Oddworld: New ‘n Tasty comes to the Vita and ranks as one of the system’s top platformers. Read our full review below.
Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee is one of the most memorable games of the PSX generation – the first playstation’s era in which platform gaming almost collectively turned towards 3D. During that time, Abe’s Oddysee (and its sequel) stood out because it stuck with traditional 2D graphics and provided original touches to the platforming genre in other ways. Almost 20 years later, the revamped “New ‘n Tasty” edition hits the Playstation Vita and Abe’s Oddysee becomes portable.
As Abe, an alien creature working as a cleaner in a meat factory, you find out that plans are in place to have every worker in the factory killed. Time to escape, and save your fellow mudoken (the alien race) in the process. Stealth and distraction play an important role, and you’re able to command your fellow mudoken at key points as well. This will enable you to sneak past guards, or dodge traps and blockades that are in your way.
In a way, Abe’s Oddysee was a puzzle platformer long before the genre became massively popular. Abe doesn’t rely on stomping his enemies, punching anyone or special weapons – the most destructive he gets is when he finds a grenade to use. Instead, Abe uses jumping, running and his ability to control others using speech. This is how you can command other mudoken and make them follow you, hide, help or distract someone – often the key to getting past a tricky situation.
Abe’s abilities can also affect enemies, and if that fails you can still distract or get rid of them with a cunning trap or a well-aimed throw – be it money or grenades. Interaction with other characters is key to the gameplay experience though, and also play an instrumental part in the heart and character that Abe’s Oddysee has. It’s an approach that not many games in the genre take, and because of that the experience is still as fresh as it was back in the late nineties.
The conversion to the Vita was extremely well done – with all the content of the PS4 version intact (though scaled down). The game looks and plays great, with some minor slowdown in busy scenes that don’t spoil the fun. The Vita version even gained a little bit of functionality in the touch screen department, with the ability to access items using touch or play around with lights during load screens.
Oddworld: New ‘n Tasty – the full name for this remake of Abe’s Oddysee, is right up there with the best platformers available on the Vita. If you bought Rayman years ago and have been waiting for a strong new platformer, this is it. And what’s even better – it’s completely free if you already have the PS4 version, since it’s a cross-buy title.