Hello, Oddworld fans! It’s been a little while since we’ve been here on PlayStation.Blog talking about our games, but we’re delighted to finally share the first details of our upcoming PlayStation Vita game — Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty — and explain exactly what we’ve been doing in making this version of Abe the Mudokon’s adventure.
PS Vita is a wonderful machine, and for Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty it grants us — for the first time with this particular game — the ability to build an experience designed to be enjoyed on the bus, or laid back on the sofa, or for those sneaky 10 minute distractions under the desk while your boss calls this week’s Important Meeting.
In essence, this is very much Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty — the same critically-acclaimed hit that launched on PS4 in 2014 and PS3 in 2015 — but it’s a refined, specially adapted version of the game that plays to the strengths of the mobile format, while still delivering that “AAA indie” level of polish our fans have come to expect.
For starters, we’ve reworked the controls considerably. Heaps of attention has been lavished on the individual buttons and sticks — tweaking the analog dead zones, doubling up the shoulder buttons and making sure that Abe always goes exactly where you want him to no matter what.
So, the two “old school” control settings from the PS4 version have been made the default. This means that X hops you forward, not up; and the left analog stick is used to walk, not run. For the latter to happen, you hold down the R trigger, and, similarly, the L trigger is used to sneak. Push both triggers to chant. It’s a fluid, intuitive system that takes all of ten seconds to master, and then you’ll wonder why we didn’t do that at first!
Elsewhere, we’ve kept the free aiming and throwing on the right analog stick, but while aiming a tap of the R trigger throws whatever Abe’s holding. Want to drop something on the ground instead of whizzing it through the air? Just tap the centre of the front touch screen.
Gamespeak — the revolutionary way to interact with other characters and puzzles in the game that helped make the original PlayStation version such a hit — is on the d-pad. Up for “Hello,” Right for “Follow me” — you get the idea. Want to whistle, laugh or even perform one of Abe’s hysterical farts? Simply use Triangle as a Gamespeak shift button. Again, once you’ve tried it this way, it makes perfect sense.
Of utmost importance, however, is the fact that we’ve retained the instant QuikSave and QuickLoad from the PS4 version: tap Select to QuikSave wherever you are in the game, and hold the same button to reload. It might not help your speedrunning times if you die and have to reload, but it removes any frustration that a set of three rapidly oscillating meat grinders might otherwise enforce. It also means you can Quiksave, do something else with the Vita and come back to it at exactly the same point in the game.
And speaking of speedrunning, we’ve been humbled by the response to our leaderboards in New ‘n’ Tasty on PS4 and PS3, and we’re delighted to announce that speedrunning on the go is present and correct for PS Vita. But we’ve not stopped there — we’ve been carefully watching how people have been playing the game and thrown in a few minor revisions here and there to throw you off a little.
We’ve also worked tirelessly to ensure that the visual experience on PS Vita matches up as closely as it can with the other versions. We’ve made the game look a little grittier — gone is the bloom and glow leaving an aesthetic that closer resembles the 1997 classic — while tweaking every single area in the game to suit the platform.
We’ve also improved the readability of certain items that just wouldn’t have worked on the smaller screen without some attention: mines are now painted bright red so you can’t accidentally stumble into them without blaming yourself; well leaves are bigger so it’s clearer which way you need to go as Abe attempts his temple trials; a few camera angles have been adjusted, and so on.
And of course, everybody loves Trophies, right? Well, Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty features a full rack of them, including a Platinum for those that possess the skill to save every single Mudokon in under three hours.
All this makes for what we think is a great version of Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty. One designed for gaming on the go, with the Quiksaves working hard to ensure you can dip into the game for as little or as long as you’d like per session, but one that retains all the great playability, humor, visual direction and audio from its bigger brothers. We’re excited to get the game in front of PS Vita owners, and the time to do that is very nearly here.
Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty will be out on January 19th. And after that, well, it’s on to Exoddus… :)