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Review

Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty Review

  • First Released
  • Reviewed:
  • PS4

Second breakfast.

Dried blood cakes the catwalks of RuptureFarms, the biggest meat processing plant on Oddworld. Gangly, emaciated Mudokon slaves scrub the factory's floors with dirty rags. Sadistic, squid-faced slig guards let off steam by beating the workers with the butts of their rifles and laughing at their cries of pain, while overhead conveyer belts cart seemingly endless barrels of processed meat to destinations unknown. Despite the harrowing conditions, one blue-skinned Mudokon slave named Abe still thinks he has a pretty good job. But after stumbling upon RuptureFarms' plans for a tasty new product, Abe abandons his cleaning duties and sets out to escape the slaughterhouse.

So begins Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty, a remake of 1997's side-scrolling platformer Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee. But this remake doesn't simply scale up the original game's prerendered, 2D visuals to 1080p; it presents the same levels and puzzles, but rebuilt from the ground up in real-time 3D. This changes your window into Oddworld itself. While Abe's Oddysee divided its levels into still screens that used transition effects when travelling between them, New 'n' Tasty features a camera that scrolls with Abe as he walks, runs, and sneaks through Oddworld. Though this is nothing new for games today, it's still a thrill to see areas from Abe's Oddysee that would have required travelling across seven or so screens rendered in New 'n' Tasty with an impressive seamlessness. The camera is also free to close in for tight shots, tilt and pan for cinematic effect, and pull out to reveal more oncoming obstacles in tense chase sequences. This allows you to get a better look at the consistently gorgeous environmental design, which has lost none of the original game's style and detail in the move to 3D. For me, it felt like New 'n' Tasty presented a literal depiction of Oddworld as my mind's eye saw it in 1997.

1997's Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee on the left, and 2014's Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty on the right.

Despite the brand new visuals, New 'n' Tasty takes great care to retain the core side-scrolling platforming that distinguished Abe's Oddysee 17 years ago, and still makes for a unique game today. Abe is a weakling, being extremely fragile and lacking in offensive capabilities. He is more concerned with surviving his enemies than destroying them, and does this by sneaking past them, outrunning them, or turning the environment on them when possible. Abe can hide in steam vents, lead gun-toting guards into land mines, zap them by activating electric fields, and occasionally possess a guard to temporarily make him turn his gun on his comrades.

New 'n' Tasty takes great care to retain the core side-scrolling platforming that distinguished Abe's Oddysee 17 years ago.

Abe's enemies are always scarier and more powerful than he is, in ways that give each of Oddworld's creatures distinct behaviours and identities. Possessing a slig allows you to issue basic commands to Slogs--small dog-like creatures--even going so far as being able to order them to kill another slig. Spider-like paramites won't attack unless backed into a corner, whilst predatory scrabs will attack on sight unless they see another scrab, upon which the two will fight to the death. Exploiting these behaviours is the key to solving most puzzles, and the behaviours themselves mix well with environmental hazards in ways that never feel repetitive.

Each of the original game's pre-rendered cutscenes have also been remade and, in some cases, expanded upon.

Once he makes it out of RuptureFarms, Abe discovers his quest isn't solely about self-preservation. He needs to acquire two mystical hand scars that contain the power to shut down the slaughterhouse. Along the way, he must free his enslaved Mudokon brothers by issuing them basic commands and leading them to portals. For all the traumatic ways Abe can die in this hostile world, there's a certain slapstick quality to the proceedings when you have three Mudokons in tow who are just as frail. They aren't the brightest of brethren, so you need to tell them to follow you, and occasionally wait, lest they walk straight into a land mine or electric field before you clear the way. The variety of voices in New 'n' Tasty, and actual lines of dialogue, have been greatly increased over the original, so the Mudokons feel less like carbon copies of one another. The addition of rag-doll physics in this remake pushes the dichotomy between the dark subject matter and comedic attempts to survive even further than the original game. I laughed, and felt a little bit bad about it.

