Character Lucky has quite the history coming from a virtual reality game, an Xbox One exclusive and a reworked Nintendo Switch version. Luckily, Lucky is a charming fox that conquers your heart almost immediately. Developer Playful Studios created a lovely character that can easily walk hand-in-hand with Crash Bandicoot or Banjo. This New Super Lucky’s Tale game is a reworked Switch port from the Xbox One exclusive so explaining why Xbox owners need to lay another €40 for this is a hard one, it is playable with Xbox Game Pass too but as you’ll read in the review I actually prefer the 2017-version.
What we liked!
- Movement: Our friend Lucky controls fast and accurate if you played some other recent platform games on Xbox than you know how important responsive controls are. Seemingly a difficult task as others regularly fail with this, thankfully the flow from digging underground, double jumping on platforms, and attacking with a tail swipe feels as smooth as butter. You really notice this when you come across timed challenges, forced to act quickly the hairy paws from Lucky move precisely how you expect and want.
- Variation with gameplay: Super Lucky’s a traditional platform game but with many twists and puzzles throughout every game level hub. Every level is different and you never know what you’ll end up doing. Moving statues to solve puzzles, running automatically in fast 2D levels, running around in a big maze searching for cute animals or even some Kula World-inspired levels. (still remember that game? Be sure to look it up!) While the challenge remains easy, as this is aimed towards a younger audience I never had a boring feeling.
- The ultimate collecting game: Every level has a main goal, L-U-C-K-Y letters to find, a hidden page, and the task to collect 300 coins. Collecting stuff is something that every platform game has but with New Super Lucky’s Tale it is really fun and addictive. With the coins you can buy new outfits, making Lucky look a bit silly. You unlock new outfits by collecting those hidden pages and progressing in the game. Some of those hidden pages aren’t in your face either, so finding everything it really pleasant and rewarding.
- Deja-vu feelings for previous players: Those who played the Lucky game in 2017 will have a lot to look forward too! As the game has new and reworked levels, new story bits, and the new rotating camera. I do have some moral issues with the price tag, I know this game wasn’t made in a few days, Playful did a lot to make it a better game by listening to some complaints by critics and players. However, large parts will give you that already seen feeling so it is important to understand that this is a reworked original and not an entirely new Super Lucky game.
- Super Lucky’s Tale in 2017 looks far better: I couldn’t get over how bad this New Super Lucky’s Tale looks compared to the first version. See the two images below, on the left is the version from 2017. For example, the new version doesn’t have the same impressive lighting. Other noticeable visual changes are lower textures, far worse depth of view, and more pop up. I understand that this new version is a Nintendo Switch port but having a tagline “new and improved” and seeing these visual downgrades isn’t what I had in mind. that said, New Super Lucky’s Tale still looks really colorful and joyful, it is easy to feel good while playing it, as everything has this positive vibe.
What we disliked
- Performance issues: So we have worse visuals in this new version and to make things worse boss fights and some big open levels have frame rate issues too. I honestly have to scratch my head how a Nintendo Switch port can have performance issues on Xbox One X but it is what it is.
New Super Lucky’s Tale is a really fun platform game but for those who played the previous version it might be a bit silly to repurchase it, especially since the 2017 looks far better and has better performance. While I adore Lucky and what Playful created I am left with a sour feeling as “new and improved” and seeing the visuals and performance just doesn’t add up.