Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty (Switch) Review
It’s about time that Abe’s Oddysee remake, Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty, finally showed up on the Switch. Stranger’s Wrath and Munch’s Oddysee have already been out on the Switch for some time, and it’s been on nearly every platform since its release in 2014. Is New ‘n’ Tasty still fresh?
In the Oddworld universe, the Glukkons have been harvesting the planet’s creatures to extinction to mass produce as food. Abe is a Mudokon, a slave working on Rapture Farms, a meatpacking factory. He happens to overhear a meeting of the evil corporate Glukkons and learns that the Mudokons are next. Abe escapes from Rapture Farms, and though he may be free there are plenty of his brethren that need saving while the Glukkons want Abe dead.
New ‘n’ Tasty is a 2.5D platformer. Abe has to avoid obstacles, rescue Mudokons and solve puzzles throughout his journey. Even with difficulty settings added it still isn’t a walk in the park, death is constantly lurking in every area. If it’s not mines, it’s armed Sligs, motion sensors and pits. An ability Abe can make use of is possession, holding down L and R makes Abe start chanting. If there is an enemy within range and unable to attack you for five seconds you can possess them and take control. You won’t always be able to manage this, the game blocks Abe’s ability by having machines that will zap Abe once he starts chanting. If the puzzle requires possessing an enemy, sometimes the real puzzle is getting past those machines first. Sneaking is also an important mechanic in the game. Abe occasionally gets his hands on some grenades, but he doesn’t usually have a weapon. You won’t always have the chance to possess an enemy with a gun either, so you’ll have to master tip toeing around. Some enemies will be asleep or on patrol, but if you go running or even walking within range you’ll grab their attention. The stealth element helps to convey the feeling that Abe is on the run – everything in the world is a potential threat if you don’t have your wits about you.
It doesn’t just end with surviving if you want the best ending you need to save your fellow Mudokons. They can be found all through the Farm and surroundings, doing their work. This is where GameSpeak comes in. Abe has several commands and sounds he can make to help guide the way. You can grab their attention, have them follow or stay out, or you can let a fart rip to the laughter of your newfound friends. Once you have the Mudokons in tow, you need to guide them to a nearby portal which can only be opened by Abe. It’s not too hard to save a bunch of the Mudokon, some will require quick timing if you want to save them all. It adds an extra layer of puzzle-solving, especially when you need to get a group through a series of traps.
As a remake, the visuals have come a long way from the mid 90s. Instead of each screen being static, the camera now follows Abe through each area. If you last played this as Abe’s Oddysee then even this changes how the game plays. If you’re concerned about the game’s difficulty, New ‘n’ Tasty does have difficulty settings to make your time easier or tougher. Also included in the remake is ‘Quiksave’ – a tap of the – button makes a save state you can return to easily. Hold down the – button and you’ll be right back where you saved. If you’re concerned about the ‘purity’ of a game by having difficulty settings and Quiksaves, you can always leave it as is and leave the – button alone. It’s always good to see games, even the challenging ones, providing settings to allow a wider audience to enjoy them.
Something that hasn’t seen an update is the way that Abe moves. The way Abe controls reminds me of the original Prince of Persia, mostly in how he jumps. While the D-pad is dedicated to Abe’s GameSpeak you’re stuck moving with the stick, maybe the least ideal option in a 2.5D platformer. While you control whether you’re either walking, or holding down shoulder/trigger buttons you can sneak and run, jumping feels clumsy. New ‘n’ Tasty requires plenty of precise movement to make it past guards or to navigate various death traps. It never feels good to have to Quiksave every time you’re on safe solid ground because you don’t trust the controls not to send you right into a mine.
Abe’s Oddysee is originally from the original PlayStation era. I remember sinking hours into the GameBoy version back in the day. New ‘n’ Tasty originally released in 2014, it even made an appearance on the Wii U and PS Vita, it is nice to see it finally show up on the Switch. If you have played it on any of the other platforms since release this is very much the same game. The good news is that it’s still a good game .
If you’ve played it on any other console over the last six years then you’ll find that the Switch version runs the same. It’s not even the first time it’s been available in handheld form given I first played the remake on the PS Vita.
The good news is that it means this game runs smoothly, it looks good too, especially once you get away from Rapture Farms. I didn’t have any issues in handheld mode, it is a solid port overall.
Oddworld New ‘n’ Tasty is not only a solid remake, but it’s also a solid port. It’s strange that of the Oddworld games, the first game is also the last one to be re-released, but then by now, it’s been available everywhere else. If you’re new to the series and are looking for a challenging platformer with some puzzle solving then New ‘n’ Tasty could be the dish for you. If you’ve already got a copy of the game elsewhere, just be aware that the Switch version doesn’t add anything except another portable way to enjoy Abe’s Oddysee again.
+ Still a solid remake
+ New ‘n’ Tasty is still an enjoyable platformer
- The controls/jumping feels unreliable