Trying to survive as a fragile character like Abe was something of a novelty when Abe's Oddysee was first released; he died in one hit, but had unlimited lives. The same is true of New 'n' Tasty, but this remake adds three difficulty levels, the easier of which allows you to take more than one hit before dying. But even the hardest, "classic" difficulty level is still forgiving, thanks to the addition of a quicksave feature--something introduced in the original game's sequel, Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus. Quicksaving in New 'n' Tasty is accomplished by tapping the PlayStation 4 controller's touchpad, and quickloading is done by holding the touchpad down for a second. It's an easy, intuitive system, and if you keep it in mind it's unlikely you'll lose more than a second of progress upon what are sure to be many repeated deaths.

Unfortunately, many of those deaths are likely to occur because of the way New 'n' Tasty's control scheme differs from Abe's Oddysee's. The original game was released before the first DualShock controller, so you altered Abe's movement speed by holding down the shoulder buttons. This fine, digital control was important, as the game required precise timing of sprints and jumps to avoid landing on mines or falling down chasms. New 'n' Tasty changes this by putting two movement speeds on the left thumbstick; pushing it slightly makes Abe walk, while pushing it harder makes him run. This led to a number of situations where I had to adjust my position by a single step, but ended up running straight into a land mine. Thankfully, sneaking is still bound to a shoulder button, so it's rare that you'll accidentally wake up a guard and get shot due to this new analogue movement system.

This in-game ad for Secret Ponchos feels out of place.

Perhaps the oddest thing about this remake is the presence of in-game advertising. For a game that is staunchly anti-capitalism, as evidenced by the snarky critiques that appear on in-game billboards, it seems contradictory for those billboards to then scroll to reveal a poster for an upcoming PS4 game. More harmful is that those ads contain depictions of human characters, violating the otherwise consistently odd nature of the game's fauna. Though rarely seen, these ads still took me out of the experience in an awkward, fourth-wall-breaking fashion.

Despite the ads, and occasional frustrations from the fiddly analogue movement, this is a remake that feels as though it was crafted with love and respect. With clever puzzles near identical to the original game, and beautiful environments brought to life with new visuals and a dynamic camera, New 'n' Tasty satiated me, even though I'm an Oddworld veteran and know each solution and secret area like the back of my (scarred) hand.

The Good
Gorgeous reimagined graphics
Deep and engaging puzzle-platforming
Slavishly faithful to the original game's unique sensibilities
The Bad
Analogue movement controls lack precision
In-game ads break the fourth wall
8
Great
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

Daniel survived the Stockyards, persevered through the Paramonion Temple, and bested the Scrabanian Nests to complete Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty in six hours. He rescued 170 of the 300 captive Mudokons, netting himself the good ending. About 20 Mudokons "accidentally" perished.

Discussion

136 comments
Gixzr
Gixzr

But Can You Still *FART*???   I forgot how clever this game was... how each character reacted to others. 17 years ago man! 

Crazy_Tad
Crazy_Tad

It looks like people are just trying to find something to bitch about. It's just a damn small ad that many might not even notice, and it won't even ruin the game if you see it.

I'm sorry, but if people are looking for every little negative detail they can find on a game, instead of playing the game. Then i say you should sell your console and go do something else.

I say just treat the game as what it is a "Game", and have fun. and if you don't like the game, then don't play it, but trying to make the game look bad over a silly little ad is just plain dumb.

MattPeters
MattPeters

Whoa! Have you guys played the game? I played this on the PS1, it's a CLASSIC. This game is weird, hilarious, disgusting and more than anything, unique.


Remember Guitar Hero 3? They had SO many in-game ads, you'd be playing at the TAMPAX Fesitival in Bestbuy, Germany where billboards had Verizon Wireless all over them and they were as big as the stage. Yet people don't talk much about that and GH:3 remains as one of the greatest rhythm games of all time.

