Oddworld: New and Tasty shows that Oddworld has to be one of the most-ported games. Just from my recollection, it has been on the PS1, PS3, PS Vita and PS4 (this version going for a large sum of money as it was deemed a collectable). I remember playing Oddworld for hours on end on the PS1 and absolutely loving it, with its dark humour and hilarious bottom noises. I must admit, I was pretty depressed upon realising that the original came out 23 years ago… Don’t you just love games that make you feel old?
Abe is a Mudokan slave, who is working at some sort of meat factory. He hears the board masters scheming and decides he needs to escape. As any true hero should, Abe decides that not only does he want to save himself, but also wants to save as many other Mudokans as possible. In the current climate, the game is quite powerful when you think about it. A slave – an absolute idiot who lacks intelligence and mumbles having to escape a powerful corporation who are killing their employees slowly. I don’t want to get too deep here, but this is pretty lifelike.
The performance of Oddworld: New and Tasty is on par with the PS4 performance, which is actually pretty impressive considering it is on the Switch. Everything has been updated: the graphics, sound quality, but one area will still leave you chucking controllers everywhere… the controls.
Don’t expect to be taken aback by the graphics in this new version. They are smooth and the textures combine a thousand times better than they did on the PS1, but we are 23 years in the future. Like a number of games I have played on the Switch, this one is actually suited to handheld mode and it looks noticeably better. However, nothing about this game will stimulate you the way a more modern game would. This is the problem with constantly revamping again – unless you completely change it like they have with Final Fantasy VII.
Humour is rife throughout Oddworld: New and Tasty, and this is particularly evident via the sound. Abe can make some really cool noises – he can fart, say “Stay” and “Follow me“. As much as I would love to say the basic fart is the most fun thing, I can’t. The way he says “follow me” has stuck with me for 23 years. I have used it so many times throughout my childhood and adult life, that when I say it, I feel like I am Abe himself, fighting the oppression of capitalism. Other than the cool sounds effects, the sound won’t particularly surprise you. There are times that the melodramatic background noise will create moments more tense than they are.
Abe offers quite simple gameplay – you run, jump, hide and pull a few levers. Even though it is quite simple, you will get stuck in a number of places. Part of this will be to do with the precise timings in which you have to complete certain tasks within, and the other parts will be because of my biggest gripe: the controls. Unfortunately, playing Oddworld is like playing with a 23-year-old controller that you have just found covered in Ribena. It takes a long period of time for the controller to actually tell the Switch what you have pressed.
This has always been the case with this game and, surprisingly, they just haven’t actually bothered trying to fix it. Or maybe they have, and they just can’t get the mechanics correct. Either way, this annoyance stops this new release from being as good a game as it could. I actually went back and tried the PS1 version to realise that the controls were just as clunky, but I could forgive them due to how long ago it was. Now we are in 2020, I find it hard to forgive that this can still happen.
Overall, Oddworld: New and Tasty is an enjoyable game, but it just doesn’t offer you anything more or anything new. If you already own it and are hoping for some new content, then don’t bother. If, however, you don’t seem to own the game anymore, and you want to relive a bit of your childhood, then this port is a worthy purchase.
- Publisher: Oddworld Inhabitants
- Developer: Just Add Water
- Players: single-player
I have been a video game player since 1993 and a music fan since I can remember. I studied Film and Journalism at university and ended up becoming a Primary School teacher. Video games changed my life and sent me on the right track and have stayed with me ever since.