ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Oddworld - New 'N' Tasty - Review

Updated on September 9, 2014

Oddworld Inhabitants certainly understand the importance of timing. The original Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee (which I did a retrospective of, here), was one of the more innovative platformers to come out of the PlayStation. This was, in part at least, because it was a 2D platformer that was to some degree, released in a generation of consoles defined by 3D gaming.

Funnily enough the original Abe's Oddysee has aged remarkably well, more so than many of its 3D platforming counterparts. This leaves Oddworld New 'N' Tasty; a complete remake of the game, in a somewhat strange position. How do you improve on a PlayStation game that, in all honesty, is still perfectly playable?

There's been much talk about the game's graphical overhaul, which now sees the game running entirely in-engine as opposed to the grainy, pre-rendered bitmaps that the original used. Admittedly, there's a thrill at seeing Oddworld come to life in high-definition. The flickering neon signs advertising Meech Munchies and Scrab Cakes are still a wonderful sight in a game that, in many respects, is defined by its world-building. Seeing Scrabs and Paramites pass by on conveyor belts, hissing at their captors, are brilliant examples of incidental details. Abe might be the lead character but the whole of Oddworld isn't far behind.

Likewise this was, and still is, a game with plenty of bite beneath its veneer of satire. The story of Abe is one bristling with injustice, both at the destruction of the environment and the treatment of workers. Its socialist/anti-capitalist themes are a welcome change for a medium that's usually inundated with right-wing claptrap thanks to Call of Duty and its ilk. The fact that it's able to explore its politics without coming across as though it's jumped on a soapbox and is lecturing the player makes it all the more impressive. If anything, the game's themes are even more relevant now than they were back in '97, just watch New 'N' Tasty's trailer - save the 99 percent anyone?

Trap doors are always handy for killing Sligs.
Trap doors are always handy for killing Sligs.

New 'N' Tasty isn't just a visual improvement either, given that the 1997 game separated areas into isolated screens some of New 'N' Tasty's puzzles have had to be altered to still work properly. It's not always a massive change, but fans will notice that some areas have had to be rebuilt more than others in order to encompass the now seamless gameplay. Developers Just Add Water have, for the most part, done a commendable job keeping the majority of the game's older scenarios intact, whilst providing a few alterations to better fit the new engine, as well as spice things up for Oddworld veterans.

Similarly, Abe controls a little differently now too, with running being his default movement speed and his voice options have also undergone a few changes. The ability to now get a whole group of Mudokons to follow you, which was something that was added in the sequel, Abe's Exodus, is a welcome addition, and reduces some of the tedium that a few areas previously had, where you had to guide the Abe's green friends one by one back to a bird portal.

A few of the other changes are a little suspect however. The most glaring one being the introduction of difficulty modes that introduces a health system. In theory this could be a great idea, helping newer players acclimatise to Oddworld's brutal food chain. Sadly though, it's poorly implemented, rarely affording the player much leeway and ruining the cruel simplicity of the original, where one shot from a Slig would mean instant death. Hard mode eliminates most of these problems, but there's still the question why this was included at all, especially considering the game already has generous checkpoints and the ability to quick-save at a moment's notice.

Steam has replaced the original game's shadows as areas you can hide in.
Steam has replaced the original game's shadows as areas you can hide in.
Some of the meat-saws move a little too fast in this version, leading to some frustration.
Some of the meat-saws move a little too fast in this version, leading to some frustration.

Perhaps the game's most glaring problem however is the awkward control scheme which makes it a pain in the neck to correctly angle your jumps. Abe now runs by default but the world he's in is built on the old assumption that his average speed will be walking. Whereas the original used one button for Abe to hop, New 'N' Tasty requires you to nudge the analog stick and hit X at the same time, sometimes causing Abe to jump immediately, or sometimes take a step forward and then jump. It's an odd way to have a character jump and feels too imprecise for a game that requires you to be rather dexterous. It might sound like a trite complaint but it will lead to multiple deaths as you step on landmines or awake a Slig unintentionally. This is unfortunately the cost of overlaying new controls onto old level design.

The Mudokon count has been upped from 99 to 299 this time around. It might seem like a huge leap, suggesting that the remake has included a significant amount of new content, but it hasn't particularly. Many areas that used to have three or four Mudokons to save will now have seven or eight instead. Some stages have been filled out a little more however, with the Elum getting a bit more time in the limelight. These segments were always a highlight in the original, where Abe had to travel across wild parts of Oddworld on a weird turkey-looking mount that loved honey. Even in the remake these moments are still Oddworld at its best, revelling in the series' weirdness whilst also giving the game a real breadth and scope - reminding the player that at its heart this is still a game about the thrill of going on an adventure.

Whilst the technical overhaul of the game is impressive it has lead to a general change in the overall mood of the game. Abe's Oddysee felt dark and oppressive, tinged with dark humour but still felt oddly unsettling. The much brighter colours of this remake change that tone entirely - emphasizing the comedy at the expense of some of the original's atmosphere. It's like a band going back and re-recording some older material; the production might be better, the sound clearer, but there's not the same level of dirt under the fingernails; despite on the surface being an improvement, something deeper down has been lost.

Oddworld: New 'N' Tasty is an earnest remake; crafted with love and allowing many younger game fans the chance to explore the weird and wonderful land of Oddworld, even if it has come at a few costs. Perhaps New 'N' Tasty gets the best of both worlds; it reboots the original but in a way that doesn't make that game seem obsolete. You'll have to decide which you prefer though.

Oddworld: New 'N' Tasty was released July 23rd for the PS4.

PS3, Vita, Xbox One, 360, Wii U, iOS, Linux, Mac and PC versions are planned for release later in the year.

© 2014 LudoLogic


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • LudoLogic profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Thanks John, it's true about the visuals, there's something about the older PS1 look that just adds that extra layer of grit to everything. In terms of the versions, as far as I'm aware all the game footage out there so far is of the PS4 version which, like you say, runs at 60FPS and there's no denying it looks great. So far there's no concrete announcement on the other version releases but I'd imagine they'll be out by the end of the year, the current info is that they'll be out sometime in November-December.

    • JohnGreasyGamer profile image

      John Roberts 

      6 years ago from South Yorkshire, England

      Brilliant review, LudoLogic! I didn't really like Oddworld because it's pretty tough, and even now I have to take notes to remember how everything in the game's world works, what screen I'm on and what hazards are ahead. I love its atmosphere and I agree that its message is more important now than it ever has been, though I hope the colour doesn't take too much out of the feel of the game. Much like I said in your Silent Hill retrospective, the rusted metal look of the PS1 and the low-res bitmap backgrounds really does wonders compared to today's remakes. I'll have to give this one a try myself though!

      Did you notice any differences between versions? I know you said this was reviews on the PS4, but have you seen anyone play the game on other consoles? I know it runs at 60FPS on next gen consoles, so I can imagine that being really nice to look at!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)