I heard the ads were in secret zones, like an easter egg if you will, where immersion breaking is acceptable. You want to know the real problem? The internet. If it's a great game and the positives outweigh the negative, why blow it out of proportion? Put it this way, if a group of people got together to talk or discuss the game would anyone talk about the ads? Perhaps a mention but it wouldn't really go any further than that, get real.





 

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

Just to clear things up, Just Add Water did not get any money on the side for the in-game promos of other people's products. 

Its staff calls it "cross-promotion" and said no money was exchanged - as if that justified the inclusions of these advertisement for other games in New 'n' Tasty. Just Add Water inflicted thematic problems on its own game with what it considers goodwill towards other game-makers.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

There are so many damn apologists for Just Add Water's practices. :/

christie_
christie_

Three words... and everyone loses their minds. I've been playing for hours and haven't seen one add. It's a shame that people can be carried away by stupid preconceived thoughts, as I'm seeing in the comments below.

In resume: just play the game, be happy and stop the stupid complaints.

UKFX
UKFX

@FretsOfDeath It's wrong, that's why. People don't buy games to be shown advertisements while other companies and the developers themselves earn extra money on the side from having those ads in there in the first place.

The reason why many people don't like it, is because not only should it not occur because of the cost of the game, but because if it is widely accepted then it'd just end up being common-place in other games and then it'll be people like you who are to blame because you're so dismissive of even insignificant ad placements in game.

Ads in triple AAA games and you think that's not a big issue? The reason why companies like EA can rip people off all the time and get away with it, is because of people like you.

Disagree all you want, I'm not bothered, but people who don't care about ads, even by big, rich ass developers only pave the way to support their ever-growing greed.

Whether it is noticeable to the large majority or not is not the point. The fact the ad is there (whatever it may be) in the first place, is the point.

It's bad enough that companies like EA, Activision, Microsoft, blah blah blah want to use subscriptions for everything... like EA... I think someone at EA once said "If I could charge people to reload in Battlefield, I would". Now what do we have coming our way? EA Access. Yeah, so if you give greedy companies the opportunity to earn more money (i.e. being accepting of questionable methods), then they will do it. I won't buy games with in-game advertisements and I most certainly will avoid all future engagements with EA after hearing off this bullshit Access thing.

Peace

Edit: Just to clear up, this Access thing may well give you extras, blah blah blah, but truth is, you should buy the game and be able to play Online without having less than the other guy. When DLC is made available, you buy it. All this ends up doing is ensuring money is made from as many people as possible, whether they choose to buy the DLC for a particular game or not, so on so forth.

Roastt
Roastt

In-game ads? Pass.

gamefreak215jd
gamefreak215jd

So its a 2D platformer with plenty of puzzles and some nice artwork. Why the hell didn't I get this game back when I had my PS One?!

FretsOfDeath
FretsOfDeath

If you're complaining about in game ads, then you seriously have issues. if you look at the picture the ads are nothing more than images of other games popping up in the background screens. It's not as if it's a popup window disrupting your view. Just Add Water are a small developer, and using in game ads is probably something thye did to help fund the game. I even seen game ads in some AAA games. is not a big issue. If it was never mentioned in the ad, then most people would probably never even notice or care while playing the game anyway.

10854
10854

adds? no. no. no.

jeremylst1
jeremylst1

Ads in games....another dark path they want to send us on to. Sigh, when will these corporate misbehavings no longer stand?

clevijoki
clevijoki

I loved the original but in-game ads are a deal breaker for me.

Wintereich
Wintereich

Man, I remember this game used to scare the crap out of me when I was a kid. If i weren't buying The Last of Us tomorrow, I think I'd be downloading this right now.

Papafynn
Papafynn

Oddworld has "anti-capitalism" overtones? Is the argument here that avarice and capitalism are synonyms? I beg to differ. 

