Sometimes, the only thing you need to take a game from fun, to great fun, is just a little bit more work. That happens to be the case with New Super Lucky’s Tale. Don’t let the “New” in the title fool you into thinking this is another entry in the Lucky’s Tale series, as it’s a reworked re-release of the second game, which was originally developed for Xbox One and PC. So, more like Super Lucky’s Tale: Definitive Edition.
New Super Lucky’s Tale is a return to the world of mascot driven 3D platformers, placing you in the shoes of young fox Lucky whose job it is to save the Book of Ages from Guardian gone rogue, Jinx and his riotous Kitty Litter! You see the Book of Ages holds the portals to other worlds along with the ability to increases Jinx’s magical powers. The pages have been scattered, the Guardians locked in their own world and it’s all on Lucky’s shoulders now. So with a cape flowing behind him and an infectious grin on his face, away Lucky goes!
If you were to look at this game and think it’s made for youngsters, you’d be right. But you’d also be wrong, as the many 80’s and 90’s references can attest to. New Super Lucky’s Tale is aimed at the young, and the young at heart, who love 3D platformers and want to get lost in a game that makes them smile rather than throw their controller at the wall. It’s the sort of game that you’ll pick up for your little sibling or kid and probably end up playing yourself.
The first thing you’ll be greeted with is Lucky’s smiling face in the first hub and this, along with the bright and rather gorgeous cartoon-inspired visuals and art, sets the tone for the entire adventure. Over and above the platforming, Super Lucky’s Tale presents you with an overwhelming sense of fun and positivity. Despite the perilous nature of his journey, Lucky’s Tale is nothing but cheery and delightful in all of its stages, including the spooky, carnival land of Hauntingham.
There are six hub worlds – the last unlocked after beating the campaign – which have portals to levels and puzzle areas in them. Coins and extra lives form the games collectibles while popping into each level tasks you with collecting four pages from the Book of Ages; one hidden, one obtained by collecting the letters to spell out Lucky’s name, one to make it to the end of the level and one to collect 300 coins. Collect enough pages per hub world and you open up the portal to the games bosses. The only function coins serve, outside of the aforementioned level collection, is for Lucky to buy some new outfits.
Levels are rather small by comparison, but well designed with some tight platforming. Developer Playful Studios have varied the formula as well, making sure that you’re not doing the same thing ad naseum by changing up the levels as you go along. Along with traditional 3D levels, there are 2D side-scrolling levels, top down levels and even on-rail levels. Added onto that are light puzzles that require you to tilt a stage to control Lucky when he is in a sphere and some statue moving puzzles, though I found these wore out their welcome eventually.
The games writing is also a strong point. It’s a pun-laden extravaganza told by peaceful wrestling yetis who look like Macho Man Randy Savage and worms that are beholden unto dirt jokes, among others, that will make you good-naturedly grimace.
New Super Lucky’s Tale is an amalgamation of platformers that have come before. New Super Mario Bros, Banjo Kazooie and even Crash Bandicoot are baked into Lucky’s DNA. The game does nothing to reinvent the wheel, instead, it chooses to stick to tried and tested formulas that don’t wear out their welcome in the relatively brief campaign. The game is also light on challenge, with a difficulty that only slightly increases as you bounce your way through the campaign. It’s not going to test your platforming skills at all and that, actually, is one of its strengths.
The original game’s expansions are now woven into the campaign with the Guardian Trials making up the last levels endgame, which does have a bit of a challenge spike. There are new levels, dialogue and cinematics, changes to the games art and sound, and movement has been tightened up. The largest change has to do with the games camera, which is now fully controllable and presents one of the best cameras I’ve used in a 3D platformer.
With its bright and cheery art style, and it’s even happier go lucky protagonist, New Super Lucky’s Tale may not challenge your platforming prowess, but it will pull you through gorgeous and well-designed levels with a smile on your face. And right now I’m sure we can all do with some of that. Do yourself a favour and put New Super Lucky’s Tale into your platforming collection. It’s more than worth it.
Written By M. A. Ligocki part of our freelance team
New Super Lucky’s Tale is available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
This review is based on the PS4 version of the game
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