Abe’s Oddysee was one of the first games I played when my parents finally gave in and bought me a PlayStation. That was back in 1997 and while Oddworld has seen three other titles in the series, Abe’s first outing was always my favourite. When I saw that Oddworld Inhabitants planned to re-release Abe’s Oddysee with a new lick of paint and in stunning 2.5D, I jumped for joy, that is until I realised that due to the restrictions of self-publishing, the Xbox One would miss out – that is until Microsoft got their act together and announced the ID@Xbox program.
You play as Abe, a Mudokon who works at RuptureFarms for his slaver masters, the Glukkons. While working late one night at the meat processing plant, Abe stumbles upon a board meeting where Molluck is unveiling the New ‘n’ Tasty meat treat – it will save the company and prevent shares slipping any further – the meat? It’s Mudokons… It’s time to run Abe!
New ‘n’ tasty is as charming and loveable as I remember Abe’s Oddysee to be. Abe’s character animation has real life about it – you care that he makes it across the precarious platforming levels, that he rescues other Mudokons and he gets that happily ever after ending.
What’s great about the platforming of New ’n’ Tasty is that it has several puzzle elements to it. From working out how to save your fellow Mudokons to sneaking past the many nasties and navigating the various environmental puzzles that stand in your way. Unfortunately for Abe, he is a rather weak creature; you can’t punch, shoot or jump on enemies to kill them. You can however use Abe’s chant to possess enemies and use any weapons they have – you can also make them access nearby levers to unlock gates or just take them for a walk off a high platform – Abe even gives a satisfying chortle… and I chuckled with him.
To rescue the 299 Mudokons, you’ll need your wits about you – it’s easy to accidentally kill them but by using one of eight ‘gamespeak’ commands you can interact with them to help lead them to safety – even the classic ‘fart’ makes a return, which plays a part in the musical passwords of the native Mudokons you meet in the wild.
We all have our memorable gaming experiences of when we were young and Abe’s Oddysee sits right at the top of my list – it’s no surprise then that I have found little to dislike about New ’n’ Tasty. It looks fantastic, it’s as playable (and tough) as the original and provides me with a charming trip down memory lane. The whole family can enjoy it too and I’ve been playing through the game in co-op with my wife – you each take a turn. When Abe meets an untimely death, you pass the controller.
The same can’t be said for some of my other most beloved games, which haven’t quite stood the test of time – stories and characters weren’t quite as great as I remember them to be and gameplay wasn’t as slick as my memory lead me to believe – gaming has come a long way, so it’s a true testament to a game that can be re-released without fundamentally changing its soul and it still being of the same quality that you remembered. This is the skill, love and care that Just Add Water has shown Abe.
While some may find Abe’s controls troublesome or unfair as you miss a jump that you really should have made, I reveled in the difficulty. The tricky jumps and spiteful environmental puzzles give a great sense of satisfaction when you beat them – Limbo, The Cave and Rayman Origins (to name but a few) have a lot to thank Abe’s Oddysee for.
For me Abe has easily stood the test of time, the gameplay holds up well by today’s standards and even though New ‘n’ Tasty is a re-release, if you didn’t know this, you’d think that you were playing a brand new game – New ‘n’ Tasty is as enjoyable as the day I first played it back in 1997 and I absolutely adore it.
Thanks to Lick PR for supplying TiX with a download code
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