RC-Sev
RC-Sev

In-game ads break the fourth wall is bad? Really?

taker254isback
taker254isback

Rmemeber this game when I bought my Playstion with the demo disk

pedrotaquelim
pedrotaquelim

This is a true and timeless classic. Score: 9.

lilflipp
lilflipp

This is such an... odd game. Hehe

bjornborgue
bjornborgue

I've finished both games twice (last time on the PSP) but were this ported to the Vita... hell, why not? I've got nothing to play on it at the moment or the near future. Just Add Water seem pretty good at listening to feedback so they'll most likely fix the control issues. Stewart Gilray used to respond to a lot of folks in the Steam forums back when Stranger's Wrath was released on PC and I've also seen him in other sites. I like Oddworld but for a while there was talk (rumors?) of them possibly remaking Metal Gear Solid and THAT I would love to see.

If you're remotely interested in the history of Oddworld Inhabitants and their games, search for "icons g4tv oddworld" on youtube. Great show!

PyreofKoL
PyreofKoL

Hrm. I think I'll get this on Wii U when it comes out.

warriors30
warriors30

This game looks fantastic. Even with ads and new controls, I can't wait to revisit this game again.

Hello

Hello

Follow Me

Okay

*Fart*

That's 30 bucks well spent.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@UKFX 

I would caution against thinking that the game-maker is earning from the side.

The game-maker, Just Add Water had added in-game ads in earlier games not in return for money, but in return for assistance rendered by the company which helped it. An example is the placement of Sobe dispensers in Munch's Oddysey.

With that, I personally still oppose product placement in games for whatever reason.

jellyman68
jellyman68

@UKFX  Nobody even sees the advertisements in this game. It's such a small deal that I can't imagine you've actually played the game if you're writing so much about it. 


I've played the game for about 7 hours over the last 2 days and I've actually been looking for adverts since I learned of their existence  (they were apparently in the original game too that I've put dozens of hours into and completed several times over the past 15 years or so since I bought it, and I didn't see adverts in that either) and I haven't seen a single advert. 


It's a real shame that such a trivial, small issue such as this could be blown out of proportion enough to stop people playing this brilliant game.



PrinceOberyn
PrinceOberyn

@gamefreak215jd It's not 2D. It's a sidescroller, but it's rendered in full 3D.

udubdawgz1
udubdawgz1

@FretsOfDeath lol, no kidding.  you know what an ad truly is?  loading up a gaming website and it takes a bunch of time and clicks to get to the page.  


those things in this game that i've seen are hardly what i'd call "ads" and definitely aren't equivalent to the stuff in other big-budget games.


however, i haven't played the game and so, theoretically, i could find that some of the advertising gets progressively worse.  

jellyman68
jellyman68

@clevijoki Apparently the in-game ads were in the original too, yet I never saw them. I've almost completed the remake and haven't seen any sign of them either. The only people complaining about it are people who either need to find something negative to say about the game (a reviewer trying his best to sound objective) or someone who has never played the game but wants to criticise it.

Jah_Glow
Jah_Glow

@Papafynn  Thank you for that. Had to go beyond the "Like" to show my appreciation for your comment.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@RC-Sev 

If you are a fan of Oddworld because everything about it seems so bizarre, you will find it bad.

4mnesiac
4mnesiac

@RC-Sev are you kidding? in game ads in videogames? its not bad its EVIL

dhindes
dhindes moderator staff

@RC-Sev Yep. As soon as you see a human character, it sucks the 'odd' out of Oddworld.

UKFX
UKFX

@Gelugon_baat @UKFX I'm cool with companies doing these things out of pure necessity, but should any profits be made, then it's unacceptable (not saying that these guys do though) ;).

UKFX
UKFX

@jellyman68 @UKFX I haven't played it, but I didn't know that the ads were so so so hard to see, as if it was like playing Where's Wally - Advertisement Edition. I just assumed, Advertisements are placed to be seen and on that premise I feel it is wrong.

You haven't seen adverts so they're uber tiny, like microbes? If that is the case, then that's okay I guess.

Not a trivial issue really, when people see ads they know what they are. I didn't expect a company to put ads in that were so tiny that they weren't even there.

