Just Add Water brings its classic PSOne game to today’s masses with a complete overhaul. Is the game worth revisiting once more or best left in the past? Take a look at our Oddworld New N Tasty review for the full picture.
Oddworld New N Tasty Review:
Today we’re taking a look at developer Just Add Water and publisher Oddworld Inhabitants release of the PC version of their revised Oddworld New ‘N’ Tasty after a successful and well received exclusive launch on the Playstation 4 last year. The transition to PC is accomplished and means those with keyboards or controllers can dive in to the grim and fantastic world of the Mudokon Abe. The story is harrowing and simple as Abe discovers a new ingredient for a fresh product (New ‘N’ Tasty) at his place of work which sadly consists of squished up Mudokon. Not willing to take it lying down, Abe sets off on an adventure to rescue his Mudokon companions and ultimately thwart the actions of his nefarious boss.
In a nutshell, the game is a remake of the PSOne original which already looked pretty slick at the time. Although fast forward to 2015 and expectations have grown considerably, meaning an overhaul has been provided making the game much more 2.5D and colourful to boot. The PC version benefits from supporting higher resolutions and a steady 60 frames per second gameplay meaning everything runs silky smooth. There are a selection of sliders in the options menu enabling users to tweak the texture details, shadows and other effects making the game accessible to a number of systems old and new.
The game’s looks are rather fantastic as Just Add water has spent the time making the visuals in tune with modern games. You really can’t fault the attention to detail here and with flourishing touches such as dynamic shadows and lighting effects exudes an impressive array of animated splendor.
The clever and well designed gameplay remains largely unchanged from its roots, although the inclusion of the slight shift in perspective means some new additions are thrown into the mix enabling Abe the option to move quickly through each level by way of rolling jumps and such like. The game’s pacing is very much improved although in reality, for newcomers there’s a steep learning curve as each room or area is one taxing puzzle after the other. To the point where the game is much more focused on solving these than platforming gameplay – although there is a fair bit of that too.
Whilst the gameplay remains fairly tight overall offering much personal reward when the solution to a puzzle suddenly becomes clear, there’s a massive amount of trial and error gameplay resulting in many deaths for poor little Abe, to the point where his demise is very much part of the overall experience. Aside from navigating the treacherous puzzles filled with ragged beasts and deadly traps, the overall goal other than survival is rescuing Abe’s fellow companions. This is fairly tame to begin but as the story progresses, players will find it more difficult to accomplish these goals.
Possibly the biggest gripe with the game overall is a lack of fluidity with the controls and the sort of precision required to navigate certain traps and puzzles. Sadly the responsiveness of jumping correctly, or the inertia from sudden movement doesn’t always pan out as expected resulting in more deaths and restarts. Players can learn to live with these but for some is going to be the source of mass frustration.
The game’s audio remains familiar with the Mukodon speak making itself well known and incorporated within the gameplay extremely well. This has also been given an overhaul and includes a bit more character than the original game which is most welcome. The audio overall is well produced making for a game that doesn’t over do it and simply compliments the on-screen action as background ambiance which is good.
Players can sink as many hours into the game trying to rescue all or choosing from three levels of difficulty to suit with an onus on completing the game quickly and with the least number of deaths for bragging rights on the leaderboards. There’s an additional co-op mode thrown in as well for those who have guests itching to play one life at a time. In all, for the price point the game is worth every penny if you’re a fan of the genre. Action gamers might not be so well tuned with all the puzzle solving here.
Oddworld New ‘N’ Tasty makes the transition to current gen systems and PC rather well with its slick overhaul and fiendish gameplay making it well worth checking out despite some annoyances with the responsiveness of the controls. Gamers who played the PSOne original will no doubt have fond memories revisited and will get the most from the new experience here, whereas newcomers might struggle at first. That said, once new players find their bearings will no doubt bask in a well crafted and utterly clever platform adventure game.