I Am (fairly) impressed.
Stewart Gilray, the CEO of Oddworld New ‘N’ Tasty developers Just Add Water, has taken to twitter to tease about their unannounced games and has let slip that one of them will be coming to the PS4 and project Morpheus.
Originally, Gilray sent out a few blank #screenshotsaturday submissions;
— Stewart Gilray (@stewartgilray) April 25, 2015
— Stewart Gilray (@stewartgilray) April 25, 2015
These tweets indicated that Just Add Water are working on 2 new unannounced titles but followed up with the following tweet;
— Stewart Gilray (@stewartgilray) April 25, 2015
Yes. That is a stock photo of the Project Morpheus headset suggesting that “Project one”, a third unannounced project from Just Add Water, is coming to the PS4 and Project Morpheus.
Just Add Water collaborated with Oddworld Inhabitants to bring Oddworld: New ‘N’ Tasty to market (which won our Indie Game of The Year 2014 award) while continuing work on their own projects, releasing Gravity Crash Ultra for the PSVita.
Oddworld Inhabitants recently revealed that they are in the planning phase for a remake of the PS1 classic Oddworld: Abes Exoddus. Oddworld co-creator Lorne Lanning has also stated that he would like to complete the unreleased Oddworld game “The Brutal Ballad of Fangus Klot”. Could this VR project be related to Oddworld or is it something entirely new from Just Add Water? Just Add Water are also working with Paradox Interactive to bring the shooter Hollowpoint to the PS4. Could Hollowpoint be getting VR support?
Gravity Crash Ultra is not your standard arcade space shooter – not by a long shot. This is obvious from the second you start playing it and the familiar looks make way for an unfamiliar, tuned game play experience unlike any other. It tests your reaction speeds as well as your brain matter with its physics heavy game play. I remember playing the original Gravity Crash on my PS3 and it had some daft and unnecessary story about cleaning up the mistakes of humanity who had managed to tick off a hostile alien race. You will be happy to know that Just Add Water seem to have done away with this storyline all together in Gravity Crash Ultra, focusing entirely on the game play. You pilot a ship around levels, defeating enemies, traversing through tight caves, collect gems, blow up objectives, solve some basic puzzles, all the while you are being pulled to the bottom of the screen by the gravity of the planet. It is a mesh of ideas which blends well into a slick game.
When you first fire up Gravity Crash Ultra, the visuals will look familiar. With a neon style inspired by the space shooters of the 80’s and 90’s spliced with Geometry Wars, Gravity Crash Ultra looks lovely running at 960×544 and 60 frames per second on the Vita’s screen. Land masses are bold, highlighted with a solid colour outline and within these areas is a cracked land effect which looks stunning when lit up by explosions and gun fire. Explosions, defeated enemies and even your own exhaust trail have amazing particle effects and, thanks to a quite impressive physics engine, move with the environment. For example, blow up a few enemy installations near the end of a slope and you can see the minuscule bits rolling down the bank and off cliffs. It is an impressive visual spectacle and one that is easy to fall in love with.
The original Gravity Crash had 2 different ways to control your ship – Gravity Crash Ultra has 3, allowing you to tailor the controls to your preferred way of play. The Anti-Grav & Dual Stick controls use the left stick to direct the ship and the right stick to fire and Classic controls only allow you to fire in the direction you are facing. All the sets of controls have their pros and cons and it is all about personal preference as to what works best for you, but this freedom of choice is a really nice touch. You can also choose to have your shields manually or automatically activated. Automatically means that shields will take damage by default but do not recharge unless via collectables. Manual shields recharge but you have to activate them yourself. Again, a nice added touch but I found manually activating my shields to be overly complex when trying to play on the more hectic planets. Add to this the 3 selectable special weapons and you really do have a custom experience. Playing around with these settings and finding your best set up is a must. Gravity Crash Ultra will quickly become your new favourite Vita game – at least for a time, before the repetition sets in. Each bite-sized level has a set objective which, for the most part, involves blowing up a few specific enemy installations and then escaping to a worm hole. You then have to pilot through each level, above and below ground, trying not to get blown up by turrets, red enemy units or simply by crashing into walls to find the targets and make them go boom. Apart from the targets, there are other enemy installations which you can attack, friendlies you can rescue, neutral purple enemies you can take out and gems you can collect, all of which increase your level score. Each level has a “par time” for you to beat too. All of these added extras are there for those who love a challenge but are not necessary to progress and you can burn through the campaign and planet modes doing the bare minimum. Of course, if you hope to make it onto the leader boards, perfecting your runs by collecting and destroying as much as possible, as fast as possible, is essential. Towards the end of the game, the “Destroy X number of installations/enemies” starts to become a grind and the boss battles are really challenging and fun but are not frequent enough to break up the monotony. For short gaming sessions, Gravity Rush Ultra is perfect but if you are playing for extended periods, this repetition will start to drag. It is a shame that the game does not force you to explore a little more as part of the natural progression because some of my favourite parts of the game are trying the squeeze down a tight hole in search of an elusive blue gem – an optional but challenging jaunt while trying to counteract the gravity’s pull.