So yeah. And I did play the originals... at least Abe's Odyssey and Exodus on the Playstation 1. I don't use consoles anymore since their they offer little in the way of value now that they cost £350+, require subscriptions and the game prices are ludicrous. By the way, I'm not implying that consoles suck, they're great, I just think that the gap between Consoles vs PC value is ever declining, yet you have so much more freedom with a PC.

And on that note, I am going to play Torchlight II and Payday 2. :D

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@jellyman68 

"Nobody"? Then what about the reviewer who posted a screenshot of the Secret Ponchos ad?

Perhaps you can ignore facts?

jellyman68
jellyman68

@UKFX I've seen one of these despicable, evil, experience-ruining adverts now. It was a graphic of a face with some illegible text at the bottom that appeared in one of the secret areas for a few seconds on one of the scrolling advertisement banners alongside the adverts for the New 'n' Tasty product. 

I was playing on a 27 inch display in 1080p, sat about 4 - 5 feet away, and the text was too small to read. It looked more like a nod to a fellow developer than an advert intended to promote another product. I notice the screenshot of the advert in this review is zoomed in and enlarged too. I wonder if that's to make the text legible.

Did the adverts in the original game ruin the experience for you?

jellyman68
jellyman68

@Gelugon_baat  It's a fact that not all words are meant literally, and that any healthy individual can distinguish between literal and non-literal language. 

jellyman68
jellyman68

@Gelugon_baat You didn't do your research and read my comment properly. A group of wingers on a message board who decided they were incensed by the inclusion of a graphic (not really even an advert) before the game was even released come under the heading of "people who need to find something negative about the game".

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@jellyman68 

I would say that people who resort to exaggeration, e.g. using words like "nobody" even though this is not factually true - like you had - are not "healthy" enough.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@jellyman68 

Then what about the people who played the game and are displeased by the ads? That link which I have included has such people.

jellyman68
jellyman68

@Gelugon_baat Yes but this isn't a matter of opinion. Ability to spot literal vs non-literal language is a criteria used to judge an individual's learning ability. Your failure to spot something basic like that would likely lead to you being diagnosed with a learning difficulty. 

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@jellyman68 

This is a matter of opinion, I say. You have to prove that it is not.

Also, do cite a reliable scientific source where the "ability to spot literal vs non-literal language is a criteria used to judge an individual's learning ability", or you are just spouting pseudo-scientific nonsense.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@jellyman68 

Ah, so you got all your bases covered then?

That still doesn't change the fact that there are people who don't like the promotions of other products within the game.

jellyman68
jellyman68

@Gelugon_baat I didn't make any scientific assertions to be called "pseudo-scientific nonsense" and I don't need to prove anything. You're just spouting cliches that you've probably picked up from your years of pestering people on message boards, and the one you picked doesn't apply here. If you don't believe what I say, either go research it yourself or forget about it.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@jellyman68 

Oh sure, toss the burden of proof for your unfounded claims onto others. This is a typical habit of yours.

jellyman68
jellyman68

@Gelugon_baat I'd hold you to your own standard and demand proof of that claim, but this is GameSpot, not a scientific paper that requires citations for every assertion. The only burden is coming from you. If you really care for proof, go find it yourself. If I find myself awake at night terrified that maybe I really do have a habit of forcing the burden of proof for unfounded claims onto other people, I'll go look for evidence of that myself. 

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@jellyman68 

Oh sure, use my own stance against me, and then tell me to go off and find proof for your claim.

You are lazy, jellyman68. Lazy and irresponsible.

Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee - New 'n' Tasty More Info

  • First Released
    • PC
    • PlayStation 3
    • + 4 more
    • PlayStation 4
    • PlayStation Vita
    • Wii U
    • Xbox 360
    Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee - New 'n' Tasty is a classic platformer where you must rescue your fellow meat factory slaves.
    9
    Average User RatingOut of 29 User Ratings
    Please Sign In to rate Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee - New 'n' Tasty
    Developed by:
    Just Add Water
    Published by:
    Oddworld Inhabitants
    Genres:
    Action, Platformer, 2D
    Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.
    Teen
    All Platforms