abe’s Odyssey on the original PlayStation was a personal favorite of mine. It introduced me to platforming concepts that made me think and take a good look at my surroundings. While I loved every minute of it back in the day, I was sort of skeptical when the remake got announced. Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty, available on many platforms including the Wii U, has been reworked from the ground-up. Is this now the ultimate version of the game or can the original be held to a higher regard?
The charm of the original is present, in part thanks to the story. You play as Abe, a wonderful fellow who works as a cleaner for the Rupture Farms food processing plant. Everything seems swell until he finds out that his boss has plans to turn him and the other Mudokans into tasty snacks. Naturally our hero will take a stand and tries to save all of his race from the factory. The story has a solid variety of messages here that don't overstay their welcome. Making way for justice is one thing, but fighting against the machine makes for a grander tale altogether.
Despite the focus on its narrative, the gameplay of Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty is quite enjoyable as well. The title is a puzzle-platformer and quite a great one at that. You will run and jump to stay clear of enemies and dismantle the traps that are on your path. You need to be on point with this as the lives of your friends constantly hangs in the balance. One misstep and they will be gone forever, and your misses are tallied for you to always remember.
There are no ways for you to attack, but the world is also your biggest friend here. There are places where you can be stealthy, mind control others or press switches to change up your direct environment. Experimentation is key in all of this and the game gives you the chance to screw up. You can save at any point during gameplay and there are frequent checkpoints in place to keep the action going. The controls can never be blamed, because they are never felt better than right here in the remake. I got the hang of them fast and fear going back to the original Oddworld now.
The game looks absolutely stunning. It is clear that the developers have put a lot of thought into this and everything about it feels right. That being said, it does suffer from framerate issues. Granted, this happens only a small number of times, but it is still there. It is frustrating to be in a high octane moment and be pulled out of it because that happens. Similar issues occur with the sound as well. On the television, it all sounds wonderful, but when you are playing off-TV, there is no sound during cutscenes, which is honestly silly.
Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty is quite a wonderful remake, even if it can't stay clear of its framerate problems. The game has seen a complete overhaul that feels right at home with the Wii U crowd. It is a lovely 2.5D puzzle-platformer where focusing on your surroundings is the highest priority. If you can forgive a few missteps and love to experiment, you will no regrets playing this one to completion.