For the creative souls out there, Gravity Crash Ultra come complete with a level creator. The tool set is really easy to use, user-friendly and you can quickly pull together a simple level. Most of the level creator is self-explanatory and feels intuitive, allowing you to quickly pull something together which is impressive. Once you feel finished with your creation, you can test it out and, once you are happy, share it on-line for the whole world to play. There are some amazing user-created levels available right now (as the PS3 library has been ported across to the Vita) and the longevity of Gravity Crash Ultra is double because of this.
Gravity Crash Ultra is a “must buy” for anyone who grew up on Oids or Gravitar. It combines a lot of well implemented game play mechanics into a slick but challenging space shooter which will have you screaming in frustration but always begging for more. It is a little disappointing that the objectives for each level are not as varied as they possibly could have been but this does not detract from a great game which will make bus journeys fly by in a blink of an eye. All of this is topped off by a great, pumping soundtrack and a stark, bold art style which set the tone perfectly. The feeling of satisfaction you get from playing Gravity Crash Ultra and finally besting a level which has been testing your patience is wonderful and after a short time, you can really fall in love with it.
Gravity Crash Ultra was developed by Just Add Water and is releasing for the PlayStation Vita on the 12th(US)/13th(EU) of August.
Find out how Gravity Crash Ultra fares against the other games we have reviewed by visiting the PSGamer Review Leader Board.
The wait is almost over as Just Add Water have announced the release date for Gravity Crash Ultra – and it’s soon! To see what awaits us, here is the first Solar System in the game.
The game will be crash landing on the PlayStation Vita on August 12th in America and 13th in Europe.
Originally released for the PS3 and PSP, Gravity Rush has had a HD spit shine and game play tweaks and will emerge as Gravity Crash Ultra.
Abe is back. The plucky Mudukon has returned from his hiaetus and to put it bluntly, New ‘N’ Tasty is f**king brilliant.
New ‘N’ Tasty is much more than a HD remake of Abes Oddyssey. The 90’s puzzle platformer was a revelation in it’s time but a simple HD spit shine would not cut it for Just Add Water, Lorne Lanning and Oddworld Inhabitants and they have gone the extra mile, remaking the game from the ground up – and all of that extra work has really paid off. Gone are the clunky controls and ageing game play and in steps fluid and smooth puzzling re-built for the modern gamer. The individual level frames have been replaced by long, flowing stages with no interruption. New ‘N’ Tasty is rendered in beautiful 3D models rather than the 2D of the original. New ‘N’ Tasty may be steeped in the nostalgia of a 90’s classic but it definitely feels fresh, new and very tasty.
For those of you who didn’t play the original Abes Oddyssey, New ‘N’ Tasty is the story of Abe. Abe is a working Mudukon (read: slave) at RuptureFarms, the biggest meat processing plant on Oddworld. He is an every man, happily going about his floor waxing when he stumbles across a room full of the Glukkons – the veritable bankers of Oddworld. The head Glukkon, Molluck, is explaining to his fellow big cheese Glukkons that the profits of RuptureFarms are taking a nose dive because the livestock which goes into their most popular products, Paramite Pies and Scarab Cakes, are becoming more and more difficult to capture (i.e. they are heading towards extinction). The Glukkons start to fluster but Mulluck has a plan – a plan which involves turning Abe and his entire species into a new delicacy – Mudukon Pops. Abe witnesses this whole conversation and decides to escape, freeing as many of his Mudukon chums as possible along the way. The game then hurtles Abe through a series of unfortunate events which reveal he has a big destiny ahead of him, one that he must fulfil or watch his species fade into extinction.
New ‘N’ Tasty is a puzzle platformer at heart with action elements. The game is fraught with danger which is not only ready to kill Abe but his fellow Mudukons too. Meat grinders, retractable platforms, Sligs and Slogs (the guards and guard dogs of RupureFarms), the local and lethal fauna of Oddworld, floating mines – almost everything will shift Abe off his mortal coil given the chance. The game challenges you to avoid death while liberating enslaved Mudukons along the way by solving hundreds of puzzle levels before you. To free Abe’s pals, Abe can talk to fellow Mudukons who will (mostly) follow his instructions. Saying “Hello” (or “All of Ya!” if there is more than one) will grab the attention of any Mudukon hard at work and then shouting up with “follow me” means they will stop what they are doing and follow Abe. Abe can then guide his co-workers to a portal which he can open by chanting, freeing them from the tyranny of Mulluck the Glukkon. Chanting can also allow Abe to posses his captors which makes for some rather funny situations with Sligs turning on Slogs with hilarious effects.
