PlayStation has seen a lot of platformers over the years, but it’s not hard to find people who don’t know Abe. When the title released way back it did not explode, particularly from a commercial point of view, so much so that the saga was left unfinished. On top of that, the game is a platform game featuring super calculated action and an extreme puzzle solving component. This type of game, which makes extreme difficulty one of its cornerstones, was in full contrast with the market standards of the time. But surprisingly, in 2014, the guys from Just Add Water restored glow to the first chapter of the series by creating Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty and got outstanding success. The game finally released on Nintendo Switch, writing a new page in Abe’s history. Ready to discover the world of Oddworld? Here is my Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty review on Nintendo Switch!
THE RETURN OF ABE
For those unfamiliar with it, Just Add Water’s Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty is the remake of the 1997 title. The game tells of the misadventures of Abe, an adorable alien of the Mudokon race, intent on saving his species from extinction. His people have been enslaved by the fearsome RuptureFarms, and it is here that Abe discovers that the fearsome Glukkon are devising a plan to fill their pockets.
In fact, the wicked entrepreneurs intend to slaughter the Mudokons to create a new tasty snack. Shocked by this, Abe escapes, trying to save all the Mudokons he meets on his way. In the course of his escape, however, your protagonist will discover a dark mystery. Abe is actually the chosen one who will lead the people of Mudokon to safety!
A REFRESHED FEELING
The gameplay of Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty is the only thing left unchanged from the original PlayStation 1 title. Just like in the original game, Abe will move from one scenario to another completely unarmed and with no predisposition to fight. The only weapons that you will find in the game world are stones and grenades, but introduced only to solve the puzzles that the game offers you.
The thing that makes Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty so difficult is the fragility of Abe and his friends. In fact, a shotgun shot or a badly calibrated move is enough to kill you, and then you have to start the level again. As if that were not enough, to bring the Mudokons to safety you will have to interact with them with the directional arrows of the Joy-con giving them commands such as “stay still” or “follow me”, and so on.
Besides the pleasure of the challenge, saving as many companions as possible will allow you to unlock different endings for the game based on how many Mudokons you will rescue. Although the gameplay remains almost unchanged, Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty do some tweaks here and there to refresh the game.
Among all, the change in the level setting from the original “block” scheme, in favor of a mobile camera, stands out. In addition to this, they have added a quick save function to the checkpoint system in the main menu. Finally, the limit on issuing orders to only one Mudokon at a time has been removed. This is an operation aimed at improving the game by modernizing it, without however reducing the degree of difficulty of the game itself.
Even in 2014, the Just Add Water team had done an outstanding job of restyling Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty. They had recreated the character models from scratch in HD, the animations had been reworked, and the levels and lighting had been polished and brought into line with the current gen. Released for PC and PlayStation consoles of the current and last gen, the remake was a proper feast for the eyes.
When I thought they couldn’t do better, Microids intervened with its wonderful porting. The team has managed, against all odds, to make the Nintendo Switch version even more beautiful to look at, managing to optimize the game on the console, whether it is played in portable or docked mode.
Speaking instead of performance, the Nintendo Switch port is still at the cap of the less pretentious 30 fps, which makes the experience very fluid and stable. It is clear, however, that the cap is mainly oriented to the portable component of the Nintendo Switch console. In this regard, this huge plus point of portability of Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty makes Abe’s odyssey truly indispensable for both nostalgics and newbies to the saga.
Yes, the campaign only lasts for about 10 hours, but longevity is not a problem and the replayability is really high thanks to the presence of multiple endings. The gameplay offers a decidedly decent degree of challenge, and the modernized technique does not affect the difficulty component in any way. In contrast to this, however, it must be said that the gameplay created by Just Add Water has not aged very well.
In the light of what I have said, a certain question spontaneously arises: are we facing a perfect remake from every point of view? The answer is, unfortunately, not entirely. As already mentioned, the game is beautiful to see and play, suitable for both quick sessions on the road and for long runs of hours in docked mode.
Although the campaign is short-lived, the intricacies and monotony of the mechanics often lead the player to repeat the same routine to exhaustion to complete the level, often resulting in the frustration of failure. In addition to this, despite being a pro given the characteristics of the console, I cannot fail to mention the technical problems of the game in some aspects.
In addition to the 30 fps cap (on other platforms you sometimes get a stable 60fps), the cutscenes in Just Add Water’s Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty have also been subjected to a heavy downgrade. At the end of the day, however, there is nothing that completely compromises the final gameplay experience.
Do you want to try Just Add Water’s Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty? What do you think of my Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty review on Nintendo Switch? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below. Are you interested in more games? Check out our reviews for Ghostrunner, Remothered: Broken Porcelain, Watch Dogs: Legion, and Amnesia: Rebirth.