The PS1 was home to a curious title named Oddworld: Abe’s Odyssey. Thought to be one of the finest and most unique platformers of that era, Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty is a ground-up remake of the original title. While it’s been available on other platforms since 2014, the Wii U release saw many delays. The day has finally come though, and Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty has hit the eShop. So has it been worth the wait?
Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty tells the story of a floor waxer named Abe, who works for RuptureFarms. Abe discovers that the boss of the company is planning on using him and other Mudokons to turn them into a line of snacks. Abe decides to forgo his job and save himself and the other Mudokons. Though not an essential part of the game, as this is a puzzle-platformer, the story does have a nice flow to it and helps push along the gameplay.
The gameplay is the bread and butter of Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty. The game is a 2.5D puzzle-platformer with a lot of charm. The majority of the time spent playing the game you are avoiding traps, enemies, and trying to save your Mudokons friends. There is an ongoing tally of how many you have saved or killed, so it keeps things interesting as you are constantly trying to be as careful as possible.
While Abe has no attacks himself, he can use his environment to his advantage. Using switches to drop enemies down into traps is essential. Abe also can use mind-control on certain enemies and take control of them so that they can blast away their counterparts and clear your path.
While this sounds simple, the gameplay quickly ramps up the difficulty with a variety of traps and enemies. The key to success is a balance between stealth and tight platforming, and New ‘n’ Tasty does a good job in both areas, but better in the stealth. The game feels a little bit “loose” on the platforming part occasionally, and I found myself dying a few too many times not because of lack of skill but because of the design, Thankfully, the game also has multiple checkpoints in levels, and the ability to save at any point when playing. While Oddworld purists might not like this new feature added to New ‘n’ Tasty, I think this was a good addition for younger gamers checking out the game’s charming art style.
Art style is big draw for Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty as well, and for the most part the game gets the job done. Oddworld looks really good at a stand still, with lots of details in the environments and characters. I did notice that the game feels a little choppy at times, and upon inspecting the PC version of the game, the Wii U version does run at a lower framerate and resolution. It’s still a very charming and solid looking game, but when compared to the PC version, there is a noticeable difference.
All things considered, Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty is a fine addition to the Wii U eShop lineup. It’s one of the more polished titles on the service, and has a good length and value to it. It’s a bit of a shame that after the long wait the GamePad is used simply as Off-TV and the framerate issues can be noticeable at times, but if you are primarily a Wii U owner, this is game worth owning.