NintendoJam checks in with another review, this time sharing his thoughts on the 3D platformer, New Super Lucky's Tale. See what he has to say below! - RMC
Lucky joins the likes of Mario, Sonic, Banjo, Crash, and Spyro on the list of five-letter long names for iconic platforming mascots. While the young fox may not be as recognizable, he's got a special child-like wonder that helps to make “New Super Lucky's Tale” a silly, fun, heartfelt adventure.
Playful Corp. originally introduced the world of Lucky in early 2016, with the flagship VR title "Lucky's Tale", exclusive to the Oculus Rift. In late 2017, a sequel known as "Super Lucky's Tale" was published by Microsoft for Xbox One and PC, ditching the platformers virtual reality gimmick. Fast-forward to today, as the end of 2019 approaches, Playful has independently published a reworked version of Lucky's sequel for Nintendo Switch. Impressively, New Super Lucky’s Tale runs at a full 1080p in docked mode and 720p in portable. Matching the Xbox One version, It keeps a consistent 30 frames per second.
Upon launching the game, you can't help but instantly smile. Everything from the art-style to the storytelling is child-like in the best possible ways. New Super Lucky's Tale is anything but a "kids game", but playing it provides a fun feeling of innocence with adorable characters and uniquely stylized levels. Even Lucky's enemies are cute, and it almost feels like a crime against humanity to defeat them.
What exactly is Lucky’s “tale”? His adventurous motive is just as endearing as the gameplay. The main villain, Jinx, has stolen pages from the “Book of Ages” that are now scattered across different worlds. His children known as “The Kitty Litter” are the final bosses of each world, and each one has a unique and reckless personality. Lucky magically travels through the Book of Ages to recover the pages, keep Jinx away from the book, and return to his family.
You should never judge a book by its cover (or a game by its box-art), especially when it comes to difficulty. New Super Lucky's Tale can actually provide a genuine challenge at times, especially during the latter half of the game and after-credits world. As the game is primarily a collectathon, finding the hidden objects is sometimes more difficult than the platforming itself. Each level contains one hidden page, five letters to spell out L-U-C-K-Y, and a 300 coin goal (coins can purchase unlockable outfits for Lucky). My personal playthrough of the game had me going for 100% completion. This challenged myself slightly, as I have quite a bit of experience with platformers. However, after a 99.9% playthrough of the game, there is still one pesky ‘U’ that I haven’t found in the level “Pungent Paths” in Veggie Village (World 2). I’ve spent more time searching for that one letter than I did fighting the final boss.
The amount of time it takes to complete New Super Lucky’s Tale largely depends on how you choose to play the game. If you’re a completionist like myself, it will likely take around 10 hours to fully experience the story, collect all the hidden items, and solve all the bonus puzzles/minigames. Reading through character dialogue will largely impact playtime, but the genuinely comedic writing (with Banjo-Kazooie-like gibberish voice acting) adds an extra layer to the already whimsical platformer. Quality is more important than quantity, and while a full playthrough might not be too lengthy, the variety in gameplay types keeps every moment fresh and exciting.
While in just a few days you can complete Lucky’s Tale,
the shorter gameplay keeps the formula from ever getting stale.
New Super Lucky's Tale keeps its core mechanics in each level style. While a majority of your time will be spent making your way through a 3D environment, sometimes you'll get a unique side-scrolling level with a locked camera position. There is a variety of unique experiences using these gameplay types, but Lucky always controls the same. Your moveset is diverse enough to make controlling Lucky fun on its own, but also simple enough for anyone to understand (jump, attack, ground-pound, and skid/burrow). Upon engaging in actions, Switch’s HD Rumble is fully utilized and adds extra immersion to your gameplay experience.
Each of the five main worlds function as a hub for the levels within. An assigned number of pages must be collected in order to participate in the designated boss fight, and then travel to the next world. Four pages can be received in each level by reaching the end and meeting all three of the objectives. A sixth bonus world is available upon reaching the end credits. Avoiding spoilers, “Foxington” features some of the best levels that New Super Lucky’s Tale has to offer.
Alongside the actual levels, there are two different types of minigames spread throughout the different world hubs. One of these, my personal favorite of the two, is Foreman Flint’s puzzles. The puzzles consist of sliding statues of Lucky on a pre-established rail to get them to their designated position. While this concept is simple and starts out easy, towards the end of the game you’ll really have to use your strongest puzzle solving skills. Being rewarded with a collectible page, the puzzles that Foreman Flint provide are great for a nice break from platforming. The other minigame can be described as a simplified version of Super Monkey Ball. Tess’s Marbleized Challenge has Lucky rolling around in a marble, avoiding obstacles to collect all the coins on the track. It’s simple enough, but the controls can be a bit finicky at times.
While New Super Lucky’s Tale is one of the best available 3D platformers on Switch, it certainly doesn’t come without its share of issues. During my playthrough, I once broke the camera by collecting a page and activating a cutscene at the same time. Glitches such as this will likely be encountered, and it’s far from impossible to get stuck in undesired locations. Annoyingly, there is no easy way to restart a level from the beginning. Sometimes, even losing a life by taking damage three times isn’t enough (if you've reached a checkpoint), as a level is only restarted when all lives are lost. If you are going for 100% and miss an item in an auto-scroll level, you’ll have to return to the world hub, and then reload back into the level. Load times are quite lengthy, but cute quips from Lucky’s rocky mail-carrying friend makes it easily forgivable. Getting very nitpicky for a second, there is one issue with New Super Lucky’s Tale that doesn’t even involve the actual game, but rather, its logo. An apostrophe is missing after Lucky’s name! Interestingly, the original logo for “Super Lucky’s Tale” on Xbox One does contain the now absent punctuation mark.
If you’re a fan of 3D platformers, New Super Lucky’s Tale is an incredible addition to the Nintendo Switch library. While the game is far from perfect, the Lucky’s Tale franchise from Playful Corp. is hopefully only just beginning. Even if you already experienced Super Lucky’s Tale on PC or Xbox One, the Switch version just might be “New” enough to justify a second purchase. Don’t miss out on this exciting adventure, flooding with love and adorableness.