The puzzles are made up of deadly traps, systems of levers and an element of trial and error which will test the old grey matter but also test your reaction speed. Knowing the solution to a puzzle is only half the battle in New ‘N’ Tasty because you have to act fast and have lightning fast thumb speed. Most puzzles have a “right solution” and a “solved it but only through persistence and patience” solution. Pulling off the “right solution” looks impressive when executed – such as rolling under a floating mine in-between 2 motion sensors then sprinting away from a Scarab before leaping onto a platform – but sometimes you just have to resort to “getting it done” by shuffling along the ground and taking minuets to do something that should take seconds. The puzzles ease you in gently but the learning curve rises sharply. Take heed of any advice the game throws your way and those “aaah, that’s how you do it” moments come thick and fast.
New ‘N’ Tasty is gorgeous. It is probably the most beautiful game I have seen that as built in Unity. The lighting is superb, the colour palette pleasing on the eye and there is an incredible attention to detail on the character models as well as the environment. In regards to visual fidelity, the game runs at 1080p at a silky smooth 60 frames per second with no visible drops, no matter what is happening on screen. Explosions look realistic and the particle effects and physics are fantastic. The visuals create a realistic looking world which it is easy to get drawn into.
One of the greatest selling points of the original Abe’s Oddyssey was its whimsical charm and character. If it was at all possible, Just Add Water and Oddworld Inhabitants have managed to modernise the charm and likeability of Abe and his world, increasing his appeal, while staying true to the soul of the original. Mudukons will now moan and grumble under their breath if Abe tells them to do something they can’t do and it is hard not to crack a rye smile when Abe farts and triggers a giggle from his co-workers – interactions which have been enhanced but bring back instant nostalgia. New ‘N’ Tasty is full of allure and delightful charisma and even the most hard hearted of you will find it hard not to fall in love with Abe.
The only (potential) negative of New ‘N’ tasty is its length. If you completely ignore the premise of the game, race through each level without rescuing any of the enslaved Mudukons and avoid the optional puzzles, New ‘N’ Tasty is short. Rushing through and only solving the puzzles which block your process strips back the game to only a few hours long and there is no incentive to save the Mudukons apart from self satisfaction and your own conscience. If you skip a few option puzzles, those Mudukons you left behind show up as casualties on your progress boards but that is the only detriment. Doing this totally misses the point of New ‘N’ Tasty but it is possible and dramatically cuts down the play time of the game.
One of the aspects which may only be an issue for fans of the original is the new control scheme which has received a complete overhaul. The new scheme makes good use of the twin sticks (the left stick controlling Abe’s movement and the right stick used to throw grenades or stones) as well as the D-Pad (which is used for Abe’s speech) of the Dualshock 4/3. This is a departure from the original which had the analogue buttons in charge of the speech. Having played Abe’s Oddyssey recently, I went into auto-pilot several times and jumped when I wanted to say “Hello!”. This is a minor complaint that will only effect those who have recently played with Abe and the new control scheme does feel much more accessible and fluid than the original once you get used to it.
New ‘N’ Tasty is the rebirth of a legend. If you played the original Abes Odsyssey, this remake will bring back a flood of memories without the peril associated wih those rose tinted glasses. It is the same Abe we know and love but enhanced for the now-gen of gamers. This is Abe 2.0. Strip back the nostalgia and one of the best puzzle platformers of 2014 lies in wait – keeping all of the best bits of the original, shedding the dated aspects and presenting Abe and his first adventure in a whole new, refreshing light.
If you are new to Oddworld, New ‘N’ Tasty is the perfect entry point in to a fleshed out world full of whimsical charm, challenging puzzles and a smile raising main character who will soon be your new favourite.
In short, drop what you are doing and go and buy Oddworld: New ‘N’ Tasty.
New ‘N’ Tasty is available now on the PS4 (version reviewed), PS3 and PSVita and is part of the cross-play promotion.
Want to know how New ‘N’ Tasty fares against the other games that PSGamer has reviewed? Find out on our PSGamer Review Leader Board.
Back on 1997, a plucky Mudokon named Abe won over the hearts and minds of Playstation fans the world over and on the 22nd of July, he is back to do it again in Oddworld: New ‘N’ Tasty.
Oddworld: New ‘N’ Tasty is not just an Abe’s Oddyssey HD remaster. It is a reamke from the ground up. It has glorious new 2.5D graphics, new cut scenes, new platforming segments, new…everything really – all steeped in the same plot we loved from the 90’s.
You can watch the New ‘N’ Tasty launch trailer below;
Oddworld: New ‘N’ Tasty will be releasing on the PS3, PS4 and PSVita via the PSN Store for an amazing price of £17.99. It is also a cross-buy game which means you pay once and get it for all 3 platforms.
If you buy Oddworld: New ‘N’ Tasty in the first 2 weeks of release, you will also get 2 pieces of DLC completely free.
- Alf’s Escape Mission – Alf will be a familiar Fez wearing Mudokon to fans of the Oddworld universe and this DLC will let players witness his escape from Rupture Farms
- The Prison Master alternate costume for Abe.