Oddworld: New ‘N’ Tasty Review

Posted August 1, 2014 by John Newby in Video Games

Recreating old video games in High Definition has been increasing in popularity ever since the PS3 and Xbox 360 were released. Normally, these recreations simply involve slapping some pretty graphics on an old game, slightly updating the audio quality, and adding a $20-50 price tag. Thankfully, Just Add Water put more work in to their HD recreation of Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee, resulting in the newly-titled Oddworld: New ‘N’ Tasty.

New ‘N’ Tasty is mainly set at a meat processing plant called RuptureFarms where a Mudoken named Abe previously worked as a janitor. Unfortunately, Abe discovers that the Glukkon overlords of RuptureFarms have a plan to create new foods using their Mudoken employees as the main ingredient, so he sets out on a quest to shut down the plant and rescue almost 300 Mudokens from a horrible death. This quest takes Abe through RuptureFarms to the surrounding areas, including two Mudoken temples that hold powerful secrets. Aiding Abe in his quest is an Elum (Mule spelled backward) and various Mudoken Shamans.

New ‘N’ Tasty is a 2.5D platformer that mostly revolves around solving puzzles to trap and murder the Slig guards that are hunting Abe. These guards may not be mobile, but their automatic rifles are extremely deadly. Generally, the only way to deal with the Sligs is to sneak past them or trick them into walking near a minefield. However, Abe does have the ability to take control of the Sligs with his chanting power. With this ability, Abe can make the Sligs shoot each other and ultimately explode. This move, while helpful, can only be done when evil drones are nowhere to be found, or they will shock and murder Abe.

Unfortunately, the Sligs are not the only enemy that stands between Abe and his Mudoken brethren. RuptureFarms has an assortment of dog-like creatures—called Slogs—that will chase and eat Abe as well as vicious Scrabs that chase and kill Abe given the chance. Unfortunately, the Slogs and Scrabs cannot be controlled with Abe’s chant, so he must find other ways to avoid or destroy them. To defeat these creatures, Abe must trick them into an explosive death via bombs or lure them to each other and start a massive fight.

Scrabs will endlessly chase you.

Scrabs will endlessly chase you.

When Abe isn’t avoiding the deadly enemies, he is trying to rescue his Mudoken breathren from a horrible death. This can be achieved by using the GameSpeak mechanic that lets Abe say helpful phrases like “hello” and “follow me”. After Abe dispatches of any surrounding guards, he can go interact with the other Mudokens and have them follow him to a bird portal that will free them from danger. Mudokens are hidden seemingly everywhere in New ‘N’ Tasty, so finding them can be quite the chore. However, rescuing more Mudokens means that Abe will unlock a much better ending to New ‘N’ Tasty than he otherwise would have.

Thankfully, GameSpeak isn’t only used for helping rescue the Mudokens. Abe now has an expanded list of GameSpeak options that can be used for interactions, reciting passwords, or farting when the mood is right. Many of the freed Mudokens will interact with Abe and recite passwords using a series of whistles, farts, and laughs. Repeating these passwords correctly grants Abe access to new areas and special powers, like the ability to remotely detonate bombs using a chant.

These slaves need to be rescued.

These slaves need to be rescued.

GameSpeak is one of the main aspects of Abe’s Oddysee that Just Add Water changed for New ‘N’ Tasty, but it is not the only one. Just Add Water went through and redid the cutscenes and art by using the original game as a blueprint. However, Just Add Water removed the original assets and built New ‘N’ Tasty from the ground up so it wouldn’t simply be another HD remake. Finally, Just Add Water also added a quick save button to help make the frustrating areas between checkpoints less of an irritation.

Oddworld: New ‘N’ Tasty is absolutely adorable, and it runs like a dream on the PS4. The work with graphics and performance that Just Add Water did definitely shows when Abe is hauling ass across complicated platforming sections on the back of his trusty Elum. These fast-paced sections combining dangerous jumps with random mines would be impossible to navigate if New ‘N’ Tasty’s framerate suffered in the slightest.

Actually, the only part of New ‘N’ Tasty that doesn’t feel fantastic is the standard movement. Abe has a tendency to keep running after the analog stick stops, which makes certain sections unbearable. Running from Scrabs can be rage-inducing if you tell Abe to jump, and he waits an extra second, sending him face first into a wall. These moments happened far too often during the Scrab Temple sequences. These issues can be eventually worked around, but you must have a lot of patience and even more time.

Minor control issues aside, Oddworld: New ‘N’ Tasty is a fantastic recreation of Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee. Just Add Water put in so much work recreating the game that New ‘N’ Tasty doesn’t seem like a cheap HD remake with an expensive price tag. Actually, the $14.99 price tag with cross-buy capability makes New ‘N’ Tasty an adorable, unbeatable deal.

About the Author

John Newby

A random dude obsessed with coffee, blue heelers, and most nerdy things. Big fan of Star Wars, Borderlands, Arrow/Flash, and a whole lotta video games. The Saboteur is underrated, and Silverado is the best movie ever made.